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Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Laos is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. If you’re looking for an extraordinary adventure that goes beyond the usual tourist trails, then the “Laos Legendary Route with a Twist – 12 days & 11 nights” tour is the perfect choice. This itinerary offers a unique twist on the classic Laos route, taking you on a journey to discover the lesser-known and hidden gems of this enchanting country. From ancient temples to remote villages, from lush jungles to serene rivers, this tour will immerse you in the legendary beauty of Laos while unveiling its lesser-known secrets. Join with Golden Lotus Travel on this extraordinary adventure as we explore Laos in a way that few have experienced, and create unforgettable memories along the way. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery, excitement, and authentic cultural encounters on the Laos Legendary Route with a Twist!
1 hour before departure
On arrival at the Luang Prabang airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
Situated in the centre of northern Laos, Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic and architectural values and its harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment.
After a soft rest, you may want to stroll around for the first impression of this ancient city.
Late afternoon, join a private Baci ceremony at a local family. The Baci ceremony as a traditional ritual of the Lao people expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, our guide will take you on an in-depth walking tour of the city.
The walk is oriented towards the lesser-known parts of the town including charming lanes showing the more traditional atmosphere of the heritage town.
Along the way, we will see the four different types of buildings categorized by UNESCO.
The first one is the traditional Lao house which is made from tropical hardwood or bamboo and built on stilts.
The second is a half wood and half cement house built after the arrival of the French.
The third is the traditional French colonial building that are similar to those found in Vietnam and Cambodia.
The last form of architecture you will see is the old Chinese shop houses that were built to be used for both commercial and residential purposes.
In the afternoon, transfer to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center, the collection of diverse Lao ethnic groups. We will stroll around to visit the center to understand more about the Lao ethnic culture.
After that, we will join the seminars of “Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Change in Laos”
This fascinating 60-minute presentation and question-and-answer session gives background on Laos’ ethnic communities, their history, and their cultural practices, including livelihoods and crafts. Guests have an opportunity to learn about lifestyles in ethnic villages and are shown unique artefacts from TAEC’s collection that are not accessible to the general public.
The seminars are led by one of the two TAEC Founder/Directors, either Thongkhoun Soutthivilay, a Luang Prabang-native who worked at the Luang Prabang National Museum for 10 years, and who has attended trainings and conferences in the US, Thailand, Netherlands, Japan, and Brunei; or Tara Gujadhur, an American who has worked in Luang Prabang for over 10 years, with a background in anthropology and sustainable tourism development
Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.
We then visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken.
After breakfast, you will first visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family.
We then embark on a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.
Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On arrival back in the city, we will visit the old Wat Sene and the nearby magnificent Wat Xiengthong a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall.
If time permits, we will drive out of the city to visit Ban Xangkhong, the Thai Lue village, which is famous for its arts and crafts. We also visit the nearby village of Ban Xienglek specializing in making the traditional Saa paper.
You can either get to the nearby village and join a petanque game with the local team.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will visit UXO Visitor Center (closed on Saturday, and Sunday), where you can find the documentation about the secret war in Laos.
Then transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si, which is the biggest waterfall in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals
There is also the chance to walk to the nearby village of Ban Thapene, and explore the hidden waterfalls, which is rarely visited by other tourists
If you wish, take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.
After visiting Kuang Si waterfalls, you can visit the nearby Butterflies Park, where you can enjoy the afternoon tea with the homemade cookies whilst relaxing inside the green peaceful garden full of colorful butterflies.
On the way back to Luang Prabang, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, set serenely close to the Mekong, this beautiful, traditionally styled workshop, where weavers, spinners and batik makers produce top-quality fabrics, offers free tours every half-hour.
Transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After departing at 8:30 am from your hotel, transfer to Nahm Dong park, which is located in Ban Xiengmouk, 10Km from city center.
Arriving at the park, we will have a short welcome by the park manager before joining the morning activities here.
First, we will join the cooking class, by which you can discover the Lao cuisine through several traditional dishes. Not only can you learn techniques and recipes, but you can visit the gardens of the park and pick your own ingredients.
The course has a minimum of 5 dishes depending on the season. A booklet with all recipes is provided.
The lunch will be served with what you have created.
In the afternoon, we will start exploring the beauties of the park with the Zipline flying over the jungle and the waterfalls admiring the amazing evergreen scenery. The zipline will take about 1 hour.
Then we will walk back via the jungle trail crossing some flying bridges, small streams, and clear natural pools, where you can take a refreshing splash if you wish so.
You can either spend the rest of the afternoon stroll around the park, relax by one of the huts at the camp, or enjoy the fresh cool clear natural pools.
Late afternoon, we walk to the nearby Hillside Ecolodge, where we will spend the night
Note: Zipline in 1 hour, trekking min 1 hour – max 3 hours depending on the route that you choose
You are free today for your own exploration. There is the option to trek to the nearby village, pony riding, or just relax and enjoy the inviting swimming pool.
Overnight at Hillside Ecolodge.
You are free before taking the early afternoon train to Vang Vieng.
The train will take about 1 hour to reach Vang Vieng.
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in town.
Free for the rest of the day for your own exploration.
Overnight in Vang Vieng.
The limestone cliffs and valleys surrounding the resort complex of Vang Vieng are home to numerous caves and caverns.
The most famous of these caves is Tham Jang, which was used by the local people as a refuge from Chinese invaders 200 years ago.
Your tour continues by crossing the Nam Song River for a short drive to Tham Phou Kham (Golden Crab Cave). After passing through a small entrance hole you descend 100 meters into the ground.
You have ample time to visit Blue Lagoon, which is a great spot to relax and cool off before transferring directly to Ban Thaheua, which locates at the north side of Nam Ngum Lake, the “sea of Laos”.
Upon arrival, check in your lakeview bungalow.
Overnight in Ban Thaheua.
After breakfast, we will have a 4-hour cruise around the Nam Ngum Lake to explore some islets, and local fishing villages.
You will pass by local coal fire ovens before visiting a traditional farm, where you can enjoy some swim by one of the sandy islands.
From there, we head back towards Tha Heua Village where our guide will give you an explanation of the dried fish preservation method.
Arriving at Ban Houay Phanom, enjoy some in house coffee / tea before joining a demonstration of weaving techniques.
The picnic lunch will be served at one of the picturesque islands along the way before heading back to the resort.
The afternoon is free for your own exploration around the resort or nearby area. You can either relax or enjoy the floating swimming pool of the resort.
Overnight in Ban Thaheua.
You are free in the morning. There is an option of kayaking around the lake or cycling to the nearby village admiring the local life. Check with our guide and resort for further information.
In the afternoon, transfer to Vientiane, the capital of Laos PDR.
Upon arrival, check in your hotel.
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 Disable Women Development Center, which assist disable 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.
Tips: You can also visit Sinouk Coffee Pavilion to discover the Lao coffee, stroll around the mini coffee gallery, view the in-house coffee roaster and try a cup of delicious and unique coffee or tea. Discuss with our guide about this. Entrance fee and extra coffee/drinks are payable on spot.
You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight.
Memorable journey on the “Laos Legendary Route with a Twist – 12 days & 11 nights” tour, with well-organized itinerary and knowledgeable guides. Highly recommended for a unique travel experience in Laos.
Had an incredible time on the “Laos Legendary Route with a Twist – 12 days & 11 nights” tour, exploring hidden gems and enjoying breathtaking landscapes. Highly recommended for an authentic Laos experience