Culture - History
Vientiane, Luang Prabang
An itinerary exploring Laos to gain insight on Laos Culture and fall in love with this intriguing laidback and peaceful Buddhist country for a spiritual serenity. The capital of Laos, Vientiane, despite being the largest city of Laos, is not expected to be modern or hustle like others in the same region. Xieng Khuang Province in the East of Laos is mysteriously embedded with the vast plains of jars. Luang Prabang, an ancient city in northern Laos embraced by 2 rivers in tranquil, rich of cultural rituals. There are both Laos and French colonial heritages remain intact here.
Sabaidee, Welcome to Vientiane, the capital and the largest city of Laos mean “city of sandal wood”. This is a beloved and languid city with French architecture influences, the Buddhist serenity sites and unique from other South-East Asian countries as it’s hard to find the bustle atmosphere, the traffic congestions in hours or the noisy horn of a chaos city.
Upon your arrival, you will meet up with your local tour guide and take transfer from airport to your hotel in Vientiane.
In the morning, embark on the pleasant trip to explore the hidden gems of Vientiane located pretty close to border with Thailand. Visit Wat Sisaket five-tiered temple, the only intact city in Vientiane after Siamese’s attack in 1828. Wat Sisaket is the largest and the most beautiful temple of the city. Next, visit Haw Phra Keo where showcased the Laos and Khmer fine art. Surrounded by the lush garden, the tranquil temple is a house the renown Emerald Buddha and some of wooden panels and colonnades. Then, visit the Pha That Luang a symbolic shrine of Laos corresponds to the Buddhist religion and Laos sovereignty.
This afternoon, head to Buddha Park or Wat Xieng Khuan in 30-minute drive from Vientiane. This unique park, constructed in 1958 by the monk Luang Pu Bunleua Sililat, displays a collection of over 200 statues of Buddhism and Hinduism deities.
Take a morning flight to Xieng Khuang this morning, you will delve into the home of the mysterious prehistoric stone on Plain of Jars. In the afternoon, pay a visit to the mulberry farm in Xieng Khuang and learn of 26 steps making silk by the local people. This is a social enterprise training, provide works for local people; and also encourage the sustainable traditional weaving works and organic fertilizers to alternate the opium productions, forest burn and using harmful chemicals.
In the morning, from Phonsavan the capital city of Xieng Khuang Province, you will pay a visit to Muang Khoun with the remained ruins of the royal kingdom. Carry on to the Xieng Khuang Plateau for the famous Plain of Jars, the reminiscent of Stonehenge in England. This place is still a mystery that many theories and facts haven’t figured out the scatters of massive jars over such vast plain. There is a belief that those are funerary urns. Come and have a closer investigation yourself on those stone jars in clusters or single appearing at the largest site 1 to learn about the history; then move on to the other sites 2 and 3.
Leave Plain of Jars in the morning, you will fly to Luang Prabang UNESCO Heritage town taking only 30 minutes by local airlines. Upon your arrival in Luang Prabang, you are welcomed by your local tour guide and travel to your hotel for check-in.
Resting till late afternoon, travel to a local house and participate in traditional Baci Ceremony, one of very important ceremonies in laos means “Soul calling” which is indispensable to Laos people in many life occasions including wedding, health, birth, death, Laos New Year, etc. During the ritual takes place, the participants’ wrists will be tied with a white string to preserve the luck.
Begin your exploration of the delightful ancient city Luang Prabang means city of Golden Buddha Phra Bang. You will find an impressive blend of colonial buildings and admirable temples and pagoda; especially enjoy the slow living pace of the city at the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers’ conjunction. Get off the van at the beginning of the old town, you will have a leisure stroll and shortly find Vat Mai, the shrine from 18th century outstanding with a noticeable 4-tiered roof. Getting along the street you will find the National Museum which formally is the Royal Palace built in 1904 under King Sisavang Vong’s mandate after the Chinese destruction in 1887. Royal Palace was the home for royal family. Very soon then the palace was occupied by the colonial when Laos was under rule by the French. These days, its intact architectures are very well preserved; and the palace become National Museum. You will able to admire the precious royal items and country’s holy artefacts as well as the Phrabang Buddha which the city is named after.
In the afternoon, board a local wooden boat, you will sail upstream Mekong river toward Caves of Pak Ou on the karst cliffs. This is a comprise of 2 caves Tham Ting and Tham Phum where there are thousands of buddha sculptures displayed. On the way sail back to Luang Prabang town, you will have chance to enjoy the sunset over Mekong River.
Start off this morning, your tour guide will show you around Luang Prabang and explore the other outstanding attractions of Luang Prabang. Hike up 328 steps to Mount Phousi, you are rewarded with Luang Prabang ‘s panoramic view as well as the city’s neighborhood. Then, see Wat Xieng Thong, a temple dating back 1560 sitting along both Mekong and Nam Khan River. In the complex of this royal temple, you can find over 20 structures adorned with stunning mosaics and wood carvings.
Leaving Luang Prabang town, you will travel roughly 25 km to Khuang Si Waterfalls. Have a short visit of the Bear Rescue Center, you then will find the turquoise ponds of the terraced waterfalls resting in the verdant green jungle. It’s possible to take a swimming in the crystal water before returning to your hotel in Luang Prabang. On the way, visit the living craft center Ock Top Tok to learn about the finest textiles of Laos; then have a coffee at the riverside café there.
Wake up early today to observe the rituals of Tak Bath Ceremony in Luang Prabang or the Alm giving. At dawn, the barefoot monks in saffron-clads will walk in line along different streets of Luang Prabang and collect the offerings of food from local people. The devoted locals will receive back monk’s merits and believe to accumulate their Buddhist karma. Afterward, pay a visit to colorful local morning market. Have free time till the transfer from Luang Prabang to airport for your flight to next destination.
Accommodation with double/twin sharing with daily breakfast
Private air-conditioned transfers
English speaking tour guide (other language on request)
Boat trips as mentioned in the program
Meals indicated in program
Sightseeing and entrance fees
Bottles of drinking water every day
Laos Visa and stamping fees
Domestic & International air ticket
Surcharge for festive season
Meals and drinks not mentioned in program
Tips, drinks, personal expenses and others.
11 days 10 nights
22 days 21 nights
16 days 15 nights
10 days 9 nights
13 days 12 nights