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Family Fun in Laos - 11 Days / 10 Nights
Family Fun in Laos - 11 Days / 10 Nights

Family Fun in Laos - 11 Days / 10 Nights

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Luang Prabang - LPQ - Kuang Si - Vang Vieng - Vientiane - Buddha Park - Ban Kong Lor


Beginning with enthralling elephant encounters near the former royal capital of Luang Prabang, the country’s fantastic scenery soon takes center stage passing through the mountains to the town of Vang Vieng. Here, opportunity abounds for active pursuits including kayaking and caving, before the trip concludes in laid-back Vientiane.

Day 1 - Luang Prabang - Arrival (D)

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Begin this family tour of Laos in the heart of the country’s spiritual capital: beautiful Luang Prabang.

A private car and guide will meet guests and transfer them to the hotel for check-in and a chance to freshen up.

In the afternoon, enjoy a brief, guided orientation tour through Luang Prabang, providing a small taste of the unique atmosphere of this UNESCO-listed town. Wedged between the mighty Mekong River and its tributary, the Nam Khan, Luang Prabang is a beautiful blend of French colonial buildings and Lao architecture. Stop to join in a game of petanque with the friendly locals, an excellent first encounter that provides insights into a lifestyle that blends ancient traditions with colonial influences. It is also a good opportunity to try sample Beerlao (for the adults!) and local snacks.

Finish the half-day tour by climbing the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi, offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. An additional stop will be made that evening to the hill tribe market.

Enjoy dinner at Coconut Garden, a great introduction to Lao food which also caters to  children and western palates.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang (4 km): 15 min

Day 2 - Luang Prabang City Tour (B,L)

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Today, embark on a half-day guided tour of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site (pick up after breakfast.)

Start the city tour at the former Royal Palace. Now housing the National Museum, this is the ideal place to learn about the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Finish the tour at Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics.

Lunch at Tamarind restaurant. Enjoy a fresh menu of Lao dishes in a family run restaurant dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the local cuisine. As guests order, the friendly staff will explain the ingredients and customs of the cuisine. (Note: closed on Sundays)

This afternoon is free at leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 3 - Luang Prabang - Shangri Lao Elephant Adventure (B,L)

Today, follow the footsteps of Dr. P Neis who on October 14th 1883 explored the Nam Khan River.

Head out of the hotel around 8:30 with the English-speaking guide for a transfer to the Explorer Camp (15km outside the city.)

Learn all about the camp’s elephants from the well-informed guide and local veterinarian, before having a chance to feed the elephants or relax by the riverside.

A 1.5-hour elephant ride continues from here aboard a ‘howdah’ (elephant seat) through forests and over hills to the protected Huay Sae hidden valley. Disembark from the elephants here, where they will stay the night.

Enjoy a luxury lunch of traditional Lao food alongside a secluded waterfall. Depending on the water levels, swimming in the natural pools may be possible.

After lunch, continue trekking 1.5 hours on foot. The adventurous trail crosses bamboo bridges and passes waterfalls with blue pools in dense jungle. Reaching the end of the valley, traditional horses from hill tribes will be waiting to carry baggage. Alongside the horses, continue for another 30 minutes’ trekking along fields and forest to the Nam Khan River.

Board a luxury bamboo raft and slowly float downstream for a relaxing 1.5-hour journey with an optional 30-minute stop at the Tad Sae Waterfall.

Meet up again with the guide at 16:30 for a transfer back to Luang Prabang.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Shangri Lao (15 km): 30 min

Day 4 - Luang Prabang - Kuang Si - Vang Vieng (B,L)

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After breakfast, take a short transfer through the Luang Prabang countryside to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Take note of the beautiful landscapes along the way: rice fields, rolling hills, small villages, and Mekong viewpoints.

Stop en route to visit a small village home to one of the area’s many ethnic groups. Learn a bit about their traditions and culture, much of which has remained unchanged for centuries.

Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. The water cascades gently in to several cool, clear pools, some of which are open to swimming (please dress modestly).

Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch next to the falls.

For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where stunning views await.

For those interested, there is also an optional visit to the bear sanctuary next to the falls, run by Free The Bears Fund Inc. There are currently 23 Asiatic black bears living in the sanctuary, which has saved them from poaching. Learn about the bears’ habits and observe their playful nature, whilst learning about the difficulties they face.

On the way back to Luang Prabang, stop at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park to visit the beautiful garden filled of hundreds of Laos’ butterflies! (Note: closed on Tuesday)

Depart Luang Prabang down the spectacular Route 13 towards Vang Vieng, stopping in Kasi, a fruit-growing area along the way. This journey offers spectacular scenery; photo stops are available wherever desired. 

Please be aware that there are numerous sharp bends, steep climbs and descents along these mountain roads.

Arrive in Vang Vieng, a small town on the banks of the Nam Song River surrounded by spectacular limestone karst scenery.

The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure with access to both guide and driver.

Overnight in Vang Vieng

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Kuang Si (32 km): 1 hour

Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng (230 km): 4 hours

Day 5 - Vang Vieng Discovery (B,L)

Begin the tour this morning by crossing the Nam Song River for a short drive to Tham Pou Kham (Golden Crab Cave) and the Blue Lagoon. For those looking to cool down, there’s a waterhole in the river which provides a refreshing (but cold!) swim. The water is clean, deep, and safe. There is also a slide for children and life jackets are available.

Transfer back to the centre of Vang Vieng, with an optional  stop at a local village where women still weave on traditional looms.

Take a local long-tail boat (two people per boat) to cruise for approximately one hour upstream on the Nam Song River, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way.

Arrive at the extensive Organic Farm, which specialises in refreshing mulberry tea and hosts a wide range of livestock and organic crops. Take a short tour of the Organic Farm and enjoy a delicious lunch there.

Drive back to the hotel in the early afternoon.

The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Vang Vieng

Day 6 - Vang Vieng - Vientiane (B,D)

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Enjoy a leisurely morning before starting the drive to Vientiane. Along the way (roughly 1.5 hours from Vang Vieng), pay a visit to the beautiful Nam Ngum Lake, the largest in Laos.

This artificial lake was built to produce electricity and was the first hydroelectric dam ever built in Laos. The dam generates 160 megawatts of electric power (electricity being one of the most significant sources of income in Laos).

From here, drive another 2.5 hours arriving in Vientiane; the rest of the day is free at leisure.

Enjoy dinner at Xang Khoo restaurant which offers a tempting selection of Lao dishes and Western meals, including French crepes.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Vang Vieng – Vientiane (160 km): 3,5 hours

Day 7 - Vientiane City & Buddha Park (B,L)

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Begin the morning with a 45-minute drive out to Buddha Park. On the way, stop and take photos of the Friendship Bridge (linking Laos and Thailand), built by the Australian government in 1994.

Arrive at Buddha Park and enjoy a quiet stroll. Also known as Xieng Khuang, this unusual park is filled with more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues. The quiet and tranquil setting along the Mekong River is a contrast to the slightly eccentric sculptures which were built in 1958 by a Lao shaman. The concrete sculptures are bizarre but intriguing, sitting majestically in the peaceful park.

After visiting Buddha Park, start the drive back to Vientiane.

Next on the visit is a stop at the serene Wat Sisaket - the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues.

Continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Used as a religious museum, Wat Phra Keo displays a collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art. Also nearby is the Presidential Palace. Although guests are not allowed inside, it provides a good glimpse of the town’s colonial past.

Enjoy a delicious Lao-style lunch at Makphet Restaurant. Established by Friends International (www.friends-international.org), Makphet is a charity-run restaurant which aims to train the area’s street children in the hospitality industry. Professional chefs from around the world have volunteered their time in developing the menus and training the staff. The food is excellent and the staff excel in bringing true Lao hospitality into their service.

After lunch, the rest of the day is free at leisure.

Spend the evening strolling the banks of the Mekong River as the sun slowly begins to set. Enjoy a cold drink, stop to sample some local snacks from one of the many food stalls, or pick up a few local souvenirs.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane – Buddha Park (24 km): 45 min

Day 8 - Vientiane - Ban Kong Lor (B,L)

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After breakfast, begin the 3-hour journey south from Vientiane along Route 13, with an interesting stop at Wat Prabath Phonsane (‘Temple of the Footprint of Buddha’).

Lunch will be included at a local restaurant along the way (whenever the pangs of hunger strike.)

The drive then leaves Route 13 and enters the Phou Hin Poun NPA (National Protected Area). The scenery will become much more spectacular, featuring limestone karsts, forests and rice paddies. The route between leaving the main road and reaching the final destination will take approximately two hours.

Upon arrival in the small town of Ban Kong Lor, the rest of the day is at leisure (the perfect time to soak in the amazing views.)

For dinner, we recommend a simple local restaurant called Kounmee, which is a two-minute walk from Chantha House.

Overnight in Ban Kong Lor

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane – Ban Kong Lor (290 km): 5 hours

Day 9 - Exploring Kong Lor Caves (B)

Embark in the morning with guide and driver for a short cruise (5-10 minutes) towards the Kong Lor Caves. Life jackets and head torches will be provided before a short walk to the main entrance of the cave. Upon entering the cave, board a long-tail boat for a cruise along the Hin Boun River, spanning the length of the cave… natural light won’t be seen for another 7.5km!

The river flows all-year-round and reveals vast formations of stalactites and stalagmites, which can be explored partly on foot whilst inside the cave (in some areas, the cave is up to 90 meters wide and 100 meters high.) The cave is still used by local villagers as an access route to neighbouring regions… far quicker than climbing over the mountains through which the cave cuts!

Upon reaching the other side of the cave, stop for refreshments and walk to local villages, enjoying the scenery and observing a much more simple way of life (the distance covered is up to personal preference.)

Return by boat, travelling ‘downstream’ through the cave to Ban Kong Lor. Enjoy lunch (on  own account) and take some time to relax.

Later in the afternoon, there will be an optional guided walk through the villages surrounding Ban Kong Lor. The soft light of the late afternoon is arguably the most photogenic, and is also when many of the villagers walk home from the fields, markets and schools. There are various options for walking routes, so again, the afternoon depends entirely on personal preference (and energy levels). For those interested in this part of the tour… don’t forget the camera!

Overnight in Ban Kong Lor

Distance and journey time:

Ban Kong Lor – Kong Lor Caves (8 km): 5-10 min

Day 10 - Ban Kong Lor - Vientiane (B)

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After breakfast, the transfer will head back towards Vientiane, a journey that will last around five hours.  After this rural adventure, the cafes and restaurants of the capital city will be all the more appealing!

Arrive in Vientiane and check-in at the hotel.

Enjoy a free afternoon at leisure.

To wrap up this Laos family trip, there will be a unique opportunity to take part in a traditional Lao ceremony known as the Baci.

The Baci is performed in celebration of important events such as weddings, births, or for welcoming guests; a means of expressing good will and good luck to others. The Lao believe that each person has 32 spirits which constitute their spiritual essence, and the Baci is the ritual used to call back any escaped spirits in to the body.  During the Baci, special flower trays and food treats are prepared, which are then touch by the participants while a Buddhist mantra is chanted.  After the chanting is completed, cotton threads are tied around the participants’ wrist whilst they receive an individual blessing.

Overnight in Vientiane

Distance and journey time:

Ban Kong Lor – Vientiane (290 km): 5 hours

Day 11 - Vientiane - Departure (B)

After breakfast, enjoy free time in Vientiane until the final transfer to the airport for the departing flight.

Distance and journey time:

Vientiane – Vientiane Airport (4 km): 15 min

Tour Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Tour Operates: Year round / On demand
Tour Price: Available upon request

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.


Our Services Include:

  • Accommodation based on 2 adults in a shared twin or double room in selected hotels with max. 2 x children under 12 years old sleeping in extra bed(s)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply)
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services do not Include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately).
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance, tips, visa
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

 

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a Laos tour to your individual specifications.


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REVIEWS

icon-quote-l  I would like to thank you and all Exotissimo team for the excellent stay in Laos for me and my children. All was very well organized and went on smoothly.  icon-quote-r

Serge Mantienne

Exo Foundation

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