7

Authentic Laos

Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw – Vieng Kham – Vieng Thong – Nam Nern Night Safari (Nam Et) – Samneua – Na Meo
Highlights
  • Luang Prabang
  • Nong Khiaw
  • Vieng Kham
  • Vieng Thong
  • Nam Nern Night Safari (Nam Et)
  • Samneua
  • Na Meo 
From: $886
  • Night time in Nam Nern Jungle
  • Sambar and the guest
  • Nam Nern overview
  • Kids are swimming in Nong Khiaw
  • Trekking across Nong Khiaw
  • Viengxay Cave in Nam Nern
  • Waterfall in Nam Nern

Where do you want to go?

Overview
Tour Code: LAAD01
The 7 day trip is customized to offer you a unique adventure off the beaten track, travel to less visited places and get an authentic taste of Laos. Start in Luang Prabang, the UNESCO Heritage town with gleaming temples, sacred caves and natural landscapes. You can explore the diverse local cultures and unparalleled landscapes while driving on meandering roads through striking mountainous areas of the North. Two next days are the most highlight of your trip in the Nam Nern Night Safari & Ecolodge to see the wildlife with various activities such as bird watching, wildlife tracking, and nighttime wildlife spotting while traveling on long tail boats. The tour concludes after a visit the historic Viengxay caves.
Itinerary Day by Day

Upon arrival at the airport, welcome by our guide and transfer to your hotel for check in. Located in north central of Laos, Luang Prabang is former capital and UNESCO World heritage site of Laos. The small city boasts French colonial architectures, numerous Buddhist temples and natural landscapes along the banks of Nam Khan River.

After a soft rest, your city tour begins with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. Continue to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground which represents classical Laotian architecture.  We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River. The tour ends after a wander through the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.

Accommodation: My Dream Boutique Resort or similar in Luang Prabang

Get up at the crack of dawn to participate in one of the most sacred Lao tradition, the Alms Giving Ceremony. See silent lines of Buddhist monks in orange robes walking down the streets to collect alms from faithful residents.

After breakfast at the hotel, we start our full day biking to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Firstly stop at the morning Phosi Market where you can find many local products such as tea, chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Move on to some local villages of Lao ethnic minority including Ban Quay and Ban Thapene which are renowned for traditional handicrafts before cycling to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Cool off into the turquoise, clear and cool waters flowing over limestone formations or walk along forest paths. On the way back, stop to visit the nearby Kuang Si Butterfly Park, one of the must-visit spots newly opened on January 2014.

Back to Luang Prabang, we visit Wat Siphouthabath to admire the sunset.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: My Dream Boutique Resort or similar in Luang Prabang

Today, drive northbound to the town of Nong Khiaw, which is very famous for its natural and adventure escape. Along the way, we will pass by Ban Pak Ou and aboard a small motor boat to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, the two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims.

We arrive in Nong Khiaw around noon. After lunch at local restaurant, we start our half day explore the historical caves of Phathok which is located about a 30 minute walk from the town past stunning sceneries and great vistas in the surrounding tropical mountains. The caves were used by local villagers as bomb shelter during the second Indochina War. From here, you will get a panoramic view of rice paddies and the valley.

After visiting the cave, we follow a small path through the magnificent rice paddies back to Nong Khiaw. Our guide will tell you everything about the rice cultivation of the region.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Nong Kiau Riverside or similar in Nong Khiaw

Morning, transfer by car through the most rural and least developed region of Vieng Thong via Vieng Kham. These back roads are a perfect way to venture off the beaten track and explore the real Laos with very few travelers. The drive can be challenging on some parts due to poor road conditions; however the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local people makes it a memorable experience. On arrival, we check in a very simple hotel and stroll around this picturesque hill town.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Heuan Khamsay or similar in Vieng Thong

Morning, leave Viengthong for Son Koua Village, river travel to the Nam Nern Substation with your private car. After a 1.5 hour drive along a curvy road through gorgeous mountainous landscapes, you arrive at Ban Son Koua, an ethnic Khmu Village. Welcome by our local guide then start a short tour of the village where you will learn about the animist tradition of appeasing the village spirit. Then embark on a long tail boat for a 1.5 hour cruise to the park substation on the Nam Nern River. Along the way, you have chance to learn about upland rice cultivation and spot monitor lizards depending on the time of the year and bird life.

On arrival, check in bamboo huts close to the river, and have lunch prepared by the village cooking group. After lunch, you will receive a briefing by park staff about the on the ground efforts in protecting tigers and their prey. At mid-afternoon, take the boat again to continue the journey upriver for 50 minutes before stop to hike into the forest to visit a salt lick. The local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, explains how local people track deer and other wild ungulates. The guide points out evidence of wildlife, such as tracks or scat at the salt lick.

The boats continue upriver to the dinner site, a sandy, flat bank, where you takes a picnic around a campfire. After dinner, the guides tell Khmu folktales and stories about dragons, wildlife, and ghosts. The guides also talk about the species of animals they may see during the spotlighting and explain the rules and expectations for spotlighting. You may also look at photos of animals captured by the camera trap at the salt lick.

Afterwards, depart for the night spotlighting 2-3 hours after dark, floating down the river with engines off. The guides, 1 per boat use their headlamp to spot wildlife. If they see something, they will give a clear sign. Then you can switch on your own flashlight to have a better look at the animal. Hence, you will have their flashlights switched off most of the time to avoid scaring animals. The guides and boat drivers communicate via hand signals to avoid talking that might disturb the animals. Animals that may be seen include Sambar deer, otters, barking deer, and various species of civets, loris, porcupine and owls.  Seeing tigers is very rare because they usually don’t come close to the river. At the end of the spotlighting, the boats arrive at the ecolodge near the substation.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Nam Nern Night Safari Ecolodge at the middle of the jungle

Before breakfast, local guides take you on a walk around the jungle, teach about the use of some medicinal plants and explain the history of the site, which was once a major settlement during the Secret War. After breakfast, the boats float back through the core zone at a relaxing pace with engines off, while the guides point out wildlife along the way.

Upon arrival in the village, you are invited to try earthen jar rice wine “lao hai”. We may have a small talk with the villagers before transferring directly via the zigzagging mountain path to Samneua. On arrival at the late afternoon, check in your simple guesthouse. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Samneua Hotel or similar in Samneua

Early morning, we will travel to Vieng Xai, a district and town in Hua Phan Province and visit its famous caves. The former Pathet Lao headquarters of Vieng Xai situate in a striking valley of fertile hills and limestone cliffs riddled with caves, several of which were used to shelter the Pathet Lao officers during the second Indochina war. In these caves the Pathet Lao established a “Hidden City” which supported around 20,000 people. After visiting the tour, we will travel all the way to Na Meo, bordering with Thanh Hoa province (Vietnam) to continue our trip in Vietnam.
Price Details & Inclusions of this Trip
What's included
  • Transportation with air-condition in private
  • Accommodation in twin/double shared room
  • Boat trip as stated in above sights
  • English speaking guide
  • Admission fee to indicated sights
  • Meals as per program
  • Gov’t tax and service charge
  • Luggage handling and drinking water
What's excluded
  • Visa stamping fee on arrival
  • All air tickets quoted separately
  • Travel Insurance in all kinds
  • Single room (quoted separately)
  • Other foreign language guide
  • Peak tourist season or special event rates
  • Tip, drinks and other personal expenses  
Our Recommended Add-on Programs & Trips
Hotels Used in This Tour
 My Dream Boutique ResortLuang Prabang: My Dream Boutique Resort or similar

AddressBan Meung Nga Village, Meung Nga Street, Luang Prabang, Laos

Description: Surrounded by a peaceful garden which also captures the stunning views of the Nam Khan River, My Dream Boutique Resort is an oasis of tranquility just minutes from Luang Prabang's bustling town center. Furnished using natural woods and woven Lao fabrics blending seamlessly into lush surroundings, the property is a must-try. Experience the warm sunshine streaming through floor-to-ceiling glass doors which open out to private balconies, creating a perfect end to any day. My Dream Boutique Resort allows you to enjoy a full buffet breakfast in an open-air pavilion, free bicycles, free shuttle service, and many other amenities.



Nong Kiau Riverside HotelNong Khiaw: Nong Kiau Riverside Hotel or similar

Address: Ban NongKhiew, Meung gnoi, Muang Ngoi, Muang Ngoi, Laos

Description: For travelers who want to take in the sights and sounds of Muang Ngoi, Nong Kiau Riverside Resort is the perfect choice. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

Nong Kiau Riverside Resort offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers Wi-Fi in public areas, airport transfer, safety deposit boxes, restaurant, bicycle rental.

Guests can choose from 15 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. The hotel's recreational facilities, which include garden are designed for escape and relaxation. Nong Kiau Riverside Resort is your one-stop destination for quality hotel accommodations in Muang Ngoi.



Vieng Thong: Heuan Khamsay Hotel or similar

Address:

Description:


Nam Nern Night Safari EcolodgeNam Nern: Nam Nern Night Safari Ecolodge

Address: Route 1, Nam Et, Nam Et, Laos

Description: Winner of the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Award, Nam Nern Night Safari Ecolodge is a fun and innovative community-based ecotour developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society that provides direct incentives to local people for protecting wildlife. Longtail river boats take guests upstream in the afternoon, and after a riverside dinner, the boats float downstream at night without engines to allow for the best chances to see wildlife. Drifting down under the stars with only the sounds of the river while sighting animals by torchlight is an experience not to be missed.

Visitors overnight in ecolodges built and managed by the ethnic community and learn about tiger conservation, medicinal plants, and the history of the area. The simple but comfortable private bungalows are surrounded by the thick forest of Nam Et-Phou Louey national park, and the Night Safari offers one of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in Laos. Funds from the tour directly benefit wildlife protection and community development.


Samneua HotelSamneua: Samneua Hotel or similar

Address: 89 / 4 Route 6 Nathong Houaphan, Sam Neua, Laos

Description: The imaginatively named Sam Neua Hotel is a quirky hotel in a new building in the centre of town and the only reliable option. Idiosyncratic throughout, the hotel is clean and well located for a visit.

Rooms at the hotel are small (with a numbering system that makes no sense whatsoever) and have clean en-suite bathrooms with piping hot water showers. All have satellite television and some have mini-bars (this is an arbitrary touch as all the rooms are the same price). There is no restaurant at the hotel and breakfast is served at a nearby cafe.

The hotel, like the town, has a slightly soviet feel to it with some very quirky design touches.
Service Details During the Trip
IMPORTANT NOTE:
• For this trip, it is your chance to explore the most rural, least developed, and least touristic area of Laos; however it is the reason why the accommodation at some places may not be up to your expectation. We are still trying our best to find better and better options for your trip. Should there be anything new, we will keep you updated.
• All prices are quoted in USD/ per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy
• Supplement for standard menu meals: US$ 12 for lunch & US$ 15 for dinner
• Private services & daily departure
• Surcharge for Compulsory dinner for Xmas and New Year Eve

In every tour we handle, we always try our best to create the best travel experience for you in Indochina region. We take care every little details so that there is no problem on your dream vacation.  


tour guide servicePrivate Local Tour Guide
To maximize your comfort and joyful experience with driving service, cold drinking water, cold towel and soft drink are provided in the car.

We also can arrange facilities for the disabled (upon on request)




Featured Local Flavor Dinning
Don’t worry about meals, we select both restaurants and menus for you.

We will select clean and good environment restaurants for our customers. Menu is also carefully selected by us with attentions to details to ensure you try different flavor food every meal. We will recommend and arrange local cuisine since it is part of the cultural experience while traveling. If you do not like it, please tell us. We also recommend dinners are free on your own so you can choose your favorite food by yourself under necessary assistance of our local tour guide, he/she will be very helpful.


Handpick hotels in toursWell-handpicked Accommodation 
Comfort and good value is our priority for choosing hotels for our customers. Comfort of mattress and bedding, joyful decoration style, user friendly facilities, good service and good breakfast. We consider all high-rated hotels in Tripadvisors and Lonely Planet to use in our services.
 

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