Bangkok & Laos holiday: waterfalls and mountains

Tailor-made holidays
Duration (in days): 14

From: UK – Luang Prabang

To: Bangkok - UK

From

£3,445

Inc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Enjoy this Laos holiday, taking in the mountains of the north and rivers of the south, before heading to Bangkok. Begin in Luang Prabang, where colonial architecture lines the streets and delicious street food fills the night markets. Bathe in the turquoise waters of Kuang Si and taste fresh cheese at the Lao Buffalo Farm. Head south to through the lush mountains to Vientiane, where golden temples and spires await. Fly south to the Boloven Plateau and spend some time exploring along the Mekong River. Finish your holiday in Bangkok, taking in the hustle and bustle of this incredible city, from dinner in Chinatown to cocktails in the skybar.          

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

This holiday includes

  • International flights
  • All transfers
  • All accommodation in Thailand & Laos   
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary        

 

You’ll remember…

  • Swimming beneath the Kuang Si waterfall
  • Soaking in the scenery of central Laos    
  • Your first glimpse of Vientiane’s golden temples
  • Cycling through Laos’ ‘4000 islands’
  • Tasting street food at Chatuchak Weekend Market          
  • Exploring the lanes of Bangkok’s Chinatown
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 3 nights Luang Prabang
  • 1 night Vang Vieng
  • 2 nights Vientiane
  • 3 nights Champasak
  • 3 nights Bangkok

Day 1: Depart UK

Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

Included: International flights

Day 2: Arrive Laos

On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. Check in for three nights before heading into town for a short orientation tour. As dusk falls, head to the top of Mount Phousi just in time for sunset. The viewpoint from the top of the 328 stairs offers vast panoramas of the city below. In the evening you could explore the night market and enjoy some street food for dinner.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel     

Day 3: Pak Ou Caves & Luang Prabang

After breakfast, you’ll start this morning with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong, a beautiful temple. Afterwards, you’ll board a traditional wooden boat for a relaxing cruise along the Mekong. Enjoy the peaceful scenery passing by before arriving at the Pak Ou Caves.

Sitting where the Mekong and the Nam Ou Rivers meet, these twin caves are carved into the limestone cliffs. They are filled with hundreds of ancient Buddha images and statues. After visiting the caves, we’ll moor near the cliff to enjoy a delicious local lunch, with a range of traditional Laotian dishes.

In the afternoon, you’ll head back to Luang Prabang, to learn about the history of the city. Take in the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, as well as Wat Mai, a golden temple. Finish the day by taking part in a traditional Baci ceremony. Deeply rooted in Lao culture, these ceremonies are used to celebrate a special occasion, whether a wedding, a festival, or a welcome.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 4: Luang Prabang & Kuang Si

It’s worth getting up early today, to take a special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents.

After heading back to the hotel for breakfast, you’ll visit Wat Visoun, the holiest temple in the city. In the afternoon, you’ll head into the countryside for a visit to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Spend a few hours exploring and relaxing in this beautiful region – swim in turquoise pools, climb to the top of the falls for great views or discover the jungle on foot.

On the way back to Luang Prabang, you could drop into ‘Free the Bears’ – a sanctuary for Asiactic bears that have been rescued from poachers. You could also stop in at the Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm. It’s a social enterprise that produces sustainable (and delicious!) cheese, while giving back to the community and environment. The buffalos might be the stars here but there are plenty of pigs, chicken and rabbits to play with too.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 5: Travel to Vang Vieng

After breakfast, you’ll depart Luang Prabang for the spectacular drive to Vang Vieng. On the way you’ll stop in Kasi, where fields of fruit trees and plants can be found. It’s a winding road through the lush mountains, so be sure to ask your guide to pull over if you want to take some photos.

On arrival in Vang Vieng, you can check into your hotel and soak up the landscapes surrounding the city. The rest of your day is free to explore yourself, although your guide is available if you want some assistance. Don't forget to catch the sunset over the Nam Song River.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 6: Travel to Vientiane

Today you’ll cross the Nam Song River for the short drive to Tham Pou Kham. After passing through a small entrance, you’ll descend 100 metres into the ground. Despite the small entryway, the cave opens right up into a vast area, with a reclining Buddha statue filling the cavern. After you’ve explored the cave, you can swim in the chilly but relaxing waterholes of the Ka River.

Continuing up the river, you’ll take a ride on a local longtail boat along the Nam Song River, before arriving at an organic farm. Taste a refreshing mulberry tea and tour the crops before beginning the drive to Vientiane. After a couple of hours you’ll get to Nam Ngum Lake. This large reservoir holds the first hydroelectric dam in the country and is a good spot to hire a local boat for a tour of the lake. Carrying on to Vientiane, you’ll arrive by the early evening – why not head out to try some dinner in the local night markets.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 7: Vientiane

The tour begins at the serene Wat Sisaket, one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, before continuing on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo. Acting as a religious museum, the site displays a unique collection of both Lao and Khmer works of art.

Next, make a stop at Wat Simuang. The most popular and venerated temple in Vientiane, it is thought to be the guardian of the spirit of the city. Following the temple visit, head to COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center provides in-depth information about the history of the American/Vietnam war, the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area, and the efforts underway to clear them.

In the afternoon, continue to the Patuxay monument. Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, it is possible to climb the stairs of the monument where breath-taking views over the city await. The tour wraps up at That Luang, the holiest site in Laos, famous for its towering golden spire.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 8: Fly to Pakse

After breakfast, you’ll head to the airport for your flight to Pakse. On arrival in Pakse, you’ll take a short tour of the town, seeing the colonial and Chinese-style buildings as well as the local market.

After taking in the best of Pakse, you’ll depart for the Balaven Plateau, a mountainous region home to dozens of hill tribes, waterfalls and coffee plantations. On the way, stop in at the Ta Fane and Tad Yuang waterfalls. These twin waterfalls are 120 metres high, formed by the merging waters of the Champy and Pak Koot rivers.

Stop in at Paksong, the ‘capital of coffee’, before heading on to the Sinouk Coffee Resort. Enjoy a tour of the plantation and its coffee trees, learning about the different stages of processing the beans. Enjoy delicious coffee tasting session – the perfect way to finish your morning!

In the afternoon you’ll visit Tad Lo waterfalls, a beautiful formation of three separate falls, on your way to your hotel in Champasak. Check into your hotel and enjoy views of the Mekong flowing by.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel, touring    

Day 9: Wat Phou & Champasak

Today, you’ll visit Wat Phou. This spectacular pre-Angkorian temple sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos.  The temple was constructed in three levels: the bottom level is focused on the baray (water reservoir) and promenade, the second level features pavilions and galleries of carvings, and the top level is the sanctuary. The temple served as the most important economic and political center of the region and still is one of the Lao people’s most revered temples.

Drive to Champasak, through streets lined with French colonial buildings, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before spending the afternoon at leisure.

Included: Breakfast, lunch, 4* hotel, touring       

Day 10: Siphandon

After breakfast, you’ll head out for the full day to explore the area known locally as Siphandon (‘4000 Islands’). In this beautiful area the Mekong River reaches 14km wide and thousands of small islands dot the waterway.

First, you’ll travel by car to the village of Ban Nakasan. From here, take a local boat to the peaceful island of Don Khong. The best way to explore the area is by bicycle, however a local tuk tuk can be hired as well.

Visit the impressive Lippi falls, which are on the west of Don Khong, very close to the Cambodian border. The islands played an important role during the French Colonial rule as they linked Laos to Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. To overpass the waterfalls, a railway and bridge were built, which today is the perfect place to soak in the panoramic views.

After visiting the falls and bridges, head out on a boat trip to try and spot the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphin. They are very rare but keep your eyes peeled and you might just get lucky. After the boat ride, you can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

You’ll return to the mainland by boat and head back to Champasak, arriving in time for sunset.

Included: Breakfast, lunch, 4* hotel, touring       

Day 11: Fly to Bangkok

After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight to Thailand. Upon arrival in Bangkok you’ll be met by your guide and transported to your hotel in a private air-conditioned vehicle. The evening is yours to explore, whether you head out into the city or relax in your hotel enjoying a quiet night in before a day of exploring tomorrow.

Included: Transfers, 4* hotel

Day 12: Grand Palace & Temples tour

After an early start you’ll head to Bangkok’s most famous temple, Wat Pho, for a half day tour. In the mornings the monks begin their ritual of chanting, an uplifting and private experience within the temple grounds before marvelling at the 45-metre-long Reclining Buddha, with intricate mother of pearl feet and stunning golden skin.

Next you’ll explore the Grand Palace, where the majestic buildings are encrusted with golden tiles and ruby mosaics, with spiky roofs pointing into the sky. Here you’ll enter the holy sanctuary of the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in the country, where many local people come every day to worship.

Grab a quick lunch of pad thai and spend the afternoon exploring the rest of the city, from shopping for Thai silk scarves at Jim Thompsons to the street markets of Sukhumvit. This evening why not head into the city and enjoy a traditional Thai meal of garlic rice, som tam and the famous Thai green curry.

Included: Breakfast, day tour, 4* hotel

Day 13: Bangkok

Today is yours to explore the bustling metropolis of Bangkok. If it’s a weekend why not head to Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can buy jewellery, furniture and food – and everything in between! Another option is to hop on a boat and enjoy the journey upriver through the city, stopping off to try dumplings in the alleys of Chinatown, enjoying the air conditioning of the enormous Central World shopping mall and lizard-spotting in the haven of green space that is Lumpini Park.

Later, why not head to Silom and hop between the busy bars and night market, where you can buy clothes and souvenirs, as well as taste the delicious street food from the stalls that line the pavements. Finish the night at rooftop bar where you can drink in the spectacular views of the city as well as one of the many cocktails on the menu.

Included: Breakfast, 4* hotel     

Day 14: Depart Bangkok

This morning you’ll be met by a driver, ready to transfer you to the airport in an air-conditioned private vehicle for your flight home.

Included: Breakfast, transfers, international flights        

Day 15: Arrive UK

Info

The dry season in Laos usually runs from October to April, with the monsoon season taking over from May until September. The temperature is fairly stable throughout the year, around 30 degrees, with humidity rising during the wet season.

Monsoon season in Bangkok goes from May to July and lasts into November. This is then followed by a dry period from November to May which provides lower temperatures until mid-Feb followed by much higher temperatures until May. August and September are the rainiest months with chances of flooding.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

What's included: 

  • International flights
  • Return airport transfers
  • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary   
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

Not included: 

  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
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