Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour

Explore remote and unspoiled Northern Laos where tiny villages line the rivers and rustic villages hug the rugged mountains. Experience Oudomxay, a town of thatched-roof houses home to different ethnic groups and the mysterious beauty of the misty mornings in the mountainside town of Phongsali. Travel downriver winding through towering limestone cliffs and enter into ancient caves filled with thousands of holy Buddha images.

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

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

Prices are seasonal, include hotels, breakfast, professional touring, entrance fees and transfers. Starts from:

GBP 612 per person sharing a twin room, Standard Class Hotels

GBP 798 per person sharing a twin room, Superior Class Hotels

Airfares are extra..

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour at a glance
  • Day: 1 Luang Prabang to Pakbeng
  • Day 2: Pakbeng to Muang La
  • Day 3: Muang La to Phongsaly
  • Day 4: Phongsaly hill tribe trek
  • Day 5: Phongsaly to Muang Khua
  • Day 6: Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw
  • Day 7: Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 1

Day: 1 Luang Prabang to Pakbeng

Take a cruise on the mighty Mekong River to reach the small town of Pakbeng. Arrive in Pakbeng around 2 pm. Pakbeng is halfway between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang with a tranquil laid back vibe. Overnight in Pakbeng.

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Pakbeng by boat: 130 km, 5 hrs

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 2

Day 2: Pakbeng to Muang La

Early morning, visit the morning market where the hill tribes gather. Afterwards, take a long boat and cross the river to reach the elephant camp located at the opposite side of the Lodge. In the early afternoon, leave for Muang La. On the way, you can observe the local rural life, local markets, banana plantations and amazing views over the mountains. Today's journey will take you through the provincial capital, Oudomxay, an important trading hub in Northern Laos.

Arrive at Muang La Resort in the late afternoon. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the resort's facilities.

Distance and journey time:

Pakbeng – Muang La Resort: 4-5 hours

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 3

Day 3: Muang La to Phongsaly

Travel by vehicle from Muang La to Phongsaly, the provincial capital sitting on the slopes of Phou Fa with a cool climate all year round. Most of the population in the area belongs to the Phu Noi minority who maintain a distinct local culture. Visit the summit of Phou Fa and That Phou Fa.

Overnight in Phongsaly

Distance and journey time:

Muang La Resort – Phongsaly: 6-7 hours

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 4

Day 4: Phongsaly, Hill tribe trek

Transfer by car to Ban Aya, a Hmong tribe village. Take time to walk around the village and meets its people. Start the trek through the amazing jungle and green rice fields and enjoy the mountainous landscapes.

Descend to Ban Aneng, another Hmong village. Explore the village and learn more about their cultures and traditions. Other stops will be made at the tribal villages of Akha Mouchee, Tai Yag, Laopan and Tai Yue, before returning to Phongsaly.

Overnight in Phongsaly

Distance and journey time:

Boun Neua – Phongsaly: 42 km, 1 hr

Trek: 4-5 hours – Level: easy to moderate

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 5

Day 5: Phongsaly to Muang Khua

Continue the journey by vehicle from Phongsaly to Muang Khua. This small trading town, with large numbers of Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants, still has traces of old French colonial architecture. Explore the village by foot, visiting the local market, Wat Siphoummuang and crossing the steel cable suspension bridge to enjoy a beautiful view over the Nam Pak River and surrounding mountains. Overnight in Muang Khua.

Overnight in Muang Khua

Distance and journey time:

Phongsaly – Ban Komaen: 30 min

Ban Komaen – Muang Khua: 4 hours

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 6

Day 6: Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw

Board a private long tail boat for a cruise on the Nam Ou through spectacular scenery with impressive limestone cliffs, jungle-like vegetation, and sandy beaches. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages as you cruise downstream.

Arrive in Nong Khiaw, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check into your hotel. In the afternoon, take a short walk down over a bridge before beginning the hike up Phou Pha Deang mountain. The trek will take two hours to reach the summit.

Don’t miss the spectacular sunset over the river from your balcony.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw

Distance and journey time:

Muang Khua – Nong Khiaw by boat: 5 hours

Trekking: about 3 hours – Level: intermediate

Luang Prabang and Northern Laos Tour Image 7

Day 7: Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang

After breakfast, travel by private car towards Luang Prabang. Just after a dam, take a boat for a cruise down the spectacular Nam Ou River and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Stop for a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. Locally referred to as ‘Tam Ting’, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. Continue downstream for another two hours to Luang Prabang, with an optional stop at a local village along the way.

On arrival at the boat pier in Luang Prabang, transfer to your hotel or the airport.

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

Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min

Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email to sales@eastravel.co.uk We welcome your questions. We're here to help!

Highlights

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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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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Pakbeng

Pakbeng is a bustling port town on the Mekong, midway between Houayxai and Luang Prabang.

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Accommodation

Muang La, Superior Class
Muang La Lodge

Set on the banks of an idyllic river and hemmed in by green mountains, Muang La Resort is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Nestled amidst lush landscaped gardens, the property consists of six villas built in a mixture of wood and bamboo.

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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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Pakbeng, Standard Class
Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge

The Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge is the perfect base in this protected area off the beaten track. You will enjoy the comfortable atmosphere, the picturesque sunrise, and sunset over the Mekong,

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