"Thank you for organising our holiday (to China).

We had a great time.

All of the guides were on time, very well informed and easy people to be with.

We have seen so many things and eaten in local places where we would never have gone by ourselves.

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend you and if you would like more details of our adventures or a statement of recommendation let us know."

Nicola, Michael and Family

"Arrived home safe and well and had a wonderful holiday in Nepal and Bhutan"

Michael and Eileen

"Just wanted to thank you for booking our holiday to Koh Lanta.

Everything was perfect and I can thoroughly recommend the Layana Resort and the island of Koh Lanta to any one who wants a laid back, peaceful, non commercialised holiday."

Jane and Andy

"I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had in the Philippines and Borneo.

Everything went without a problem. Great time, great pics, etc.

Thanks for all of your help with this trip"



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Richness & Splendours of Laos - 10 Days

Come and join Exotravel as you journey through a land of cultural traditions, beautiful natural environment, and imposing historical relics in our Richness & Splendors of Laos tour. Beginning in Luang Prabang, you will witness centuries old temples with visits to Kuang Si Waterfall and local villages in the area. You will stop at limestone caves along the Mekong River before heading off to the capital city. Visit the numerous traditional temples in the city before heading off to Pakse’s famous coffee plantations and the stunning 4000 Islands inlet.

Day 1 - Arrive Luang Prabang

On arrival in Luang Prabang you will be picked up by our local driver and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon, enjoy a brief orientation tour of the spiritual capital of Laos before climbing the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. In the evening you will get the chance to shop at the hill tribe market.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang (4 km): 15 min

Day 2 - Luang Prabang (B)

After breakfast, your city tour begins at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum (Note: closed on Tuesdays). Your walk continues to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. During Pimai, the Lao New Year, the Prabang normally housed in the Royal Palace Museum is brought and put on public display in this temple. Then, walk to Wat Sensoukarahm, built in 1718 with a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Finish with a visit to the city’s most photographed temple: Wat Xieng Thong. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong, this temple was erected in 1560 by King Setthathirat with the addition of a library in 1828.

In the afternoon your tour starts at Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, which was entirely rebuilt after being destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. In the courtyard of Wat Visoun stands the Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit it takes its name from.

Continue to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC). Laos is home to several ethnic groups and a visit to this museum will provide you with greater understanding of these uniquely diverse cultures. (Note: closed on Monday).

Finally, cross the Mekong for a walk on the opposite riverside and climb to Wat Chompet for a different view of the city for sunset.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 3 - Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall - Luang Prabang (B,L)

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel for a short transfer through the Luang Prabang countryside to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Along the way you will drive through beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills, and small villages. There are also viewpoints overlooking the Mekong River.

Stop en-route to visit a small village which is home to one of the area’s many ethnic minorities. You will have an opportunity to learn about their traditions and culture, much of which has remained unchanged for centuries.

Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. The water tumbles down a large drop and cascades gently in to several cool, clear pools where you can enjoy a refreshing swim.

For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where stunning views await you at the top.

Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch next to the falls, provided by L’Elephant which is one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang.

Before you leave you might like to visit the bear sanctuary which is next to the falls, run by Free The Bears Fund Inc. There are currently 23 Asiatic Black Bears living in the sanctuary, which has saved them from poaching. The main threat to these bears is poaching due to the use of their bile in Chinese medicine. You can read about their habits and observe their playful nature, whilst learning about the difficulties they are facing.

On the way back to Luang Prabang, you will stop at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park to visit the beautiful garden filled of hundreds of Laos’s butterflies! (Note: closed on Tuesday)

The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure in Luang Prabang.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Evening performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre

Founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Research, the Ballet aims to preserve this important aspect of Lao cultural heritage. Watching the spectacular performances of the Royal Ballet, including scenes from the Lao-Ramayana, Lao folk dances and tribal dances will provide a unique experience that you will never forget. Show starts at 6:00pm (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday). Attention: subject to change without prior notice from the company.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Kuang Si (32 km): 1 hour

Day 4 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Kamu Lodge (B,L,D)

For early-risers there is a very special dawn visit to witness the long lines of orange-robed monks leaving their pagodas to receive offerings of food from Luang Prabang residents. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast depart from Kamu Lodge pier to embark on a cruise up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the Kamu Lodge.

Along the way stop at the Pak Ou Caves. Here, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crammed into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

Continue upriver for one hour to reach the Kamu Lodge. Located in a unique setting Kamu Lodge offers original activities such as; rice planting, gold panning and fishing in the Mekong. This eco-oriented lodge provides a very different Laos experience.

This afternoon you may choose to participate in a variety of different activities. You will be rewarded with a very original Lao experience:

- Rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields

- Gold panning (January to June) in the Mekong. Anything you find is yours!

- Traditional fishing techniques in the Mekong.

- Local village visit and encounters

Dinner and overnight at the Lodge

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Kamu Lodge by boat: 3 hours

Day 5 - Kamu Lodge - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (B,L)

Enjoy breakfast in the cool morning air and spend your morning as you wish. You might like to relax or visit the nearby local village with your guide. (check-out time: 10:30)

After lunch at the Lodge, the boat will depart around 1400 for the cruise down to Luang Prabang, arriving around 1700.

You will be met off the boat for a private transfer to the airport.

Suggested flight:

Depart Luang Prabang at 1845 on QV104 (Lao Airlines), landing in Vientiane at 1935.

Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the hotel for check-in.

Welcome to Vientiane whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Kamu Lodge – Luang Prabang by boat: 3 hours

Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min

Vientiane Airport – Vientiane (4 km): 15 min

Day 6 - Vientiane (B)

After breakfast enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane. Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, far away from the bustle and hustle of other Asian capitals.

Your tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby, is the Presidential Palace. Although you are not allowed to visit inside, it is a good glimpse in to the town’s colonial past as this building formerly served as the French governor’s palace.

(Important note: Please note that the Wat Phra Keo Museum in Vientiane has closed for renovation until the end of 2015. We recommend you to discuss with yout guide for an alternative visit such as the National Museum.)

Visit COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war and the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area and the efforts underway to clear them.

In the afternoon, continue to the Patuxay monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city.

Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun is shines upon its towering golden spire.

End your tour of the capital along the banks of the Mekong River as the sun begins to set. Stroll along the river, stop to enjoy a cold drink, or sample a snack from one of the many local food stalls.

Overnight in Vientiane

Day 7 - Vientiane - Pakse - Bolaven Plateau (B,L)

After an early breakfast, your guide and private car will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight QV512 departing at 0630 to Pakse. Arrive in Pakse at 0745. Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the hotel for check-in.

On the confluence of the Mekong and Sedone rivers, Pakse is the most important town in southern Laos. Pakse is home to a large Vietnamese community and if you visit this town during the Têt or Vietnamese New Year, do not be surprised if many shops are closed in honor of the celebration.

Take a short tour of the city and then drive east to the Bolaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee and tea plantations.

The first stops are at Tad Fane and Tad Yuang waterfalls. Tad Fane is a set of twin 120-meter-high waterfalls formed by the merging waters of the Champy and Pak Koot rivers. These impressive falls are situated on the edge of Dong Hua Sao protected area, 38km from Paksé (Note: water levels may vary accordingly to the previous rainy season).

Make a short stop in Paksong, the small capital of coffee. Then, continue east to reach the Sinouk Coffee Resort. An expert in coffee will guide you through the coffee plantation and you will learn more about how the coffee trees are grown and the difference processing stages.

After the visit, enjoy a delicious lunch. Most of the vegetables supplied to the cuisine come from our home-grown organic garden. Following lunch, you will of course have the chance to taste different types of coffee.

On the drive back to Pakse, two stops will be made. The first stop is the visit of Tad Lo waterfalls, a beautiful formation of three separate falls. From the bridge guests will first see Tad Hang and then Tad Lo in the distance. The most impressive of the three, Tad Suong, is located a further 10km upriver.

The second stop is the small village of Ban Houay Houn, famous for his Katu textiles. Here, you will have the chance to observe the women weaving without a traditional loom but using their legs to stretch the fabric.

Return to Pakse in the late afternoon and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Pakse

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min

Pakse – Bolaven Plateau (38 km): 45 min

Bolaven Plateau – Champasak (40 km): 1 hour

Day 8 - Pakse - Wat Phou - Khong Island (B,L)

After breakfast, transfer by road to Wat Phou.

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Wat Phou is a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos. The temple was constructed in three levels: the bottom level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features quadrangular pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary itself. The temple was built by the rulers of the Khmer empire before the construction of Angkor Wat. The temple served as the most important economic and political centre of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.

Pass through Champasak, driving through streets lined with French colonial buildings, and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

Then continue on to Khong Island, the biggest island in southern Laos and the start of the 4000 Islands Region. Called “Siphandon in Lao language, this area is where the Mekong stretches over 14km wide and has thousands of islands between those the river flows and runs between cascades and rapids.

Overnight in Khong Island

Distance and journey time:

Champasak – Wat Phou (3 km): 15 min

Champasak – Kong Island (100 km): 1 hour 30 min

Day 9 - Khong Island - Siphandon - Pakse (B)

In the morning visit Don Det and Don Khone, two peaceful islands where plantations and simple villages are almost all you will find. We recommend bicycles as the best way to explore.

The islands played an important role during the French Colonial rule as they linked Laos to Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. To overpass the waterfalls, a railway and bridge were built, the perfect place to take your time and soak in the view.

Visit the impressive Lippi falls, which are wedged between Done Khone Island and the Cambodian border. Their original name, Tad Somphamit, means “trap spirit” and the locals revere these falls as they believe they act as a trap for bad spirits.

A short boat trip will give you the chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins, but please note that sightings are far from guaranteed.

In the afternoon you will return to Pakse.

Overnight in Pakse

Distance and journey time:

Champasak – Ban Nakasan (130 km): 2 hours

Day 10 - Pakse Departure (B)

After breakfast transfer either to the Thai border or to the airport for your onward flight.

Distance and journey time:

Pakse – Pakse Airport (5 km): 15 min

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