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OVERVIEW

Luang Prabang / Muang La / Nong Khiaw / Phongsaly

Travel to the remote north of Laos for a trekking adventure unlike any other. Spend two weeks exploring lush jungles, serene rivers and vibrant tea plantaions. Pass through villages inhabited by a diverse mix of hill tribes, learning about their cultures and ways of life in this rugged, natural paradise.

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Tour Highlights for Trekking - Northern Laos Jungle & Tribes
Experience Laos’ cultural diversity

Experience Laos’ cultural diversity

Visit villages inhabited by the Hmong, Akha Mouchee, Lao Loum and more, learning about their unique customs and traditions.

Trek in Phongsaly’s tea plantations

Trek in Phongsaly’s tea plantations

Take a walk through tea plantations, seeing some of the oldest trees in the world and sampling Laos’ tea.

Come face-to-face with elephants

Come face-to-face with elephants

Spend a morning at Mekong Elephant Camp, interacting with elephants, watching them bathe and joining them for a trek.

Exo Travel

ITINERARY

Trekking - Northern Laos Jungle & Tribes - 14 Days / 13 Nights

DAY 1 - Arrival Luang PrabangMealsMEALS [D]

Exo TravelTransfer from Airport to Hotel: 15 minutes

Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, our local adventure guide will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure to explore town or relax at the hotel.

In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at Tamarind, one of Luang Prabang’s most famous restaurants offering a great introduction to traditional Lao cuisine. The hotel is a short stroll to the restaurant, both situated in the historical town centre.


Overnight in Luang Prabang.

DAY 2 - Luang Prabang Full Day Walking City TourMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelWalking and City tour up to: 5 hours Difficulty: Very Easy

Wake up early for a pre-dawn experience of Luang Prabang.

Begin by climbing the 365 steps of Mount Phousi, getting to the top before the sun comes up. At the top, enjoy a breathtaking sunrise accompanied by panoramic views of the town below.

From here, continue with an interactive tour of the town, exploring its architectural and historical wonders on foot. From colonial French buildings to ancient Buddhist temples, discover what makes this UNESCO city so unique.

After pausing for breakfast, continue the tour to the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum), followed by Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sene.

Next stop is the Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, the temple dates all the way back to the 16th century.

Lunch will be at a famous noodle soup shop where it is possible to sample Khao Soy, a local favourite.

After lunch, Wat Visoun, the holiest temple in the city, which was entirely rebuilt in 1887 after being destroyed by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. Continue passed Wat Aham and on to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are kept inside the large central stupa.

Finish with the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities.

(Note: closed on Monday)

Dinner is at leisure this evening. For a unique alternative evening, visit the Storytelling Theater. From 17:00-18:00, observe a unique show from Garavek, with the aim of promoting and preserving the traditional stories, myths, legends, and folktales. (not included in cost)

Overnight at Luang Prabang.

DAY 3 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Pak BengMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelTransfer: 6 hours

Pick up this morning will be at 07:00 from the hotel. Take a short drive to the pier to board a private boat for the tour to Pakbeng. Two stops will be made en route, the first being 2 hours upstream at the Pak Ou Caves. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The second stop is at the village of Ban Baw, where it is possible to witness the processing of traditional rice alcohol.  

Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch onboard as the boat continues to cruise along the scenic Mekong River.

Late this afternoon, reach the town of Pakbeng. Located halfway between Houay Xay and Luang Prabang this small town is lined with wooden houses along a steep street on the hillside. Depending on the river's current, the boat may reach Pakbeng in time to watch the sun set over the river.  

Dinner and overnight in Pakbeng

DAY 4 - Pak Beng - Mekong Elephant Camp and Trek MealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelTrekking distance up to: 3 hours Difficulty: Easy

Begin the day by crossing the river to Mekong Elephant Camp to view and assist with bathing the Elephants. The camp's pool is designed to allow all 8 elephants to bathe at the same time. For those who would prefer to not take part, they can view the elephant bathing from a nearby platform.

After bathing, visitors are helped on to the Elephants backs to begin the trek.

The trek starts off with a ride down the river bed surrounded by bamboo plants and then continues into the forest. Wind through the surrounding foliage, riding along paths connecting various different villages. There will be a chance to guide the elephants along the path, taking them down to the river to feed. The trek will also train in the basic mahout techniques.

Alternating between walking and riding on the back of the elephant, the trek passes through countryside typical to this region of Laos. The valleys provide panoramic views over several alluvial plains where sweet corn and tobacco grow along with traditional houses and gardens.

The view then opens out to the surrounding countryside.

For those who wish to do a more challenging excursion, please enquire further.

Return to the Mekong Elephant Camp and enjoy the rest of the day and Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Pakbeng.

DAY 5 - Pak Beng - OudomxayMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelTransfer: 2.5 hrs - 3 hrs

This morning, enjoy breakfast overlooking the Mekong before a late (10:00) check out, heading away from the river towards Oudomxay. This is a reasonably straight forward journey, where the landscape is covered with a variety of agricultural farming.  There will be a chance to stop at the Ban Yor Pottery village en route along with a few photo stops.

Upon arrival in Oudomxay, enjoy lunch followed by a walk up the town's highest temple, Wat Phu Tat, to get a panoramic view of the surrounding town and countryside.

The rest of the day is spent at leisure.

Overnight in Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

DAY 6 - Udomxay - Nam Kat Yola PaMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelTrekking distance up to: 6 hours Difficulty: Medium

The next two days exploring is Ecotourism at its best! It’s perfect for those seeking a true experience of the Laos rainforest. Journey through some of the most stunning scenery in the Nam Kat Protected Rain Forest Area. Cross rivers and streams, trek through dense forest and experience true natural beauty. It is predominantly spent trekking through the forest and mountains of pristine trees and designed for moderately active people who love getting into the great outdoors.

Departing from the resort at around 9:00, trek uphill to Houay Soum waterfall. This waterfall has two levels and a chance to walk under the falls. A refreshing swim is always a good option to help cool down.

Trek onwards to a part of the park famous for its many bee hives. This will take about one hour and will be followed by a lunch break. Note: this activity mostly takes place during the dry season from November to May.

Dinner and overnight at the Tree House

DAY 7 - Phoupapak Mountain - Sightseeing the WildlifeMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelTrekking distance up to: 5 hours Difficulty: Medium

This morning, after breakfast, depart around 08:30 and delve further into the densely forested mountainside. Whilst trekking, there will be an opportunity to see animal tracks from monkeys, squirrels and a variety of birds.

It may be possible to spot monkeys that venture out of the high canopy looking for food. After lunch, continue trekking downhill, reaching the resort around 17:00.

Dinner and overnight at Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

DAY 8 - Oudomxay - PhongsaliMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelTransfer from Oudomxay to Phongsaly: 7-8 hours

After breakfast, depart for Phongsaly. The road is situated on the mountain slopes and is in good condition. The drive will pass by beautiful landscapes, banana plantations, local rural life in the villages that border the road and panoramic views over the surrounding mountains.

Make a stop at Ban Bountai around 12:30 and enjoy a picnic lunch or a local soup delicacy. There is also a chance to visit the local market.

Continue to Phongsaly for about 4 hours. Arrive around 16:30 and check-in at the hotel.

Once settled, take a guided  walk through the streets of Phongsaly. The charm of the town is made by the narrow paved streets bordered by traditional Chinese houses in wood. The guide will explain about the history and culture of this multicultural city and the harmony that reigns between Lao people and Chinese immigrants.

There will also be a visit made to a Chinese temple where some beautiful views await. Finally, walk to Wat Keo where the monks can be seen playing petanque or football in the early evening.

After the tour, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Phongsaly

DAY 9 - Phongsaly - Multiple Tribe TrekMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelTransfer from Boun Neua to Phongsaly (42 km): 1 hour Trekking distance up to : 4-5 hours Difficulty: Medium

After breakfast, drive to Bountai and meet the local guide for the day. Then, transfer to Ban Aya, the H’mong village where the trek begins. After a tour of the village and an opportunity to meet the people, take a guided trek through the amazing jungle and amongst paddie fields.

Stop en route to enjoy a typical Lao picnic lunch.

After lunch, descend to Ban Aneng, another Hmong village located in a lower area. Explore the village and learn more about their cultures and traditions.

Visit some other tribal villages of Akha Mouchee, Tai Yag, Laopan and Tai Yue, before going back to Bountai by private car.

Transfer back to the hotel in Phongsaly. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Phongsaly

DAY 10 - Phongsaly - 400 years old Tea Plantation - Muang KhuaMealsMEALS [B|D]

Exo TravelTransfer from Phongsali to Ban Komaen: 30 mins

After breakfast, visit the famous 400-year-old tea plantation, located in the village of Ban Komaen, about a 30 minute drive south of Phongsaly.

According to some tea experts, this village has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste. The oldest trees stand 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. These are regularly cut and kept to a reasonable size by the Phunoy people, climbing to pick the precious leaves. They then process and sell this rare tea in cigar-shaped tubes.


The road to Ban Komaen passes through more recent tea plantations and offers a stunning view of Phongsaly and surrounding mountains. In the village a newly built tea-tasting shop serves food and sells the 400-year-old tea. You can also explore the temple with its characteristic Buddha statue with big ears.


Next take a 4 hour drive to Muang Khua with a stop en route to have lunch in a local restaurant (not included). Upon arrival, check-into the hotel until dinner.

Tonight’s dinner is included at Sayphoun restaurant, overlooking the Nam Ou River.


Overnight in Muang Khua

DAY 11 - Muang Khua - Muang Gnoi MealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelTransfer from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoi by boat: 4 hours

After breakfast at Sayphoun restaurant, board a private longtail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic and wild and also has far less traffic.

Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages while cruising downstream.

In the late afternoon, reach the destination of Muang Ngoi, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to the accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River.

DAY 12 - Muang Gnoi - 3 Minorities Trek - Nong KhiewMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelTransfer from Muang Gnoi to Nong Khiaw by boat: 1 hour Trekking distance up to: 5 hours Difficulty: Medium

First thing in the morning, take a fishing boat about 15 minutes downstream to Ban Sopkhan, a Lao Loum village. After visiting the village, begin a 2 hour trek through rice fields to Ban Pha Yoong (a Hmong ethnic village), and Ban Tad Lene (a Khmu village). After a picnic lunch,  continue trekking to the village of Ban Sopkong.

From Ban Sopkong, float downriver to Nong Khiew by boat.

Overnight in Nong Khiaw

DAY 13 - Nong Khiaw - Luang PrabangMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelTransfer from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang (134 km): 2.5-3 hours

After breakfast, the guide and private driver will provide a transfer back to Luang Prabang which will take approximately 3 hours.

The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities or wander around the town before the trip back home.

DAY 14 - Luang Prabang DepartureMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelTransfer to airport: 15 mins

The day is free at leisure until the transfer to the airport and onward flight.

Exo Travel

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Our services include:

  • Luggage transfer
  • Vehicles: (varies based on local conditions and vehicle sizes available). Private air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and back up as itinerary.
  • 1 refillable personal bottle per person
  • Plenty of water provided throughout the day when hiking
  • Snacks and local fruits
  • 1 Exo Adventure Certified English Speaking Guide
  • 1 first aid kit per guide
  • Tips for Drivers and Porters
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Sightseeing tickets where mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation as listed above.
  • Flight reconfirmations

Our services don’t include:

  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Soft drinks, or beverages beyond water – we can add this into costs at agents request
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks at mealtimes
  • Tips for Guides, Drivers and Porters
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gu, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the itinerary and in the inclusive portion.
  • Other language speaking guides
    •  

Important Notes:

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Thailand and Laos.
  • Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
  • The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
  • Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program.
  • This trip can be done by Road Bike as well, but clients need provide their own bikes.

 

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 Adventure Tour to your individual specifications.

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