12 DAYS REMOTE LAOS
- Tour code: LPA10
- Duration: 12 DAYS 11 NIGHTS
- Emerging into the never-fading tradition in the ancient Luang Prabang
- Cycling to the beautiful waterfalls of Tad Huaykhua, trekking to the top and enjoy the green
Cruising the Mekong river to Pakbeng, the famous night stop for every cruise from Luang Prabang
- Exploring the Kamu eco-lodge, where you will sleep in the safari tent, and experience the life of Khmu tribe.
- Driving through the mountainous area to Luang Namtha, which is not only famous for its nature beauties, but also for its mix of many hill tribe culture
- Discovering Phongsaly, the least visited area in Laos.
- Cruising the Nam Ou river to Nong Khiaw, visit some tribe villages along the way
- Trekking to the famous 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw
Day 1: LUANG PRABANG – ARRIVAL
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
After a soft rest, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong temple , a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall.
If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people, and visiting the traditional house of Heuan Chan, the Chantal wooden house dating back to 100 years old.
After that, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.
Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
The welcome dinner will be served at the local restaurant with the traditional dance & folk song, the best chance to experience the local culture. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 2: LUANG PRABANG – BAN XIENGMENE – HUAYKUA FALLS (BIKING + TREKKING)
After departing at 8:30 am from your hotel, we cycle to the river bank and take a ferry to cross the mighty Mekong River to Ban Xeng Mene. We cycle off-road, exploring the area with several stops to take pictures before reaching the village of Ban Nakham. The village is popular for sugar cane and Kaolam (sticky rice and beans in bamboo), which are tasty local treats.
We continue to cycle along green rice fields stopping in different villages and tribes to see how the locals live their daily lives. After that, we continue cycling and pass the villages of Khmu and Lao Loum until we get to the beautiful waterfall, Tad Hoi Khua (Hundred families waterfall). We will have the picnic lunch by the falls while listening to the sound of the nature.
In the afternoon, we start climb to the top of the waterfall with a local guide for a hiking loop of around 2h30. Once on the top enjoy a nice mountain view and discover the natural pool from the waterfall water spring and also some centenaries trees.
Learn about the jungle vegetation, the tales of Hoi Khua waterfall and the local life style. Continue by the governor’s trees plantations project with some wild field, enjoy the natural taste of some veggies found along the way and then walk back down to the coffee shop, take a short rest before back to Luang Prabang and cycle back to your hotel.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Approx. 5-6 hours cycling, 2.5 hours trekking
Day 3: LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVES – KAMU LODGE
Board on a traditional Long River boat at Kamu Lodge pier at 08:30am and take a leisurely cruise upstream while enjoying the refreshments served on the boat.
Marvel at the thousands of gold Buddha statues placed in sacred Pak Ou caves by devotees. Most people failed to marvel at Pak Ou towering limestone cliff.
Continue upriver and you would reach Kamu Lodge around noon. A Refreshing welcome drink is served. You can check into your super-size tents with attached modern bathroom amenities and facilities. You will enjoy lunch in an airy SALA settled in the middle of ice paddy fields.
After lunch, you can choose to either relax or to enjoy the traditional Kamu lifestyles and activities such as rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields, gold panning in the Mekong (anything you find is Yours!), traditional fishing techniques (you can sample your catch for dinner!), visit of the Kamu village, archery contest.
Dinner is a feast by Kamu tribe standards. We want you to see the world from the Kamu’s eyes.
After dinner, retire to your tent.
Day 4: KAMU LODGE – PAKBENG (SHOMPOO CRUISE)
You are free in the morning to stroll around the lodge and the surrounding village. The boat Shompoo Cruise will arrive at around 9:30Am to pick you up for the cruise upstream to Pakbeng, a small village located on the Mekong River.
Along the way, we will stop at Ban Baw, which is famous for its traditional hand weaving. Arriving in Pakbeng at around mid- afternoon, you will check in your hotel before take an orientation walk around the town. Overnight in Pakbeng
Departure schedule of Shompoo Cruise: every TUESDAY / THURSDAY / SATURDAY / SUNDAY
Day 5: PAKBENG – OUDOMXAY – LUANG NAMTHA
The local market also attracts numerous ethnic minorities who converge from the surrounding mountainsides or valley to barter and trade their goods. We visit this congregation before setting off on our journey north to Luang Nam Tha via Oudomxay.
Along the way; we visit some more Khmu, Tai Dam (Black Thai), and Hmong villages. Oudomxay province is residence to a mixture of 23 ethnic minority groups. We make a few rest stops along the way, which gives you the opportunity to see the ethnic minority groups of Hmong, Khmu, Black Thai and Lu Hmong hilltribe people.
We arrive in Luang Nam Tha late afternoon, transfer to your hotel. Free for the rest of the day to explore the town on your own way.
Overnight in Luang Nam Tha
Day 6: LUANG NAMTHA – EXCURSION & HOMESTAY
After breakfast at the hotel, our guide will pick you up. From there, we will take a short visit to the Luang Namtha museum. Then visit Luang Namtha Stupa that you will see excellent view of Luang Namtha city. Continue to the old Phou Pouk Stupa, visit Ban Nam Ngean “Tai Dam” and Ban Pieng Ngam “Tai Deang” both of them are famous for their many different handicrafts, walk around the villages to see & learning how to process Lao Whisky making, traditional weaving, black smith, bamboo basket making.
From there, we will transfer to the village of Ban Nam Dee “Lanten” along a dirt road for 6 km. Today you will learn & practice how to make paper from young bamboo, natural dyeing & the traditional weaving, participate the traditional Baci-ceremony & local music, taste local meals, talk about village history with owner homestay & go to bed.
Day 7: LUANG NAMTHA – PHONGSALY
We wake up early today and to drive east and take through some of the most stunning mountain scenery you will find in South East Asia, with plenty of opportunities to stop off at the various Khmu and H’mong villages along the way. We may also visit visit the intriguing Pra Xack Kham Temple with its sacred Buddha image. The 400 years old legendary statue is said to have many supernatural powers, and is widely worshipped among the faithful local Buddhists.
From there, we continue our drive to Phongsaly. The road is in good condition and at mountains’ slope. You will see beautiful landscapes, banana plantations, local rural life in the villages that bordes the road and panoramic views over the surrounding mountains.
You can ask your guide to stop whenever you want to take pictures on the way. We will arrive in the town of Phongsaly late afternoon. The charm of the town is made by the narrow paved streets borded by traditional Chinese houses in wood. Your guide will explain you more about the history and culture of this multicultural city and the harmony that reigns between Lao people and Chinese immigrants.
Overnight in Phongsaly
Day 8: PHONGSALY – 3 GREENS TREK
Today, you will discover Phongsaly’s evergreen forest, green tea and green Lao whiskey.
After breakfast, you will leave walking from Phongsaly on a track with stunning views over endless mountains. After 3-4 hours, you will have lunch in a whiskey-producing Phunoy village and enjoy your first green!
Then enter the jungle forest on an adventurous path climbing up into the mountains. After walking through tea plantations reach the mountain ridge offering you a stunning 360-degree view (as far as China to the west and Vietnam to the east!). Continue on a small jungle path and reach the top of the Phu Fa Mountain (1625m – 400 steps) overlooking Phongsaly Town. Enjoy the relaxed descent to the town through the forest. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
Overnight in Phongsaly
Day 9: PHONGSALY – 400-YEAR-OLD TEA PLANTATION – MUANG KHUA
After breakfast in town, you will to the famous 400-year-old tea plantation, located in the village of Ban Komaen, about 30 minutes south from Phongsaly.
According to some tea experts, this village has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste. The oldest trees stand 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. There are regularly cut and kept to a reasonable size by Phunoy people, climbing to pick the precious leaves. They then process and sell this rare tea in cigar-shaped tubes.
The road to Ban Komaen is passing through more recent tea plantations and offers a stunning view on Phongsaly and surrounding mountains. In the village a newly built tea-tasting shop serves some food and sells the 400-year-old tea. You can also have a look to the temple and its characteristic Buddha statue with big ears.
After the visit, you will drive to Muang Khua for about 4 hours.
Overnight in Muang Khua
Day 10: MUANG KHUA – MUANG NGOI – NONG KHIAW
In the morning, we will board on a long-tail boat downstream the Nam Ou River to Nong Khiaw, the lovely boutique town along the lazy Nam Ou River. The scenery along the way is said to be the most beautiful part of the gently Nam Ou River. Along the way, we may make a short stop to enjoy the drink at one of the bars in Muang Ngoi overlooking the Nam Ou River. We arrive in Nong Khiaw just in time to catch the sunset before checking in your simple guesthouse.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Day 11: NONG KHIAW – 100 WATERFALLS
Start this day of adventure with a peaceful boat ride on the Nam Ou River where you will be able to explore a small Lao village along the riverside. Learn about the villagers and their way of life along this Northern Laos River before beginning the ‘100 Waterfalls Adventure Trail’!
Walking through small streams and rice paddies, you will arrive at the bottom of the 100 Waterfalls which were only first explored in October 2008! For the next few hours you will see only water and jungle and hear the constant sound of clear waterfall cascades. The pools around you are very inviting for a refreshing splash.
Your guide will lead you through the cascades and prepare a local style lunch that you can enjoy on the falls surrounded by amazingly green nature. A small village trail on the top of the ‘100 Waterfalls’ will lead us on our hike back down into the valley, offering wide views over the expansive Nam Ou valley.
Once back in the village we will have some more time to experience the daily life of the Nam Ou riverside village before heading back to Nong Khiaw (Nong Khiau) by boat.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Day 12: NONG KHIAW – LUANG PRABANG – DEPARTURE
After breakfast, take the direct transfer back to Luang Prabang.
If time permits, we will visit Ban Na Yang (12km from the main road), which is the Thai Lue minority village. This is the very unique village with the traditional house and hand-weaving technique. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel to take the departure flight
Note: 03-hour transfer from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, the departure flight should in in the afternoon after 02:00 PM
- Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
- Private car transportation with aircon as stated
- English speaking tour guide
- A bottle of mineral water
- Meals as indicated
- Boat trip
- Entrance fee in each destination
- Visa and Insurance fees
- International & Domestic fights
- Drinks, tips and personal expenses
- Any other items and services not mentioned in the program