Grand Tour of Laos
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Grand Tour of Laos

This superb private tour covers the best of this mysterious and remote mountain country. A great introduction to one of the most beautiful and friendly countries in the world.

Highlights include:

  • Cruising on a small boat from Thailand deep into Laos via the Luang Say river. 
  • Exploring magical Luang Prabang.
  • Visiting the enigmatic Plain of Jars
  • Discovering the Wat's and museums of Vientiane.
  • Visiting the wild south and exploring the Boloven Plateau and 4000 islands.
  • Looking for the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins on the Mekong River
  • Guided private touring with your own friendly and informative guide
  • Private transfers in a comfortable air conditioned vehicle.


Pricing & Inclusions


  • Private touring
  • All accommodation and meals as stated
  • All transfers
  • Internal flights
  • Guides and tours as mentioned.
  • Prices vary depending on dates and flight availability.

Day-to-Day Itinerary : Grand Tour of Laos

Day 1 – Depart the UK

Depart the UK.

Day 2 – Chiang Rai

You will be met by your guide when you arrive at the airport. You will then be transferred to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing at leisure.

Day 3 – Chiang Rai

Today you will explore Chaing Rai with your private guide taking in the main highlights of the city. Based on your interests, you could visit the main day market to get a feel for local daily life in Chiang Rai, followed by a trip to Wat Phra Kaew; one of the most important temples in town.

Day 4 – Chiang Rai

Visit the Yao and and Akha hilltribes around the Mae Chan area. You will then visit Mae Sai, the northernmost border between Thailand and Myanmar, followed by the Golden Triangle where the Mekong River and the Ruak River adjoin to form a triangle. Last stop today is the ancient city of Chiang Saen on the steep banks of the Mekong River opposite Laos, with magnificent ruins and temples. 


You'll transfer this morning to the border crossing at Huay Xay, here you board the Luang Say boat for your cruise down the Mekong.  

Today the day is spent cruising through beautiful scenery with a couple of stops made to visit ethnic hilltribe villages. Lunch is served on board. Just before sunset you arrive in Pakbeng and check into Luang Say Lodge. Dinner is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River.

DAY 6: pakbeng-luang prabang by luang say cruise

Breakfast is included at the lodge and there is an optional early visit to Pakbeng market where people from the surrounding minority villages exchange their wares.

At 8.30 you board the boat for the second leg of the cruise. Today there is more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and a stop to visit the Pak Ou Caves "Cave of a Thousand Buddha's". There may be time for a visit to a Hmong village and a brief stop to observe the traditional process of manufacturing local rice alcohol.

You arrive into Luang Prabang in the afternoon. Surrounded by thickly forested mountains at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang is a perfect place to stroll down ancient lanes and absorb the magic and timelessness of this wonderful and relatively undiscovered part of the world.


After breakfast you'll visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum, which gives a brief overview of local history via a guided audio tour. You then begin your walking tour, taking in some of Luang Prabangs hidden secrets via quiet back lanes with their mix of  French Colonial buildings, and traditional old Lao houses. You’ll pass by the Fine Arts School,  where there is artwork on display before visiting the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its sweeping roof.


After breakfast you visit the Phosi Market - this is the place where all the locals shop and your guide will show and explain the diverse offerings on display. Later you drive out to the Kuang Sii waterfall where you can swim in the pool or walk along the forest trails. 

Day 9: Luang Prabang-Phonsovan

An early start today for the journey to Xiengkhuang, famous for the "Plain of Jars". The road follows a twisty mountain route and you get to stop at some fantastic viewpoints with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Throughout the day you'll stop at local villages to explore and to have lunch. The last stop of the day is a reminder of the significance of this region in the Vietnam War, a hidden Buddha cave that served as an army hospital during the war.

DAY 10: plain of jars (phonsovan)

This morning you visit the Mines Action Group (MAG) office to learn about the important work they do clearing landmines. You then drive out to the picturesque Jar site 2 and begin a 1 hour trek along the ridge to Jar site 3 consisting of around 150 jars scattered on top of a hill. In the afternoon you'll visit Jar site 1. 

DAY 11:plain of jars to vientiane

This morning there is time to visit the local market in town, where ethnic minorities (including Thai Dam, Hmong, and Phuan) from the surrounding villages usually gather.

In the afternoon transfer to the airport for your short flight to Vientiane. Alternatively if you have the time and would like to explore a little more we can add an extra night or two  into the itinerary and you can travel to Vientiane by road with an overnight stop in Vang Vieng with its stunning limestone karst scenery.

Arrive in Vientiane, with a population of just 500,000 people Vientiane is surely the most laid-back city in Asia. 


An optional early start enables you to visit the fascinating local market of Thongkhankham which is where the locals shop and a wide variety of weird and wonderful foods are on offer. You continue to explore the city by visiting the oldest Wat (temple) in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which now serves as a museum of arts and antiques. You then travel up Lanexang Avenue where you have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxai Monument. The climb to the top offers great views over Vientiane. 

The afternoon is free.

DAYS 13: vientiane - pakse and tad lo

Your flight departs Vientiane very early today for Pakse. Upon arrival in Pakse your guide will meet you for your transfer to the Bolaven Plateau know for its cool temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. You'll stop at a village specialising in knifemaking, a tea plantation and then at Tad Fan - a picturesque twin shute waterfall.

You'll arrive at Tad Lo Waterfall in the afternoon and the rest of the day is at your leisure.


After breakfast, you head out to the plateau, stopping first at the attractive Paxuam Waterfall. You then drive to Champassak and onto Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer religious complex dating back to the 5th century. This dramtically sited temple is one of the highlights of a trip to Laos. 

In the afternoon you will take the boat across the Mekong and drive south to Khong Island, the largest of the 4000 islands. You stay here overnight.


Following breakfast you board a local private boat for a tour of the 4000 islands. When you reach the picturesque island of Don Khone you have the option to explore the island by bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings and beautiful Liphi Waterfall.

You return to your boat and head back to the mainland, visiting the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls - one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia.  From here we take a boat onto the Mekong to one of the few places in the world where it is possible to see freshwater dolphins.  They reside in deep pools near the Cambodian border, and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of them. You then drive towards Ban Muang by car and take the boat to Don Daeng, arriving early evening.


A free day at leisure today, to relax by the pool or hire bicycles to explore the island and its enchanting little villages.


Transfer to Pakse or Ubon Ratchathani airport for your onward flight to Bangkok where you connect back to the UK. The price of the tour assumes you will fly home today but if you would like to add on a couple of nights in Bangkok or a Thai beach resort then please let us know as we can tailor the itinerary to suit you.

Enhance your Experience+


If you would like to see a little more of Laos and enjoy overland travel then we would recommend travelling from the Plain of Jars to Vientiane via Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng is known for its stunning limestone karsts and beautiful scenery.


If time permits then why not break the journey on the way home and spend a couple of nights in bustling Bangkok. Ariyasom Villa is the ideal accommodation to complement the rest of the itinerary. 


Customer Feedback
We are normally very independant travellers, but for various reasons decided in this instance to use a travel company, and what a good idea that turned out to be.

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