Follow the mighty Mekong River on a cruise to the charming city of Luang Prabang, head south to the Bolaven Plateau, chase waterfalls all the way to the picturesque 4,000 Islands and the awe-inspiring Khone Phapheng Falls along the Lao-Cambodian border in the far south. Visit the fabulous pre-Angkorian Wat Phou Temple. Relish a food tour in Vientiane. Our suggested itinerary can be fully tailored in accordance with your personal wishes.
Your Mekong River Cruise
Your Upper Mekong and Pakse southern Laos tour begins as you step aboard a luxurious French-colonial-styled riverboat for a leisurely Mekong River cruise through Laos to Luang Prabang. While discovering the most beautiful, remote, areas of Laos, you will see serene nature, isolated villages and magnificent temples. Hang out with the elephants at an elephant preservation sanctuary. Meet the local ethnic Lao, Khmu, and Hmong residents at the tiny village of Kop Aek, and dive into centuries-old traditions and practices. Observe the local weavers honoring their timeworn traditional crafts at the village of Muang Keo and take a short and easy trek to the famous Pak Ou Caves on the Mekong’s rocky shore.
Luang Prabang is a tiny city, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995; it is one of Laos’ best-loved destinations. Enjoy a captivating evening of traditional storytelling and music in an intimate theatre. Stroll through the charming town on an off-the-beaten-track walking tour, visit the morning market, admire the architecture, and meet the locals. Spend a full day in the Tai Lu ethnic hill tribe village of Ban Nayang, watch the women weaving and doing embroidery while the men grow wet rice using wooden equipment drawn by buffalo. Learn about their efforts to preserve their traditional working methods and crafts. Wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in Luang Prabang before heading to the bright turquoise waters of the cascading Kuang Si Waterfalls. Take a leisurely hike through beautiful nature to the Asian Bear Rescue Center.
The Bolaven Plateau
Transfer to Pakse, the gateway to the Bolaven Plateau in Southern Laos and the Pakse waterfalls. Marvel at the coffee and tea plantations and dramatic waterfalls, and the extensive jungle of Dong Hua Sao from where the perfectly synchronized Tad Fane twin falls originate and drop down a 656ft gorge. Visit the majestic Khone Phapheng Waterfall, which is a highlight of southern Laos, covering an impressive six mile stretch of the Mekong. Board a local boat to explore parts of Si Phan Don, the 4,000 islands on the Mekong River. Stop at the island of Don Khone to see the colonial-era buildings including an old pier, a railway station, a former French hospital building, and the maritime office. Later, visit the Liphi Waterfalls, a natural border between Laos and Cambodia. Head to Champasak to explore the picturesque pre-Angkorian Wat Phou Temple.
In the Laotian capital of Vientiane, relish an adventurous dinner safari by tuk-tuk, visit a bustling evening food market, select some delicious dishes and enjoy your authentic feast while watching the sights and sounds around you. Your classic southern Laos itinerary ends with a visit to the famous Buddha Park, a quirky concrete sculpture garden that is home to over 200 statues depicting Buddhist and Hindu figures, as well as animals, humans, and demons. Enter through the mouth of a 10-foot-tall demon head and climb staircases from Hell to Heaven. View sculptures at each level with a panoramic viewpoint at the top level.
All tours and transport are with a private guide, with the exception of the cruise portion, which is on a shared basis with other passengers.