"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"

Peter


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Highlights of Laos - 6 Days


A fuller experience of Laos and it's varied sites and people.

This Laos Tour allows time in the popular destinations of Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Also included is the addition of an overnight in Kamu lodge and visit to the Kamu ethnic minority group.

Visit Laos's inticately decorated temples, learn the secrets of Laos cuisine and spend time with the locals.


Day 1 - Vientiane - Arrival

Arrive in Vientiane, your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in.

In the afternoon, visit 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.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane Airport – Vientiane (4 km): 15 min


Day 2 - Vientiane - City Tour - Luang Prabang (B,L)


After breakfast at your hotel, you will enjoy a guided tour to discover the hidden charms of Vientiane, whose name means ‘the city of sandal wood’. Vientiane is one of the quietest capitals in the world, far away from the bustle and hustle of other Asian capitals and far from the real-estate frenzy of the regional megalopolis.

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. (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.)

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.

Stop at Wat Simuang, the most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, as it is considered the guardian of the spirit of the city. Upon its grounds, you will find an Angkorian-era pillar and it is a popular belief that if you circle it three times and make a wish, then that wish will come true.

Enjoy a delicious Lao-style lunch at Makphet Restaurant. Established by Friends International (www.friends-international.org), Makphet is a charity-run restaurant aiming to train the area’s street children in the hospitality industry. Professional chefs from around the world have volunteered their time in developing the menus and training the staff. The food is excellent, and the staff excels in bringing true Lao-hospitality in to their service.

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.

Your guide and private car will then transfer you to the airport for your departure flight QV103 departing at 17:10 to Luang Prabang.

Arrive in Luang Prabang on flight QV103 at 17:50, your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to the heart of the spiritual capital of Laos.

You will then be dropped off at your hotel to check in and relax.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min

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


Day 3 - Luang Prabang - City Tour (B)


After breakfast, your city tour begins with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. End this morning’s tour a Wat Xieng Thong, Laos’ most photographed temple. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the MekongRiver, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat.

Break for lunch (not included). You guide can recommend local restaurants.

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

Then visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. Traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts are on display alongside in-depth descriptions and written histories. It is a great opportunity to gain insight in to the Lao people (Note: closed on Monday).

In the evening you will have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions: The Baci. The purpose of the Baci, which is a mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs, is to call back escaped spirits to the body. This is something that is very important before major events such as weddings, births, travel, welcoming friends and farewells.

Overnight in Luang Prabang


Day 4 - Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls (B)


For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

This morning you will be driven 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 jungle and dense woods surrounding the falls is perfect for exploring on foot. 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. These waterfalls cascade down a multilevel limestone formation creating a series of turquoise blue pools perfect for swimming in on a hot day (Note: when bathing please be respectful, wear a sarong and be careful not to show too much skin).

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)

Return to your hotel and enjoy time at leisure until 16:00 pm.

Guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Climb the 328 steps that lead to the top of Mount Phousi where you will be rewarded with marvelous views of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, the neighboring mountain ranges, and the city buildings. The sunset views are particularly spectacular as the sun casts glorious colors over the peaceful scenery below. Descend the steps on the opposite side of the hill and stroll to the nearby colorful Night Market. Every evening along the main street, the area’s ethnic minorities gather to sell their handicrafts. The quiet evening atmosphere and soft lights of the stalls combine to create a magical market setting from which to shop for souvenirs.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

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


Day 5 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves - Kamu Lodge (B,L,D)


After breakfast you will embark on a cruise up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the Kamu Lodge, taking approximately 3 hours.

Along the way stop at the Pak Ou Caves. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The Buddhas range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human. The caves are as well a destination for local pilgrimages.

Continue upriver for another hour to reach the Kamu Lodge for lunch time. The Kamu Lodge features 20 private canvas tents, each one of which is protected from the elements by a thatched roof. The tents are also decorated with bamboo and wooden furniture allowing the Lodges’ grounds to harmoniously blend with surrounding nature. They each feature private attached bathroom and toilet with solar powered hot water and electricity.

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. You can sample your catch for dinner!

- Local village visit and encounters

Dinner and overnight at the Lodge

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Kamu Lodge by boat: 3 hours


Day 6 - Kamu Lodge - Luang Prabang (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.

Distance and journey time:

Kamu Lodge – Luang Prabang by boat: 3 hours

Note: This tour may be subject to change depending on weather conditions.


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Monks, Laos