Day 1. Arrival – Vientiane
Upon arrival at Wattay Airport, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. After a short rest, we begin our orientation walking tour of the Lao capital, and finishing with a relaxing drink overlooking a Mekong River sunset. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 2. Vientiane – Luang Prabang
AM: After breakfast, we embark upon a tour of the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket which contains thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We visit Lao national icon, That Luang Stupa, and you will have the opportunity to take pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. From there, we visit the ‘Morning Market’, where one can find an array of antiquities, handmade textiles and gifts.
PM: The rest of the afternoon will be spent visiting the National Museum (closed Tuesdays), which boasts a collection of antique items and tells the history of Laos’s fighters and leaders from the Ancienttimes through to the new revolution period. We then board a short flight to Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best – preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. On arrival, we transfer you to your hotel. After a short rest, we will stroll around the Night Market, where you will find a lovely selection of local handmade textiles. We then hike to the top of Mount Phousi for an exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa and beautiful panoramic views of the sun setting over the city and the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city’s oldest temple, Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai and Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low, representing the classical architecture of Luang Prabang. We then embark on a boat journey upstream along the Mekong River, which gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where local rice wine is produced. On our return, we stop at the local villages of Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan then continue to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, famous for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B)