Classic Laos with Kong Lor Cave (7 days/6 nights)
Vientiane - Kong Lor Cave - Luang Prabang
Day1. Arrive Vientiane
On arrival in Vientiane, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Time permitting, your half day city tour enables us to see the major temples of Vientiane including the oldest, Wat Sisaket, a temple of thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit Lao national icon, That Luang Stupa, and we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Overnight in Vientiane
Day2. Vientiane – Prabath Ponsan – Hin Boun
You will be picked up this morning from your hotel and transferred south along route 13 to the central Lao province of Khammoune. En route we stop at Prabaht Ponsan, a stupa dating back to the 15th Century. It is also home to the Budhhas footprint, discovered in 1933, and now an important religious site in Laos. Following lunch we make s stop at the interesting Ban Ton Na Mi Hmong Market, then continue onwards into Khammoune province and into the mountainous area, where a stop at a view point near Khoun Kham offers a breathtaking view over the surrounding area. Our last stop of the day is Ban Thabuk, the ‘bomb boat village’ where they use old bomb casings from the Vietnam War as boats We eventually reach Hin Boun area by mid afternoon, where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Prabath Ponsan Stupa
WatPhou Ruin Temple
Day3. Hin Boun – Kong Lor Cave – Hin Boun
After breakfast your lodge, we drive to Kong Lor village and board a small local boat into the famous Kong Lor Cave. We navigate through the cave, which is over 7km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which you can explore on foot. On the other side of the cave, we take a short walk past some tobacco drying huts to Ban Pon Ngam, a remote village, where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. Following lunch, we return through the cave by boat, then continue by river downstream for a 2 hour boat trip, taking in the spectacular limestone scenery en route. You will then be picked up by car and transferred back to your lodge by late afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure
Day4. Hin Boun – Vientiane – Luang Prabang
Following breakfast we set off by road to Naphouak, before heading south by boat through some of the most spectacular gorges found in Southeast Asia. Along the way we make a stop for lunch and a picturesque Lao Loum village, and then we are picked up by car and transferred to directly to Vientiane airport for your evening flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day5. Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Cave - Half Day City Tour
Today, we embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On return, we disembark the boat to visit traditional villages, and continue taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving.
In the afternoon, your half day city tour begins with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. We then head to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We also have time to visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai
Day6. Luang Prabang – Khuang Si Waterfalls – Ban Chan
Today we cross the Mekong River by boat, to the picturesque village of Ban Chan, a pottery village. We then visit the morning Phousi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, and today you will visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, a Hmong village, Ban Ou a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene, Khmu villages. This then takes us to the beautiful Khuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. We then return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon
Day7. Luang Prabang – Departure
Depending on your flight, you may have time at leisure before you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departing flight