Day 1 Vientiane
Arrival in Vientiane and transfer to your hotel with an English-speaking guide. After lunch at local restaurant, visit Wat Sisaket, the only temple that remained intact after the city was sacked by the Thais in 1828. It is best known for its impressive main hall, which has niches and shelves housing almost 7,000 Buddha images. Proceed to Wat Ho Phakeo dating back to 1565, and the former home of the famous Emerald Buddha statue, which is now in Bangkok. Continue to That Luang Shrine, built on a hill about 5 kms from the centre of Vientiane in 1566. It is the country’s most important religious and national monument, believed to contain a relic of the Lord Buddha. To end an interesting tour, visit the Patuxai (Victory Gate). Modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and built in 1958, it offers a splendid panoramic view from the top. Enjoy an evening dinner with traditional Lao cuisine and cultural show. Overnight at your hotel. L,D )
Day 2 Vientiane/Luang Prabang
After breakfast, visit Vientiane’s large morning market comprising three two-storey buildings, with a huge variety of goods for sale. Proceed to the airport for a domestic flight to Luang Prabang, and transfer to your hotel. After lunch at local restaurant, visit some of the loveliest temples in Asia, including Wat Aham, and Wat Visoun, the latter dating back to 1552; and the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong. If you are feeling energetic, climb Pousi Hill (altitude 100 metres) which is studded with small temples, and commands a superb view over the city and the Mekong River. Return to your hotel to relax, or look for bargains at the night market. Dinner at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Luang Prabang
After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a slow and scenic 1-hour boat trip upriver to visit the famous pilgrimage site at Pak Ou Cave (Tham Ting) which houses thousands of Buddha statues. A second deeper cave here (Tham Phum) can be explored by torchlight. On the return journey visit the local rice wine distillery village of Ban Sanghai, enjoy lunch at local restaurant, and visit the hand weaving village of Ban Phanom. Dinner at a local restaurant, & evening free for shopping or exploring. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Departure Luang Prabang
After breakfast at the hotel, see the former Royal Palace built in 1904, which became the National Museum when the communists took over. This lovely building contains a wealth of art treasures, plus many beautiful gifts received from visiting dignitaries. It also currently houses the sacred and protective Prabang, an 83 cm bronze standing Buddha, covered in gold leaf. Visit Wat Mai, built in 1796 and the largest in Luang Prabang, with an opulent, exotic ambience reflecting its previous role as the temple for royalty until 1875. Transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B, L)
Tour arrangements include:
1) Airport transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle with English-speaking guide.
2) Entrance or admission fees.
3) Meals as indicated.
4) Hotel accommodation in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
5) Domestic air fare from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.
1) International air tickets.
2) Drinks, wine or beer during meals.
3) Airport departure tax.