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Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Laos with our exclusive 12-day Central Laos Adventure tour. This expertly crafted itinerary takes you off the beaten path to some of the most breathtaking and untouched destinations in the country. From the charming capital city of Vientiane to the remote villages of Ban Natane and Ban Namsanam, this tour offers a truly authentic experience of Laos. Travel through lush forests and majestic mountains, explore ancient temples and hidden caves, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this mystical land. Whether you’re cruising down the Mekong River, trekking through the jungle, or motorbiking along the Thakhek Loop, this tour promises an adventure like no other. Join Golden Lotus Travel on the Central Laos Adventure tour and discover the hidden gems of this enchanting country.
1 hour before depature
Upon arrival at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, transfer to your hotel in town (early check-in upon availability).
From its sleepy tuk-tuk drivers to its location on the right bank of the lumbering, lazy Mekong, this former French trading post is languid to say the least.
Indeed, despite being the capital and largest city of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, there’s not a whole lot to do in Vientiane. But that is also, quite honestly, its selling point.
There is no activity planned for today, so you can stroll around the town for your own exploration.
Overnight in Vientiane.
In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power.
After that drive to Buddha Park which takes around 45 minutes away. Also known as Xieng Khuan, this unusual park is filled with over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues.
We then visit Lao Disabled Women Development Center, which assists disabled women to cope with their disability and advocate for their rights. Spend time watching the video and learn about the effort to earn their daily living. You can support them by buying some small handicrafts at the shop.
Start the afternoon with a visit to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthathirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire.
Then, enjoy a panoramic view over the city as you climb the stairs to the top of Patuxai, Vientiane’s own “Arc de Triomphe”.
Continue down Lane Xang Avenue the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828.
Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art.
End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.
Overnight in Vientiane.
An early morning departure at 7:30am for the National Park at Phou Khao Khuay, the closest national protected area to Vientiane.
You will discover the National Park under the guidance of our guide.
You arrive in the village of Ban Hatkhay at around 9:30am where you will be joined by two local guides with your freshly made Lao picnic.
The trek begins at Pha Say with its stunning view across a 40m deep gorge and the dense jungle.
You follow narrow, shaded trails and discover the different types of forest in the park: semi-deciduous, tropical and bamboo – extraordinary, unspoilt habitats.
You have the chance to learn about the medicinal uses of the forest plants and also the other plant types that abound in the forest. You take your picnic lunch in a dry riverbed (depending on the season).
Your afternoon continues with a pleasant stroll to the waterfall at Tad Say before making your return to the village. You may be lucky and see some colourful butterflies and birds that live in the forest.
Return to Ban Hatkhay, and hop on the waiting minivan to transfer to Paksan, where we will spend the night.
Overnight in Paksan.
After breakfast, we will travel to Ban Konglor.
Along the way, have a quick stop at Wat Prabath Phonsane (‘Temple of the footprint of Buddha’).
You will then leave the highway and enter the Phou Hin Poun NPA (National Protected Area). The scenery will become much more spectacular, featuring limestone karsts, forests and rice paddies.
From leaving the highway to reaching your destination will take approximately 2 hours.
You will arrive in Ban Konglor around noon time.
In the afternoon, start your exploration of Kong Lor cave. You will be given life jackets and head torches before a short walk around to the main entrance of the cave.
Upon entering the cave, you will board a long tail boat which will take you through the length of this spectacular cave along an underground section of the Hin Boun River – a length of 7.5km before you see daylight again!
The river flows all year and reveals vast formations of stalactites and stalagmites, which you will explore partly on foot whilst inside the cave. In places the cave is up to 90m wide and 100m high.
The cave is still used by local villagers as an access route to the region beyond. It is far quicker than climbing over the mountains which this cave cuts through!
Once out on the other side you can stop for refreshments and walk to local villages, enjoying the scenery and observing a simple way of life (discuss with your guide how far you would like to walk).
Today, we will spend the night at the homestay in Ban Natane, where we will also have dinner together and learn more about the local daily life.
Today, we will explore the Natane Valley with the 2 options including Phagna Maengvan Cave (moderate trekking) or Tad Sae Waterfall (difficult trekking).
Phagna Maengwan, located in the heart of the jungle, will impress you with the remnants of some old stupas and the one built inside a cave. The trek passes through the jungle, green paddy field, and some small streams.
Tad Sao E, literally means Beautiful Girl Waterfall, also located deep inside the jungle. The only way to get there is to climb up to the hill with many steep hikes and cross through a number of streams and rivers. The trek is difficult, but once you get there, the reward is unbelievable. You will see a 50-meter waterfall tumbling down into the big rocks and run down to create the river running through the jungle.
The roundtrip will take about 4-5 hours or more depending on your physical condition.
For both 2 options, you will have the picnic lunch at the site.
In case you are confident with your physical condition and want to do both, we can arrange for you too. Check with our team about this before the trip, then we will arrange accordingly.
We returned to Natane Village in mid-afternoon. Then take the boat back to Ban Konglor.
Overnight in Ban Konglor.
After breakfast, take a short transfer to the nearby Ban Nam Sanam and check in the simple guesthouse here.
Afterward, we will visit Nam Sanam Waterfall. Located within the Phou Hin Phoun NPA near the village of Na Hin, Tad Namsanam is a spectacular multi-level double waterfall, which topples over a sandstone cliff into a rocky stream below.
The trek through the lush green jungle alive with gigantic trees and wildlife that includes birds and butterflies is one of the reasons attracting adventurers here. The hike is not to be taken lightly—the rough-cut trail is difficult, steep, and slippery.
Starting early in the afternoon, you will arrive back to your hotel just in time to catch the sunset.
Overnight in Ban Nam Sanam.
Wake up early today, we will drive back to Ban Nahin and continue further to KM44.3, where we will hike through the small jungle track.
There are excellent views into the canopy and birds seem to be more active here than anywhere else with good bird waves coming through. Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Drongo Cuckoo, Blue-winged and Golden-fronted Leafbird, Raddes Warbler, Hainan Blue Flycatcher, Grey-backed Shrike…
After the first 200m uphill this track keeps running level. It’s a good place for night birds too, such as Brown Hawk Owl, Mountain Scops Owl and Collared Owlet along the first 500m or so.
Getting back to the main road, we will drive to Ban Thabak, and enjoy the 02-hour boat ride along the Nam Theun River. The boat is made from the old aircraft oil tank, and suitable for up to 3 people per boat.
During the cruise, we enjoy the tranquil landscape along the bank of the river. We may stop at one or two local villages if you wish to see deeper into the local life.
In the afternoon, we will drive further to Ban Nam Yen, to cool off and take a dip at the natural swimming pool.
We will also make a short stop at Tham Mangkon (Dragon caves) before transferring directly to the beautiful village of Tha Lang in Nakai District.
The rest of the afternoon is free for your own exploration. You can choose to stroll along the river to admire the sunset, or go fishing on the lake, which is created by the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Dam (extra charge).
For the overnight place, you have 2 options. For the ones who like partying, Sabaidee Guesthouse will be the solid choice. If not, Phousi Thalang will give you a quiet and peaceful atmosphere to enjoy your night.
Wake up early, you will prepare for your own breakfast with the help of Sabaidee Guesthouse owner.
After that we depart for Thakhek, the capital town of Khammouane Province. Along the way, we will make a shortstop to visit Nam Theun 2 Visitor Center, where we can have some information about this Hydropower project.
We then continue driving about 02 hours to the village of Ban Nakhang Xang, to meet the village guide, who leads the trek.
Trek through secondary forest, while the guide points out forest products that provide the local people with significant food resources. The trail passes through a cave that exits into a striking valley surrounded by towering cliffs and forest.
The picnic lunch will be served wherever you feel hungry, we recommend having it at Tham Hip, which offers a great panoramic view over the area.
In the afternoon, continue the trail, following the shoreline of Nong Thao Lake, where trekkers can see local fishermen at work.
At Tham Nong Paseum Cave, the adventurous can swim into the 400-metre-long cavern and explore its dramatic stalactites and stalagmites.
We then continue walking, and climb a bamboo stairway to the Buddha Cave, which was rediscovered in April 2004. The cave contains 229 bronze Buddhas that are said to be over 300 years old.
Late afternoon, we will drive to Thakhek to spend the night.
After a leisurely breakfast, your guide will meet you around 09:30 to continue your journey south. The drive to Savannakhet takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Along the way, make a stop at the beautiful 16th Century temple of That Ing Hang, which is among the most revered temples in Laos and many Buddhists will travel here during December for the annual ‘Boun Phathat’ ceremony.
Continue in to Savannakhet. The city is most famous as the birthplace of the father of the Lao People’s Democratic Repulic (Lao PDR), Kaysone Phomvihane, who was born here in 1920.
Take a short tour of the architectural highlights, which include various French villas and the striking St. Teresa Catholic Church.
Visit the small but very interesting Dinosaur Museum. Dinosaur remains are being found nearby which are between 150,000,000 – 250,000,000 years old.
Free for the rest of the day for your own exploration or taking some rest to prepare for the next day adventure.
Overnight in Savannakhet.
Departure from Savannakhet at 08:00-08:30AM, road trip to Champhone District.
Visit That Kou, the pre-Angkorian shrine of Champhone.
Observe the endangered soft-shell turtles at the peaceful Turtles Lake in Ban Don Daeng
Join the Traditional Phoutai indigo fabric workshop in Ban Done Daeng: Natural dying and weaving.
Lunch at one of the huts on Turtle Lake.
Visit Taleo Old Temple and its museum, find out more about the impact of the American Secret War on this historic site of Phoutai village through the museum.
Listen to the tales and traditions of Phoutai ethnic group at the foot of the biggest tree which host the protective spirit of the village
Walk through the charming village of Taleo and meet Meetao Bouali to learn how cotton thread were produced with the wooden tools of 1970s
Visit the Lao lao distillery and taste samples of different durations of fermentation
Share the dinner with the host and spend the night at Taleo Village (Homestay).
Departure from Taleo Village at around 08:00-08:30AM
Join the Banana Leaf offering workshop in Ban Nonglam Chan, which will be used for your offering at the Namlam Chan Library.
Walk through the forest of Ban Dong Mouang, feed the monkey, and learn about the cooking and medicine plants.
The lunch can be served either with a local family at Ban Don Yeng or on a boat along Soui Lake.
Either way, you will still have the boat trip on Soui Lake whilst listening to the legends of the serpent spirit and the golden boat.
Walk through the forest of Phoukor Temple to learn about the theory of life and the punishment for the bad behaviors in your afterlife.
You can choose to spend the night at another homestay in Champhone Loop or take the road trip back to Savannakhet.
From Savannakhet you can have some below options to continue your tour further or to fly back home
I had an incredible time on the Central Laos Adventure tour. The tour was well-organized and allowed me to see some of the most beautiful and untouched places in Laos. The activities were diverse and exciting, from trekking through the jungle to exploring ancient caves. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and made the experience even more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who wants to experience the true essence of Laos
I recently went on the Central Laos Adventure tour and it was truly amazing. The itinerary was well-planned, and I got to explore some of the most remote and breathtaking destinations in Laos. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly, and they made sure we had an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to discover the hidden gems of Laos.