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Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the heart of Laos with the “Laos on a Glance by Express Train” tour. This 7-day and 6-night expedition takes you on a scenic train journey through lush landscapes, charming villages, and iconic destinations such as Luang Prabang, known for its ancient temples and vibrant night markets. Immerse yourself in Laos’ rich cultural heritage as you interact with the locals, taste the delicious cuisine, and learn about traditional crafts. With Golden Lotus Travel’s experienced guides and comfortable accommodations, this tour offers a truly authentic and immersive experience of Laos that will leave you with lasting memories. So hop on board the express train and get ready to discover the wonders of Laos in a unique and exciting way.
1 hour before departure
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.
After a soft rest, 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.
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.
Start the morning 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.
We then transfer out to the train station to take the afternoon express train to Vang Vieng.
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in town.
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 Pou 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 back to Vang Vieng
Take a local long tail boat (2 people per boat) to cruise for approximately 30 minutes upstream on the Nam Song River, enjoying the beautiful scenery as you go.
You will then be driven back to your hotel, with the option to stop at local villages and a market along the way.
Relax for the rest of the day and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Nam Song River from your hotel. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
We will take the morning train to Luang Prabang, which takes about 1 hour.
On arrival at the train station, you will be met and transferred to town center.
Then, visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.
Continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, which is one of the most beautiful temples in town.
From there, 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.
Returning to town, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people.
Late afternoon, 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.
Tip: If you are fond of various ethnic cultures, you can visit Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday).
Breakfast at the hotel, we will first embark on the leisurely cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, a 16th century cave monastery filled with thousands of Buddha images, which locates 25 Kilometers North of Luang Prabang in the limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong River.
En route, you will stop at Ban Muang Keo, a well-known village for its traditional Lao rice whisky distilling.
We then cruise back to Luang Prabang and further to Ban Chan Village, which is famous for its tradition pottery making.
Upon arrival, enjoy Lao traditional meal from local ingredients on a beautiful patio.
Start the afternoon with a short tour to learn more about the history of our village. On our walk through the village, we will visit the pottery center, a traditional kiln as well as the brick factory.
After that, create your own unique souvenir from clay and learn traditional Lao pottery techniques. We will deliver your finished fired pottery souvenir within 3-7 Days* to your hotel (*Firing process depends on weather conditions).
We then take the boat back to 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, we will visit UXO Visitor Center (closed on Saturday, and Sunday), where you can find the documentation about the secret war in Laos.
From there, transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls which is the biggest 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
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.
Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, 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. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight.
The “Laos on a Glance by Express Train” tour was a remarkable adventure that allowed me to discover the beauty and culture of Laos in a unique and immersive way. The train journey was a highlight, offering stunning views and a glimpse into local life. Exploring Luang Prabang was a captivating experience, with its UNESCO World Heritage temples and vibrant markets. The chance to interact with the locals and learn about their traditional crafts and cuisine was truly enriching. The accommodations were comfortable, and the guides were knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their country’s heritage. This tour provided an unforgettable journey through the heart of Laos that left me with cherished memories.
I recently took the “Laos on a Glance by Express Train” tour, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. The train journey was a thrilling adventure, offering breathtaking views of the countryside. Visiting Luang Prabang was a cultural immersion, with its ancient temples and bustling night markets. The Kuang Si Waterfalls were a natural wonder, and cruising along the Mekong River was a highlight. The guides were knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their country’s history and culture. I highly recommend this tour for a truly authentic and memorable experience of Laos.
The “Laos on a Glance by Express Train” tour was an incredible journey through the heart of Laos. The scenic train ride was a highlight, passing through picturesque landscapes and charming villages. The opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their culture and traditions was a truly immersive experience. The accommodations were comfortable, and the knowledgeable guides provided insightful information about Laos’ history and way of life. This tour offered a unique and authentic perspective of Laos that left me with unforgettable memories.