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Exploring Secret of Luang Nam Tha
(10 Days and 9 Nights)

DETAILED ITINERARY

Vietntiane toursDay 1: Arrival - Vientiane
On arrival at Wattay Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel. The charming and fascinating capital of Laos, Vientiane is a small city conjuring up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. We start our half day city tour with Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. Close to this masterwork is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Afterwards we continue driving to Patouxai. This imposing monument standing in Lane Xang Avenue, is well known as Vientiane?s own Arc de Triomphe and provides a stunning views of the city. We round off our day with a visit to the great sacred masterpiece and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa. O/N in Vientiane.

Day 2 : Vientiane - Oudomxay - Luang Nam Tha (B)
The northbound journey begins as we board a flight to Oudomxay. On arrival you are met and set off on a drive towards Luang Nam Tha, 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. Along the way we make stops, to visit a village of the Akha minority village. This ethnic group was originally in China but immigrated into Laos down centuries. We arrive in Luang Nam Tha and stroll around to catch our first glimpse of this hill town. O/N in Luang Nam Tha.

Day 3 : Luang Nam Tha - Nam Ha Area Trekking  (B,L,D)
The remote and extremely beautiful mountain region of Luang Namtha is ideal for anyone seeking a true adventure and trekking expedition. Today we set off on a short drive north to the Khmu village of Don Sai. On arrival we meet our village guide and venture into the mountains of Nam Ha National Protected Area. The majority of trails follow picturesque river ways beneath a cover of native rainforest therefore our walk may involve some river crossings. The local guides will give information on wild herbs and vegetables we will savour in dinner. This protected area is home to a wide array of wildlife including leopard, serow, banteng, dusky langur; however most of these species are nocturnal. To look for wildlife you need to bring along a good flashlight or head lamp. O/N at Khmu Camp.

Nam Ha Area trekkingDay 4 : Nam Ha Area Trekking  (B,L,D)
Today we have an option to rise up early to admire the sunrise from a mountain top and watch the jungle bird life. Upon leaving the camp of previous night we follow the footpath across the tropical rain forest. The trekking is strenuous at times, with some steep uphill and downhill walking; however some physical preparation will enable you to fully enjoy this adventure. By end of afternoon we arrive at Nammat and have a walk around this charming village to understand a little more about the lifestyle of the Akha people. They are very poor but have an interesting local history and colourful culture. O/N at Akha Camp.

Day 5 : Nam Ha Area Trekking - Luang Namtha  (B,L)
The trekking is not only activity on our trip. We can get up early and blaze a trail with Akha guide to the hunting grounds. The village guide will call birds and show you different species. The rich variety of birth life is also remarkable in this protected area. We come back to the camp for breakfast and spend a half day walking to Luang Namtha Town. Along the way we make several stops to learn the ancient form of agriculture and see a new village of the Akha ethnic minorities. The verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population has made for an unforgettable experience. O/N in Luang Namtha.

Day 6: Luang Namtha - Muang Sing (B,L)
Upon leaving Luang Nam Tha we set off on a short drive north towards Muang Sing. We embark on a half walking day, using the local tracks and pass through the breathtaking mountain landscape to the seldom visited hamlets which are home of the Yao, Akkha and Lantern people. They are settled there longtime ago and still retain their traditional culture and habits. The trekking is strenuous at times, with some steep uphill and downhill walking; however some physical preparation will enable you to fully enjoy this adventure. We spend the remainder of the day exploring some major sights of Muang Sing Town. They are the That Xieng Tung and the Muang Sing Exhibition, giving us an interesting view of the local history. O/N at Muang Sing.

Day 7 : Muang Sing - Oudomxay- Nong Khiow (B,L)
The morning market of Muang Sing also attracts numerous ethnic minorities. They converge from the surrounding mountainsides or valley to barter and trade their goods. We have time strolling around this conglomeration before we travel towards Nong Khiow. This beautiful village set by the Nam Ou River, boasts a stunning limestone mountain backdrop and genuine local colour. We pass the many tranquil hamlets, which are linked to the road which is the main artery of trade between the northern region and the capital city. The drive is difficult at times; however the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes for a memorable experience. By mid afternoon we arrive in Nong Khiow and spend the remainder of our day to walk around or simply relax. O/N at Nong Khiow. (B)

Scared caves in LaosDay 8: Nong Khiow - Pak Ou Caves - Luang Prabang
Upon leaving the tranquil village of Muong Ngoy we board a boat cruising through the breathtaking mountain scenery to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various sizes, all brought there by devoted villagers. We visit these famous grottos and navigate on the Mekong River down to Luang Prabang. This tranquil town with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop has been claimed by UNESCO to be the best preserved traditional city in South East Asia.. We check in hotel and stroll around to catch our first look of town. There is little traffic on roads and monks in orange robes scurry in all directions carrying umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun. O/N in Luang Prabang.

Day 9: Luang Prabang  (B)
The exploration of this delightful town includes the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which is overlooking the Mekong 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 mansion displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. There are also plenty to see in this 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 round off our day with a walk up to Phousi Hill for a beautiful panorama view from the town center and 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 at Luang Prabang.

Day 10: Luang Prabang - Khouang Si Waterfall - Luang Prabang  (B)
The mountainous areas around Luang Prabang Town are also home of many ethnic groups and various stunning waterfalls dispersed in secluded jungle. Today we catch a drive southwards to Phosi Market that sells a wide array of local goods and handicrafts. Upon leaving this lively market we make our way through the verdant and rugged scenery to Ban Thapene , Ban Xom and Ban Namai which are conquered by the Lao Loum, Khmu and Hmong people. They are very poor but have interesting culture and colorful history. These tribal groups have originally settled in mountain side therefore it may involve some short walks to visit their villages. We arrives at Khouang Si Fall and spend the time relaxing in marvellous setting of waterfall and lush forest. The waterfall tumbles over multi tiered limestone formations into the cool and clear pools ideal for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape. O/N in Luang Prabang.

Day 11: 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, guesthouses or similar one and village huts during the trek
-         English or French speaking guide
-         Entrance fee to indicated sights
-         Boat trip from Nong Khiow to Luang Prabang
-         Domestic flight Vientiane ? Oudomxay
-         Trekking package

EXCLUSIONS:

-         Other meals
-         Tip
-         Drinks
-         Airport tax
-         Single room supplement
-         Personal expenses
-         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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