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Laos Off-The-Beaten-Tracks

9/Days  Flexible & Private Tour
 Houay XayPakbengOudomxayMuang XayNong KhiawLuang Prabang
Only From
$1711 $1455
Designed by © Inside Travel Experts
Laos Off-The-Beaten-Tracks Laos Off-The-Beaten-Tracks Laos Off-The-Beaten-Tracks See all 81 photos
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Explore the less-visited northern Lao region on this wonderful off-the-beaten-track journey in Laos for explorers and nature lovers. Within the 9 days of this trip, in stead of traveling by group tour bus, you will experience different ways of transfering to discover deep into the local life of Laotian people in countryside such as trekking through jungle canopy to little-explored villages, boating along the river, cycling around the rustic town or riding a motorbike to a local market. From Pakbeng to Muang Xay, from Muang La to Nong Khiaw, your trip in Laos only ends after authentic activities and sightseeing in the charming town of Luang Prabang. Get your bags and join us on this in-depth adventure.

Highlights

  Observing rural life along the Mekong River on a traditional boat trip to Pakbeng

  Learning everything about Asian giants at Mekong Elephant Park

  Trekking through Muang La's dense jungles to remoted villages and isolated waterfall

  Cycling around the sleepy town of Nong Khiaw to visit Nong Khiaw bridge and Pa Thok cave

  Meeting friendly locals at traditional Hmong and Khmu villages on your trek to Nong Khiaw’s outskirt

  Boating on the Mekong River to visit Pak Ou caves, a scared site with thousands of Buddhist statues

  Experiencing the peaceful atmosphere of Luang Prabang and visiting its cultural heritage sites on a cycling tour

  Taking a motorbike tour to Phousi Market, Kuang Si Waterfalls and few ethnic minority villages

Tour Summary

By Day Transfer Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Houay Xay, Pakbeng Embark on a traditional boat at the pier in Houay Xai heading to... L
Day 2 Pakbeng, Oudomxay, Muang Xay Drive to Mekong Elephant Park. Experience elephant riding & bathe it.... B
Day 3 Muang Xay Drive from Muang Xay to Muang La. Trekkingto remoted villages,... B, L
Day 4 Muang Xay, Nong Khiaw Drive to Nong Khiaw. Stop to visit Ban Songcha village by bike.... B
Day 5 Nong Khiaw Cruise on Nam Ou river to Ban Sopkong village. trekking through... B, L
Day 6 Nong Khiaw, Luang Prabang Drive from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang. Take a boat to visit Pak Ou... B
Day 7 Luang Prabang Discover Luang Prabang attractions by bike B
Day 8 Luang Prabang Motobike tour to visit Phousi Market, Kuang Si Waterfalls, few... B
Day 9 Luang Prabang Be transferred to the airport B
  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Embark on a traditional boat at the pier in Houay Xai heading to Pakbeng. On your way stop to visit local rural villages of ethnic minorities. Lunch on boat. Overnight at local guesthouse or lodge.

After completing immigration formalities on your own, you will be welcomed by Laos guide who will accompany you to the pier where your start your first day tour in Laos by embarking on a traditional boat heading to Pakbeng.

During your journey (5-6h cruising), the boat stops at local traditional villages. This is a chance to observe rural life along the Mekong and witness the daily life of ethnic minorities and their talented craftsmanship. Lunch is served on board.

Arrival to Pakbeng, get transferred to hotel for checking in and resting.

Dinner on your own. Overnight at local guesthouse or lodge in Pakbeng.

  • Meals:

    Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive to Mekong Elephant Park. Experience elephant riding & bathe it. Keep going to Oudomxay & to the town Muang Xay. Free at leisure.

After breakfast at the hotel, our guide and driver will meet and escort you to the Mekong Elephant Park. Here, you will visit the elephants, and then go for a elephant riding (~2h). After, take your elephant down to the river to bathe it.

End of your wonderful riding, continue your journey by van to Oudomxay province which is populated by some 23 ethnic minorities mainly Hmong, Ekor (Akha) and Khammu. Upon arrival at Muang Xay, check in your hotel and free time then for your own discovery.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in hotel in Muang Xay.

Mekong Elephant Park in Pakbeng

Spending time and learning about Asian elephants is one of the most memorable things you should not miss in Laos. If you have a chance to visit Pakbeng, give it a try at Mekong Elephant Park, a sanctuary to protect these adorable creatures set in a beautiful clean environment with excellent facilities in harmony with nature. Here you can experience an enjoyable hike through the beautiful jungle with these giants, feed them with bananas, or observe them having fun with a bath in the Mekong River. During the visit, you can also enjoy the fabulous views of surrounding landscapes, the laid-back Pakbeng village of the Hmong as well as explore the locals’ handicraft workshops on bamboo weaving, silk weaving, and blacksmithing. Finally, you can end your visit with a delicious Laotian lunch in the relaxed atmosphere of the Park’s restaurant.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive from Muang Xay to Muang La. Trekkingto remoted villages, through the jungle, to the waterfall Houay Kha. Back to Muang Xay by car.

After breakfast at the hotel, get transferred to Muang La. Arrival and drive up along the Nam Phak River and admiring green rice fields, mountains, local people working on their farms, cultivating their lands... Arrive the drop off point where you start your trekking tour to remoted villages along the small green trail.

Lunch at Ban Phavie village. After village tour, continue trekking to visit the isolated waterfall Houay Kha and to the pristine forest. Then walk back to village where the vehicle is waiting to transfer you back to Muang Xay.

Dinner on your own. Overnight in Muang Xay.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive to Nong Khiaw. Stop to visit Ban Songcha village by bike. Explore Nong Khiaw bridge & Pa Thok cave.

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Nong Khiaw. Stop to visit Ban Songcha village.

Arrival in Nong Khiew, check in your hotel for resting. Then cycling around this small town. Stop to visit Nong Khiaw bridge and Pa Thok cave.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Nong Khiaw.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Cruise on Nam Ou river to Ban Sopkong village. trekking through Bamboo forest & rice paddies. Have picnic lunch & continue trekking to Nam Phayong. Kayaking on Nam Ou River to Ban Sopvanh. Boat back to Nong Khiaw.

After breakfast, meet local guide then cruise on Nam Ou river to Ban Sopkong village. On arrival, start your trekking (~4h) through Bamboo Forest and some paddy fields. After picnic lunch, continue your trek to Nan Phayong where two ethnic groups Hmong and Khmu are together. Visiting one local family to learn about their daily life and culture.

Your trekking finishes at Ban Sopkhan before starting an 1h30mns kayking on Nam Ou river to Ban Sopvanh. After kayaking, you will take the boat back to Nong Khiaw. Time for resting at hotel.

Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Nong Khiaw.

Kayaking on Nam Ou river

For many travelers who desire to get closer to nature or some who are looking for a great experience of thrilling adventure and enjoyable exercise, kayaking on the Nam Ou River is definitely the best way to fulfill your dream trip. Most kayaking tours will start from the Khmu village of Ban Houay Leuang, around 1.5 hours driving north of Luang Prabang town. You’ll kayak through spectacular green mountains covered with verdant jungle and traverse past the traditional riverside villages of the Hmong, Khmu, and Lao Loum. Water conditions vary widely with numerous calm sections and countless of whitewater rapids. The kayaking trip is usually combined with a visit to the Pak Ou Caves, a famous historic site for Buddhism in Luang Prabang or an excursion to Ban Xang Hai, also called the ‘Whiskey Village’, a Mekong riverside village best known for its rice whiskey.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang. Take a boat to visit Pak Ou caves. Stop at Ban Xang Khong.

After breakfast, drive from Nong Khiew to Luang Prabang. Stop at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers and then boat to visit Pak Ou caves. In these 2 caves are displayed hundreds of sacred centuries-old Buddha images which are the object of pilgrimages during the Lao New Year festivities around mid-April.

End of visit, ferry back and continue to transfer to Luang Prabang. Stop at Ban Xang Khong, a weaving village, where you can jump into wooden looms with local expert for practical and experience. Arrival in Luang Prabang and check in your hotel.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.

Enjoyable Mekong River boat excursion to Pak Ou Cave

When in Luang Prabang, it is recommended to take a boat tour through Mekong river and visit Pak Ou caves. The excursion will bring you pleasant time to see the local life along the way where the mountain, blue sky and spectacular scenery are in harmony to take the picture. The climb to the caves will guide you to superb exploration to see hundreds of Buddha sculptures in a dark cave, which is not only an insight into top attraction in Luang Prabang, but the historical stories of the sacred relics protection from bombings during the Secret War as well.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Discover Luang Prabang attractions by bike

Alms giving is the best advised in Luang Prabang. At approximately 5h30~6h00am each morning the monks assemble in the great temples with their “begging bowls”, and then led by the experienced senior monks, they proceed in single file along their designated routes begging for food, for their daily sustenance. If you wish to join this original parade (only in Laos), you should get up early.

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before starting your cycling day with discovery of the Luang Prabang’s cultural and spiritual heritages.

Begin with the Wat Aham temple (Monastery of the Open Heart), which is the shape of a tent standing on a white and rectangular base that seems to be made of marble with a pointed, tiled and gigantic three-tiered roof. Next door is the neighboring Wat Wisunarat temple, one of the oldest temples in Luang Prabang, whose architecture is simple, except its metal roofs have more details of decoration.

Continue with the Wat Xieng Thong temple (Monastery of the Golden City) playing an important role in the psychic life of Laotians, as one of the higher symbols of Buddhism in Laos. This place is built in a particular architectural style of Laos, with a curved roof that nearly touches the ground.

In the afternoon, explore the Wat May temple lying on a vast ground and features a style of religious architecture, consists of an ordination hall (sim) and some koutis (the monks’ dwelling).

Afterwards, visit the Royal Palace Museum, an ideal place to study or learn some history and the Royal lifestyle of Laos. The architecture of the building is a mixture of French Beaux –Art style and traditional Laos style, making it not only old, but also contemporary.

Before returning to your hotel, you do some physical exercise by climbing up the top of Phou Si Mount to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view on the UNESCO city.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.

Daily Morning Alms giving in Luang Prabang

The alms-giving ceremony, or Tak Bat in Lao, is a centuries-old and meaningful tradition in the Buddhist culture of Lao people. In Luang Prabang, it takes place daily from 5:30 in the morning onward, starting from temples in this ancient town to the main roads then to all backstreets. Buddhist monks and novices in their bright saffron robes walk silently on barefoot throughout the streets in long straight lines to gather the almsgiving. While the local residents – the almsgivers also wake early to prepare food, usually Lao sticky rice, and wait quietly by the roadside to give their offerings. Tourists can involve this religious ceremony but make sure that it has a deep meaning for you, not just a photo-op. Otherwise, you may like to be an observer, keeping a reasonable distance, dressing properly and witnessing a more peaceful experience in silence. You can also take some photos without a camera flash and do it in a respectful way.

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Mount Phousi

Located in the heart of the old town peninsular Luang Prabang, Mount Phousi, also known as the ‘sacred hill’ in Lao, stands at 100 meters above the sea level that makes it the highest point in the town as well as a must-see for any visitors in Laos. Surrounded by the Mekong River and Nam Khan River, the hill is a holy religious site of local people and a popular sunset & sunrise vantage point for international tourists. There are two staircases to reach the top of Mount Phousi, each with more than 300 steps, several viewpoints and Buddhist shrines. The advice here is you should take one up and the other one down to visit all scenic and cultural sites. At the top of the hill, you will see Wat Chom Si, a golden Buddhist stupa dating back to 1804, where is also the best place to enjoy the breathtaking 360° panorama of Luang Prabang town and forested mountains. Mount Phousi is quite busy in the late afternoon when visitors come to admire the sunset, so you can visit the hill before dawn for a more peaceful experience.

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Royal Palace in Luang Prabang

Located on the banks of the Mekong River and facing the sacred Mount Phousi, the Royal Palace was built in 1904 to serve as the residence of King Sisavang Vong and his family during the French colonial era. After the revolution in 1975, the palace turned into a national museum and opened to the public in 1995. On the palace grounds, there are some buildings such as an exhibition hall, Haw Pra Bang that houses the standing Buddha statue called Prabang - the palladium of Laos, Royal Barge Shelter, Staff Headquarters and the Royal Ballet Theater. Besides enjoying the royal religious objects, the last king’s collection of cars, ancient statues, and paintings dating for centuries, you can also marvel at the stunning architecture of the palace that is a blend of traditional Lao style and French Beaux-Arts. The Royal Palace Museum is really well worth a visit to learn about Lao history and culture as well as the royal lifestyle.

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Pay a visit to Wat Xieng Thong - the highest symbol of Buddhism in Laos

Wat Xieng Thong, literally translated the ‘monastery of the golden city’, is one of the oldest and most important temples of Luang Prabang as well as one of the highest symbols of Buddhism in Laos. This Buddhist temple was built in 1559-1560 by King Setthathirath in the northern tip of the peninsula where the Mekong River and the Nam Khan River join. After a number of restorations, Wat Xieng Thong now consists of more than twenty structures on the grounds including a sim, a royal funerary carriage house, pavilions, shrines, residences, and gardens. As the temple still keeps its original form, a visit around will show tourists the characteristics of 16th-century Lao art and craft with the 2-tiered roof, colorful mosaics and carvings depicting Lao legends and the tree of life on the rear temple walls. Wat Xieng Thong is also an important venue where significant annual festivities in Luang Prabang are held.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Motobike tour to visit Phousi Market, Kuang Si Waterfalls, few villages of H’mong and Lao loum people

Today is a interesting day with motorbike tour around Luang Prabang.

After breakfast, get your motorbike and go to visit Phousi Market. This enormous market on the outskirts of town and this one isn't for tourists. It's where the local people buy everything they need on a daily basis. Some of it is inside a huge building, ill-lit apart from the occasional fluorescent strip lighting overhead.

Then heading to Kuang Si Falls (~32kms from Luang Prabang town). On your arrival at the Kuang Si waterfalls, enjoy your short walking on trails of falls to visit the bear rescued centre and main waterfalls with spectacular views and surrounding of orchids inside the park and falls cascade over many calcified tiers and down several hundred feet into a series of cool, turquoise pools.

On the way back to town, stop for visit few villages of H’mong and Lao loum people, your guide can introduce you to local people and its great opportunity for you to involving with their daily activities such as wooden cotton spinning, weaving, rice harvesting and green vegetable farms.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in hotel in Luang Prabang.

Spectacular and stunning Kuang Si WaterFalls

No words can describe the stunning of Kuang Si Waterfalls and the emerald water: you must witness in person, the experience will surely exceeds your expectations!Located outside the city of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking and definitely worth the visit.  You can climb up to the falls and take a dip, or walk through the beautiful area and got in the water a bit more downstream, swim or simply put my feet in for a relaxation.Truly, a joyous feast for eyes and ears, for mind and soul !

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Be transferred to the airport

After breakfast, depending on the flight schedule, you will transfer to the Luang Prabang airport with your driver before boarding the aircraft.

Ends of services!

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

Inclusions

Meals
8 Breakfasts 3 Lunches
Accommodation
Hotel (8 nights),
Transport
Boating, Car, Elephant, Trekking
Included Services
  •   Daily western-style breakfast
  •   Private transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  •   Local English-speaking guides
  •   Water on coach
  •   Entrance fees, performances, boat trips & excursions

Exclusions

  •   International flights to/from Laos
  •   Domestic flights
  •   Travel insurance
  •   Laos Visa stamp fees
  •   Early check-in & late check-out surcharge
  •   Personal expenses
  •   Meals not mentioned
  •   Drinks not mentioned
  •   Tips & gratuities for guides and drivers

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