This 8-day journey takes you from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang to the Don Khone archipelago in the south. Along this route, you’ll encounter hill tribes, trek alongside elephants, bike through rural villages, explore ancient temple sites and visit the relaxed islands of Don Khone, enjoying a touch of luxury everywhere you go.
Begin your 8-day journey through Laos in Luang Prabang, a quaint city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, you will be met and privately transferred to your luxury hotel to settle in. When you are ready, set out to explore the city. Its French colonial heritage is evident from the well-preserved architecture down to cuisine. Luang Prabang is also a highly spiritual city with a high density of temples. Stroll along the lanes and visit Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong, must-see notable temples where you can converse with monks and receive a blessing. End the day with a stop at a non-profit publishing project that aims to improve literacy and quality of life of children in rural villages where books are rare.
Start today with a gentle scenic cruise up the Mekong river to Pak Ou Caves where more than 10,000 small Buddha statues have been stored. Considered bad luck to keep or dispose of a damaged Buddha statue, locals donate the statues here. Return to town for a history lesson at the Royal Palace Museum which was formerly the country's Royal Palace up until 1975 when it was taken over after the revolution. Round out the day with a view of the sunset from Wat Phou Si, located atop Phou Si Hill which offers 360 degree views of the city, rivers, and mountains.
Rise early this morning to watch a procession of monks pass through the streets collecting food offerings from locals, which is then brought back to the monastery and shared. Participate in this merit-gaining ritual. After breakfast, spend the morning at a local elephant conservation camp which focuses on education and elephant welfare. You'll have the opportunity to get up and close with the pachyderms in an ethical and sensitive way and trek alongside them through the forest. In the afternoon, take a hike up to Kuang Si Falls, a striking tiered waterfall known for its bright and clear cerulean waters where you can enjoy a swim if you wish. Along the way, visit the Buffalo Dairy Farm, an innovative social enterprise which not only helps local farmers but also produces delectable treats you'll get to taste. Save the Bears foundation and the Butterfly park are also worthy stops.
Today, you’re flying off to the nation’s capital - Vientiane. First visit the golden Pha That Luang stupa, a national monument which dates back to the third century, and Wat Sisaket, the city's oldest surviving monastery. Next, explore one of the few remaining authentic wet markets, a true treat for the senses, especially for adventurous eaters. After that, visit the Laos Textile Museum where you can view a unique collection of antique textiles and weaving arifacts from varying ethnic groups throughout the country. In the evening, we suggest taking a postprandial stroll along the riverside and enjoying the lively atmosphere of the night market.
Fly on to Pakse in Champasak Province, a lush green region of rivers and rice fields bordered by Thailand and Cambodia. Upon arrival, you are immediately off to the Bolaven Plateau, known for its traditional coffee plantations and beautiful waterfalls. Its high elevation, ranging between 1000 to 1350 meters above sea level, made it the perfect place for French colonizers to experiment with agriculture and grow cash crops such as coffee and rubber trees. Today, you will visit one of the famous coffee plantations for a tour and taste a fresh cup of brewed coffee as well as visit a number of scenic waterfalfls. Ethnic minority villages where the locals welcome visitors and show off their traditions can also be found in the area. In the afternoon, drive onward to Champasak where you'll check into the charming La Folie Lodge on Don Daeng island.
Spend the morning getting to know Don Daeng island and its bucolic villages, farmlands, and community by bicycle or stroll along its tree-lined paths. You can stop along the way to enjoy fresh coconut or sugarcane juice as you pass rice fields and take in the laid-back atmosphere. Then, cross the river to the small charming Champasak town. Stroll and visit its main street lined with French colonial buildings, boutiques, cafes, and Buddhist temples. After a cozy riverside lunch, head to Wat Phou, the star attraction of the area. This remarkably-preserved ruined Khmer Hindu complex is older than Angkor Wat and is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. An expert will accompany your tour of the temple and regale you of its history, cultural significance, as well as on-going preservation efforts. Also explore Hong Nang Sida temple, just a short walk south of the main Wat Phou. In the evening, return to Champasak for dinner followed by a performance at the Shadow Puppet Theatre in town.
Today you’ll embark upon a river cruise to Don Khone, navigating through an archipelago of more than 4,000 small islands. It’s here in the brackish waters of the Mekong that the famous Irrawaddy dolphins can be spotted, with some luck, frolicking amid the mangroves. The islands here are home to countless small villages, and you’ll have the chance to visit them and bicycle through the area, stopping for a relaxed lunch by the water. Spend the night at the Auberge Sala Don Khone, a resort comprising floating cabins offering wide Mekong views.
Enjoy the riverside scenes in the morning before making your way back to Pakse to catch your flight. On the drive back, make one last stop at Khone Phapheng waterfall where you can take a moment to enjoy the cooling waters before your journey onward.
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).
Located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Nam Kham and Mekong rivers, Luang Prabang is known for its Buddhist temples and monasteries, preserved traditional architecture, and remaining vestiges of Laos’ French colonial period. These elements earned it the distinction of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The city of just under 60,000 continues to inspire awe in tourists to this day, and with the opening of the Rosewood Luang Prabang, luxury travelers have the option to visit this destination while enjoying the level of comfort that the Rosewood Hotels and Resorts brand has staked its reputation on. The 24-room, suite, villa, and tent accommodations are designed by celebrated architect Bill Bensley and combine world-class luxury with local aesthetics. Guests are invited to enjoy locally sourced Laotian meals at The Great House or a drink and view from the Elephant Bridge Bar. There is also an opulent spa on site and a centrally located swimming pool, around which guests can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat in this haven of luxury.
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.
Located on the island of Don Daeng not far from Champasak and Wat Phou, La Folie is a French-run lodge situated on the banks of the Mekong. Guests arrive by boat onto a sandy beach. The lodge consists of 24 rooms housed in 12 charming wooden bungalows, all with balconies offering magnificent river views and equipped with air conditioning, TV, WiFi and en-suite bathrooms. The poolside restaurant, open-aired but sheltered by a graceful wooden roof, offers continental cuisine and Asian specialties, from early morning breakfast to late-night snacks, and there is also an excellent wine list.
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 lunches and 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.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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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