Experience the natural beauty, towering waterfalls, and coffee plantations in Southern Laos. Visit the famed Wat Phou Temple, framed by sprawling rice fields and canals at the foot of Phou Khao Mountain. Conclude at Luang Prabang, former royal capital nestled at the sacred confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers.
Welcome to Laos!
Upon arrival in Pakse, meet our representative and transfer to the hotel.
Located in Southern Laos, Pakse is where the Mekong and Xe Don rivers converge. Its central Wat Luang is a lavishly decorated Buddhist temple where monks collect alms at sunrise. The Campasak Historical Heritage Museum explores the region's culture through jewelry, textile and musical instrument displays. The city's past is reflected in its French colonial architecture, especially in the old quarter near Xe Don River.
In the evening, enjoy a walking tour of the city with our resident guide. Overnight.
Pakse - Paksong
In the morning, drive 45-minutes to a coffee plantation in the emerald hills. Then, continue to Tad Fane. Nestled in rugged jungle, the set of twin 120-metre high waterfalls are fed by the Champy and Pak Koot rivers whose waters merge and cascade into a deep gorge. Next are the spectacular Tad Yueng Waterfalls where you may have time for a dip before lunch at a local restaurant.
Transfer to charming Sabaidee Valley Resort to relax or visit its coffee plantation and landscaped gardens. This is your opportunity to settle into laidback life in this lush part of Laos.
Overnight. Meals: B/L
Paksong - Champasak - Don Daeng
Step back in time and discover Laos' rich heritage at an ancient temple complex. Meet your guide for the one-hour drive to Champasak and visit Wat Phou. This UNESCO-listed temple dates back to pre-Angkorian times and is framed by sprawling rice fields and canals at the foot of Phou Khao Mountain. The temple's history stretches back to the 5th century. However, the surviving structures were built between the 11th and 13th centuries. The sacred site was the mastermind of Khmer kings before the creation of Cambodia's Angkor Wat. It served as the economic and political hub of the region and remains one of Laos' most revered temples.
Next, cross the iconic Mekong River to La Folie Lodge and enjoy the afternoon at a tranquil riverside sanctuary. Marvel at the might of the Khmer Empire and experience Mekong's magic.
Overnight. Meals: B/L/D
Don Daeng - Pakse - Luang Prabang
Morning at leisure. Later, return to Pakse and transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, meet our guide and transfer to the hotel.
Luang Prabang sits at the sacred confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. The city houses famed Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16th century, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
Optional: At 5;30am, the bells of the monasteries toll when golden lines of monks emerge to receive their morning rice from the townspeople. Wake up early and have some cookies and rice. After this, you will have the opportunity to respectfully witness this sacred ritual typical of old Lao - long lines of barefoot monks weaving through the streets on their alms rounds. This will be in a village out of town where rarely any tourists are seen. You will be supplied with alms you can traditional give to the monks. We also encourage that if you must take photographs that it does not interfere with this highly revered ritual.. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
It's time to explore the city! Begin your journey at the most popular of temples - Wat Xieng Thong. The 500-year-old temple is exquisite and the best example of the classic Luang Prabang style. You will also visit nearby Wat Mai and Wat Sene.
From here, explore some local and interesting small side streets, along back alleys and through temples - a city that could have been designed with slow travel in mind, a morning walking tour allows you to soak up the ambiance and appreciate the hidden charms of Luang Prabang.
Through your guide, travel south of town to the Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop along the way to visit the Living Crafts Center and meet the weavers who help to keep these traditions alive.
At the falls, crystal waters cascade into idyllic turquoise pools. Bring a bathing suit if you would like to swim! If interested, visit the nearby Sun-bear refuge to learn more about the poaching and rehabilitation of these endangered creatures.
Return to Luang Prabang and overnight. Meals: B/L
Today you will be picked up by your guide and continue by car to a local fresh market, where you will meet your chef and teacher for today, Mrs. Noy. After learning about local produce, you will soon be boarding a boat to cross the Mekong River where you will be greeted by friendly villagers and the family of Noy. Don't expect a star-awarded kitchen but a simple, private cooking lesson in the family's home with local specialties.
In the afternoon, transfer to Lao's scenic countryside and the Pak Ou Caves, a mystical pilgrimage site perched high above the Mekong River.
Peering into dark corners, your eyes gradually adjust to reveal the serene faces and figures of more than 3,000 Buddha images, some inlaid with semiprecious stones. That these images remain undisturbed in this remote site is a testament to the devotion of the people.
Return by boat to Luang Prabang at sunset. Cruise along the Mekong and enjoy the lush river life with beverages and traditional snacks.
Overnight. Meals: B/L
After breakfast, learn more about Lao traditions with a wonderful cooking class held by one of the best chefs in Luang Prabang.
Transfer from your hotel to the restaurant by tuk tuk, meet the chef, and then proceed to a local market. Your instructor will show you how to select the food and ingredients before returning to the restaurant to prepare. Return to your hotel by tuk-tuk.
In the late afternoon, your guide will pick you up at the hotel and drive to one of the temples for a private Baci ceremony, which can be held for several occasions. After this, continue to a hidden temple that is rarely visited by foreign travelers. Here it is time for a special encounter with the monks who will teach you the fundamentals of meditation. After gaining insight, you will have the opportunity to join the monks in their daily chanting. Your guide will translate any questions you have for the monks, an exciting and educational experience.
Return to your hotel and overnight. Meals: B
Today, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
7 nights of hotel accommodations
Meals as stated in the itinerary: B/L/D
Private, air-conditioned vehicle with driver as per the itinerary
Airfare from Pakse - Luang Prabang
Comprehensive touring as listed in the itinerary, including a private English-speaking guide
Private tasting at a Laotian Coffee Plantation
Private Baci Ceremony / Luang Prabang
Private airport transfers with representative
Road/Interstate taxes, fuel surcharges, and parking fees