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Northern Laos

Explore wonderful Luang Prabang, ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site, before travelling through the mountains to the mysterious Plain of Jars ending at the present day capital, Vientiane

Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars

Our Laos tour, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars, is one week of some of the fabulous historical, cultural and scenic highlights of northern Laos.  It includes the ancient capital, now UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang, where we’ll explore the beautiful temples and colonial architecture of what is acknowledged to be the best preserved city in Southeast Asia. From here we’ll head south for a spectacular drive through the central highlands, via traditional villages and local markets, to the remote yet fascinating and mysterious Plain of Jars. Our tour also includes a visit to MAG, (the Mines Advisory Group), to see how they are tackling the problem of unexploded ordinance left over from the extensive US bombing of Laos, and in particular the Plain of Jars region, during the Indochina war.

From here a domestic flight takes us down to the laid-back present day capital of Vientiane with its scenic location on the banks of the Mekong River.

This one week tour is designed as a stand alone north Laos tour but can also be extended into rarely visited central and southern Laos on our Mekong Adventure or alternatively with a flight from Vientiane to Phnom Penh for our 2 week Indochina Adventure.




Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

Day 1 - Luang Prabang - arrival and Mekong boat cruise

Arrival in Luang Prabang.  Time to relax before an afternoon boat trip up the picturesque Mekong River. Visit the village of Ban Muang Keo for a short trek to reach the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Return to Luang Prabang for sunset at Phu Si Hill and a chance to sample some local specialities in a riverside restaurant.

Extra nights in Luang Prabang prior to your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: D,

Day 2 - Luang Prabang - city walking tour

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. Morning walking tour of the town including the National Museum and former king’s palace, Wat Xiengthong and Phu Si Hill Temple. Afternoon at leisure to wander the quiet, picturesque lanes or check out the hill-tribe handicraft market?

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Walk,  Meals: B,

Day 3 - Luang Prabang - into the surrounding countryside

Day trip through the surrounding hills to visit the spectacular turquoise Kuang Si Waterfalls, with stops on route to discover the fascinating and  traditional village life of some of the locals.

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 4 - Central Highlands - Luang Prabang to Phonsavan

Early departure for a drive along scenic mountain roads to Phonsavan Town in Xieng Khouang province – location of the famous and mysterious Plain of Jars. Stops on the way include Khmu and Hmong villages, and a hidden cave temple that served as an army hospital during the Vietnam War – a reminder that this region played a major part in the conflict. Late afternoon arrival in Phonsavan and atmospheric dusk visit to one of the famous jar sites.

Overnight: Phnosavan Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 5 - Plain of Jars - morning tour and transfer to Vientiane

Head out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin our hike along the ridge to the impressive hill-top Jar Site 3, consisting of around 150 jars. Lunch in Phonsavan before a flight to the Lao capital of Vientiane, and time perhaps to stretch our legs with a stroll along the Mekong waterfront for sundowners in a riverside cafe?

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 6 - Vientiane - tour of some of the City's sights

Day tour of some of the city’s varied sites including Si Saket Temple with its 1,000 Buddha images, the bustling morning market, Vientiane’s most famous monument – the That Luang Stupa – as well as the unusual Buddha Park. Less cheerful, but we feel important and highly informative, is a stop at the excellent  COPE  Visitors Centre, established to highlight a major problem the local people face daily in the form of unexploded ordnance due to heavy bombing during the Vietnam War era.

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 7 - Vientiane and departure

Free time at leisure in Vientiane before departure.

Extra nights in Vientiane after your tour are available on request.

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, 

Print Itinerary


The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Laos, Mekong sunset

Just a few of the many highlights

Discover ancient Luang Prabang, nestled in the hills of northern Laos overlooking the Mekong, and the remote archeological site of the Plain of Jars before travelling south to the present day capital, Vientiane

  • Travel by boat to the spectacular cave temples at Pak Ou on the banks of the Mekong River
  • Discover the serene landscapes, traditional villages and picturesque Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang
  • Explore the ancient temples, colonial architecture, narrow lanes and bustling markets of UNESCO World Heritage Luang Prabang
  • Visit Phonsavan and the mysterious Plain of Jars archeological site in Northeastern Laos
  • Discover the modern riverside capital of Laos, Vientiane, with it's markets, temples and cafes
  • Last but not least, sample the justifiably reknowned local Lao cuisine. Eating like a local in restaurants, street stalls and local markets

Air Departures (UK)

  • 13 September 18 1,750 GBP
  • 8 October 18 1,750 GBP
  • 31 October 18 1,750 GBP
  • 25 November 18 1,750 GBP
  • 21 December 18 1,950 GBP
  • 15 January 19 1,750 GBP
  • 11 February 19 1,750 GBP
  • 10 March 19 1,750 GBP
  • 6 April 19 1,750 GBP
  • 3 May 19 1,750 GBP
  • 30 May 19 1,750 GBP
  • 26 June 19 1,750 GBP
  • 23 July 19 1,850 GBP
  • 19 August 19 1,750 GBP
  • 15 September 19 1,750 GBP
  • 8 October 19 1,750 GBP
  • 31 October 19 1,750 GBP
  • 23 November 19 1,750 GBP
  • 21 December 19 1,950 GBP

Land Departures

  • 14 September 18 850 GBP
  • 9 October 18 850 GBP
  • 1 November 18 850 GBP
  • 26 November 18 850 GBP
  • 22 December 18 850 GBP
  • 16 January 19 850 GBP
  • 12 February 19 850 GBP
  • 11 March 19 850 GBP
  • 7 April 19 850 GBP
  • 4 May 19 850 GBP
  • 31 May 19 850 GBP
  • 27 June 19 850 GBP
  • 24 July 19 850 GBP
  • 20 August 19 850 GBP
  • 16 September 19 850 GBP
  • 9 October 19 850 GBP
  • 1 November 19 850 GBP
  • 24 November 19 850 GBP
  • 22 December 19 850 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

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Visa requirements: A 30 day visa can be obtained upon your arrival in Luang Prabang Airport (Approx. $35).

Further info: Click here for more details and photos of our Laos tour, or here for our suggested reading and viewing list here.

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