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Beyond Luang Prabang: Exploring Northern Laos

This 7-day tour starts in the beautiful city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient temples, colonial architecture and undulating countryside. On this journey, you’ll meet remote hill tribes, kayak through thick jungle, hike mountainous forest and enjoy sustainable stays in peaceful villages.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Watching Buddhist monks In Luang Prabang on their morning alms at dawn
  • A hike up Mount Phou Si for unbeatable views over the Mekong Valley
  • A village dinner with a remote hill tribe in the mountains of Luang Namtha
  • Kayaking downriver and spotting exotic local wildlife. 
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

You’ll begin your journey in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. This slow-paced city in north-central Laos was once the royal capital and many vestiges of its prestigious heritage remain. Mountainous green countryside and ancient temples characterize its terrain, with French colonial architecture, waterfalls, caves and rivers all part of its appeal. Tonight, you’ll check into your Luang Prabang hotel for the night - the luxurious French colonial Amantaka is an excellent choice. 

Day 2

Rise early this morning to see the monks on their morning alms walk through the city. This peaceful time of day is very serene, watching monks in their saffron robes on their procession around the city, collecting food offerings. Next, you’ll travel to Wat Phou Si, Luang Prabang’s highest peak. Climb the steep staircase to the summit, where you’ll enjoy unsurpassed views over the region. Back in the city, you’ll visit the Royal Palace Museum and the Silver Pagoda - both must-see sites when in Luang Prabang. After a full day of sightseeing, return to your luxury hotel. 

Day 3

Depart Luang Prabang this morning and drive for 4.5 hours to Luang Namtha, situated on the Tha River, or Nam Tha. You also have the option to fly to Vientiane, spend the night, and fly to Luang Namtha the following day. Visit the Luang Namtha Museum, where collections of anthropological importance are on display. Ethnic garb, tools, instruments, and artworks can be seen here, providing insight into local culture and history. You’ll also visit Ban Nam Dee, the Lantern Village, where you can observe ethnic tradition in action and cool down by the beautiful Nam Dee waterfall. You’ll return to Luang Namtha in the evening, where we recommend the Boat Landing Guest House, a comfortable eco-lodge located on the banks of Nam Tha River.

Day 4

Set off on an excursion into the countryside this morning, and visit remote hill tribe villages in the pristine mountain wilderness of Laos. You’ll encounter more than a dozen different ethnicities on this tour and have a chance to learn about their cultures. A highlight of the day is dinner in one of the villages, where you’ll be treated to organic local produce cooked in authentic local style. Spend the night at the Boat Landing Guest House in Luang Namtha.

Day 5

The Nam Tha River winds through thick jungle, and today you can explore it from a different perspective, commandeering through forests, villages and countryside via kayak. You’ll start in Ban Thai and travel downriver, with the chance to spot local fauna such as barking deer, sun bears and countless species of bird. Have an outdoor lunch on the riverbank. Return to your eco-lodge this evening.

Day 6

Today you’ll depart Luang Namtha and travel an hour to Muang Sing, a lazy town in northwestern Laos. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh country air with a hike through the lush protected forests of Nam Ha National Biodiversity Conservation Area, inhabited by elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears and tigers. In these mountains you’ll meet the Akha people amongst other hill tribes - each of them more than willing to show you a glimpse of Laotian rural life. Today you’ll also have the chance to visit the local markets and bargain for handicrafts, including locally-woven silk, needlepoint, and traditional clothing. In the evening, check into the Phou Lu Resort, an eco-lodge offering cozy bungalows set in tropical gardens.

Day 7

Have a leisurely morning before a flight to the capital, where you can connect to your departing flight.


Suggested Accommodations

Amantaka, Sofitel Luang Prabang


Amantaka is set south of Phousi Mountain and close to the banks of the Mekong River and the Luang Prabang Night Market. The resort, an old French colonial building, is surrounded by a spacious courtyard, and has 24 suites – eight deluxe suites, four pool suites, eight Khan suites, two Mekong suites and two Amantaka suites, all with spacious interior and exterior living areas. Facilities include a spa, a fitness center, a library and a boutique art gallery. Amantaka is little more than a ten- minute drive from Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ).


Sofitel Luang Prabang

Sofitel Luang Prabang, located in a refurbished French colonial fort, is one of Luang Prabang's most historic luxury hotels. Sofitel Luang Prabang is an all-suite property with 23 suites and pool suites, all designed in contemporary style with a bathtub, free WiFi, flat-screen TV, DVD player and iPod, as well as a private terrace/garden area. An all-day dining restaurant serves classic Lao cuisine, and the colonial-style bar is a great spot to enjoy a cocktail by the fireplace. The hotel also has a spa and library.

Boat Landing Guest House

Boat Landing Guest House

A charming eco-lodge located on the banks of the Namtha River, Boat Landing was built with sustainability in mind and to encourage guests to get involved with the local community.

Its rooms are built in traditional Lao style with guest comforts such as en-suite bathrooms, solar-powered hot water, and river-view balcony.

The open verandah restaurant serves classic Lao food in the open air, with great views of the river.
Phou Iu Resort

Phou Iu Resort

Phou Iu Resort is a basic eco-lodge in the mountainous Muang Sing District of northwest Laos, near the borders of Myanmar and China's Yunnan province. The simple guesthouse, surrounded by landscape traditionally occupied by forests and upland swidden farming, has clean and comfortable bungalow rooms built in the style of local ethnic groups, including the Tai Lue, Khmu and Akha. The bungalows utilize local materials and come with their own verandah looking out to the grassy resort garden. Rooms have modern bathrooms, with hot water and free Wi-Fi. Phou Iu Resort offers bicycle rental and laundry services.

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald loves spending time in Laos' laid-back capital Vientiane, where she enjoys shopping for handmade silks and wood carvings.
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