Day 1: arrive Luang Prabang
Arrive Luang Prabang and settle into the laid back pace of this charming town. The white-washed temples and stupas with their golden spires are a sight to behold. Start with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, one of the largest and most decorative temples, and Wat Mai, with its beautiful gilded façade. Next, climb 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi and enjoy panoramic views of the city as the sun sets.
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pak Ou & Kuang Si
This morning travel by boat up the tea coloured waters of the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. The caves are home to hundreds of statues of Buddha, big and small, that have been left by devotees. You’ll be amazed to see how many are crammed in! Along the way you will stop at riverside villages for great photo opportunities of local craftsmen at work making rice wine, handcrafted pottery and weaving silk on ancient wooden looms. Then it’s off to the Kuang Si Waterfall where the turquoise colour of the water is intensified by a backdrop of white limestone cliffs giving the waterfall a magical appearance.
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Phonsavan
Continue sightseeing around Luang Prabang. Visit Wat Visoun, the site of the impressive Thad Makmo Stupa, followed by Wat Mai. Built in 1796, the five-tiered roof of the wooden sim (chapel) epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. After lunch drive around six hours to Xieng Khouang along scenic roads.
Day 4: Phonsavan – Plain of Jars & Maungkhoun
Visit the mysterious Plain of Jars from sunrise until lunch. Little is known about these giant urns, as archaeologists have only recently been able to start their investigations. In the 1930‘s a French conservationist did some preliminary work which revealed that the jars were more than likely used for funeral purposes. Then head to Muang Khoun a former royal kingdom renowned for the beauty of its many temples and stupas. Very little of the kingdom remains, due to pillaging and the intense bombing by B52 bombers during the Vietnam War years, however, traces of its colonial grandeur are still visible.
Day 5: Phonsavan – Vang Vieng
Check out and drive to Vang Vieng (about 6 hours). Stop along the way for lunch and to stretch your legs and check out panoramic views. On arrival, check in to your hotel and relax.
Day 6: Vang Vieng – Vientiane
Today explore the network of caves surrounding Vang Vieng, including Tham Chang with its vast panoramic views and Tam Xang or the Elephant cave, where the limestone formations create and image of an elephant. Then it’s a three hour drive to Vientiane arriving later in the afternoon.
Day 7: Depart Vientiane
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight.
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