Classic Laos Grand Tour

Journey through a land of cultural traditions, natural environment, and imposing historical relics. Witness centuries old temples with visits to Kuang Si Waterfall and local villages in the area. Stop at limestone caves along the Mekong River before heading off to the capital city. Visit the numerous traditional temples before heading off to Pakse’s coffee plantations and the stunning 4000 Islands inlet and the Bolaven plateau.

Best time to visit is during the dry season from November to March.

Touring style: Professional English speaking guide and driver on private basis

Classic Laos Grand Tour at a glance
  • Day 1: Vientiane
  • Day 2: Vientiane - Luang Prabang
  • Day 3: Luang Prabang
  • Day 4: Luang Prabang - Oudomxai
  • Day 5: Oudomxai - Muang Sing
  • Day 6: Muang Sing - Luang Nam Tha
  • Day 7: Luang Nam Tha - Nong Khiaw
  • Day 8: Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang
  • Day 9: Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng
  • Day 10: Vang Vieng - Vientiane
  • Day 11: Vientiane - Pakse - Tad Lo
  • Day 12: Tad Lo to Pakse and Don Khong
  • Day 13: Don Khong
  • Day 14: Don Khong to Pakse
  • Day 15: Departure
Classic Laos Grand Tour Image 1

Day 1: Vientiane

Arrival in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos with its laid-back charm, tree-lined boulevards, interesting wats and colourful markets. Discover the city by touring different highlights, such as Pha That Luang, the most important national monument of Laos and a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Proceed to Ho Pha Keo, the former royal temple, Wat Si Saket and Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Overnight in Vientiane.

Distance and journey time: 4 km, 15 mins

Classic Laos Grand Tour Image 2

Day 2: Vientiane - Luang Prabang

Take a flight from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, a city known for its beautiful setting surrounded by mountains and relaxed atmosphere. Set between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, Luang Prabang is an enchanting town filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. The entire town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

After check-in start exploring this fascinating town beginning with Wat Visoun (Wat Wisunalat), the oldest living temple in Luang Prabang. Visit the nearby Wat Aham before continuing to Wat Xieng Thong, the crowning jewel of all the monasteries and temples in typical Lao art style. From there, stroll down the main street (Wat Street) of Luang Prabang. If time permits, stop at some of the many temples that line its sides, including Wat Sibounheuang, Wat Si Moungkhoun, Wat Sop and Wat Sene. In the evening, climb the hillside stairs to the small temples atop Phou Si and enjoy a beautiful view over the temples and river.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time: 

Luang Prabang Airport to city centre: 4 km, 15 mins

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Day 3: Luang Prabang

Begin the day with a visit to a local market and observe the bustle and activity of the early morning. Visit of the National Museum, formally known as the “Royal Palace”, a modest but graceful building which has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here. After having visited Wat Mai, a typical Lao style temple, drive by vehicle to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. This multi-tier waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. Enjoy swimming in the clear water or just relax in the natural environment. On the way back take the chance to visit Ban Tha Pene, a traditional weaving Khmu village. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

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Day 4: Luang Prabang - Oudomxai

Today’s journey will lead you through the scenic Laos countryside from Luang Prabang to Oudomxai (Muang Xai). Take the chance on this enjoyable trip to visit The Tad Lak Sip-et waterfall, which cascades in a narrow stream over a limestone cliff. Visit the minority village of Ban Song Cha and get some insight into the rural lifestyle before arrival and overnight in Oudomxai.

Distance and journey time: 193 km, 4 hrs

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Day 5: Oudomxai - Muang Sing

Travel from Oudomxai (Muang Xai) to Muang Sing, a scenic town, home to the Thai Lue people and draws all kind of locals from around the region for trading. Tour the town, by visiting the local market, the main Buddhist Temples, Wat Xieng Jai and Wat Nam Kaew Luang. Wander out into the countryside and take the opportunity to visit some of the different minority villages in the area. Overnight in Muang Sing.

Distance and journey time: 175 km, 5 hrs 

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Day 6: Muang Sing - Luang Nam Tha

After an enjoyable trip from Muang Sing to Luang Nam Tha, along winding roads through beautiful tropical forests, passing hill tribe villages en route, begin to discover the provincial capital of the Luang Nam Tha Province. This rapidly expanding town plays an important role as a centre for commerce between China, Thailand, and Laos.

Begin the sightseeing program by visiting the local market and Phoum Pouk Pagoda, first built in 1624, now in ruins after the Indochina War. Continue to the Luang Nam Tha Museum for an overview of the different ethnic minorities that inhabit the area. In the afternoon, explore the many minority villages in the area, including a Black Tai village. These tribes are known for their silk production and weaving. Continue to a 200-year-old Lenten village, whose inhabitants are renown for paper making and indigo dyes; a Khmu village known for basketry and water gourds; and a Hmong village which has a selection of handicrafts from surrounding ethnic groups. Overnight in Luang Nam Tha.

Distance and journey time: 60 km, 2 hrs 

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Day 7: Luang Nam Tha - Nong Khiaw

The first part of the journey from Luang Nam Tha to Nong Khiaw will offer the opportunity for sightseeing in Ban Na Yang. After proceeding southwards through the scenic countryside, visit the village of the Thai Lue known for their cotton weaving skills. Arrival and overnight in Nong Khiaw.

 

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Day 8: Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang

Another exciting day will begin with a boat trip from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang. Travel by car to a dam from where you will catch the boat. Cruise downstream on the Mekong River, passing steep limestone cliffs and enjoy a wonderful view over the Mekong and the Nam Ou rivers, home to the Tham Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable. On the return journey, stop at Ban Xang Hai village, famous for the production of láo-láo, the local rice wine whisky. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Distance and journey time:

Nong Khiaw – Nam Ou dam by car (70 km): 2,5 hrs

Nam Ou dam – Luang Prabang by boat (50 km): 2 hrs

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Day 9: Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng

Travel from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng visiting local villages on the way. Another highlight of the day is the visit of the Tham Xang Cave, also called Elephant Cave. It contains a few Buddha images, footprints. and elephant shaped stalactites which gave the cave its name. Overnight in Vang Vieng.

Distance and journey time: 230 km, 5 hrs 

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Day 10: Vang Vieng - Vientiane

Begin the day by visiting the extraordinary Tam-Chang Cave which in the past was used as a bunker against the Chinese and is nowadays a place to admire the stunning stalactites and stalagmites. On the route to Vientiane, stop for a visit to the Talat fish market in Huay Mor and continue to Vang Xang, an 11th-century Buddhist archaeological site where primitive Buddha images are carved on the cliff. Overnight in Vientiane.

Distance and journey time: 160 km, 4 hrs

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Day 11: Vientiane - Pakse - Tad Lo- Champasak

Take a flight from Vientiane to Pakse and continue east across the Bolaven Plateau, a fertile coffee and tea growing area, rich in ethnic groups, predominantly Laven. The journey through the pleasantly cool climate will include several visits to different waterfalls in the region and gives the opportunity to admire and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. Along the way between Pakse and Paksong, on the western edge of the plateau, visit the impressing Tad E-tu waterfall, the Tad Fane waterfall, and the highest in Champasak Province and also the Tad Yuang waterfall. Afterwards head north towards Salavan with a stop at minority villages and visits to Tad Lo and Tad Hang waterfalls. Overnight in Champasak

Distance and journey time:

Pakse to Tad Lo: 120 km, 1.30 hrs

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Day 12: Champasak to Don Khong

Visit Vat Phou Champasak, one of the best-preserved examples of major Khmer architecture, more than 200 years older than Angkor Wat itself. Continue southwards towards Don Khong. Overnight in Don Khong.

Distance and journey time:

Champasak to Don Khong: 100 km, 2 hrs

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Day 13: Don Khong

Take a boat from Don Khong to Don Det island and Don Khone. The islands are connected by a former railway bridge which stopped operating in 1945. The larger island Don Det is famous throughout Laos for the cultivation of coconut, bamboo, and kapok.

Take the chance to visit Ban Khon village, the main village on Don Khone with several old French villas and continue to Taat Somphamit (Li Phi Falls), a raging set of rapids at the western end of Don Khone. Overnight in Don Khong.

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Day 14: Don Khong to Pakse

After crossing the Mekong by ferry visit the miraculous Khone Phapheng, the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia and one of the most impressive sites in the area. Here, the entire Mekong with all its force cascades down curving stone outcroppings and tints the massive stones reflecting beautiful rainbows. After heading north the next and final destination is Pakse. Founded by the French in 1905 as an administrative post, the capital of Champasak Province is a relatively new town at the confluence of the Mekong and Se Don rivers. Spend the day exploring the highlights of the town, including the Central Market, Wat Luang, Wat Tham Fai, the Champasak Historical Heritage Museum and the trading post of Ban Muang Kao, and the weaving village of Ban Saphai. Overnight in Pakse.

Distance and journey time: 130 km, 2 hrs

Day 15: Departure

Transfer to the airport for departure

Highlights

Bolaven Plateau

An extraordinary natural feature 50km across, the plateau is a densely vegetated volcanic caldera enjoying a cooler, more refreshing climate than the surrounding countryside.

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Luang Nam Tha

Luang Nam Tha is a lush, forested province in the North West of Laos, a centre for trekking, kayaking, rafting, and mountain-biking

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Luang Prabang

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this former capital of the ancient Lane Xang kingdom is a city of golden Buddhist temples and faded French colonial splendour

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Muang Sing

A small town in the mountainous north-west corner of Luang Nam Tha province, bordering Myanmar and China, Muang Sing represents a confluence of cultures

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Nong Khiaw: remote town on the banks of the Nam Ou River

Set amongst dozens of limestone karsts, the town is full of stunning scenery. Within walking distance of Nong Khiaw are some Hmong villages where you can learn more about this ethnic minority.

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Pakse

Former capital of the Kingdom of Champasak, Pakse lies at the confluence of the Mekong and Don Rivers

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Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a small town nestled in a scenic bend of the Nam Song River, amid breath-taking limestone scenery

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Vat Phou: pre Angkorian temple complex

The Vat Phou ruins are at the base of a curiously shaped 1,416-metre mountain, which has a flat narrow peak and steep forested sides. On the summit of the mountain is a 15-metre high monolith, which is the main reason for the site of the temple as this is a natural lingam or symbol of the Hindu god Shiva.

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Accommodation

Champasak, Don Daeng, Standard Class
La Folie Lodge

Set on the tiny Don Daeng Island in the middle of the Mekong River, La Folie Lodge is a charming property in the heart of Southern Laos. Surrounded by lush gardens and with views of the river and distant mountains, this is the spot for solitude and tranquility.

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Champasak, Ban Khiet Ngong (Phu Asa), Ecolodge
Kingfisher Ecolodge

Located in the Emerald Triangle where Laos meets Thailand and Cambodia, the lodge enjoys an idyllically tranquil wetland setting. Heat and light to the property is by solar and hydro energy, leaving the lightest footprint on this very special environment.

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Champasak, Don Khong Island, Simple
Pon Arena Hotel

Located on the riverfront on Don Khong Island, this is a stylish hotel featuring beautiful contemporary rooms.

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Luang Prabang, Deluxe Class
Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel

Located in the heart of historic Luang Prabang, Maison Souvannaphoum is within easy walking distance to the sights, river, restaurants and lively night market

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Luang Prabang, Deluxe Class
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao

This is one of the most established and luxurious hotel in Laos with a calm and tranquil ambience that echoes that of the sleepy World Heritage town of Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang, Superior Class
Villa Maly

Once the home of Lao royalty, Villa Maly is an exquisite luxury boutique hotel, ensconced by a profusion of tropical flora

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Luang Prabang, Standard Class
Le Sen Boutique Hotel

Le Sen is a small and intimate boutique hotel just fifteen minutes from Luang Prabang’s historic centre

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Luang Prabang, Standard Class
3 Nagas Hotel

3 Nagas Hotel is a charming boutique hotel located in the centre of Luang Prabang's UNESCO World Heritage site

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Luang Namtha, Basic Eco Lodge
The Boat Landing Guesthouse

The Boat Landing Guesthouse and Restaurant is an outstanding lodge on the banks of the Namtha River in the northern town of Luang Namtha. The bungalow-style accommodations are comfortable, and offer a perfect base to explore the nearby Nam Ha Protected Area

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Nong Khiaw, Standard Class
Mandala Ou Resort

A new premier bungalow resort situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou river, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rainforest and karst limestone mountains of Nong Khiaw.

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Nong Khiaw, Basic Eco Lodge
Nong Kiau Riverside

Quality bungalows providing comfort and a good base for exploring the area and enjoying the natural environment and local village life

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Vientiane, Deluxe Class
Settha Palace Hotel

Located in the heart of bustling Vientiane, Settha Palace Hotel was built in the early part of the last century, and painstakingly restored to its former imperial glory

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Vientiane, Superior Class
Green Park Boutique Hotel

The Green Park Boutique Hotel has an undeniably superb location in one of the most sought areas in Vientiane

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Vientiane, Standard Class
The Mandala Boutique Hotel

Originally built as a private residence for a French family in the 1960s, it hosted up to 500 children from 1992 onward as the first international school in Vientiane, before it was turned into a hotel

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Vientiane, Standard Class
Salana Boutique Hotel

The Salana Boutique Hotel is superbly located in the centre of Vientiane. This boutique hotel features rooms decorated in traditional Lao touches

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Vang Vieng, Superior Class
Riverside Boutique Resort

Ideally located on the bank of the Nam Song River, the multi-award winning Riverside Boutique Resort is a luxury hotel with charm and character

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