Overview

Luang Prabang is known as the crown jewel of Laos and a UNESCO-conferred World Heritage site. This beautiful city is the epicentre of Lao culture and home to several temples and monuments that showcase the finesse of ancient Lao architecture and craftsmanship. On this 7- night tour of Luang Prabang we will take you on a journey to discover some of the best attractions of Laos’ cultural capital. Stay in luxury tents and bathe with elephants in the river at Shangri Lao Explorer Camp. How about a trip to the intriguing Pak Ou caves nestled inside limestone cliffs and home to thousands of Buddha statues? Pick up some great Laotian recipes to wow friends and family back home at a special cooking masterclass. Visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall and enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Mekong River as you watch a glorious sunset over dinner. Luang Prabang is one of the best preserved ancient cities in Southeast Asia with a charming sense of timelessness. Come with us and experience a Laotian sojourn of a lifetime. 

7 Nights 8 Days 08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec, and more Luang Prabang Airport
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Hotel accommodation in Luang Prabang
  • Accommodation in luxury tents in Shangri Lao
  • All meals as specified in itinerary
  • Airport transfers and all local transport
  • All local permits and fees

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Any meal/snack not specified in itinerary
  • Additional services like massages/spa
  • Air travel
  • Any personal purchases like alcohol
  • Travel insurance (if any)
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Feed and bathe jumbos in the Shangri Lao forest camp
  • Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Mekong River
  • Pick up authentic Lao recipes at a master class at Tum Tum Cheng Cooking School
  • Explore the intriguing Buddha statues of Pak Ou Caves
  • Enjoy a day trip to the picturesque Kuang Si Waterfalls
Itinerary
Day 1 (Arrival in Luang Prabang) (-, L, D)
  • Arrive at Luang Prabang International Airport where a luxury sedan will pick you up and drive you to your hotel. On the way, enjoy complimentary mineral water bottles and wet towels to help freshen up after your journey.
  • After a quick check-in at the hotel, enjoy a traditional Lao buffet lunch before setting off for a tour of the city.
  • First on our itinerary today is a visit to the beautiful Vat Xieng Thong Temple with its traditional roofs that sweep down low to the ground. The temple compound has multiple chapels that house Buddha images made of bronze and a special Royal Funeral Chapel that holds the last remains of members of the royal family. Luang Prabang is considered one of the most well- preserved old cities in Asia with a charming sense of timelessness.
  • From the Xieng Thong temple we make our way to Vat Visoun which houses a famous stupa called That Makmo with a distinctly Srilankanese style. This gives an interesting perspective on migration in Southeast Asia and its influence on the arts in the region.
  • Next, we walk to one of the most iconic tutelary shrines of the city at Vat Aham dedicated to the deity Deveta Luang. Climb the 300 steps of Vat Phousi hill to enjoy a 360˚ view of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. This is a good place to stop for photos.
  • Our day tour gradually draws to a close with a visit to the Vat Mai temple with its imposing five-tiered roof and our final stop for the day is at the Vat Pra Baht Tai along the Mekong River to watch the glorious sunset.
  • Return to your hotel in the evening for a well deserved dinner and then retire to your rooms for the night.
Day 2 (Luang Prabang- Shangri Lao) (B, L, D)
  • Today we set off for camp! Have an early breakfast at the hotel and then drive to the Shangri Lao Explorer Camp, located 15 kilometres outside Luang Prabang. Leave your luggage at the camp reception and then get an introductory tour of the premises. Shangri Lao Explorer Camp is a Mecca for elephant lovers.
  • Spend a full day and night among the jumbos, feeding and bathing them and learning all about the hard work that goes into their upkeep.
  • You will be staying in deluxe tent-style accommodation with a spa pool and Jacuzzi and all the trimmings of a luxury retreat in the middle of the forest. After getting acquainted with the camp site you will meet the onsite veterinarian and then feed the elephants before spending a relaxing time by the river.
  • We will trek for 3 kilometres through the forest to the secluded Huay Sae Valley where you can enjoy a fantastic Lao buffet by a waterfall as reward for your exertions.
  • Post lunch it’s back on route; this time for a 1-hour stretch that takes us across bamboo bridges and hidden waterfalls with blue pools.
  • At the end of the trek we reach Nam Khan River where a luxury bamboo raft will take us on a relaxing downstream cruise. You can choose to visit the Tad Sae waterfall before heading back to the campsite. Watch the riverfront lives of local villagers and farmers as you drift along on your raft and then return to camp in the late afternoon.
  • You can spend the evening enjoying the luxury amenities of the camp or visit local villages accompanied by your English speaking guide.
  • Shangri Lao Explorer Camp is committed to promote responsible tourism. The camp provides employment to a large number of families in the region contributing to a holistic growth of the local community.
  • The evening ends with a delicious barbeque dinner under the stars after which you can retire to your tents for the night.
Day 3 (Shangri Lao- Luang Prabang- city tour) (B, L, D)
  • Have an early breakfast while watching the breathtaking sunrise across the river and over the mountains. Watch the riverside inhabitants begin their day by putting out their boats on water; some go fishing while others tend to their fields or begin the daily chores of washing and cooking.
  • After breakfast, head down to the river to bathe the elephants and later guide them back to the camp. Make sure to thank the jumbos with a few treats of bananas and learn about the special bond between them and their mahouts.
  • Check out of your tents after which we make our way back to Luang Prabang City. Visit the National Museum, formerly the royal palace which holds several artefacts belonging to the royal family including musical instruments, photographs etc. The museum remains closed on Tuesday.
  • Check into your hotel and have lunch. You can take the rest of the day to relax and explore the city on your own. You can also make a short trip to the Arts and Ethnology Centre where you can learn some interesting facts about the indigenous ethnic population.
Day 4 (Luang Prabang- Pak Ou Caves- visits to local villages) (B, L, D)
  • Today’s trip takes you on a journey across the Mekong River to the beautiful Pak Ou Caves.
  • We leave after an early breakfast at the hotel and sail upstream to the iconic caves home to thousands of Buddha statues. There are two main caves situated inside limestone cliffs at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. The lower cave Tham Ting is situated about 50 feet above water and gets some natural light but we will need a torch to make our way through the pitch black upper cave Than Theung. The miniature Buddha statues inside the caves are almost all made of wood and believed to have been crafted by locals over hundreds of years.
  • From the caves we make our way to the nearby village of Ban Xang Hai famous for distilling rice wine that they store in trademark earthen jars. The village has been making local whiskey and wines from rice for the last 2000 years. Sample a glass or two of the home brews sure to get your spirits up! Have lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Mekong River and then head to the small Laotian fishing village of Ban Pak Ou.
  • We will make a final stop at Ban Muang Keo village where you can see the production of a special coloured fabric that is used for weaving in traditional looms. Next, return by boat to Luang Prabang, stopping at Ban Xang Khong, where traditional Sa paper is produced.
  • The evening ends with dinner at the hotel.
Day 5 (Luang Prabang- Hmong tribal village- Kuang Si Waterfalls) (B, L, D)
  • Wake up early and leave the hotel to see monks collecting alms for the day. The collection of alms known as Tak Bat is an ancient ritual practised by nuns and monks who walk the streets of Luang Prabang, bowl in hand accepting tokens from citizens. Join locals in giving to the monks and be a part of the experience.
  • Return to the hotel for breakfast and then set off for our day trip to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. The drive takes about an hour and en route we will stop at the Hmong tribal village of Ban Na Ouan. Spend some time walking around and exploring the village to get a glimpse into the daily lives of this ethnic minority group.
  • Visit Bear Lao Bear Sanctuary to see how rescued bears from illegal private zoos are kept.
  • Next we head to a pretty Butterfly Park where several species of colourful butterflies are farmed.
  • Enjoy the comfort of a natural fish spa as you try to attract a butterfly to land on your palm accompanied by the relaxing sound of the waterfall.
  • Proceeds from visits to the park help in promoting sustainable growth in the local community. Resources are used for the education of local children and teaching them to care for our planet.
  • Next, we will have lunch at a restaurant situated just 150 metres from the falls and with breathtaking views of Kuang Si. The restaurant has earned distinction for its Lao and western fare courtesy a French chef who ensures a spectacular meal every time.
  • Post lunch you can swim in the natural pool or treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage at the base of the falls. You can spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the falls however you like. Relax in the pristine blue pools or walk up to the top of the falls by a narrow path.
  • On the way back to Luang Prabang, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Mekong River where you can watch a glorious sunset.
Day 6 (Luang Prabang- Lao cooking master class) (B, L, D)
  • Explore your culinary side today with a master class on traditional Laotian cuisine. What better way to get to know a place than by learning of its food traditions and local fare.
  • Our culinary quest takes us to the Tum Tum Cheng Cooking Class and Restaurant. Enjoy a complimentary drink on arrival and then choose the recipes you would like to learn.
  • After this, we head straight to the markets to pick up the ingredients for your dish. Check out the fresh local produce in the vibrant markets bustling with activity as vendors and customers bargain over prices.
  • Once back in the restaurant kitchen, it’s time for your master class. Watch a chef demonstrate how to prepare authentic Lao dishes from scratch, while telling you about the origins of Lao cuisine and the distinct herbs and seasonings used in cooking.
  • Next, it’s your turn to try cooking! Try a glass of local rice whiskey as you toil in the kitchen and once you finish, it’s time to eat. This is a lovely activity that can be enjoyed by families as well as couples and is equally enjoying if you’re flying solo.
  • Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy tea and refreshments. We are approaching the end of the tour and you can spend tonight walking through Luang Prabang’s Night Bazaar to pick up souvenirs.
Day 7 (Luang Prabang- Pha Tad Kè Botanical Garden) (B, L, D)
  • Today we will visit Laos’ first botanical garden, Pha Tad Kè. Have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Ban Wat That pier.
  • From here, it is a short 15-minute boat ride on the Mekong River to reach Pha Tad Kè. The garden was opened in 2016 and is still at a nascent state where just 30 percent of the country’s flora has been recognised and catalogued.
  • Walk through the ginger garden and the ethno-botanic garden before walking to the Limestone Habitat that houses native plants from the country’s limestone cliffs. Take a leisurely stroll around the garden stopping to appreciate the views of the Mekong River.
  • Learn how to make bamboo animals on site and then take a stroll through the palm and bamboo gardens.
  • Have lunch at the onsite restaurant and then visit the Mist House to learn about bio-diversity conservation and how plants find use in our everyday lives from food to medicine.
  • Those you like a bit of adventure and physical exertion can opt for a guided trek to Pha Tad Kè Mountain.
  • Return to your hotel in the late afternoon for your last evening in Luang Prabang.
Day 8 (Luang Prabang departure) (B, -, -)
  • Have breakfast at the hotel and then wait for our car to pick you up. We will drive to Luang Prabang International Airport where your tour ends and you can continue your onward journey 
Pickup point
Directions.
Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ), Luang Prabang, Laos View on Map