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Surprising Laos

13/Days  Flexible & Private Tour
 Luang PrabangVang ViengVientianeChampasak
Only From
$2253 $1915
Designed by © Inside Travel Experts
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Covering some of the best tourist destinations such as Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane or Pakse, this 13-day Surprising Laos tour is the perfect itinerary for those who looking for an in-depth excursion into Laotian culture and local life. The most highlights of this journey is the 3 day 2 night trip exploring thrilling ziplines plus treehouse overnight stay in Pakse and the short vacation in Si Phan Don, the 4000 islands area to visit mighty waterfalls. If you are an adventure seeker or nature lover, do not miss this chance. Join us to see an authentic Laos through the locals’ eyes.

Highlights

  Observe the lifestyles and daily activities of local people from Khmu, H’mong and Lao loum villages

  Visit the bear rescued centre and main waterfalls in the Kuang Si waterfalls area

  Drive a scooter to the Elephant Village to meet Asian gentle elephants and relax at Tad Sea waterfall nearby

  Witness the peaceful morning alms giving ritual and the vibrant Phousi Market

  Go kayaking on the Nam Song River and biking to Tham Poukham cave

  Take in the beautiful scenery over the Nam Ngum Lake on a boat trip

  Discover the unusual Buddha Park in Vientiane

  Enjoy a day out in Bolaven Plateau with coffee plantations and stunning waterfalls

  Experience the tree top ziplines and overnight stay in treehouse

  Explore Wat Phou, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Laos

  Unwind in the sleepy vibe of the 4000 islands area and visit beautiful waterfalls: Li Phi & Khone Phapheng

Tour Summary

By Day Transfer Destinations Activities Meals
Day 1 Luang Prabang Arrive in Luang Prabang. Free at your leisure
Day 2 Luang Prabang Discover some ethnic minorities villages. Explore the spectacular... B
Day 3 Luang Prabang Drive a scooter to visit the Elephant Village in Luang Prabang.... B, L
Day 4 Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng Optional choice for early morning joining in daily alms giving ritual... B
Day 5 Vang Vieng Take a mountain bike & cross the Nam Song River via a bamboo bridge.... B
Day 6 Vang Vieng, Vientiane have a boat trip enjoying the beautiful scenery over the Nam Ngum... B
Day 7 Vientiane, Pakse Fly from Vientiane to Pakse. Visit village Katouat & Tad Fane... B, L
Day 8 Pakse Drive to Ban Nongluang by sharing van & stroll around the village.... B, L, D
Day 9 Pakse Keep trekking in the jungle & experiencing ziplines. Overnight in... B, L, D
Day 10 Pakse Trekking in the forest & back to Pakse town. B, L
Day 11 Pakse, 4000 Islands Explore Pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou. Drive to Nakasang village.... B
Day 12 4000 Islands, Pakse Embark on boat to cruise back to Ban Nakasang. Discover the Khone... B
Day 13 Pakse Be transferred to Pakse airport. B
  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Arrive in Luang Prabang. Free at your leisure

Arrival at Luang Prabang international airport, welcomed by local guide and get transferred to your hotel for checking-in. Time for resting or your own sightseeing in town.

Meals on your own. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Discover some ethnic minorities villages. Explore the spectacular Kuang Si waterfalls.

On second day of your trip in Laos, after breakfast, heading to the ethnic Khmu village of Ban Long Lao. You will be able to observe the lifestyles of these two culturally very different minority groups and see how despite their differences they manage to work together on a day to day basis and even sharing the same school.

As we continue onwards the trail leads through tropical and mountainous forest before reaching Kuang Si Falls. 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.

Transfer back to Luang Prabang by van. 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 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:

    Drive a scooter to visit the Elephant Village in Luang Prabang. Explore Tad Sea waterfall.

Your third day tour in Laos by driving a scooter to the Elephant Village, a center with a focus on the protection and rehabilitation of elephants in Laos. Upon arrival, you will meet the camp manager and hear about the work carried out by a team of dedicated staff and volunteers in caring for the elephants. Receive your basic mahout training on how to control an elephant just like a mahout! After lunch, take your own elephant down to the Nam Khan river for an exhilarating and once in a lifetime bathing experience!

After relaxing time at Tad Sea waterfall, back to town by scooter.

Dinner on your own. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Elephant village in Luang Prabang

Established in 2001, Elephant Village is a wonderful place where tourists get to know more about the elephants of Laos who are rescued from the abusive environment or the logging industry and cared by professional veterinarians. In a safe, secure home, on the bank of the Nam Khan river and next to Ban Xieng Lom, these special animals live happily with their herd as well as roam freely in the lush and green jungle every day. When visiting the Elephant Village, tourists can enjoy a lot of daily activities with the lovely elephants such as bathing and feeding your elephants, exploring the elephant hospital to learn how they cared each day or trekking on foot along them through diverse jungle landscapes. The village also offers tourists a lodge area to stay and a restaurant for lunch and dinner. This Elephant Village is one of the best educational and interesting places in Luang Prabang for families with kids.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Optional choice for early morning joining in daily alms giving ritual in Luang Prabang. Visit Phousi Market. Drive to Vang Vieng & stop at some local villages to learn about their daily life. Free time to walk around Vang Vieng Town.

Option for early morning: Wake up early and participate in the daily morning alms giving ritual to saffron clad monks on street. Laos is the only Buddhist nation still preserving this tradition. Back to hotel for breakfast.

On fourth day of your trip in Laos, in the morning, you will get transferred 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 drive to Vang Vieng. Stop on the way to visit some local villages and enjoy splendid landscape from high view point. Check in hotel on arrival. Walking around Vang Vieng town.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in Vang Vieng.

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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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Take a mountain bike & cross the Nam Song River via a bamboo bridge. Visit Cave of the Golden Crab, Tam Jang cave & Khmu village of Viengsamay. Have relaxign time doing kayaking on Nam Song River. Transfer back to your hotel.

This day tour in Laos takes you to several sites in the surrounding of Vang Vieng and introduces the novice to the thrill of cave explorations. Plenty of opportunities to gain insight into the way of life of Lao people, before ending the trip by kayaking on the Nam Song River.

Grab your mountain bike and cross the Nam Song River via a bamboo bridge before starting off the day with exploring one of the most unusual caves in the area 'Tham Poukham' (Blue Lagoon) the amazing "Cave of the Golden Crab".

Our guide will escort you then to Tam Jang cave 172 steps where you can see the spectacular views of the city and the landscape.

We will transfer to the ethnic Khmu village of Viengsamay where after an introduction to the basics of kayaking we shall set off down the beautiful Nam Song river. End of your fifth day tour in Laos, transfer back to hotel for resting.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in Vang Vieng.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    have a boat trip enjoying the beautiful scenery over the Nam Ngum lake. Drive to Vientiane. Visit Buddha Park.

Breakfast served at hotel.

On your sixth day tour in Laos, depart to Vientiane, capital of Laos. On the way, stop for a boat cruise (1h) and enjoy the beautiful scenery over the Nam Ngum Lake.

Check in hotel on arrival in Vientiane. This afternoon, our guide takes you to Buddha Park (also called Wat Xieng Khouane) which is located 25 km south from Vientiane. Along the way, you can observe the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, built by the Australian government, which connects Vientiane with Nong Khai in Thailand. Upon your arrival, take your time to have a walk in the park. The latter is filled with more than 200 artistic statues linked to Buddhism and Hinduism, including an enormous statue of the 40-meter-high Buddha. All these works of art are mostly made of concrete or bricks coated with cement. Near the entrance is a building 6 meters high, called the Pumpkin Tower, which is divided into 3 floors: Hell, Earth and Paradise. At the top of this tour, you will have an amazing view of all this beautiful Buddha Park. End of your visit, transfer back to town.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in Vientiane.

Enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures at Buddha Park in Vientiane

Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan or Spirit City, is an open-air sculpture garden housing a large number of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. The park was built in 1958 by Bounleua Sulilat, a priest-shaman and sculpture artist on the bank of the Mekong River, around 25km southeast of Vientiane. There are more than 200 sculptures made from reinforced concrete displayed in the park that vary in sizes and shapes. Some are statues of Buddha and Hindu gods, the others are sculptures of demons, deities, and mythological creatures. The most striking spot is a giant pumpkin with three floors representing Hell, Earth, and Heaven. You can enter inside the pumpkin through a demon head’s mouth serving as the entrance, climb staircases and you will reach a vantage point that offers the entire park view. Another notable attraction is an enormous 40-meter-long reclining Buddha.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Fly from Vientiane to Pakse. Visit village Katouat & Tad Fane waterfalls.

Start your seventh day tour in Laos with early transfer to Wattay airport for flight to Pakse in southern Laos.

Upon your arrival at Pakse airport, you will be warmly welcomed by your local driver and Lao guide who will take you to the Boloven Plateau - an ideal place to enjoy the freshness of the tropical mountains.

Visit the village Katouat, which rarely sees tourists, where many families of the village are coffee farmers. You join local famer’s work on the plantations by learning how to pick the coffee cherries by hand, and only the ripe cherries are picked. With a full basket of cherries we return to the village’s coffee factory where the coffee is pulped, fermented and washed. We will enjoy lunch with the villagers before we will take the beans to be dried by the sun, which takes up to 25 days depending on the weather. We will see how the dried beans are hulled to become the green beans, which are then sold to France, Germany and Japan. As the last step in the production chain, we roast and grind the green beans – to finally enjoy one of the best coffees in the world.

In the afternoon, immersing yourself in the paradise of magnificent waterfall. Visit of Tad Fane, the highest waterfall in the country including two powerful waterfalls that are about 120 meters high. Transfer back to town.

Dinner on your own. Overnight in Pakse.

  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Drive to Ban Nongluang by sharing van & stroll around the village. Hike into the jungle passing by hug waterfalls and lush green landscape. Have lunch in the wilderness & take a cooling swimming. Master the unbelievable zip-lines crossing the valley in front of majestic water wall. Get an unique experience staying overnight in Tree house.

Your eighth day tour in Southern of Laos must be an exciting day, having great fun in a simply stunning environment!. All activities will be done by foot. No cars, no noise, no fumes! Main attraction is a system of zip-lines traversing steep gorges in touching distance to the waterfalls. A 'via ferrata' teases out the adventurous spirits of the visitor in a challenge to the limits of some.

We arrive at Ban Nongluang after a 1 hour drive by sharing van from Pakse, stroll for a while through the village and chat with the people. The village guides who will accompany us for the next three days give important first safety instructions. We then hike through coffee plantations and vegetable gardens until wild semi-evergreen forest gradually takes over. The trail winds down for a while, sometimes quite steeply, passing ravines, beautiful waterfalls and flower-studded plateaus. Along the way, the guides explain the plants traditionally used in the village kitchen or as herbal medicine.

A breath-taking canopy walkway high in the trees and crossing a steep river valley is a first challenge. We pass the huge 'Tiger' waterfall and reach the giant 'Kamet' fall (name of a monkey), where the water plunges more than 100 m down into a relatively narrow, densely forested valley basin with waterfalls apparently everywhere. Here is where the zip-lines start and the real thrill takes its course. Brace yourself for an adventure of a lifetime!

We take our lunch in the wilderness, explore the forest secrets of the area and may take a cooling swim before mastering the unbelievable zip-lines. The cables crisscross the valley in front of the majestic water wall, stunningly high and us perfectly cooled by the spray of the water. Enjoy the sensation of being weightless and truly one with nature. Let your adrenaline rush come to a maximum. It's joy, sheer joy!

After a day of great activity, we finally settle for the night in the wonderful camp with restaurant nearby. For dinner, local food and absolutely delicious barbecues are on the menu. Chatting and recollecting the gorgeous experiences of the day, or just relaxing and dreaming under the stars about the incredible wonders of life, we finally retire into our own tree house almost 10 m above ground. These houses designed in traditional style, made of wood, bamboo, and grass, can only be reached by -- a zip-line. Bathrooms near the restaurant offer hot and cold water. An instant cozy sleep shrouded by the fiddling sound of the forest crickets is guaranteed.

Overnight in Tree House (located 10m above ground).

Tree top explorer in Pakse staying overnight in Tree house

Officially opened in 2011, the Tree Top Explorer is an amazing experience blending jungle adventures with a thrilling sports vibe. Heart of the attraction is a system of zip lines starting from high platforms in the trees traversing beside steep gorges and white waterfalls. There are short cables that help you get acquainted while the longest cable is more than 400 meters with a true adventurous feel. These ziplines also lead to the base camp, basically an open-air restaurant, as well as the tree houses where you stay overnight. In between the ziplines, you can abseil down from the platforms and trek on some steep jungle trails. Another highlight is a via ferrata with iron U-bolts glued into a steep rock wall that surely challenges your adventurous spirits. But all is safe with state-of-the-art safety gears and the breathtaking vistas over the forest and plateau are worthing as well.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Keep trekking in the jungle & experiencing ziplines. Overnight in Tree House.

We wake up amidst the warbling, piping, chirping, twittering of the innumerable birds in the dense canopy around us. A simple European-style breakfast prepares us for an easy 30-minute trek through great forest before reaching the first cable. Be ready for extended flights through the jungle with the longest zip-line of 400 m as a real highlight. Its speed, its felt infinity, the proximity to the usually invisible upper stratum of the forest is an amazing and unforgettable experience.

A picnic lunch is served in the best of nature. We return to the camp in the later afternoon by passing the 'Red Rock' stream, where we will have time for some rest and swimming before falling asleep in our tree house for another night.

Dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Tree House.

Tree top explorer in Pakse staying overnight in Tree house

Officially opened in 2011, the Tree Top Explorer is an amazing experience blending jungle adventures with a thrilling sports vibe. Heart of the attraction is a system of zip lines starting from high platforms in the trees traversing beside steep gorges and white waterfalls. There are short cables that help you get acquainted while the longest cable is more than 400 meters with a true adventurous feel. These ziplines also lead to the base camp, basically an open-air restaurant, as well as the tree houses where you stay overnight. In between the ziplines, you can abseil down from the platforms and trek on some steep jungle trails. Another highlight is a via ferrata with iron U-bolts glued into a steep rock wall that surely challenges your adventurous spirits. But all is safe with state-of-the-art safety gears and the breathtaking vistas over the forest and plateau are worthing as well.

More
  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Trekking in the forest & back to Pakse town.

Then tenth day is a day of more challenges, but also a day of saying 'goodbye'!
After breakfast, we slowly trek uphill, passing a section of forest where gigantic trees dominate, obviously not yet spotted by illegal loggers…

Then it gets a bit tough and jaw-dropping when the trail suddenly "ends" at a steep rock wall, only passable on a 'via ferrata', where iron U-bolts are glued into the rock. There's no way of getting around but to overcome this obstacle in order to get to the other side. Don't worry, it's all safe and you are secured by state-of-the-art safety gear. It's not really long either, just thrilling.

Upon reaching the top of the mountain, one of the highest peaks in the area, an open plateau rewards everyone for all the 'hardship' – and for a last time – with stunning views of three waterfalls and vistas over the Mekong deep into neighboring Thailand. We'll take our lunch here before an easy 1 hour 30 minutes hike back to Ban Nongluang, where a van is waiting to bring us to Pakse.

Dinner on your own. Overnight in Pakse.

Tree top explorer in Pakse staying overnight in Tree house

Officially opened in 2011, the Tree Top Explorer is an amazing experience blending jungle adventures with a thrilling sports vibe. Heart of the attraction is a system of zip lines starting from high platforms in the trees traversing beside steep gorges and white waterfalls. There are short cables that help you get acquainted while the longest cable is more than 400 meters with a true adventurous feel. These ziplines also lead to the base camp, basically an open-air restaurant, as well as the tree houses where you stay overnight. In between the ziplines, you can abseil down from the platforms and trek on some steep jungle trails. Another highlight is a via ferrata with iron U-bolts glued into a steep rock wall that surely challenges your adventurous spirits. But all is safe with state-of-the-art safety gears and the breathtaking vistas over the forest and plateau are worthing as well.

More
  • Meals:

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Explore Pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou. Drive to Nakasang village. Take a boat to Don Khone island. Discover the beauty of Li Phi waterfall.

After breakfast, depart for Champassak to explore the fascinating Pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Laos. This Khmer temple is at the base of a curiously shaped 1,416 meters mountain and reserves some peculiarities to be discovered, namely: engraved cliff, elephant figure carved out of the natural rock and gatekeepers Dvarapala, etc. Enjoy a magnificent view over the Mekong River from the third platform of the ruins.

The driver will then take you to the Nakasang village where you begin your cruise on a traditional long-tail boat to Don Khone in the 4000 islands area (Si Phan Don). Only 5 km long and 3 km wide, Don Khone is an ideal destination to take a walk or bike ride. On this island there is an abandoned railway and Colonial French Buildings. Once you reach Don Khone, do not hesitate to explore the Li Phi waterfall (also called Somphamit Waterfall), which lies between the 2 islands of Don Xang and Don Khone and thus forms a natural border between Laos and Cambodia. The main road to go there is well preserved and decorated with bamboo groves. Before ending your excursion, cross an old French bridge connecting Don Det, a neighboring island for a pleasant stroll. Then check in hotel in Don Khone for resting.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in Don Khone.

Explore the Li Phi Waterfalls

Li Phi Waterfalls, also officially known as Somphamit Waterfall, is one of the two best attractions in the 4000 Islands. Similar to Khone Phapheng, this 1.5 km long flowing falls features a series of whitewater cascades and rapids located at the western coast of Don Khon, a small biking distance from Don Det. You can traverse natural trails next to Li Phi Falls with different viewpoints over the falls while enjoying the comfortable air of natural environment surrounding shaded by tree branches. During the visit, you should remember to stay behind the barriers and follow the signposts & warning signs strictly. After visiting the falls, a small wooden bridge crossing the river will take you to a dry-season only beach and some open-air bungalows where you can rest and enjoy a drink from the bar and restaurant.

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Ruins of Wat Phou

Wat Phou, also known as Vat Phou or Vat Phu, is an ancient ruined temple complex in southern Laos. Located at the base of mount Phou Khao 40km outside the town of Pakse, this temple was originally built by the Khmer Empire and dedicated to Lord Shiva but then became a center of Buddhist worship until today. Despite the striking resemblance as a miniature version of Angkor Wat, Wat Phou is much quiet and peaceful with the most area of the architecture built high into the hillside. Climbing up an age-old set of stone steps, visitors will see a modest temple with statues of Buddha and crumbling carved stones. Take time at the natural terrace where you can relax under the shade of green trees, admire the surrounding landscapes and overlook the Mekong River.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Embark on boat to cruise back to Ban Nakasang. Discover the Khone Phapheng waterfalls. Drive back to Pakse.

After your breakfast, embark on boat to cruise back to Ban Nakasang. Before returning to Pakse, discover the Khone Phapheng waterfalls creating rapids on the Mekong, which are the largest waterfalls in Southeast Asia. Near the falls’ exit, there is a small market, which offers traditional Lao products at reasonable prices.

Upon your arrival in Pakse, check in your hotel then enjoy some free time to discover the hidden treasures of the city.

Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight in Pakse.

Khone Phapheng Waterfalls in 4000 Islands

Khone Phapheng Waterfalls are a series of cascading waterfalls in the Mekong river located in the 4000 islands area - Si Phan Don, Champasak province. With a length of almost 10 kilometers, these impressive falls become the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia as well as the greatest natural attraction of Don Khon island. Characterized by myriad islands and countless waterways, Khone Phapheng is called the Pearl of the Mekong by the locals while tourists may think of Asia’s Niagara falls. This area is also home to the rare Irrawaddy dolphins and Mekong giant catfish. To contemplate unbeatable views of Khone Phapheng, you should visit the viewpoint next to the waterfalls with a pavilion where you can take photos of whitewater cascades and islands safely. Several souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes are found nearby.

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  • Meals:

    Breakfast

  • Transfer:
  • Activities:

    Be transferred to Pakse airport.

After breakfast, depending on the flight schedule, you will transfer to the Pakse airport with your driver to take your departure flight.
Ends of services!

  • Meals:

    Breakfast

Inclusions

Meals
12 Breakfasts 5 Lunches 2 Dinners
Accommodation
Hotel (12 nights),
Transport
Car, Motorbike, Bikking, Boating
Flights
1. Flight from Vientiane to Pakse
Included Services
  •   Accommodation in Twin/Double sharing room
  •   Meal as mentioned in the program
  •   Transportation with air conditioned
  •   Boat trip as per program
  •   English speaking guide per region
  •   Domestic flight: Luang Prabang - Pakse on Laos Airlines
  •   All visits with entrances
  •   All taxes

Exclusions

  •   Visa stamping fees
  •   International Air tickets to/from Laos
  •   Travel Insurance in all kinds
  •   Peak tourist season or special event rates
  •   Child or adult in triple sharing room
  •   Tip, drinks and other personal expenses