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Laos is a quiet and thinly populated country. Here Buddhism permeates every facet of life, change comes slowly, and cities bed down early. This land of rivers, mountains, mists and untamed natural beauty tempts will help you run away from stress offices, busy cities and polluted enviroment...Open your heart, open your mind, and let the genuine faith and generous hospitality of Laos replenish your soul.
Arrive in Luang Prabang, and enjoy a half-day tour around this beautiful World Heritage town. Nestled in a stunning setting amid lush mountains, this sacred city of golden temples and saffron robed monks provides endless opportunities for sightseeing. Visit a number of Wats (temples) and other fascinating sites. Spend the afternoon exploring on your own at the relaxed pace of laid-back Laotian life.
Cruise the Mekong River to visit the famous and sacred Pak Ou Caves. Since the 16th century, the local people have brought images of the Buddha to place in the caves – by now there are thousands. Visit the village of Ban Xang Khong where weaving of traditional Lao textiles takes place on ancient wooden looms.
An eight-hour drive to the mountainous plateau of Xieng Khouang is a great way to see more of rural Laos. There are plenty of stops along the way to stretch your legs and photograph the spectacular views.
Take a six-hour drive along picturesque winding roads to Vang Vieng. There are stunning vistas of towering limestone karst hills around every turn. Enjoy lunch along the way. The afternoon is free for you to relax on the scenic banks of the Song River or explore the lovely town.
Enjoy the scenic wonders of Vang Vieng at your leisure. You can go inner-tubing in the cool, lazy river, try your hand at kayaking or caving, or just relax and enjoy the amazing views from your balcony.
Drive three hours to Vientiane. Visit Wat Sisaket, with its thousands of miniature Buddha statues, as well as many other picturesque sites and monuments, followed by lunch.
After a very early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Pakse. Your first adventure here is an easy four-hour hike up to the Bolaven Plateau. This hike goes through a local village, coffee plantations, over a hanging bridge, and on to the plains. Huge boulders, pine trees, epiphytes and wild orchids abound. Return to the hotel for lunch. The afternoon is free for you to explore Pakse.
Drive south to the famous Khmer Temple complex of Wat Phou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site represents the easternmost border of the Khmer empire. Continue on to an Elephant Camp to see how handlers (“mahouts”) train these giant, friendly beasts! Ride one of the friendly pachyderms to the top of Phou Asa to see mysterious ruins there. After lunch, you’ll continue to 4000 Islands by van and boat.
The section of the Mekong River that runs through southern Laos boasts thousands of tiny islands. This morning, you’ll cruise through this tropical paradise to the largest waterfalls in Asia, Khone Phapeng & Li Phi Falls. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the 50-100 Irrawaddy (freshwater) dolphins that make 4000 Lakes their home. Spend the afternoon relaxing or exploring an island on your own.
After breakfast, drive north to Pakse airport for your flight.
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