Backroads of Laos
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Backroads of Laos

An extraordinary adventure in beautiful, northern Laos; this itinerary goes well off the beaten path to discover some of the hidden treasures of Laos, from remote ethnic minority villages to cave networks dug in the Vietnam war to stunning natural vistas and wildlife.

Highlights include:

-          Vientiane City Tour and Buddha Park.

-          The spectacular Kor Long Cave.

-          Explore the mysterious Plain of Jars site.

-          Visit the Vieng Xay caves dug during the Vietnam War to shield against                  American bombardment.

-          Night safari in Nam Et National Park.

-          Cruise on the Mekong River to Luang Prabang via Pak Ou Caves.

Pricing & Inclusions

Price per person: 

May-Sept from £2429 per person based on 2 sharing.

 Oct-May   from £2665 per person based on 2 sharing.

Prices reduce if your group consists of 3 or more people, please call us for exact costings.

  • International Flights.
  • 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 : Backroads of Laos

Day 1 – Depart the UK.

Depart the UK.

Day 2 – Vientiane

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 – Vietntiane

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the Laotian capital city, including 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 will also visit the thousand miniature Buddha statues at Wat Sisaket; the oldest wat in Vientiane. Climb to the top of the Patuxai Monumet for stunning views over the city, followed by a visit to the COPE exhibition centre that highlights the day to day struggles faced by local Laotians as a result of heaving bombing in the Vietnam war.

In the afternoon you visit the quirky yet impressive Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the banks of the Mekong River. 

Day 4 – Hin Boun

Today to you will be driven south towards the mountainous central region of Khammoune and Hin Boun, stopping en route at local temples and markets. Upon arrival the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 5 – Hin Boun

After breakfast, take a private cruise to the stunning Kor Long Cave which is over 7km long and has a spectacular cavern that is over 100metres high and is full of beautiful stalagmites. In the afternoon, visit a small local village that is famous for drying tobacco.

Day 6 – Phonsavan Plain of Jars

Today you will drive along the backroads of Laos towards Phonsavan region, home to the Plain of Jars. En route you will have the chance to explore Ban Thabuk, the “bomb boat village”, where fuel tanks from the Vietnam war are used as boats. After lunch you will climb up to Tai Lu weaving village and another Hmong ethnic minority village.

Day 7 – Plain of Jars

This morning you will visit the area’s central market and an NGO called the Mines in Action Group (MAG) to learn about the important work they do in clearing land mines. You then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin a one hour trek along the ridge to Jar Site 3, the scenic hilltop location for around 150 jars.  In the afternoon you visit Jar Site 1, the largest site, containing over 300 jars, before returning to your hotel by late afternoon.

Day 8 – Sam Neua

Taking the back roads, you will travel overland towards the rural town of Sam Neua. The journey will be broken up by visiting Hmong and Khmu ethnic villages, as well as enjoying the stunning scenery en route. Before you arrive in Sam Neua in the early evening, you will visit the mysterious menhirs (standing stones) of Hintang.

Day 9 – Sam Neua and Vieng Xai Caves

If you wish, you can start the day with a stroll around Sam Neua town to see a local wet market and a weaving house. You will then drive 45 minutes out of town to the Vieng Xai caves, a fascinating network of caves used by the Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War to shelter themselves from American bombardment. You will also have the chance to see some of the much less visited caves that offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You will return to Sam Neua by late afternoon.

Day 10 – Sam Neua

Today can be spent at leisure in Sam Neua.

Day 11 – Nam Et National Park

Start early today and travel by road and traditional long tail boat on the Nam Nern River to reach Nam Et National Park headquarters. After lunch and an introduction to the conservation work done here, you will head out into the park to your base for the night. After sunset, relax around the campfire and enjoy a BBQ dinner. A couple of hours after dark you will board small boats and float down the river while your guide looks for wildlife by torchlight.

Day 12 – Nong Khiaw

This morning you will rise early and explore the park further with your guide, learning about medicinal plants and the history of the area. You will then travel by boat and road to Nong Khiaw, arriving around sunset.

Day 13 – Nong Khiaw

Enjoy a day of leisurely trekking in the beautiful Muang Ngoi area, about an hour's boat ride from town on the Nam Ou river. On the trek you will see a Khmu minority village, beautiful rice paddy scenery, caves and a Thai Daeng ethnic village. At the end of the day’s trekking you can join the locals bathing in the river back at Muang Ngoi to cool down at the end of the day. Return to Nong Khiaw by boat by early evening.

Day 14 – Luang Prabang

Cruise by private boat down the Nam Ou river, enjoying the lush green forests and stunning landscapes. En route stop and visit the Pak Ou caves, set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong river and crammed with thousands of Buddha statues. You will then continue downstream and arrive in Luang Prabang, where the rest of the afternoon can be spent at leisure.

Day 15 – Luang Prabang

Today there is an optional early start at 5:30am to witness and partake in the daily ritual of “tak bat” or alms-giving to monks. You will then have a city tour of Luang Prabang, including Wat Visoun, the Arts and Ethnology Centre and the textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek.

Day 16 – Luang Prabang

After breakfast you will visit the local Phosi market and Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre. You will then drive out of town to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails.  Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Centre, that does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear.

Day 17 – Fly home

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for your flight home. 

Customer Feedback
Our tour of Laos was excellent. All five guides far exceeded our expectations and made our stay very enjoyable. They all merit your outstanding service award. Overall everything ran to plan throughout. The transport was good and all guides communicated well.

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