Luang Prabang Kuangsi waterfall Luang Prabang Nam Ou river
Laos

Laos into the wild and adventures in 8 days

Duration
8D7N
Tour Code
VIL.01
Tour Style
Adventure, Culinary, Culture, Private, Wildlife

Overview

location_on Luang Prabang – Kuang Si waterfalls – Nong Khiaw – Viengkham – Muang Hiam – Ban Son Keua – Viengxai caves – Nameo

An 8-day Laos Into the Wild and Adventures tour will bring you to some of the least visited areas of Laos, on the Northeastern side of the country. This part is rarely visited by mass tourism, and still has what it was hundreds of years ago, promising amazing exploration for you.

Book with us now to get the best adventurous trip this time to Laos or you can enter your dream trip in the next column, our travel experts will get back to you within 24 hours!

Trip highlights

  • Joining the Baci Ceremony and sharing the dinner with the host family
  • Watching the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
  • The cruise along the Mekong River in Luang Prabang
  • The scenic drive through the countryside of northern Laos
  • The night safari with the cruise along the Nern River, tracing for the sight of rare animals

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

Sa-bai-dee Laos! Hello Laos!

Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, you will be met by your private tour guide and driver and transferred to your hotel in central downtown. Please look for the Asia Pathfinders welcome sign in the arrivals hall.

After breakfast, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a superb piece of Laos architectural temple, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics, including a beautiful tree of life glass montage on the rear temple wall. Next, you will visit the Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King of Laos Sisavang Vong and his family.

Enjoy lunch at Tamarind, offering some of the best local food in Luang Prabang. Drive along the Mekong to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre to explore the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities with many traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts on display. In the late afternoon, you ascend to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of a gilded stupa and a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.

In the late afternoon, join a private Baci ceremony at a local family. The Baci ceremony, as a traditional ritual of the Laos people, expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants. Dinner will be served after that for you to share with the host family. This is the best chance for you to have your first experience of local life and culture. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: A welcome dinner.


Luang Prabang Baci ceremony

You get up as the sun rises to join the daily morning almsgiving, the most sacred tradition in Laos. In the early morning, more than 200 Buddhist monks depart from temples for the old quarter of Luang Prabang to receive alms from devotees. The monks meditate while moving lightly on their bare feet. The Buddhists prepared offerings such as sticky rice, fruit (mainly bananas), sweets, and some other food and put them in the monk’s bowl. Next, you will visit the temporary morning market, where the locals exchange their daily catch for rice, vegetables, fish, or chicken. It is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life.

Leave the city behind and head to the peaceful countryside. The beautiful drive ends at The Kuang Si Waterfalls; the falls are a series of cascading turquoise pools surrounded by lush forests. You spend time exploring the falls and enjoying the pristine nature. For further insight into the Natural Wonders of Laos, you can stop at the Asiatic Black Bear Sanctuary near the waterfalls. The sanctuary houses endangered bears rescued from poachers, showing the efforts of passionate animal lovers; who are working to stop the poachers and preserve the Bear’s natural living environment.

Next, you pay a visit to the unique Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, a social enterprise that produces sustainable and delicious cheese while giving back to the community and environment. While the buffalo may be the stars here, there are also playful pigs, cheeky chickens, and rollicking rabbits that are just as fun to interact with for the young and the young at heart. Enjoy a homemade ice cream at the cafe before saying goodbye to the Buffaloes and the team. Return to Luang Prabang and have lunch independently.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


This morning, board a private longtail boat for the Mekong River cruise to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues and come in a wide range of sizes. During the boat ride, take note of the fishermen and villagers going about their daily lives on the river. For many Laos people, the Mekong plays an integral role in life and represents one of the only means of transportation and commerce. After visiting the caves, you will hop on the car and continue the transfer to Nong Khiaw, the small town along the lazy Nam Ou River.

Lunch is served in a local restaurant before visiting the historical cave of Phathok. The Nong Khiaw villagers used this cave as a war shelter during the “Secret War”, to shelter people from bombs dropped in the region. It is about a 30-minute gentle walk from Nong Khiaw town and takes you through beautiful scenery. Learn more about a secret part of Lao history and explore the historical caves with your guide. From the cave, you will have a beautiful view of the rice paddies and the valley. Walk back to Nong Khiaw along a small path through the rice paddies. Enjoy the sunset over the river.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Start another amazing adventure day 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 at 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Nong Khiaw waterfalls

Transfer from Nong Khiew to Muang Hiam: 3 hours.

This morning, you drive through the most rural and least developed part of Laos via Vieng Kham to Muang Hiam. These back roads are a perfect way to venture off the beaten track and explore the real Laos. You see very few other travelers, mostly rural dwellers, who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are in theirs.

The drive can be challenging on some parts of our journey due to poor road conditions. However, the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes for a memorable experience. After arriving in Muang Hiam, check in at your hotel before strolling around this small town to stretch your legs, and explore the local life of Laos.

Overnight in Muang Hiam.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Nong Khiaw river

Transfer time: 30 minutes. Trekking up to 3-4 hours Difficulty: Medium

Goodbye Muang Hiam, your next destination in Laos is Ban Son Khua. From there, you will join the transfer into the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA (National Protected Area), get an experience of the Nam Nern Night Safari, and stay in a simple Eco lodge. It is a chance to learn about wildlife conservation, medicinal plants, traditional agriculture, and the history of the Secret War from your local Khmu guide.

Upon arrival at the Khmu Ban Son Koua village, you get a warm greeting from the village guide and a local boatman. They will take you on a short village tour to learn about the animist tradition of appeasing the village spirit. Then embark on a long-tail boat, and enjoy a 1.5-hour journey to the park substation on the Nam Nern River. Along the way, you learn about upland rice cultivation and have opportunities to spot-monitor lizards and bird life.

Arrive at the park substation; you have lunch prepared by the village cooking group. You will receive a briefing from park staff about the on-the-ground efforts in protecting tigers and their prey. Around mid-afternoon, you depart for the night safari. Stopping near a salt lick, you hike into the forest. Your local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, will explain how local people track deer and other wild ungulates. The guide points out evidence of wildlife, such as tracks or scat at the salt lick.

The boat will continue upriver to the dinner site, a sandy, flat bank, where you will have a picnic dinner around a campfire. Your guide will tell you about Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts. They educate you about the species of animals they may see during the spotlighting and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting.

Depending on the moonlight, you depart for the night spotlighting 1-2 hours after dark, floating down the river with engines off. There is only one light per boat, and only the guide uses the light to avoid scaring the animals. Guide and boatman communicate via hand signals; the boat does not make a noise to avoid disturbing the animals. If you are lucky, you might see Sambar Deer, Otters, Barking Deer, various kinds of Civets, Slow Loris, Porcupines, and Owls (Hogbadgers, Asian golden cats, and wild dogs might be seen as well).

At the end of the spotlighting, the boat arrives at the evening camp. Before going to bed, you have a chance to check out a variety of insects attracted to the black light set up near the substation.

Overnight in Nam Nern.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Nong Khiaw mountain ranges viewpoint

Transfer: 5 hours Trekking up to 3-4 hours Difficulty: Medium

You get up early for a morning walk around the jungle with the village guide. Here, you can learn how to use some medicinal plants and about the history of the site, which was once a major settlement during the Secret War. After breakfast, the boat floats back through the core zone at a relaxing pace with the engines off while the guides point out wildlife along the way.

When you arrive in the village; you can try earthen jar rice wine (Lao Hai). From Ban Son Keua, you continue driving to Vieng Xai. Along the way, you take a short visit to the Standing Stone of Hingtang, whose purposes remain a mystery; you also visit Tad Saleuy, which is still fresh and untouched. You arrive in the town of Viengxai in the late afternoon and check in at your basic guesthouse.

Overnight in Vieng Xai town.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

 


Vieng Xay caves

Enjoy your last day in Laos!

The town of Viengxay contains hundreds of caves that sheltered local people and the country’s future leaders for a period in world history. In the 1960s, Laos was caught up in the conflict known to the world as the Vietnam War.

For nine years, from 1964 to 1973, more than 20,000 people lived in a ‘hidden city’ they built inside the limestone peaks all around the area to survive daily aircraft bombing raids directed by US forces. Inside the caves, they did build up everything they needed for their society to survive, including schools, hospitals, markets, a radio station, and the headquarters of the Lao Patriotic Front—also known as the Pathet Lao. Take the audio tour that tells the story of the “hidden city” through history.

Goodbye Laos, we will transfer directly to the border of Nameo to cross the border into Vietnam (Thanh Hoa).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Vang Vieng Nam Xay mountain landscape

Useful Information

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on Inquire Now (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!

Our Service Include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room.
  • Meals as mentioned.
  • English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply).
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits.
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water while touring.
  • Tax & service charge.

Our Service exclude:

  • Visa to Laos.
  • Other non-mentioned meals
  • Other non-mentioned services
  • International Flights to/ from Luang Prabang.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Tips, Travel insurance

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