Built around Mount Phousi, and nestled in the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, Luang Prabang offers its quiet splendor to travelers who visit golden-spired temples, wander among markets, and relax in longboats as they cruise the Mekong River to sacred caves filled with resplendent Buddha statues.
Laos Private Trip Overview
UNESCO describes Luang Prabang as the best-preserved traditional town in Southeast Asia, and has taken steps to guarantee preservation of its heritage. Many of Luang Prabang’s temples are being carefully restored, and natural zones along the Mekong River are protected Built around Mount Phousi, and nestled in the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, Luang Prabang offers quiet splendor as we visit golden-spired temples, wander among markets selling the woven and silver wares of local villagers, and cruise the Mekong River to sacred caves filled with resplendent Buddha statues.
Laos Itinerary at a Glance
SAMPLE ITINERARY: Other private customized options are available.
The Boundless Journeys Advantage
- A passion for travel. Simply put, we love to travel, and that is woven into every one of our journeys.
- Unique, award-winning itineraries. Our flexible, hand-crafted journeys have received accolades from the world’s most revered travel publications.
- Insider connections. There is simply no substitute for traveling with a knowledgeable insider.
- Small groups. We tread softly, and our average group size is just 6-8 guests.
- Flexibility to suit your travel style. We offer both small-group departures and Private Collection trips, so that you can choose which works best for you.
- Customer service that goes the extra mile. There is no request that is too big – or too small – for our staff to handle.
- Sustainability. We are committed to traveling responsibly – striving to preserve traditions and cultures around the world, and to protect fragile natural habitats.
Our tours often fill months in advance, and our maximum group size is smaller than most tour operators. It's very quick and easy to reserve a trip. Give us a call at 800-941-8010 or complete the online Reserve a Trip form. We will confirm your reservation with a $500 per person deposit, payable by check or credit card.
Typical Trip Rating (1 Easiest - 5 Most Strenuous)
Traveling to and From
Most Convenient Airport:
Luang Prabang International Airport, Luang Prabang (airport code LPQ)
Meeting Time and Place:
Luang Prabang International Airport, Luang Prabang upon arrival of your international flight. Boundless Journeys must have your Arrival & Departure Information form on file at least 45 days ahead of time in order to arrange this arrival transfer.
Departure Time and Place:
Luang Prabang International Airport, Luang Prabang in time for your departing flight on Day 4. You may depart at your leisure; however, if you would like to participate in the suggested activities on the morning of Day 4, we suggest a mid-afternoon or later departure.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Boundless Journeys’ trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Typically, Highlights of Luang Prabang is rated 2, easy to moderate on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The walks on this trip are day walks and hikes with minimal vehicle support. The walking and hiking will be over varying terrain (some of it hilly), 2-4 hours a day, broken up by rest and meals. This Private Collection trip offers a certain degree of flexibility to make the trip more challenging or leisurely to suit you and your companions.
Preparing for this Trip
While this is an easy to moderate cultural exploration that can be enjoyed by anyone with a reasonable degree of health, the more well-prepared you are for the activities on this trip, the more you will enjoy yourself! Consider engaging in moderate aerobic activities (walking, jogging, cycling) for at least 30-45 minutes several times a week for 4-6 weeks before the trip. Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.
This trip extension offers an expert local Luang Prabang guide. From your arrival to your departure, your airport transfers and daily activities will be seamlessly coordinated by our local team of transfer drivers and your guide.
The weather in Luang Prabang is warm to hot year round, with a marked increase in humidity and rainfall during the summer months. Therefore, we recommend travel to Laos from October-March. Following are the average temperatures and precipitation in Luang Prabang:
high low precip.
January: 82°F 56°F 0.6"
March: 93°F 63°F 1.2"
May: 95°F 73°F 6.4"
July: 90°F 74°F 9.1"
October: 89°F 69°F 3.1"
December: 81°F 59°F 0.5"
You can obtain more detailed weather information at www.weatherbase.com.
When to Go
The cooler dry season lasts from October to March. In October and November, arriving just after the rainy season, you’ll have the benefit of being there for the newly greened trees and rice paddies, as well as clearer air quality that can be expected at this time of year. December through March remain much drier and a less hot than during the summer months. However, it is possible to have some rain at any time of year.
Nights 1-3: Hotel de la Paix
Luang Prabang, Laos
An all-suite boutique hotel boasting among the most spacious rooms in Luang Prabang. Sited on the grounds of a former governor's residence just five minutes from town, this beautifully designed hotel blends colonial style with regional Asian influences. Sun-filled courtyards, shimmering pools and frangipani-scented gardens provide a welcome retreat after a day's exploration.
Laos Detailed Itinerary
SAMPLE ITINERARY: Other private customized options are available.
Wat Xiengthong and Mount Phousi
Walking – easy, 2-3 hours.
This afternoon we embark on a walking tour of this enchanting town, with our first stop at Wat Xiengthong, a temple built around 1560 by King Setthathirat, and now home to the national museum. We then continue to Wat Khili for an opportunity to meet some of the young novice monks residing at the Wat to learn about life in the monastery. You may want to share something about your life in return; postcards from your hometown are a fun way to explain where you are from.
Pac Ou Caves and Village Exploration
Walking – easy to moderate, 2-3 hours.
Today we explore villages along the Mekong River by boat and on foot. After breakfast, we cross the Mekong River by boat and visit Ban Chan, a village known for its traditional pottery – a variety including vases, flower pots, and figurines. We then continue by boat to Ban Xieng Men, another typical Lao village. From here, we can hike to Wat Chom Phet, a temple built by the Thai army in 1880. Climb about 100 steps to visit this small, ruined temple from which you have an undisturbed view over the Mekong River and Luang Prabang.
From the temple, we walk to Wat Long Khun, where we will board our boat again with a possible stop at the village of Ban Khok Sa Mouy. We then continue our cruise upstream, and have the pleasure of taking in life on the river banks: solitary fishermen throwing their nets, grazing water buffalo, and women panning for gold. Along the way, we find a nice spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Our final stop is at the Pac Ou caves, situated at the Mekong’s confluence with the Nam Ou River. Here we explore sacred hollows in the limestone cliffs, once inhabited by Buddhist monks, which are now thought to be the home of guardian spirits. Many Lao pilgrims make their way here annually, on the Lao New Year, to visit the countless gilded Buddha statues. From the river, we climb a series of steps to the lower cave and enter into its candlelit recess. Those looking for a bit of an invigorating challenge may continue still higher to the upper caves, before crossing the river to meet our vehicle for the return journey to Luang Prabang.
Tonight you may board a tuk-tuk (three-wheeled, local taxis), to make your way to dinner in town, or you can choose to stay and dine at a restaurant in your hotel.
Hotel de la Paix, Luang Prabang
Breakfast and lunch included
Elephant ride – easy, 1.5 hours; hiking – moderate, about 2 hours.
We ride across the Nam Khan River and continue for 1.5 hours, until we reach a great place to rest and enjoy a wonderful Lao lunch next to a waterfall. Depending on the water level you can take a dip in the natural pools. After lunch, continue on foot along the marvelous Huay Sae stream, across bamboo bridges and past waterfalls, fantastic limestone formations, and turquoise pools framed by dense jungle.
We learn about the importance of the surrounding ecosystem to the livlihoods of local villagers as we hike through fields, plantations, and teak forest. Back at the Nam Khan River, a comfortable bamboo raft is waiting for you to return by river to the camp. Along the way, there is time to relax and observe the traditional lives of farmers and fishermen along the river.
Upon arrival back at the camp we return by vehicle to Luang Prabang, where you are free to explore on your own this evening.
Breakfast and lunch included
Exploring Silk Production and Departure
This afternoon we return to Luang Prabang in time for your departing flight.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary to take advantage of weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these should the need arise.
Suggested Trip Length
When to Go
Land Cost (through March, 2015)
2015 Land Cost Details
All rates based on a minimum of two guests. Please inquire for solo traveler pricing, holiday periods, and for dates past March 31, 2015.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.
- Expert local guide
- All accommodations
- Private ground transport including airport transfers
- Meals as noted in the itinerary
- Entry fees
- All activities as noted in the itinerary
Please complete the following information to request a reservation. A trip deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your reservation (payable by check or major credit card). Once we receive your request we will contact you within one business day to confirm availability and answer any questions you may have.
About our guides
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work – the mark of a truly great leader – our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own.
Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
PhonePhet (Phet) was born in the small village of Ban NamNga about 60 miles north of Luang Prabang. When he was 21, he moved to Luang Prabang for his higher education. Upon graduating from a teacher training college in 2004, he began working as a trekking and biking guide, bringing guests on adventure tours throughout Laos. Phet’s love of sharing his country and culture to travelers is contagious, and he is especially passionate about getting his clients out into the countryside, where they can learn more about rural Laotian life. When not guiding, Phet enjoys leading an active lifestyle, primarily hiking and cycling.
Picture Yourself Here:
Exploring historic temples and Buddhist shrines
Immersing yourself in local culture -- hiking to hill tribe villages and meeting locals to learn about their traditional crafts
Embarking on an elephant-back adventure and cruising the mighty Mekong River in longboats
An Ideal Extension for:
What others have said...
The guides were the best I have ever experienced. I would definitely travel with you again and recommend you to my friends!
-T. Lofton, Springboro, OH
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