Discover the essence of Laos with this spectacular 10-day program that takes you on an extended journey from the charming capital of Vientiane to the cultural center of Luang Prabang and the historically rich province of Champasak. See the country in a way that few get to experience with a series of inspiring moments such as a scenic cruise along the Mekong River, a glorious flight to the Plain of Jars with a private picnic plus an unforgettable sunrise experience at Wat Phou.

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Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Champasak
10 days, 9 nights

Day 1


Arrive in Vientiane, the charming capital of Laos. Superbly set on a majestic bend in the Mekong River, the city presents a captivating mix of French-colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and notable shrines located along broad boulevards and tree-lined streets. Although it is the administrative center of Laos, Vientiane maintains a small town atmosphere and offers plenty of opportunities for a relaxing stroll. Upon arrival at the airport, make your way through immigration and customs procedures to the arrivals area where you are greeted by your guide and transfer to your hotel for check in. The remainder of the day is free at leisure to enjoy the facilities at the hotel or explore the surrounding neighborhood. 

Overnight at Settha Palace, Vientiane  

Meals: None 


Day 2

Explore the city’s most important cultural sites, starting with the oldest temple in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket which houses thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and Wat Prakeo, the former royal temple which now serves as a museum of arts and antiquities. Then travel up Lanexang Avenue to the imposing Patuxai Monument, which was modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.  Climb to the top for spectacular views over Vientiane. Continue down Rue Singha 23 to see the golden stupa of That Luang, an icon of Laos. Then head to Talat Sao market which offers an impressive range of Lao textiles and visit the home studio of textiles expert, Carol Cassidy for cocktails and canapés followed by a private tour of the studio.
Please note: Carol Cassidy is closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays

Overnight at Settha Palace, Vientiane  

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3


Embark on a private helicopter flight and see some of the most scenic parts of the country from an aerial perspective. Fly over sleepy Vientiane and its famous monuments, then pass over the beautiful Nam Ngum Lake and a remote region known as “the most secret place in the world”. After an hour, the mysterious Plain of Jars comes into focus. Upon landing, meet your local guide who leads you on a private expedition into the ancient sites. Among the ancient jars of unknown origin, enjoy a unique picnic lunch set up just for you. Return to your helicopter and continue north-east, crossing even more remote regions where few others have been before you. Arrive in the historical city of Luang Prabang and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 4

Gain an overview of local history at the Royal Palace Museum.  Then explore some of the city’s many temples such as Wat Xiengthong, an enchanting structure with sweeping roofs that reflect classical Luang Prabang style, and Wat Visoun, a magnificent stupa called ‘watermelon temple’ due to its unusual shape.  Continue to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre for an insight into the city’s diverse ethnic groups. Stop at some weaving and textile villages, before cruising by boat down the Mekong River to Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden. After a short presentation, stroll through the beautiful gardens and learn more about biodiversity conservation. Then return to the boat for the upstream journey back to Luang Prabang.

Overnight at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5


Rise early this morning to witness the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks, with a chance to participate if you wish.  This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang.  Afterwards, you can also visit the fresh market to see the locals going about their day. Then drive to the picturesque Kuang Si Waterfall, arriving well before anyone else so you can have the beautiful place to yourself!  Prepared just for you, a gourmet picnic breakfast is served overlooking the falls. Satisfied after your meal, stop at the Bear Rescue Center and discover how they are working to protect the rare Asiatic Black Bear.  Return to town in the late morning and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast


Day 6

Travel to a beautiful oasis just 40 minutes outside of Luang Prabang to meet some elephants, accompanied by an Elephant Specialist Guide. The guide provides an introduction to the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary and you will meet one of the directors who offers more details and some fascinating stories about the elephants and their refuge. Then cross the river by boat to meet two adult elephants and a baby Asian elephant! Feed the friendly giants with help from your guide and bathe them in the river. Next, walk with the majestic creatures on a 1-hour trek through rice paddies and meandering creeks. Leave your pachyderm friends and return to camp for a lunch of local specialties. Transfer back to town in the early afternoon.

Overnight at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang

Meals:   Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7


After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a short transfer to the airport in time for your domestic flight to Pakse. After the flight of approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, you are met by your local guide and driver and transferred to your resort in Champasak, which is idyllically situated on the Mekong River. Check in to your resort in the historically rich province located near the borders of Thailand and Cambodia. In the late afternoon, board a private boat for a spectacular sunset cruise on the mighty Mekong. Stop at Turtle Island, a sandbank in the middle of the river where you can enjoy a lovely moment with sundowners on the sandy beach, including a set of canapés and two serves of wine or beer per person.

Overnight at The River Resort, Champasak 

Meals:   Breakfast


Day 8

After an early breakfast this morning, transfer south to Ban Hatsaikhone to board a private local boat and embark on a voyage to the 4,000 Islands, a riverine archipelago in the Mekong River. By lunchtime, the boat reaches the picturesque island of Don Khone. Disembark to explore the island by bicycle or tuk tuk, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French-colonial buildings, as well as the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. Return to the boat and head back to the mainland. En route, stop to see the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia.  In the late afternoon, continue the drive back to Champasak, arriving in the early evening.

Overnight at The River Resort, Champasak 

Meals:   Breakfast

Day 9


Wake up early this morning and depart from your hotel before dawn to experience a magical sunrise moment in a spectacular setting. Drive a short distance to reach the site of a 5th century Khmer religious complex known as Wat Phou. The temple is a site of Buddhist worship and has a unique structure, featuring a shrine bathed in water from a mountain spring. These ancient ruins are beautifully situated at the base of Mount Phu Kao, and offer an ideal spot for viewing the sunrise. At this time of the morning, the area is mostly deserted so you can enjoy this glorious moment in almost privacy. After witnessing the stunning break of day, return to your hotel for breakfast. The remainder of the day is free at leisure. 

Overnight at The River Resort, Champasak 

Meals:   Breakfast


Day 10

After a leisurely breakfast, make the most of your final moments in Champasak, breathing in the fresh countryside atmosphere and admiring the local scenery. Depending on the time of your departure flight, you may have some free time to enjoy at leisure. Continue exploring the surrounding neighborhood if you wish, or simply enjoy a final moment of relaxation at your comfortable resort. If time permits, you may choose to visit the town to admire its rich cultural heritage and visit more of its historical temples. Finally, it is time to check out of your hotel and meet your guide and driver who assist you with the transfer to the airport in Pakse in time for your flight. After a final goodbye, board the plane and depart.

Meals:   Breakfast

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