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Northern Laos Exposure
(10 Days and 9 Nights)

DETAILED ITINERARY

Luang Prabang picturesDay 1: Arrival - Luang Prabang
On arrival at the airport , you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop, retains an unique charm rarely found in all Asia. There are plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the Srilankalese styled temple of That Marko, the shrine of Wat Aham and the five tiered roof Wat Mai. We include these sites in a half day guided tour before we embark on a climb up to Phousi Hill for a beautiful panorama view from the town center to the mighty Mekong River. There are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit.

O/N in Luang Prabang.

Day 2: Luang Prabang - Elephant Riding ? Trekking (B)
The mountainous areas around Luang Prabang Town are also home of many ethnic groups and various stunning waterfalls littered in dense jungle. Today we drive on a rugged road to Lao spirit resort just 15 km out of town. On arrival we see the Asian Elephants and begin a scenic ride of an hour and half along the Nam Khan River though the lush and green forests to the amazing Tad Sae waterfall. This is an enjoyable stop for lunch near the cascade. We get well off the beaten track as we walk through the forest. En route we make stopover at a Khmu Village to explore the simple lifestyle of villagers who are almost fishermen or farmers living from their slash and burn tradition. They even speak a different language but the guide are on hand to help you ask questions. We continue our walk along the mountain side past a new jungle camp before completing a super day.

O/N in Luang Prabang.

Laos Elephant riding ToursDay 3: Luang Prabang ? Oudomxay  (B)
Today we continue seeing this town with the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes, doorways and marvellous tree life mosaic pattern on an outer wall, representing the ancient temple architecture of Luang Prabang. We follow it with the national museum. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Upon leaving Luang Prabang Town we start to drive northwards and reach Oudomxay by early evening. This is basically an overnight stop to break our long journey.

O/N in Oudomxay.

Day 4: Oudomxay - Luang Namtha - Muang Sing (B)
The northern scenery is unequalled although the conditions are very simple. We spend our day drive north towards Luang Namtha, a land of rugged mountains, beautiful forest and rich river plain. This mountainous region is also sharing the border with China and Myanmar. There are over twenty ethnic groups who are settled in Luang Nam Tha, making it one of the most ethnically diverse provinces in Laos. We cross Luang Namtha Town to Muang Sing, stopping en route at the Akha hill tribe village. This ethnic group was originally in China but immigrated into Laos down centuries. On arrival we stroll around this hill town where many ethnic minorities are frequently seen on the main street and small vendors along the street sell local textiles and handicraft.

O/N in Muang Sing.

Day 5 : Muang Sing - Ban Lao Khao ? Trekking (B,L,D)
The traditional morning market of Muang Sing also attracts numerous ethnic minorities who converge from the outlying valleys and mountainsides to sell their goods and buy provision. We visit this conglomeration before embarking a truck for a short drive towards That Xieng Tueng. On arrival we blaze a trail with our local guide and traverse the tropical forest to the scenic Nam Keo Noi Waterfall. This is an interesting stop for lunch and breather near the falls. We continue our walk across a pine forest and have some opportunities to partake in forest activities such as birth watching, collecting bamboo shoots or medicinal plants. By mid afternoon we arrive at Ban Lao Khao and stroll around the village. This walk enables us to understand a little more about their simply lifestyle.

O/N at Ban Lao Khao Lodge.

Laos Trekking ToursDay 6 : Ban Lao Khao - Ban Tamee ? Trekking  (B,L,D)
Upon leaving the village of previous night we set forth to Ban Tamee. The trekking is challenging at times; however some physical preparation will allow you to maximize enjoyment from the walk. On arrival at Ban Phou Yae we will be toasted as honored guests and sample some of their homemade foods. The next stop is Houeinagang village where we can join some village activities. Along the way we traverse several rustic villages and see many mountaineers doing their daily works such as logging, herding buffalo and tilling the field. The blend of verdant mountain backdrop and colourful population makes for an unforgettable experience.

O/N at Ban Tamee Lodge.

Day 7 : Ban Tamee - Muang Sing - Luang Nam Tha  (B,L)
The trekking expeditions will be complete with a few more hour walk. We follow the local footpath to Ban Nam Hou before trekking across the forest to catch a magnificent view of Muang Sing. On arrival at Ban Piyer , we visit some local handicraft shops and embark on a short drive back to Muang Sing Town. By early afternoon we travel by roads to Luang Nam Tha past many hamlets linked to the road which is the main artery of trade in the northern region. Along the way we can make stop at pleasure, to catch some wonderful photographs and see the Akha, Lao Houei and Iko people. They are very poor, but have an interesting local culture and a colorful history.

O/N in Luang Namtha.

Luang Nam Tha toursDay 8 : Luang Namtha - Oudomxay ? Pakbeng (B)
Today we make our way towards Pakbeng. The drive is long and bumpy at times ; therefore we need to bring along our spirit of adventure. We pass many tranquil hamlets linked to the road which is the main artery of trade between the northern region and the capital city. En route, we have several stops to visit Hmong, Khmu, Black Thai and Lu ethnic minority people. They are almost settled in off road areas. On arrival in Oudom Xay , we break our journey to stretch our legs before we continue towards Pakbeng. This lovely village sets against the mountain backdrop and overlooks the confluence of the Mekong River and Nam Beng Rivers. There are not much to see in town but it is still an usual stop.

O/N in Pakbeng.

Day 9: Pakbeng - Pakou Caves - Luang Prabang (B,L)
The riverside town of Pakbeng has an impressive view over the Mekong River. We have time to stroll around to catch some photos and visit the town market which sells an array of local products. The hill tribe people are often seen in place. Upon leaving Pakbeng we embark on our boat navigating towards Luang Prabang. This river cruise passes through the stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. We explore these famous grottoes and continue our cruise along the Mekong River to Luang Prabang. On arrival we check in hotel and enjoy a short walk to catch our first glimpse of town.

O/N in Luang Prabang.

Day 10: Luang Prabang ? Departure . (B)
There is a free time for your own exploration of the city or strolling around the shopping areas. The trip ends after your transfer to Luang Prabang Airport for departure

      INCLUSIONS:
-         Transportation in private vehicle with driver and truck on bad road conditions
-         Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner
-         Accommodation: twin sharing room at mentioned hotels, guesthouse or similar one and village huts during the trek
-         English or French speaking guide
-         Entrance fee to indicated sights
-         Boat trip Pakbeng - Luang Prabang
-         Elephant riding
-         Trekking package


     EXCLUSIONS:
-         Other meals
-         Tip
-         Drinks
-         Airport tax
-         Single room supplement
-         Personal expense
-         Travel insurance
-         Visa
-         Flight in / out of Laos, any optional additional tours or activities during free time
-         Surcharge for peak season
-         Local holiday days and gala dinner



               
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