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Discover the enigmatic beauty of Laos with our exclusive 9-day tour, Mysteries Revealed. Embark on a journey through the heart of this mystical country and uncover its rich culture and history. Our expertly crafted itinerary takes you to some of the most enchanting destinations in Laos, including Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Xieng Khuang, and Luang Prabang. Explore the charming capital city of Vientiane, marvel at the stunning natural landscapes of Vang Vieng, delve into the mysterious history of Xieng Khuang, and experience the serene beauty of Luang Prabang. Immerse yourself in the local culture, taste the delicious cuisine, and create unforgettable memories on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Join Golden Lotus Travel on the Mysteries Revealed tour and let us guide you on an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Laos.
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.
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 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.
We leave the capital early for our journey northbound to Vang Vieng via the highway Vientiane – Vang vieng.
We will see some breathtaking scenery enroute as we pass through spectacular countryside towards the mountainous region.
We will arrive in Vang Vieng around noon.
In the afternoon, we start our board through paddy field areas heading to Tham Phoukham caves, where your breath will be taken away seeing the most beautiful and famous limestone cavern, surrounded by natural forests.
Along the way, you have chance to explore the local cultures by greeting the local villagers and learning about their daily lifestyle.
There is a small natural pool in front of the caves where you can take a swim to refresh yourself from the hot climate or you could explore the nearby area.
Transfer back to town, we will enjoy the leisurely boat along the Namsong River while admiring the sun setting behind the mountains. Overnight in Vang Vieng..
Distance: 160KM | 4-hour transfer
Today, we start exploring the town by visiting the most famous in Vang Vieng, the cave of Tham Jang, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against the Chinese invaders.
After that, we start our journey northbound to the impressive Xieng Khuang, which is very famous for its Plain of Jars, which we will visit the day after.
Along the way, it is our chance to admire the wonderful panoramic view over the mountainous area at the peak of Phouphiengpha. It is no doubt the most impressive experience of your tour.
From there, we will drive a bit further to the T-Junction in Phoukhoun, and take the right turn onto Xieng Khuang province.
After that, the road is getting a bit harder which includes some zigzagging mountain paths; and we will make some stop along the way to visit the local hill tribe villages, or to stretch your legs.
Arrive in Xieng Khuang late afternoon, transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Phonsavanh.
Distance: 240KM | 6-7 hour transfer
Early in the morning, we visit the Central Market of Phonsavanh to watch the different hill tribes barter and exchange merchandise.
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a half day trip to Muang Khoune, the old provincial capital that was not destroyed by the American bombings during the secret war.
Muang Khoun is home to a unique sitting giant Buddha as well of some old pagodas that lie in ruins. The foundation and columns of Wat Pia Wat are still standing and close to this site, there is also an old 30m stupa constructed in the Lan Xang/Lanna period.
In the afternoon, visit the thought-provoking UXO Information Centre, run by British organisation MAG (Mines Advisory Group) that’s been helping to clear Laos’ unexploded ordnance since 1994.
The centre’s information displays underline the enormity of the bomb drops, and there are also examples of (defused) UXO to ponder.
Xieng Khuang is famous for its mysterious Plain of Jars, a huge archaeological complex littered with mysterious 2000 years old stone jars sized from 70cm up to 3 or 4 meters.
You have time today to visit the plain of jars Site 1, the biggest and closest to town that opened for tourists.
Attention: The Plain of Jars has been heavily bombed during the war and you have to respect all the signs and stay along the defined trails due to bombs, UXO and landmines.
Spend the rest of the day wandering around the small town of Xieng Khuang to admire the life of local people.
Then return to Xieng Khouang and overnight.
After breakfast, depart to Luang Prabang via the windy zigzagging mountain paths, enjoying the splendid natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and landscape.
The roads are well paved along the way for a smooth journey; we pass some stunning landscape scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill villages, we take a few photo stops at some small hill tribe village en route.
Each hill tribe village in Laos has a different feel, some are more prosperous than others but all have plenty of life.
We will make a shot stop at Ban Phoudam village, where we can see the two hill tribe minorities of H’Mong and Khamu living in harmony, before driving to the photo stop at Ban Kiew Nya for the panoramic view prior to reaching Luang Prabang.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Distance: 265KM | 7-8 hour transfer
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.
Late afternoon, we will make a stop at Wat Prabath to admire the sunset; this is the ideal place to catch the last beauty of the day.
The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection 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).
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 temples 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 at the hotel, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River.
If time permits, 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 to the Buffalo Dairy Farm on the way to Kuang Si waterfalls, which offer the fun and interesting experience.
From there, continue further 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.
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. This is also one of the best spots to admire the sunset in Luang Prabang
Transfer back to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight.
I had an unforgettable experience on the Mysteries Revealed tour. The itinerary was expertly crafted, and I got to visit some of the most breathtaking places in Laos. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly, which made the trip even more enjoyable. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to discover the enchanting beauty of Laos.
I recently went on the Mysteries Revealed tour and had an amazing time. The accommodations were comfortable, and the food was delicious. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and shared fascinating stories about the culture and history of Laos. I was blown away by the stunning natural landscapes and enchanting cities we visited. I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to explore the mystical beauty of Laos.