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. This adventure focuses on the pristine, less traveled northwestern corner of the country and Luang Prabang. You'll enjoy interactions with Khmu and Lao Loum 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.
Trek through lush forests amid stunning mountain scenery, meeting local villagers along the way
Cruise down the emerald waters of the Nam Ou River to Muang Ngoi, a hidden village only accessible by boat and Nong Khiaw, a town surrounded by towering limestone peaks
Explore fascinating temples and ruins in the UNESCO Heritage city Luang Prabang
Welcome to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. A representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The day is free to get out and explore the city on your own. Your guide and group will gather early this evening for a brief orientation and a welcome dinner.
Fly to the provincial capital of Oudomxay and transfer to Nam Kat Yorla Pa Resort to relax by the pool. Once a sleepy town, Oudomxay has become an important trading hub, reflecting the changes happening rapidly in the region. This bustling town makes the final leg of the journey - a stark contrast of jungles and wilderness - all the more exciting.
Take a 4x4 ride along the Nam Pak River to the trailhead to begin the trek through dense forest. Arrive in the Kamu village of Houay Ho, then pass through rice fields to reach the Lao Loum village of Ban Phonsavan to enjoy a picnic lunch. Descend to the Yang village of Long Ya. Take in the 35m long reclining statue of Buddha in the temple of Wat Hoytinphabath, then follow a dirt road along the River Huay Ya, enjoying the stunning mountain scenery.
Take a 2.5-hour drive to Muang Khua on the banks of the Nam Ou River to board a private long tail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Enjoy lunch in the village before boarding a boat up the Nam Ou River to Muang Ngoi, a quaint village nestled beneath a giant limestone outcropping - only accessible by boat. Continue to Nong Khiaw in the late afternoon, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains, to enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Depart from Pak Ou Pier on a private longtail boat and stop for a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. Continue downstream for two hours to Luang Prabang, with the option to stop at Ban Xang Hay, a village that specializes in making rice wine. Enjoy dinner at leisure.
Join a knowledgeable local guide for a full day tour of this UNESCO Heritage city. Visit the former Royal Palace which now serves as the National Museum, and neighboring Wat Mai, then on to Wat Sensoukarahm and Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang's most revered temple. After touring Luang Prabang town center, enjoy the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre. Finally, climb to the top of Mount Phousi, the city's highest point, and enjoy sweeping views of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Before heading back, discover the vibrant night market.
Rise at dawn to see the monks collecting alms. As the sun rises, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets, collecting offerings. After breakfast, head to the countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls, cascading turquoise pools surrounded by lush forest. Take a challenging, but rewarding, hike to the top of the highest drop or relax on the rocks of the lower pools. On the way back, stop at Phosi Market and visit Ock Pop Tock, a non-profit organization seeking to preserve traditional weaving techniques.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.
MT Sobek captures the best parts of Laos as well as some unique additions not found on other itineraries!
Our team of local guides are true experts and have over 25 years' experience leading guests in Laos.
This trip is carefully tailored to break away from typical tourist destinations to explore hidden gems that are difficult to travel to on your own.
Cultural touring of Laos, as well as hiking and cruising the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers.
Boutique hotels, tranquil bungalows and rustic resorts in remote, yet scenic locales.
Low range from the high 50's to low 70's and highs range from the low 80's to the low 90's.
Yes, American citizens need a visa for Laos. You can get a visa on arrival at the airport.
Our MT Sobek representative will meet you on arrival at the Vientiane Airport.
The internal air includes one flight from Vientiane to Oudomxay.
Connect through Bangkok, or another Asian city. The main airlines that fly from Bangkok to Vientiane are Thai Airlines, Vietnam Airlines and Bangkok Airways.
If you want to stay an extra night, we recommend you extend your trip in Luang Prabang, as it has more hotels and activities and is a lovely city!
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
MT Sobek Guest
"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."
MT Sobek Guest
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