• NEW! Hidden Laos

    The best of Laos from the non-touristy, off-the-beaten track south and northwest, to the crown jewel of Luang Prabang

    A great introduction to all that is so special about Southeast Asia as well as a perfect trip for those who have visited the region before and want to dig a little deeper into the culture, this unique itinerary will take you beyond the immediate vicinity of Luang Prabang—beyond which most other tours never venture—to trek to hill tribe villages, explore splendid temples that predate Camobodia's Angkor, and even stay on an island in the middle of the renowned Mekong River for a chance to spot the endangered Irawaddy dolphin!  (This entire trip is below 6,000')

    best times to go: January - February, November

    departures: 1 scheduled dateview departures

    pricing: from $3,895 see detailed pricing

    Southeast Asia

    Moderate

The best of Laos from the non-touristy, off-the-beaten track south and northwest, to the crown jewel of Luang Prabang

Nestled between Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos is a haven for a kind of simple, unhurried lifestyle that is hard to come by in the more developed nations of the Indochina Peninsula. Designed in conjunction with our guide, Sylvain Curtil, who speaks fluent Lao, this adventure focuses on the pristine, less traveled southern and northwestern corners of the country. In the south, you’ll visit the ruins of grand temples that predate those at Angkor in Cambodia. And in the northwest you’ll enjoy interactions with Khmu and Tái Deng hill tribes who maintain a traditional lifestyle largely unchanged for generations—on a trek where you’re unlikely to see any other westerners. With all this delightful country has to offer, it’s the perfect destination for those making their first trip to Southeast Asia, and for those seeking a new perspective on this exotic region.
 

Activities

12 days of moderate activity, including easy walking, moderate trekking, and easy kayaking.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trek beyond the usual tourist destinations of Luang Prabang and Vientiane to witness the hill tribe cultures of Laos’ seldom-visited northwestern corner
  • Explore pre-Angkorian temples, like Vat Phou Champasak, which is older and far less touristed than Cambodia’s Angkor
  • Search for the endangered Irawaddy dolphin in the Mekong River
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Laos' fascinating hill tribes and learn about their culture

Duration: 14 days Start Location: Bangkok End Location: Luang Prabang

Download Detailed Itinerary
BRIEF Itinerary
  • Day1_bgstk_bangkok
    Day 1 : Arrive in Bangkok (This entire trip is below 6,000' elevation)

    Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand.

  • Day2_ftlia_pakse
    Day 2 : Bangkok - Pakse

    Fly from Bangkok to Pakse.  Transfer to Champasak.

  • Day3_ftlia_elephant
    Day 3 : Champasak - Don Khong

    Champasak province to Don Khong Island.

  • Day4_bgstk_falls
    Day 4 : Day Excursion to 4000 Islands

    Day excursion to 4000 Islands.

  • Day5_bgstk_champasak
    Day 5 : Vat Phou Champasak

    Morning visit of Vat Phou Champasak, then back to Pakse and fly to Vientiane.

  • Day6_bgstk_patuxai
    Day 6 : Vientiane

    Sightseeing in Vientiane.

  • Day7_bgstk_thatluang
    Day 7 : Vientiane – Luang Nam Tha – Muang Sing

    Fly from Vientiane to Luang Nam Tha and then transfer to Muang Sing, in Laos' northwestern corner.

  • Day8_3rf_taidan
    Day 8 : Muang Sing

    Trek in the nearby jungle and visit artisan villages.

  • Day9_bgstk_luangnamtha
    Day 9 : Muang Sing - Nongkhiaw

    Travel from Muang Sing to Nongkhiaw via Luang Nam Tha.

  • Day10_bgstk_elephants
    Day 10 : Nongkhiaw

    Trek to Tham Kaang and on to the local villages of Ban Houay Boor and Ban Na.

  • Da11_istk_pakou
    Day 11 : Nongkhiaw - Luang Prabang

    Nongkhiaw to Luang Prabang by boat, visiting the Pak Ou Caves en route.

  • Day12_bgstk_luangwat
    Day 12 : Luang Prabang

    We explore the highlights of charming Luang Prabang

  • Day13_bgstk_sunset
    Day 13 : Luang Prabang

    Kayaking excursion and free time to explore Luang Prabang.

  • Day 14 : Departure

    Transfer to the airport for your flight onwards.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: January - February, November Departures: Nov 18, 2014 - Dec 1, 2014

PRICING:

2014 Prices
$3,895 (11-15 members)
$4,395 (6-10 members)

$600 internal airfare – Bangkok/Pakse/Vientiane/
Luang Nam Tha
$800 single supplement

  • Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel
    Bangkok

    The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a 4 star hotel located 10 min walk from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers 2 bars and 4 restaurants. With a 24 hr airport shuttle every 10 min from Gate 4 Level 2 and parking available, there is no better place to stay.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

  • Sylvain Curtil

    Sylvain is a French national but lives in Thailand. He had his first contact with Asia at the age of 17, when the first refugees from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam arrived in France in 1976. Trying to teach them French, he was soon “adopted” by a Lao family, living with them during his studies at Lyon University, and ended up learning the language and customs. He has worked and led tours in South East Asia including Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, but also in his favorite “Area”: India, and the Himalayan countries (Ladakh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet) where he has his dearest friends, and throughout the years enriched his self-taught knowledge of Aisa’s arts and customs, Hinduism and Buddhism. He has more than a liking for Buddhism and it’s pieces of Art. He lends his first hand experience of Asian art, history, Hinduism and Buddhism to all the groups he has the pleasure of leading.. He was one of the very first foreigners to visit the newly re-opened Laos from north to south. Sylvain speaks French, English, Thai, Lao, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.

photo credits: MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Nov 18, 2014 - Dec 1, 2014
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