Laos has remained the most pristine and culturally-intact country in Indochina. Experience the old-fashioned charm of its cities, explore untouched landscapes, and meet the incredibly friendly people, who have faced adversity yet still maintain a smile.
Our Highlights of Laos tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Climb Phousi Hill for spectacular sunsets over this well preserved city
Take a breathtaking cruise on this mighty river
Discover the Plain of Jars, Laos’ most unusual and mysterious architecture
Wander through the Buddhist architecture of Laos' charming capital city
Our Highlights of Laos Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Visit Si Phan Don, the '4,000 Islands' set in the waters of the Mekong, where you can slow down the pace, immerse yourself in its scenic beauty and enjoy this peaceful, relaxing spot.
Pay a visit to Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in Phonsavan and chat to its head about the work they do clearing unexploded ordnance dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War and its local education programme.
Witness the dawn ceremony of Takbat, a daily ritual which sees the saffron-robed monks of Luang Prabang's monasteries collect alms, in the form of food, from the local people who line the streets.
This tour is ideal for those looking for a comprehensive tour of Laos’ famous cities and scenic areas, as well as some more off the beaten track destinations. We have designed this tour to make the most of the time available and utilised travelling by road to allow you to experience Laos' scenic countryside.
Fly to the vibrant city of Bangkok. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Fly to Luang Prabang. On arrival you will have free time to start soaking up the local culture. An enchanting city, Luang Prabang is the quintessential image of Laos. At its core, lush greenery, golden temples and vivid-robed monks come together to create a colourful, rich heritage and French colonial legacy. Take a walking tour around the vibrant night market, keeping an eye out for craft souvenirs from Laos' hill tribes as you go.
Rise early this morning to witness the Buddhist ceremony of Takbat, when the monks of Luang Prabang's monastic communities collect alms from locals. See Wat Sene and the National Museum. Visit the traditional H'mong village of Ban Na Ounae, before walking to the cascading turquoise waters of Kuang Si Waterfalls for a picnic lunch and a swim. Stop at Ock Pop Tok Weaving Centre on the return to Luang Prabang.
Explore Wat Xieng Thong, considered Luang Prabang's most beautiful temple. Board a boat to cruise the mighty Mekong up to the sacred caves of Pak Ou, known for the hundreds of Buddha sculptures that reside within. Visit the local villages of Thin Hong and Ban Xang Khong to witness the daily life of the local people and their cottage industries.
Climb Phousi Hill to admire the views down over the city before exploring Wat Mai, Wat Visoun and Wat Aham. Browse the wares at the lively hilltribe market before a free afternoon.
Drive to Phonsavan via Phoukhoun, stopping at Tham Phra Cave and Nong Tang Lake.
One of the most important ancient sites in Southeast Asia, these mysterious clusters of giant jars are thought to be about 2,000 years old. We will visit Site 1 where there are over 200 jars, Site 2 which also allows you to admire the beautiful scenery of the region and Site 3, situated in picturesque woodland. There will also be a visit to the office of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), an organisation that helps clear unexploded ordnance from American raids during the Vietnam War.
Depart Phonsavan for Vang Vieng. Stop en route at Pathang village, where you can enjoy dramatic views over the karst landscapes for which Vang Vieng is famous. On arrival, head into Tham Chang Cave to explore. The cave was used as a hideout for locals when marauding Yunnanese came to town in the early 19th-century.
Drive to Vientiane, Laos' capital. Nestled in a languid bend in the Mekong, Vientiane is a delightfully quaint city, more friendly backwater than chaotic capital. Spend the rest of the day exploring with visits to Wat Si Saket, Wat Phra Keo, That Luang Stupa, and the Patuxai Victory Monument, that resembles Paris' Arc de Triomphe.
Rise early for a morning flight to Pakse. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex set in the beautiful landscapes of Mount Phu Kao. Drive on to Khong Island, the largest island of the laidback Si Phan Don archipelago in the Mekong River. The rest of the day is free.
Around Si Phan Don, meaning '4,000 islands', the pace of life is slow and easy and the river views are gorgeous. See the magnificent Khone Phapheng Waterfall, Southeast Asia's largest, and pop over to Khone Island by speedboat to discover its French colonial buildings and see Liphi Waterfall, nicknamed the Devil's Corridor. Depending on the season, you may see traditional fishing techniques in action. Spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Depart Khong Island for Pakse, stopping en route to admire Tad Yuang and Tad Fane waterfalls. Continue up onto the Bolaven Plateau to pay a visit to a coffee plantation and learn about the process of planting, harvesting and roasting the beans. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner back in Pakse.
Fly from Pakse to Bangkok where you'll have the use of a hotel room before your evening flight back to Australia, arriving home the following day.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Located close to the airport but with quick and easy links to downtown Bangkok, The Cottage is in the ’tropical modern style’. With a swimming pool at its heart and a restaurant serving Thai and Western cuisine, all the hotel’s rooms have a balcony with pool and/or garden views. They are also stylish and simple with all the modern amenities.
Combing traditional elegance and modern comfort, the three-star Chitchareune Muang Luang is housed in a building that is contemporary Laotian in style. Excellently located just a 10-minute walk from the heart of the old city, the 56 rooms are set around a swimming pool in peaceful gardens. Within you’ll find a modern and comfortable space, with plenty of Laos textiles and local touches and a private balcony. The hotel also offers a gym and spa.
Conveniently located just 30 minutes from the Plain of Jars, the Vansana Plain of Jars Hotel offers guests 38 airy en-suite rooms, featuring a private balcony and is equipped with a fan, cable TV and mini-fridge. The hotel also boasts a restaurant serving extensive a la carte menus of both Thai and Lao cuisines.
Ideally situated on the river bank in the heart of town, The Silver Naga Hotel welcomes guests to experience magnificent mountain views and warm hospitality. Each en-suite room features air conditioning, a TV and minibar. Other facilities and services offered at the hotel include an outdoor pool, restaurant, currency exchange and laundry.
This four-star hotel has a wealth of facilities including outdoor pool, tennis courts, a fitness centre and sauna. Well-located for the airport and just a three-minute stroll to the Mekong River, there is also a restaurant and bar and spacious and contemporary rooms with an en suite bathroom plus robe and slippers.
Situated on the riverfront, The Pon Arena Hotel is a very stylish hotel, featuring beautiful contemporary en-suite rooms with modern amenities including air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Guests are also offered a great range of facilities to ensure a great stay including, a waterfront restaurant, bicycle rental services, and more.
Located in the centre of Paksé, Paksé H?tel is within walking distance from the Mekong River, shops and VIP bus station to Vientiane. The hotels cosy en-suite rooms all feature modern amenities including TV and free Wi-Fi. The hotels roof-top restaurant offers exceptional panoramic views of the whole city and delicious cuisines.
Places Visited: Australia - Bangkok (1N) - Luang Prabang (4N) - Phonsavan (2N) - Vang Vieng (1N) - Vientiane (1N) - Khong Island (2N) - Pakse (1N) - Australia
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.