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This 14 day journey through Laos is ideal for the individual, adventurous traveller who is looking for a small group of like minded people to join.
The Big Lao Adventure involves many nature activities including kayaking, trekking into the high country of the hilltribe people, riding elephants, caving, mountain biking, waterfalls and discovering the way of life of the Lao people along the majestic Mekong River in Luang Prabang.
For those with a bit more time, you can extend your journey by an extra 5 days to travel north up the Nam Ou River to discover the 100 waterfalls of Muang Ngoi and trek to stay in ethnic Hmong tribal villages.
The Laos adventure highlights:
- Historic colonial city of Vientiane
- Unspoiled rivers and countryside
- Mountains and caves
- Breathtaking vistas
- River kayaking / camping in the jungle
- Trekking into the mountain communities of the Hmong and Khmu people
- Mountain biking
- Elephant safari
- Stunning waterfalls
- UNESCO World Cultural city of Luang Prabang and its temples
- The majestic Mekong River and the Cave of the Thousand Buddha's
14 Day Adventure
Arrival in Vientiane (-/-/D)
Day 1: Arrive in Vientiane and make your way to the hotel. Meet your guide at the hotel in the afternoon. After settling into accommodations in the centre of Vientiane, spend the afternoon exploring its magnificent colonial buildings, taking in its provincial flair. In the evening, those who are up for it can check out the nightlife...or try the local beer Lao and enjoy a welcome dinner.
Vientiane: Monasteries - Colonial Heritage - Night life (B/-/-)
Day 2: City tour by tuk tuk. Today we have time to become more familiar with the city and its sights such as the renovated, active monasteries,Sri Saket & Haw Pha Kaew, and the national monument "Pra Thrat Luang" with its famed golden paint. In the small monasteries of the city, you will meet the young monks in their saffron robes, who gladly show you their homes and describe their lives of devotion.
From Vientiane to Vang Vieng (B/-/-)
Day 3: After breakfast, drive north to the small city of Vang Vieng (approx. 160 km), which is tucked in among rocky cliffs and a small river and has retained its unique charm. In the afternoon explore a nearby cave and subsequently enjoy the sunset. Here you will stay in a small guest house near the river.
Vang Vieng: Hiking - Caving - Kayaking (B/L/-)
Day 4: This adventurous day trip brings you to hidden caves and the surrounding villages. You will become part of this unbelievable landscape of rock, jungle and rivers. In the afternoon, paddle by kayak back to Vang Vieng. The area offers other options as well such as extensive hikes, further cave exploration and enjoyment of the expansive landscape.
Vang Vieng: Caving* (B/L/D)
Day 5: We now travel deeper into the mountains and the back country. Slowly the road winds along the slopes, over mountain passes and through small villages. In the afternoon, you will reach a recently discovered cave. With adventurous spirit and caving equipment, rise into the dark and cool to investigate the wealth of this hidden place. Spend the night in a very basic guest house (it can be cold at night time).
* only possible to visit this cave in the dry season.
Vang Vieng: Kayaking on the Nam Ming River (B/L/D)
Day 6: After breakfast head out by mini-van for a river adventure (approx. 1.5 hrs). With rafts or kayaks, set out into the Nam Ming river and paddle through the wildly enchanting landscape. Equipped with sturdy rafts, life jackets, helmets and guides, head into a genuine adventure among rivers, forests, mountain ranges and villages. Spend the night in tents and share a campfire on the beach by the river (only in dry season; during rainy season overnight with at a homestay). During this river trip, each participant must carry limited luggage. Larger luggage will be transported to the Lodge or Resort where you will stay on Day 9.
Trekking Day 1:
Highlands of Laos - Local People - Jungle & mountains (B/L/D)
Day 7: Sett off on foot for a challenging multi-day trek that will take you through the back country of Laos which is difficult to reach. Your guides will lead you from village to village, and you will have an opportunity to observe the rural life of the local people, sleeping overnight at the villagers' homes on mattresses with mosquito nets.
Trekking info: medium (but can be more challenging in the rainy season)
Trekking Day 2:
Highlands of Laos - Local Peoples - Jungle (B/L/D)
Day 8: As you migrate further into the remote and sparsely populated areas of the back country you will encounter wilderness, forests and swidden agriculture co-mingle in this ancient homeland of the mountain tribes. Here, we meet the Hmong and the Khmu, who make their living by crop rotation and raising small farm animals. Over wildly overgrown mountains, make your way towards the Nam Khan River, which you will soon travel. Overnight in a village.
Trekking Day 3:
Short trek - Highlands of Laos - Jungle Resort - Elephant Camp (B/L/D)
Day 9: The last trekking day brings you down into the neighbouring plains. At midday you will arrive at a beautiful lodge, located in jungle next to a river, where you can rediscover all the amenities of civilisation. The first thing you may wish to do is to take a shower and relax! Enjoy lunch and diner at the restaurant. Go by boat to Tad Sae Waterfall (dry from February to July). Spend the night here in this beautifully landscaped oasis. Overnight at the Lodge.
Elephant Tour - Kayak - Cultural Capital Luang Prabang (B/L/-)
Day 10: On the last day of your intensive adventure, share an unforgettable experience. Take the time to observe the elephants bathing in the river in the morning before making a 1 hour elephant back safari through the forest. Then board kayaks and start paddling the 25km down the Nam Khan River to reach the cultural capital of Luang Prabang. In the evening, time remains for exploring this stunning and idyllic city. Spend the night in a nice guest house.
Luang Prabang: tour by bike - Temples - Monasteries (B/-/-)
Day 11: There is much to see in today's itinerary, and we will accomplish as much as we can.
The focus is the history and beauty of the city. The old, partially renovated colonial buildings and nearly 30 monasteries in the city are alone worth a whole day. In addition, the monastery mountain Phou Si, with its grand view of the city, offers another high point of full discoveries and experiences. You can converse with monks on the steps of the monasteries, and later stop in at one of the delicious roadside restaurants.
Luang Prabang (B/L/-)
Day 12: Following such an active schedule, take a day to catch your breath. Travelling by private car, head out for a relaxing day at the cascades of the Kuang Si waterfalls. Enjoy the splashing waters and natural pools. (activity optional)
Mekong River and Pak Ou Cave (B/L/D)
Day 13: Today, wrap up this shorter version of your trip, but there is still time for a bit more adventure. Journey by boat upriver to the holy Pak Ou Cave, also known as the Cave of the Thousand Buddha's, to see the innumerable Buddha statues overlooking the Mekong from within the cave. In the afternoon, head back to Luang Prabang for some free time.
Departure from Laos or continue to extension (B/-/-)
Day 14: After breakfast, you can be brought out to the airport to catch your flight or bus for onward travel.
- Double occupancy accommodations in clean hotels and guest houses, as well as home stays or jungle camp during trekking
- Breakfast in the hotels, Meals on the tours as the legend: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Diner
- Transportation in accordance with program
- in minibuses, tuk-tuks or boats, kayaks, bicycles
- All program activities, which includes: City tours, Hiking, Cave exploration, Kayaking and multi-day treks from Luang Prabang Elephant trip
- English speaking Guides and European management in Luang Prabang
- Additional personnel for activities, such as carriers and aides
- Luggage transfer on Day 6
- Anything not specified above
- Travel to/from Laos (no flights included) Local and international airport taxes
- Visa and entry fees for Laos (Visa should be secured in advance - see appendix for more information)
- Personal local expenses, additional food and beverages
- Travel insurance and medical insurance
We recommend about USD10 to 15 per person per day for personal expenses. Typically, this is enough because most costs are included.
Food on the Treks
Depending upon the local cuisine, we offer rice and noodle dishes with meat, fish, vegetables and plenty of fruit. We always carry water bottles. Our cooks prepare the meals in cooperation with the participants and may welcome assistance. On short hikes, lunch packs are carried.
min. 2 persons - max. 8 persons on tour
Single room surcharge if you want your own room: USD350 p.p.
NotesPlease note that changes in times and itinerary may be necessary at any time due to prevailing conditions. The Tad Sae waterfall is dry during the period of February and August. Trekking routes may change and river conditions depend on the season.
Drive to Nong Khiaw (130 km from Luang Prabang) (B/L/D)
Day 14: After breakfast, take the public minibus to Nong Khiaw, passing scenic landscape on the way. Visit a cave on arrival where local people would hide during the Indochina war. Overnight in Guesthouse in Nong Khiaw.
Discover the 100 waterfalls - boat on the Nam Ou (B/L/D)
Day 15: Take a 1 hour boat trip on the Nam Ou, then hike to the 100 waterfalls. Visit a village as well. Come back to Nong Khiaw and rest in the guest house for one more night.
Trekking to Hmong villages in the Lao mountains (B/L/D)
Day 16: This region is famous for its mountains. During the trek, you will experience the Lao art of living in the mountains by overnighting in a Hmong village. (Trekking: medium difficulty)
Trekking to Hmong villages in the Lao mountains (B/L/D)
Day 17: A second day trekking through the mountains, reaching the Nam Ou river in the afternoon. Take a boat ride to Muang Ngoi. Overnight in a simple Bungalow or guest house.
Muang Ngoi Nature, Excursion to a cave and village (B/L/D)
Day 18: Relaxing day in Muang Ngoi, hang out and walk to Ban Na village and visit the cave in afternoon, stay in Muang Ngoi for the night.
Mystic Nam Ou - relaxing day (B/L-)
Day 19: Cruise upstream and visit villages and another cave. Stay one more night in Muang Ngoi.
Day 20: Return to Luang Prabang
After breakfast, drive back to Luang Prabang. First take the boat to Nong Khiau and then the public bus to Luang Prabang.
Extension possible with min. 2 persons - 525 US$ per person with standard accommodation and 635 US$ per person with deluxe accommodation