|DAY||SUMMARY OF ACTIVITY||LOCATION|
|1||Vientiane city tour including Wat Prakeo, That Luang Stupa and Patuxay Monument, and the COPE Centre||Vientiane|
|2||Explore Luang Prabang’s Royal Palace Museum, Wat Chomkhong, the Fine Arts School and Wat Xiengthong||Luang Prabang|
|3||Mekong River cruise, Pak Ou caves and Ban Nongkai silversmith workshop||Luang Prabang|
|4||Explore Ban Longlao minority village and Kuang Si Waterfall||Luang Prabang|
|5||Free time in Luang Prabang and departure|
Your 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.
Enroute to Laos’ 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.
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Luang Prabang has been claimed by UNESCO to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’. The rest of the day is at leisure.
We visit the Royal Palace Museum which hosts a range of interesting artefacts. We begin our walking tour, taking in some of Luang Prabang’s hidden secrets, walking down the quiet back lanes leading to Wat Xiengthong. Along the way we stop at Wat Chomkhong, which is known for its decorative carvings.
This area contains a mix of beautiful old French Colonial buildings, and traditional old Lao houses, which you will have time to admire, along with a stop at the small but charming Wat Phapai. We also pass by the Fine Arts School, where we can see some of the quality artwork on display.
Our final visit of the day is the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style.
LUANG PRABANG – PAK OU CAVES
After 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 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.
BAN LONGLAO VILLAGE AND KUANG SI WATERFALL
Leaving Luang Prabang with your private guide and driver, you travel for around one hour and twenty minutes out of the town. On the way you pass through beautiful scenery and rural landscapes with rice terraces and pineapple fields.
You visit Ban Longlao, a local H’mong village where the culture, customs and language are all different to mainstream Laos. Your trek starts from the H’mong village and takes between two and two and half hours through primary forest and jungle before reaching the spectacular Kuang Si Waterfall.
Lunch (included) can be taken at the falls with time for relaxation, swimming and the possibility to climb to the top of the waterfall. Afterwards you return to Luang Prabang in time to catch the sun setting over the Mekong.
LUANG PRABANG AND DEPARTURE
Depending on your departing flight you may have time at leisure before your transfer to the airport for departure.
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