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  • Laos Highlights

    Code: LCT04 - Duration: 10 Days
    Start: Luang Prabang | Finish: Pakse
  • Known as the ancient kingdom of the “Millions of Elephants”, Laos has awe-inspiring nature full of rugged mountains, impressive waterfalls and the mighty Mekong River winding its way through the slim country. Laos Highlights is a complete circuit around the country, from North to South, built around the most famous natural, cultural and accessible sites of Laos. Start in Luang Prabang, you will be introduced to the spiritual center of the country by visiting temples dating back from the 16th century and take a boat trip on Nam Ou River to explore Pak Ou Cave with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes & nice Khaung Si Waterfall. We then drive to Xieng Khuang to see and touch thousands of stone jars scatter across the area enticing visitors and historians to make conjectures about their origin. Leaving Xieng Khuang, you will fly to Vientiane to explore the oldest temples designed under Khmer architecture. The trip is followed by exploring Pakse, the hub of Southern Laos' cultural intrigue where pre-Ankorian structures, famous coffee plantations and the breathtaking 4000 Islands.

    Highlights:

    • See the classical architecture of Luang Prabang temples 
    • Cruise to Pak Ou cave on Nam Ou River
    • Explore the unsolved mysteries with a visit to the Plain of Jars 
    • Discover the Vientiane’s most famous landmarks: That Luang and Wat Sisaket
    • Discover the Si Phan Done - 4000 islands - with the possible observation of freshwater dolphins
    • Immerse yourself into the pure and fresh atmosphere of the Bolaven Plateau known for its cooler temperature and beautiful villages
    • Charming hotels in great locations
    • Comfortable & spacious vehicle for transfers

    Itinerary in brief:

    Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival (-/-/-)
    Day 2: Luang Prabang City - Pak Ou Caves (B/-/-)
    Day 3: Luang Prabang - Hmong Experience & Khuang Si Waterfall (B/L/-)
    Day 4: Luang Prabang - Xieng Khuang (B/-/-)
    Day 5: Xieng Khuang - Flight to Vientiane (B/-/-)
    Day 6: Vientiane - Half Day City Tour (B/-/-)
    Day 7: Vientiane - Flight to Pakse - Khong Island (B/-/-)
    Day 8: Khong Island - Surrounding (B/-/-)
    Day 9: Khong Island - Bolaven Plateau - Pakse (B/-/-)
    Day 10: Pakse - Departure (B/-/-)

    • Ability to change the direction of the program
    • Possibility of an extension in Vietnam & Cambodia 

    Notes:

    - We specialize in “tailor-made” tours for groups of two or more. We carefully inspect each step of your journey from the accommodation to the perfect guide to suit your needs
    - The itinerary is open to modification to fit your personal travel needs
    - Modifications to the itinerary may increase the price of the package
    - For the price of this trip, just ask for a quote by clicking on "TOUR PRICE"

    - If you are looking for a trip modified to your requirements, please send us your needs by filling out the form in Customize your trip” 
    - We will contact and send you a quote, excluding holiday period, within 48 hours of receiving your request. 

  • Day 1: Luang Prabang arrival (-/-/-)

    Luang Prabang - Airport: 5km, ~11min drive

    luang prabang, tonkin travelUpon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, you will be met and transferred to hotel by our guide and driver. After making sure of your successful hotel check-in, they will be pleased to leave you free time for your own lunch and leisure to recover after the long flight.

    Meals Included: None
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

    Day 2: Luang Prabang City - Pak Ou Caves (B/-/-)

    pakou caveAfter breakfast, your short city tour starts with a visit to Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape. Next we visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre which gives us a further insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. We also visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Our first stop is the village of Ban Muangkeo where we start a short trek to reach the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local specialty of rice wine is produced. We then return to Luang Prabang by car via Ban Nongxai, an artisans village and also to visit a silversmith workshop. We arrive back in Luang Prabang by late afternoon.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

    Day 3: Luang Prabang - Hmong Experience & Khuang Si Waterfall (B/L/-)

    khuang si water fall, tonkin travelAfter breakfast, we visit the local Phosi Market - the place where all the locals shop and our guide will show you the diverse offerings on display. We also stop at Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving center. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained. Next we drive to Ban Thinkeo, a Hmong village and start trekking with the villagers. Our guide will explain to you the common use of the plants for the Hmong people. We will go to the garden and cut some vegetables and herbs with the local people. We then continue to Kuang Si Waterfall, where we can enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the beautiful multi-tiered falls. We also have the opportunity to cool off in the turquoise blue pools. Afterwards, we return to Luang Prabang in time to catch the sun setting over the Mekong.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

    Day 4: Luang Prabang - Xieng Khuang (B/-/-)

    Luang Prabang - Xieng Khuang: 352km, ~5h36min drive

    khmu villageWe start early this morning after breakfast, around 8am for the drive to Xieng Khuang, famous for the ‘Plain of Jars’. The road follows a twisty mountain route, and we make our first stop at Houi Hei, which offers great views of the surrounding mountains. We then continue Ban Kiu Kam Pone, a Khmu village to explore, before arriving in Phou Khoun for lunch. We continue on the road into Xieng Khuang province, reaching our highest altitude of the day 1500m above sea level, just after Phou Khoun. We have time to make a stop at Ban Son Boom, a Hmong village. Our final stops of the day are a reminder that this region played a major part during the Vietnam War – as we visit a hidden Buddha Cave, that served as an army hospital during the war and our final stop of the day, is an optional stop to visit an old Russian tank. We arrive at your hotel by early evening.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Xieng Khuang

    Day 5: Xieng Khuang – Flight to Vientiane (B/-/-)

    Xieng Khuang - Vientiane: 390km, 30min flight

    xieng khoangThis morning after breakfast, we visit the Mines Action Group or MAG office to learn about the work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then transfer out to Jar Site 1, the largest site, and Jar Site 3, located on top of a hill offering great views of the surrounding countryside. We return back to Phonsavan town, and onto the airport for your flight to Vientiane.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane

    Day 6: Vientiane - Half Day City Tour (B/-/-)

    wat sisaketAfter having breakfast, our half day city tour begins with the oldest temple Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. . En route to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. The final visit of the day will be the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting a much overlooked aspect of Laos and a major problem many of the local people face on a day to day basis in the form of unexploded ordnance as a result of heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War era.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Vientiane

    Day 7: Vientiane - Flight to Pakse – Khong Island (B/-/-)

    Vientiane - Pakse: 608km, 1h15min flight

    don khongAfter breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport early this morning for the flight to Pakse. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred directly onto a private traditional boat for a 2-hour cruise to Champassak. Disembark at this ancient town, of the Champa Kingdom; continue by car to Wat Phou, another World Heritage Site in Laos, which became recognized by UNESCO in 2002. Wat Phou is the site of ruins which were once part of a temple built some time before Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. It contains some of the most Ancient Khmer architectures which date back to between the 7-11th centuries. In the afternoon you will drive to Don Khong, an area of 4000 islands which is the widest point of the Mekong River during the rainy season, although during the dry months the river recedes, leaving behind thousands of islands and islets. This area of the river is also famous for being the home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. En route, we visit the atmospheric ruins of the Khmer temple of Oup Mong at Ban Houei Tomo, located in the forest. Arrive at Khong Island via ferry early evening.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Khong Island

    Day 8: Khong Island - Surrounding (B/-/-)

    khong islandFollowing breakfast, we enjoy a visit to the surrounding countryside, and embark on a long tail boat tour to Don Khone, where we disembark and have the option of exploring the island by bicycle, which takes you to visit the remains of the French period and Liphi Waterfall or "the Corridor of the Devil". We return to the mainland at the fishing village of Ban Nakasang and drive further south to visit Khone Phapheng. Khone Phapheng is considered the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia; this is a really impressive site near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area which is teeming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos. Then we drive back to Khong Island.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Khong Island

    Day 9: Khong Island - Bolaven Plateau – Pakse (B/-/-)

    Khong Island - Pakse: 144km, 2h25min drive

    pakseThis morning after breakfast, we leave early and drive north to the Bolaven Plateau. The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. Our first stop is to visit Houey Ten, a Katu village specializing in knife-making. We then stop at a tea plantation, followed by a stop at Tad Fan Waterfall, a picturesque twin chute waterfall. In the afternoon, we then make a stop at a coffee plantation, en route to Tha Teng Market, a colorful ethnic minority food market. Next we explore another interesting minority village, Ban Bong Neua, an Alak village, that boasts a sacrificial alter. We arrive at the beautiful Tadlo Waterfall by late afternoon and head back to Pakse, stopping at Ban Houi Hun, an Alak weaving village, where they keep coffins under their houses, and at another picturesque waterfall, Paxuam, before arriving back in Pakse by early evening.

    Meals Included: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Pakse

    Day 10: Pakse - Departure (B/-/-)

    After breakfast, there will be free time for your own exploration of Pakse Town before catching a flight to the next destination. End of our services.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  • Prices

    This trip is private and therefore can be altered to suit your needs, date of commencement and budget requirements.

    Prices vary due to a number of specifics:

    • Seasonal: during high season (October-April), the prices of services are generally higher when compared to the low season (May-September).
    • The number of participants: the more of you that travel together the less you will pay!
    • The choice of hotels: Fairly obvious one here; a 5-star hotel can cost ten times as much as a 2 star hotel.
    • The activities during the trip: Two trips on the same itinerary and of the same length can have two different prices depending on the number and nature of activities included.
    • The booking date: In some cases, booking your trip late can drastically affect prices due to their low availability.

    Inclusion:

    • Accommodation as recommended or similar category according to availability.
    • Transfers according to program by private air-conditioned vehicle with driver except free day
    • English-speaking guide’s assistance at every stage
    • Meals as indicated in program (B: Breakfast /L: Lunch / D: Dinner)
    • Entrance fees for attractions included in the program
    • All activities and cruises clearly mentioned in the program
    • Private Boat cruise in Luang Prabang and Khong Island
    • Domestic air-tickets: Luang Prabang – Vientiane; Vientiane – Pakse
    • Water and cool tissues
    • Government taxes & service charge

    Exclusion:

    • Other drinks and meals not clearly mentioned
    • Early check-in, late check-out
    • Personal expenditures, tips
    • Personal insurance (compulsory)
    • Any service not clearly mentioned in the program
    • International air transfers associated with airport taxes
    • Visa and visa arrangement (available upon request)

    Booking

    Here are 2 steps to book your trip with Tonkin-Travel:

    Step 1. Focus on your travel program:

    You can choose this trip as is or customize it to your specific desires. Just click on the “Customize this trip” tab and fill in the form. One of our travel consultants will contact you within 48 hours to develop the travel program based on your specifications.

    Step 2. Booking:

    • Following the first step, tour program is selected and we access the rates.
    • Upon confirmation of the trip, the registration must be accompanied by a deposit up to 25% of the total estimate.
    • For programs with private junk (cruise) and/or 5 star hotels, the deposit is represented by 30% of the total estimate.
    • Tonkin-Travel carries out the booking process upon receipt of the deposit. Confirmation of these reservations is sent to customer within 10 days via email

    Nature of travel

    This trip is private. That implies:

    • You will be escorted by a private guide and driver. This approach guarantees a smooth trip with fewer organizational constraints.
    • You will be the master of your trip. We guarantee flexibility in organizing visits at your request.
    • Our services will be personalized according to your desires. Thus the proposals in this package are not fixed and you can bring suggest all the desired changes.
    • You receive individualized care: ample food, organizing small events (anniversary, honeymoon, etc.), targeted information, followed necessary modifications, etc.

    Accommodation

    • Accommodation is an important expenditure of your trip. When you choose a luxury trip for example, the accommodation can represent three quarters of the price. Thus, your choice of hotels is closely related to your budget.
    • Tonkin-Travel has negotiated rates with a wide range of hotels from 2 to 5 stars.
    • In some places you will have the option to choose ‘home-stay’. Although this provides less comfort that a hotel it is a truly authentic experience and highly recommended for at least one night of your journey.

    Transport

    All transfers during your trip are covered by private vehicle with driver, unless otherwise indicated in our offer. We ensure that our vehicles are new and comfortable. Fuel, tolls, accommodation, compensation and the driver are included in our offer. Only gratuities are not included and are at your discretion.

    The size of the selected vehicle is based on the number of tour participants according to the following quality standards:

    No. of participants

    2 pax

    3 pax

    From 4 to 7 pax

    From 8 to 14 pax

    From 15 to 20 pax

    Vehicle size

    Car 4-7 seats

    Car 7 or minivan 
    16 seats

    Minivan 16 seats

    Bus 24 seats

    Bus 35 or 45 seats

    Domestic flights

    If your trip includes domestic flights if any, they will be operated by Vietnam Airlines, the largest airline in Vietnam. The fleet consists mainly of Airbus and Boeing. On some short trips, the company operates 72 ATR and some Fokker.

    Rail transport

    Train travel can be offered (particularly between Hanoi-Lao Cai and Hanoi-Hue). Travelling at a speed of 60km/h on average it is not necessarily the fastest but an interesting experience nonetheless.

  • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

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      Your message (Ex: The desired steps and activities, what you like, what you do not,
      the health condition of the participants, your questions on this trip...)

    • This form allows us to establish a tour proposal suitable for your needs. It is free and without obligation

        (*) : Required fields

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        Which country would you like to discover? *
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        Regarding meals, you want the agency to offer you:
        Describe your trip
        These ideas are a guide for creating a trip suitable for your needs and expectations
        • Your desire to travel (culture, adventure, beach extension, local meetings, nature, etc.)
        • The desired pace of your trip (moderate, free and easy, etc.)
        • Your knowledge of the country. Your interests
        • The opportunity of your trip (vacation, wedding anniversary, cultural group, etc.)
        • Remarks (Room types, diet, special requests, etc.)

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