Laos – Comprehensive Round Trip From North To South
March 17, 2021
Laos is still a very pristine country and offers an insight into the life of traditional tribes. The hospitable residents will be happy to welcome you. You will also find beautiful nature, mystical temples and four thousand islands here. With a little luck, you might even see the rare Mekong dolphin on a river cruise.
This is an example of one of our tours and should serve as a source of inspiration. Of course, the itinerary including the destinations can be adapted and we will be happy to work out a round trip for you that is tailored to your interests and budget.
Best travel time: October to April
Travel Duration: This journey lasts 11 days. In general, we recommend planning at least a week for a round trip to Laos so that you can get to know the country and its people away from the tourist hotspots.
Travel planning: Laos is ideal for a combined trip with Cambodia , Vietnam or northern Thailand.
Tip: Don’t visit Vang Vieng. This place is touted as idyllic in many travel guides. It’s not worthwhile, but has become a party hotspot for backpackers.
Day 1: International flight & arrival Chiang Rai
Arrival in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, where you will be welcomed by your guide at the airport. Transfer to your first accommodation in the mountains north of Chiang Rai.
Day 2: Area around Chiang Rai – Laotian border / Houay Xay river trip – Pakbeng
Welcome to Laos! In the early morning you will be picked up at your hotel and cross the border between Thailand and Laos and then driven to the pier. The boat takes you up the Mekong to Pakbeng. The journey leads past untouched jungle and small villages.
Day 3: Pakbeng River – Luang Prabang Onward
journey to Luang Prabang. On this section of your river cruise you will discover the Pak Ou cave temple, also known as Tham Ting Cave. Thousands of Buddha figures have been placed here over the centuries and create a mysterious atmosphere. The second stop will be in Ban Xang Hai. There you can enjoy a tour of the villages and temples and see how the traditional Lao whiskey is distilled. Upon arrival in the late afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 4: Luang Prabang by tuk tuk
In the morning you can comfortably explore the city of Luang Prabang with its most beautiful sights. With its privileged location where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet and at the foot of an ancient mountain range, the city is one of the most beautiful cities in Southeast Asia. In the afternoon you will get to know the Ock Pop Tok silk weavers. The apprentices from the surrounding villages learn new techniques here and at the same time receive a tradition that is over 1,200 years old. The skills learned offer the weavers trained there and the villagers a valuable livelihood. Here you will learn everything about the silkworms and different types of silk as part of a course and you will be able to produce three natural dyes from freshly picked plants.
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw – Muang Ngoi
By car transfer to Nong Khiaw. The relaxing boat trip to the small fishing village of Muang Ngoi leads through a fantastic panorama: breathtaking landscape with tropical forests and bizarre karst mountains. As part of an easy hike, you can also take a boat trip on the Nam Ou River and get to know the hill tribes of the area better. Many of these villagers still live very much according to their original customs and traditions.
Day 6: Muang Ngoi
Today your trek through the rainforest begins with a boat trip upstream. The next stage continues by boat to the weaving village of the Khmu, where you get an insight into the life of the locals. Afterward, take another boat trip on the Nam Ou River to Hatpahxou, where you can swim and relax.
Day 7: Muang Ngoi – Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang
As part of an easy hike far away from civilization, you will explore the Tam Khang Cave, in which locals used to take shelter from the Indochina War (1960 – 1972). you will also get to know the inhabitants of the village Ba Na better. Many of these villagers still live very much according to their original customs and traditions. In the afternoon, leisurely river trip to Nong Khiaw and from there drive by car through the picturesque landscape back to Luang Prabang.
You have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 8: Luang Prabang – Pakse – Champasak Free
time in Luang Prabang until you are transferred to the airport and travel to Pakse in the southern part of Laos. Here your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. After a refreshment break, you will have the opportunity to explore the Vat Phou, a pre-Angkorian temple complex that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 9: Bolaven Plateau
The Bolaven Plateau is off the beaten tourist track and is at an altitude of 1,300 meters and is home to various ethnic groups. This area is particularly known for its world-famous coffee, which is grown here. You visit a traditional coffee plantation and roasting facility and can chat with a passionate coffee farmer.
Then a short hike through the lush nature to an idyllic waterfall, where you can bathe and relax in the shallow water after a lunch of local dishes.
Day 10: Champasak – 4,000 islands
Today you travel to Don Khong, a small island in an archipelago on the Mekong River. The picturesque area is ideal for exploring by bike. Impressive waterfalls and sleepy villages characterize the area. With a bit of luck, you will also have the chance to see river dolphins frolicking in the Mekong River.
Day 11: Dong Khong – Pakse – journey home In the
morning you explore the Phapheng waterfall, the largest in the country and the surrounding landscape. Enjoy the panoramic view of the amazing landscape from a charming café. You will then be driven to the airport, where it is time to say goodbye to Laos. From here it goes back to Switzerland. Or for a few relaxing days on the beach in one of the dreamily located resorts.