Experience Northern Laos in five activity-packed days. Begin by immersing yourself in the unique energy of Laos’s current capital, Vientiane, an historic city simultaneously described as metropolitan and sleepy. Interact with the planets friendliest giants; the Asian elephant. Spend a night at Pak Beng Lodge along the banks of the Mekong River and travel by riverboat to UNESCO World Heritage destination and Laos’ former capital, Luang Prabang, a city whose stoic majesty and tranquility have been pristinely maintained.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Vientiane: Laos' modern capital is a fascinating blend of French-colonial influence (be sure to pick up a Parisian-style pastry at one of the city's many bakeries) and ancient Buddhist heritage.
• Elephants: Visit Xayaboury Conservation Center, an elephant conservation center and hospital, to learn about the plight of the endangered Asian elephant.
• Luang Prabang: The country's sleepy ancient capital, located at the meeting of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, is brimming with sloped-roof temples and orange-robed monks.
Touch down in Vientiane where a car will be waiting to bring you to your hotel. Check in at one of the two recommended accommodations - the Settha Palace or Green Park Hotel. The rest of the day is yours to make the most of your hotel’s luxurious amenities. Take a dip in the pool, enjoy local cuisine and rest up for the days ahead!
Rise with the sun this morning and take a short flight north to Xayaboury, home of the renowned elephant conservation center. After settling into your bungalow, enjoy a typical Lao lunch and take a tour of the elephant hospital. Listen to the mahouts tell you about their practices and strong pachyderm partnerships. Finish the day with a sunset cruise, drinks and hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and a sound sleep.
Enjoy a western-style breakfast and prepare for a mini jungle trek. Today you will meet the elephant youngsters in the nursery, and really interact with these incredible mammals. A six-hour scenic journey will take you to the Pak Beng Lodge. Check in, rest and refresh before a delicious and picturesque dinner overlooking the Mekong River and lush surrounding jungle.
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the grand Mekong and observe local fisherman as they begin their day’s work. A boat will take you to the vibrant UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. A glorious mix of golden temples, crumbling French provincial architecture and mosaic of multiculturalism make this locale one to remember. After checking into one of three recommended luxury properties (Amantaka, Hotel de la Paix or La Residence Phou Vao) spend the evening as you please.Try exploring the colorful night markets and take in the city lights.
Enjoy the mystery and majesty of Luang Prabang, a city whose unique history has been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit palaces and monasteries and get swept up by the enchantment of its well-preserved antiquity. After a traditional lunch of Luang Prabang specialties, head to Tai Lue, famed for textiles and weaving. Take a refreshing break from touring at the scenic Kuang Si Waterfall and its crystal-clear surrounding pools. Fit in a few more sites and close the day watching the sunset over the city from the top of Mount Phousi.
Enjoy your final morning in Luang Prabang. Go shopping for some last minute keepsakes or simply relax ahead of your onward journey. You will be transferred by private vehicle to the airport for your flight.
The historic Settha Palace Hotel is centrally located in Vientiane within walking distance of the Mekong River, Thatluang Stupa, Namphu Fountain, and other cultural highlights. Built in French colonial style circa 1932 and restored and reopened in 1999, the hotel has 22 rooms and three suites, all featuring rosewood four-poster beds and armoires, and WiFi connectivity. For dining, La Belle Epoque offers French cuisine, and the Sidewalk Café is a pleasant open-air venue offering Asian and international dishes. Amenities include a spa, pool and Jacuzzi; however there is no fitness center. Additionally, there is a business center with Internet and fax services. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from Wattai International Airport and a 25-minute drive to Thadeua, where there is a border bridge to Thailand.
Set along the banks of the Mekong River, Pakbeng Lodge is a charming establishment that will fulfill most travel desires. Featuring 30 comfortable rooms, each accommodation is equipped with complimentary bottled water, air-conditioning, a balcony or terrace and modern décor. Guests will have access to a variety of services, including free WiFi, a business center, meeting facilities, dry cleaning, shuttle services, a bar and lounge area and much more. After checking in, patrons can spoil themselves with a massage at the on-site spa and unwind outside in the spacious garden. In the evening, visitors can indulge in authentic Thai and Lao cuisine at the Moonlight and Sunset Restaurants. This delightful hotel is also conveniently-located in the heart of Pakbeng, Laos. Patrons will have easy access to the city’s must-see attractions, which include the famous Mekong Elephant Camp.
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, located in a refurbished French colonial fort, is one of Luang Prabang's most historic luxury hotels. Formerly known as Hotel de la Paix, Sofitel Luang Prabang consists of 25 suites, including the Signature Governor's Residence, 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.
Located on an idyllic hillside around 10 minutes from the centre of Luang Prabang, La Residence Phou Vao is a gorgeous boutique property. Set in 2 acres of tropical garden, the resort was built in traditional Lao style and has fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. The hotel's 34 rooms and suites all have wonderful views, either of the gardens, mountains or infinity pool. The two garden suites have separate living rooms. The hotel restaurant offers superb Lao-French cuisine and is located by the pool. The spa was the first luxury spa in Luang Prabang and also has a stunning 13m fresh water infinity pool.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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