Images of Laos
A escorted photography tour taking you from Laos's World Heritage Luang Prabang, over the mountains to the mysterious Plain of Jars and on to the modern capital of Vientiane
11 day Laos photography tour
A Laos photography tour of some of the historical, cultural and scenic highlights of Northern Laos, led by one of our highly experienced professional travel photographers. The tour aims to encourage keen amateur photographers, not only to get to know their cameras better but to engage with their subject matter in more meaningful ways. In keeping with the All Points East philosophy, we emphasize a travel photography that appreciates local people, their cultures, traditions and religions, and encourages a positive impact on the places and people we visit.
Our itinerary includes the fabulous ancient capital, now UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang. Here you can explore the beautiful temples and colonial architecture of what is acknowledged to be the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia. This is followed by a spectacular drive through the central highlands to the remote, yet fascinating and mysterious Plain of Jars, before completing the tour in the vibrant present-day capital of Vientiane.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Luang Prabang - arrival and time to explore
Late morning check into our centrally located hotel, set in a converted French period villa, and an afternoon briefing with our experienced travel photographer. Then some time at leisure to explore, before an evening local style welcome dinner.
Photographic themes; architecture, temples, street life
Extra nights in Luang Prabang before your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.
Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
Day 2 - Luang Prabang - walking tour of the old city
Nestled in the mountains, long isolated from the outside world, we’ll discover World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang’s fabulous temples, French colonial architecture and taste Lao delicacies (and the famous Lao beer!) in riverside cafes. We will enjoy a morning walking tour of the town, including the National Museum and former Kings’ palace, Wat Xiengthong, Phu Si Hill Temple and the Fine Arts Centre. The afternoon is at leisure to allow you to wander the quiet, picturesque lanes or visit the hill-tribe handicraft market?
Photographic themes: – period architecture, street life, river scenes, markets, temples
Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
Day 3 - Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Falls and sunset Mekong cruise
Early visit to the lively morning market before a drive through the surrounding hills, to the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls, stopping off at a traditional silk weaving village. The trip includes the nearby Free the Bears Rescue Centre, which does a great job of protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. Return to Luang Prabang for a scenic sunset cruise on the Mekong River.
Photographic themes: – landscapes, village life, river scenes and sunset
Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 4 - Nong Khiaw - up country
Scenic drive through the hills to Nong Khiaw town with its picturesque setting amid karst scenery along the Ou River. Explore the village, or cycle to some nearby caves used to shelter villagers and Laos fighters in the Indochina War.
Photographic themes; landscapes/karst scenery, river scenes, village life
Overnight: Nong Khiaw Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 5 - Nong Khiaw - boat journey up the Ou River
Take the local boat north up the spectacular Ou River through awe-inspiring limestone mountains and past remote fishing villages only accessible by boat. In the afternoon we will return to Nong Khiaw and have some free time to explore the area or relax by the river.
Photographic scenes; mountain and riverine landscapes, villages
Overnight: Nong Khiaw Transport: Boat, Meals: B, L,
Day 6 - Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang - drive through the hills
Optional early morning hike to a stunning viewpoint before a scenic road trip along the Ou Valley to Luang Prabang. At the confluence of the Mekong, we’ll transfer to a boat for a trip to the famous Pak Ou cave temples, with their thousand Buddhist figures. In the evening there will be an opportunity to participate in a traditional village Baci Ceremony, performed to celebrate an important event such as a wedding, birth, or for welcoming guests.
Photographic themes; rural scenes, river life, Baci ceremony
Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B,
Day 7 - Luang Prabang to Phonsavan - through the highlands
Early departure for a drive along scenic mountain roads to Phonsavan in Xieng Khouang province – location of the famous and mysterious Plain of Jars. Stops on the way include visits to Khmu and Hmong villages as well as a hidden cave temple that served as an army hospital during the combat. Late afternoon arrival in Phonsavan and an atmospheric dusk visit to one of the famous jar sites.
Photographic themes: – landscapes, villages, ‘on the road’
Overnight: Phonsavan Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 8 - Plain of Jars - explore the Plain and afternoon community project visit
Morning visit to the Mines Action Group office (MAG) to learn about the work they do in clearing landmines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then transfer out to the picturesque Jar Site 2 and begin our 1-hour trek along the ridge to the impressive, hill-top Jar Site 3. In the afternoon we visit the Lone Buffalo Foundation, a community project improving opportunities for the local children through education and sport, before finishing the day with sunset, and spectacular panoramas at the Phou Xang Viewpoint.
Photographic themes: – landscapes, Plain of Jars, local life, sunset
Overnight: Phonsavan Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 9 - Phonsavan to Vientiane - ruins of Muang Khoun and Vientiane by night
After a look around the lively morning market, we’ll visit the picturesque ruined temples of the former provincial capital Muang Khoun which was destroyed during the Indochina War. Return to Phonsavan by way of a mulberry farm and silk co-operative for a flight to Vientiane. An evening tour of the city’s bustling food market completes the day.
Photographic themes: – morning and night markets, rural life, the ghost town of Muang Khoun
Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 10 - Vientiane - city tour
Tour of some of the city’s fascinating sites – Si Saket Temple with it’s thousand Buddha images, the bustling morning market, and Vientiane’s most famous monument, That Luang, as well as the unusual Buddha Park. We will also stop at the excellent and highly informative COPE exhibition centre, which highlights the problem faced by the local people in the form of unexploded ordnance due to heavy bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War.
Photographic themes: – architecture, temples, street life
Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 11 - Vientiane - morning at leisure and departure
Morning debriefing by our photographer and time at leisure before an afternoon departure.
Extra accommodation in Vientiane after your tour is available if required.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.
Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
A wide range of photographic opportunities in what is perhaps Southeast Asia's least known destination including dramatic mountain scenery, rivers, waterfalls, villages, ancient temples of Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars
- Hands on photographic assistance, tips and advice by our experienced professional travel photographer
- Discover the ancient temples and well-preserved colonial architecture of World Heritage Luang Prabang
- Overland through the spectacular Central Highlands to the remote and mysterious Plain of Jars in Northeast Laos
- A wealth of fantastic photo opportunities of street-life, local markets, handicrafts and village scenes
- Boat trip up the Mekong River past dramatic karst landscapes to the thousand Buddha images of the Pak Ou cave temples
- Day tour of some of the varied sights of Laos' capital Vientiane on the banks of the Mekong followed by an evening street-food tour
Air Departures (UK)
- 7 January 19 2,750 GBP
- 8 January 19 1,850 GBP
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Luang Prabang
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
Villa Chitdara, Luang Prabang view
- 'French colonial' chic at Luang Prabang's Villa Chitdara
- Friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and central location
- Great spot for exploring the old World Heritage town
Sengtawan Riverside Hotel, Vientiane view
- Central but quiet location in Vientiane
- Scenic riverside setting overlooking the Mekong
- Great rooftop bar and restaurant
Mandala Ou Resort, Nong Khiaw view
- Fantastic riverside location close to Nong Khiaw Village
- Individual chalets in a garden setting
- Pool, herbal sauna, riverside bar and yoga sala available
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Laos visas are available on arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport for between $30 & $42 depending upon nationality
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