Laos Heritage Trail
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Laos Heritage Trail

History both ancient and modern, comes alive with this circular tour from Luang Prabang. You'll travel to the mysterious Plain of Jars, and onto the underground cave city of Vieng Xai. The beautiful scenery, a unique night safari wildlife tour and a boat trip down the Nam Ou River, makes for a very interesting holiday to Laos indeed!  Suitable for those with a sense of adventure, an interest in history and getting off the beaten track.

Highlights include:

  • The atmosphere of magical, ancient Luang Prabang
  • Walking amongst the mysterious Plain of Jars, hundreds of stone jars littered across the Xiengkhuang Plateau.
  • Exploring friendly villages, perched dramatically on the edge of mountains.
  • Discovering what life was like living in the Vieng Xai Caves during the Vietnam War.
  • Floating down a remote jungle river in the dark, following the trail of tigers on a night safari in Vieng Thong (November to April)
  • Taking a small boat cruise down the stunning Nam Ou and Mekong River, exploring forgotten villages and a Buddha cave along the way.

Pricing & Inclusions

Prices start from £2395 per person based on 2 sharing or £1998 per person based on 3 or 4 sharing. Prices can vary across low season and high season travel dates. 

Call our Laos experts on 020 3468 3029 for an inclusive, personalised quotation for your preferred dates.

  • International flights (which can be omitted from your quotation if you prefer)
  • Accomodation as described
  • Privately guided tours and transfers
  • Original Experience Travel Group "Signature" experiences
  • Fully financial protection (full ABTA and ATOL bonding)
  • Meals as described
  • 24 hour in-country backup whilst away
  • Your own dedicated travel expert in the UK

For more on our pricing policy read here

Day-to-Day Itinerary : Laos Heritage Trail

Day 1 

Depart the UK for your overnight flight to Luang Prabang

Day 2: Luang Prabang 

Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.

Day 3: Luang Prabang

You can discuss with your guide whether you would like to get up early today in order to partake in "Tak Bat" which is giving alms to the Buddhist monks. This is a unique ritual and Luang Prabang really comes alive as the saffron red clothed monks pass through the streets. The early start is really worth it.

After breakfast you visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum, this gives a good overview of local history. Following this you'll explore Luang Prabangs most famous temples, these beautiful structures are both historic and enchanting. 

In the afternoon you'll have chance to visit the Arts and Ethnology Centre which will give you an insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. There will also be chance to visit weaving and textile villages. Towards the end of the day you will climb Mount Phousi which has a panoramic view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong and is a spectacular spot to watch the sun set.

Day 4: luang prabang

 After breakfast, you visit the local Phosi Market, this is where the locals shop and your guide will tell you a little about the diverse products on offer. There will be time to stop at Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving centre. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained.

You then take a short drive out of the town towards the Kuang Sii Waterfall. On the way there is chance to stop and visit  some local villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos. Once you reach the waterfall there is chance to  cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails.

You’ll be back in Luang Prabang for lunch and the afternoon is free to relax or explore.

Day 5: Luang Prabang – Phonsavan

There is an early start this morning for the long drive to Xiengkhuang, famous for the ‘Plain of Jars’.

The road follows a twisty mountain route, and you first stop at Houi Hei with great views of the surrounding mountains. You continue via a Khmu village before arriving in Phou Khoun for lunch.

 In the afternoon you continue on the road into Xiengkhuang province, reaching the highest altitude of the day 1500m above sea level, shortly after Phou Khoun. The final stop of the day offers a reminder of how major a part this region played during the Vietnam War, particularly at  a hidden Buddha Cave, that served as an army hospital.

 Arrive into Phonsovan in time for dinner.

Day 6: The Plain of Jars

This morning you visit the Mines Action Group (MAG) office to learn about the important work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. You then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin a 1 hour trek along the ridge to Jar Site 3.  Jar Site 3 features around 150 jars located on top of a hill, offering great views.

 In the afternoon you visit Jar Site 1, the largest site, containing over 300 jars, before returning to your hotel by late afternoon.

 Day 7. Phonsavan – Sam Neua

Today is a long day as the roads are fairly rough and winding, but the journey is broken up with stops at Hmong villages, as well as with stops to admire the breath-taking scenery.

Following lunch you visit Hintang where you can see the mysterious menhirs (standing stones). No one is quite sure who built them or why, perhaps burial sites or markers of some sort.

 Arrive in Sam Neua early evening.

 Day 8. Sam Neua – Vieng Xai Caves

You begin the day with an optional short walk around Sam Neua town and to the river to visit the local “wet market”. You then set off on the short 45 minutes’ drive to Vieng Xai Caves where the Pathet Lao leaders lived during the “Secret War’. You start your fascinating audio tour and take a tour of the Kaysone Phomvihane Cave and the Prince Soupanouvong (Red Prince) Cave. Kaysone Phomvihane was the leader of the Lao communist movement so this is a fantastic spot to really get your teeth into the recent history of the country. You also tour the Artillery Cave that offers stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

 In the afternoon you take an easy walk to some of the less visited caves and and also take in the beautiful limestone karst scenery. Tonight accommodation is in a simple but clean guest house near the caves.

Day 9. vieng xay – Vieng Thong

 After breakfast you  travel by road to Vieng Thong, taking in the spectacular mountain scenery en route. You arrive in Vieng Thong by mid-afternoon where after checking in to your simple guesthouse, you have the rest of the day at leisure.

 Day 10: Nam Et National Park (Night Safari)

This morning you board a long tail boat and cruise for 1 ½ hours on the Nam Nern River to your jungle camp where you will enjoy a local lunch and learn about conservation from the park staff.

 Mid afternoon you depart for your night safari, stopping along the way at a salt lick, where your local guide, a skilled hunter and tracker, identifies animal tracks. After sunset, relax around a campfire and enjoy a BBQ dinner.

A couple of hours after dark you float down the river quietly while your local guide looks for wildlife by torchlight, returning back into camp at about 10pm. Your accommodation for the night is in traditional Lao style huts in the forest.

Day 11: Nam Et National Park – Nong Khiaw

Before breakfast you explore the jungle where local guides will teach you about medicinal plants and explain the history of the area. After breakfast you take the boat back to Ban Son Koua, making a stop at a prime sport for bird watching. After lunch you continue by vehicle to Nong Khiaw, passing through breath-taking scenery along the way. You arrive  in Nong Khiaw by early evening.

Day 12: Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang by boat

 This morning you begin your leisurely cruise back to Luang Prabang passing breathtaking limestone karst scenery en route. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the river amidst beautiful surroundings.

 In the afternoon you can relax as you pass lush green forests and rural landscapes before stopping to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands of Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. 

 Your boat gets you into Luang Prabang in the afternoon and the remainder of the day is free to enjoy being back in this wonderful town.

Day 13: Departure

Today breakfast at the hotel and then enjoy your time at leisure until your guide and private car pick you up and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.

Enhance your Experience+

Upgrade to premium economy, from approximately £200 each way.

Customer Feedback
We were very well looked after during our holiday. Transportation, communication and general organisation (no emergency backup required!) were very good.

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