The Treasure of Laos - 9 Days
Day 1: Vientiane – City Tour
Arrive in Vientiane and transfer to your hotel. Refresh and go on a city tour that includes Pha That Luang, a gleaming golden stupa - the national monument, Ho Pha Keo, the former royal temple, now a museum with beautiful examples of Buddhist sculpture; Wat Si Saket and Patuxai, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, but executed with Lao motifs. Overnight.
Day 2: Vientiane – Buddha Park
Breakfast. Visit Wat Xieng Khuan (Buddha Park), an open-air museum to see a collection of whimsical but compelling statues of Buddhist and Hindu gods. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight.
Day 3: Vientiane - Vang Vieng
Breakfast. Drive to the north through the scenic province of Vientiane. Stop at a salt field in Ban Keun and then enjoy a boat ride on Nam Ngum Lake, a serene, man-made reservoir. Arrive Vang Vieng and check in at your hotel. Overnight.
Day 4: Vang Vieng - Phonsavanh
Breakfast. Enjoy a short trek through rice paddies and stop at a Hmong village in Ban Pha Thao to visit the cave. Continue to Xang Cave (Elephant Cave), which contains Buddha images and a Buddha footprint plus elephant shaped stalactites. Stop for lunch on your own. We shall transfer by vehicle from Vang Vieng to Phonsavanh with a stop at local villages on the way. Overnight.
Day 5: Phonsavanh – Plain of Jars
Breakfast. Visit the famous Plain of Jars, a mysterious and ancient area, where over 300 huge stone jars apparently carved out of solid rock are scattered around. The jars range from 1 to 3.25m in height and weigh up to 6 tons each and are around 2,500 to 3,000 years old. According to legend, they were used to store wine. You will visit Site I and Site II. Continue to Muang Khoun, an ancient capital which was destroyed during the Indochina War and rebuilt after 1975. Also visit Wat Phia That and That Foun. Overnight.
Day 6: Phonsavanh - Luang Prabang
Breakfast. Visit a lively open-air local market. Transfer by vehicle from Phonsavanh to Luang Prabang with sightseeing at Muang Sui. Visit the Wat Ban Phong, the 2nd oldest temple in the province, the scenic Nong Tang Lake, and Pha Cave which contains a 5m high Buddha image dating from 777 AD, surrounded by smaller gold and wooden statues of Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 7: Luang Prabang – City Tour
Breakfast. Visit Wat Visoun, the oldest living temple and see its collection of antique wooden Buddhas. Visit the nearby Wat Aham before continuing to Wat Xieng Thong, the crown jewel with its many ornate buildings and exquisite mosaic and gold-stencilled murals. Stroll down the main street. Visit Mount Phousi for a sunset view. The climb entails 328 – 410 steps depending on where you enter. Overnight.
Day 8: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou Caves
Breakfast. Travel by boat down the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves filled with Buddha images. On the way back, stop at Ban Xang Hai village famous for its lao lao, the local rice wine whisky. Visit Ban Xang Khong village well known for its traditional hand woven cotton,silk and local mulberry paper. Overnight.
Day 9: Luang Prabang
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.