Hidden Laos Tour
Hidden Laos Tour
from / to Luang Prabang
Day 1: Luang Prabang – Muang La (L/D)
Depart Luang Prabang in the morning and journey north, heading towards the remote province of Oudomxay. Expect a total journey time of approximately 6 hours, and a road that can get a little bumpy. But also expect dramatic scenery throughout.
As you head deeper into rural Laos the mountains rise higher and the jungle gets thicker. Rice paddies and plantations are juxtaposed with dense forests and steep mountainsides. A hundred shades of green accompany your journey and your guide will allow plenty of stops for photos. You will encounter various tribes on this trip and today’s first journey passes through precariously perched villages and valleys that are dotted with tiny wooden houses.
Then stop in provincial capital Oudomxay and view a different side of northern Laos, one that thrives with energy. The final part of the journey takes you deep into the wilderness, bringing you to natural hot springs and the idyllic Muang La Resort. Check in, relax, enjoy the views, and check out the facilities on offer, including a pool that’s filled with water from the springs. A candle lit dinner is included, served with the sounds of nature, and serving up five courses of Asian and European influenced cuisine.
Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort
Day 2: Muang La – Trekking to Phongsavanh (B/L/D)
A full day tour will take you into the lush landscapes and reveal an off the beaten track side to life in this pristine part of the world. It includes approximately five hours of easy walking and a transfer of approximately one hour by 4×4.
Trek along narrow mountain trails, heading into vivid forests until the trees rescind and reveal the Kamu village of Huay Ho. Life here flows at a relaxed pace and your guide will aid your interaction with the villagers. The trail gets even narrower, clinging to the mountainside before opening out onto brilliant rice fields and reaching the Lao Loum village of Ban Phongsavan. Enjoy lunch in this idyllic valley and take a rest with wonderful panoramas of northern Laos. Your guide will explain how local people use plants and herbs as food and medicine, and you’ll cross charming bamboo bridges as you descend into the Yang village of Long Ya.
Discover how rice alcohol is distilled and settle into the village’s gentle rhythm, before wandering to the hidden temple of Wat Hoytinphabath. Buddha’s footprints are embedded in the stone, effigies and symbols fill the rooms, and the temple stands harmonious with its natural surroundings. One statue is particularly memorable, an immense 35 meter long reclining sculpture of Buddha. Yes, 35 meters. Just try and imagine what that looks like. After a leisurely hike along the river you will be transferred back to the resort for a well- deserved rest and a dip in the hot springs.
Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort
Day 3: Muang La – Meet the ethnic groups of northern Laos (B/L/D)
This full day tour is mainly by 4 x 4, but then includes opportunities to walk through and between villages. It’s a journey into the most untouched and fascinating villages of Southeast Asia, places that are as off the beaten track as it’s possible to get. In Northern Laos the villages aren’t beside the road. They’re hidden away, perched on the green mountainsides and happily reveling in peaceful nature.
You’ll be heading up to places that rarely see foreigners so expect to be the center of attention. Each village is different, the mountains full of different ethnic groups and their unique lifestyles. It’s all explained by your local guide. Start in isolated Ikhos village with people who have their roots in Tibet and Yunnan, before savoring the stunning views that accompany every corner. You rise to over 1,000 meters above sea level and walk across a plateau to the remote Hmong village of Ban Tauser. Life here also has a distinctly Tibetan influence and you’ll experience the charms of a lifestyle that is rarely seen by outsiders.
Return to the resort at the end of the day. Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort.
Day 4: Muang La – Muang Khua – Nong Khiaw (B/L)
After breakfast you will be driven approximately 2 hours to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River. From here you’ll cruise all the way to Luang Prabang, the relaxed journey taking two days and being one of the highlights of any trip to Southeast Asia.
Board your own private longtail boat and start cruising down beautiful river stretches. Dramatic cliffs tower above the water, trees cling to steep mountainsides, and lush jungle surrounds you at all times. Enjoy a picnic lunch and continue to cruise through a landscape that doesn’t have any roads. The villages you pass are wonderfully isolated and you’ll see many local sights throughout the journey.
You’ll reach Nong Khiaw in the late afternoon. Check in to your accommodation and savor the views over the riverbank, taking in the dramatic limestone mountains that surround the village. Make sure to watch the sunset from your balcony – it’s one of the most evocative in the whole country.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw
Day 5: Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang by boat (via Pak Ou Caves) (B/L)
After breakfast you will continue down the Nam Ou River by private boat on your way to Luang Prabang, stopping at the Pak Ou Caves on route. Cruising down the river is all about the scenery and tranquility.
Mountains and cliffs provide the drama, while local fishermen and riverside villages offer the charm. Then the mystery comes from Pak Ou Caves, home to thousands of golden Buddha statues, some barely bigger than your fingers and others towering above your head. Stopping here also offers a real glimpse at the inherent spirituality in Lao culture. Return to the boat for the final two hours to Luang Prabang, and it’s possible to stop and explore a local village on route. In total it’s a 5.5 hour journey by boat today.
Note that there is an option to drive from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang. This takes approximately 2.5 hours but does not allow a stop at the Pak Ou Caves. You will be met at the boat pier in Luang Prabang for a private transfer to your hotel or the airport.
Day5. Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang by Car
This morning we head south by road to Luang Prabang. The morning drive brings us out into rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. Along the way we stop to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. We arrive in Luang Prabang by early afternoon where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Rates & Services
Rates: 01.10.2015 – 30.04.2016
|Price per person in USD (private tour)||2 persons in double room||1 person in single room(single traveller)||Single room supplement|
|Hotel Category Standard||2.138||3.780||522|
Note: On 24.12 and 31.12, some hotels charge for compulsory gala dinners. Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.During certain dates, seasonal surcharges may apply, especially during Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (15.02. – 21.02.15). Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.
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