Laos Expeditions Tours: Laos Craft & Ethnic Minority 16 Days
Tour code: DINA-LANV
Type of tour: Private tour (This is the sample tour, you may go with all details here or we can modify to fix your date of travel)
Duration: 16 Days 15 Nights
The ethnic minority area around Luangprabang is the most visited, but tourism has hardly spread further than its environs go deeper into Northern Laos, Muangsing, LuangNam Tha area and the ethnic costumes are a riot of colour! you’ll find remote villages hardly touched by tourism.The northern most region including Phongsali have the least experience of tourism, so you're likely to find only the the most basic levels of accommodation
NGOT OU - BOUN NEUA - PHONGSALY - BOUN NEUA - PHONGSALY - HAT SA -
MUANG KHOUA - KHUANG XI - LUANG PRABANG
( 16 Days 15 Nights )
Day 01 : Vientiane - Arrival (D)
Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Vientiane’s major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the center of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture. Remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight at the hotel in Vientiane.
Day 02 : Vientiane - Luang Namtha (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Vientiane airport for Lao Airlines flight to Luang Namtha – (flights are subject to availability). Meet upon arrival and transfer to the lodge for check-in.
Lunch at local restaurant in Luang Namtha.
This afternoon, drive to the village of Ban Pasak (Black Tai). Walk around the village to see the daily activites of the people, especially woman weaving, dyeing and breeding silkworms. Return to Luang Namtha. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 03 : Luang Namtha - Trekking (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Ban Dok Khoune (8 Km from town) where the trek starts to the Hmong village of Ban Nam Hoy (1 hour). Continue to Ban Phieng Gnam, village of Thai Khoa and Youan minorities.
After a picnic lunch, continue the trek to Ban Nam Gnene (Thai Dam and Thai Khao villages). Also visit That Phoum Phouk. Return to Luang Namtha by pick up. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 04 : Luang namtha - Muang Sing (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Luang Namtha morning market and Provincial museum. Continue to visit Ban Thong Poung. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, drive to Muang Sing. On the way visit Lanten village at Ban Ko Lak Kham May. The Lanten tribes are sometimes called “Lao Houay” (stream Lao) because they choose to live near permanent streams. The dark indigo clothing worn by men and women immediately recognizes the Lanten. The women also pluck or shave their eyebrows upon reaching puberty and
wear their hair in a traditional style, swept up and held in place with beautiful silver jewelry. Also visit Bane Done Xay, a Khmu village. Upon arrival in Muang Sing, transfer to the hotel for check in. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 05 : Muang Sing (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit the local market where the various minority people come down early in the morning to sell their products. Travel by car to discover local hill tribe people (Iko, Yao, and Lanten) and see their daily lifestyle. Continue to visit Ban Oudom Sinh, then Akkha and Yao minorities at Ban Chong Ka, Nam May, Done Thanh and Ban Houey Khem.Lunch at local restaurant.In the afternoon, visit an Iko Jijo village at Ban Houey Long Kao and Lu Village at Ban Na. Return to the hotel. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 06 : Muang Sing - Luang Namtha - Oudomxay (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit Phra That Xieng Teung, the most important temple in Muang Sing, and then drive to Oudomxay. On the way visit a Lanten village at Ban Nam Deng. Lunch at local restaurant in Nateuy.
After lunch, continue the drive towards Oudomxay, stopping at the Khmu village of Ban Kiou Keb and the Hmong village of Ban Lak Xao Song. Upon arrival at Oudomxay in the late afternoon, transfer to the guest house and check-in. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the guest house.
Day 07 : Oudomxay - Boun Tai (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the guest house.Drive to Boun Tai, making several stops at Ikor, Yao, Hmong and Khmu minority villages along the route to see their different life styles. Visit Vat Phra Xack Kham temple which houses a sacred Buddha image. The 400 year-old image is very sacred and has many supernatural powers which are widely worshipped among people of Muang La district and other Buddhists. There are many mysteries and tales about Phra Xack Kham. One tale dates back to 1879 when King Oun ruled. Six members of the Jeuang army stole the heart of Phra Xack Kham and then its power caused them to be killed when the branch of the tree they were under fell on them. The villagers searched their belongings and found nothing. Now that the road condition between Oudomxay and Mangle is greatly improved, both local tourists and foreigners are sure to enjoy the nature, cultural traditions and histories of Mangle district and seeing the daily activities of local people along the Nam Phak River. Lunch at local restaurant. Visit Ban Pak Nam Noy. Late afternoon arrival in Boun Tai and transfer to the guest house for check-in. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the guest house.
Day 08 : Boun Tai - Ngot Ou (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Drive to Muang Ngot Ou, with several stopovers at Iko, Hmong and Khmu minority villages. Also visit a Yao village - Yao houses are generally made of wood or bamboo are rectangular in shape and have a dirt floor. In their village the Yao maintain a large extended family in the same household. They produce mainly rice and maize. Visit Ban Yo village, an Iko ethnic Kho group once originally called Akha or “older brother” in Lao. This ethnic group emigrated from China about 500 years ago due to war among various tribes. They entered the Lanexang Kingdom of Laos, through the southwest and divided into sub-tribes (Iko, Pho, Xang, Debia, Loma, Eupa, Mu, and Kuew). The women of the Iko tribe are skilled in weaving, knitting and ornamental sewing, while the men are excellent woodcrafters. The men are often dressed in baggy pants, dark brown long-sleeved shirts, with silver ornaments as buttons. Visit Ban Gnay Neua, through this portion of the route, where different life styles of various minorities are highlight of the region. Lunch on the way.Arrival at Ngot Ou in afternoon, the Northern most district in Laos. Visit Vat Ngot Ou before transferring to the guest house for check-in. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the guest house.
Day 09 : Ngot Ou - Boun Neua - Phongsaly (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the guesthouse.
Excursion by pick up through this mountainous region. Trekking to an Iko village which is close to the Lao / Chinese boarder.
Lunch at local restaurant.Visit Ban Boun Neua. Next, stopover to visit Ban KM 35 where the villagers are breeding bees and distilling rice wine (Lao wine). In the late afternoon, arrive in Phongsaly and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 10 : Phongsaly - Hat Sa - Muang Khoua (B,L,D)
Visit the local market where the various minority people come down early in the morning to sell their products. Return to guest house.
Breakfast at the guesthouse. Climb the 413 steps to the top of Phou Fa Mountain. The scenery from the peak of the mountain is breathtaking. The peak allows for imponderable views of Phongsaly with great ease. Phou Fa stands 1,626 meters above sea level. From far away it takes on the shape of a lion happily having a delicious feast. Forest greenery enfolds Phou Fa Mountain providing many types of flowers (Dokthong, Dok Gnui, and Dok Khai) to blossom at will in the cool temperatures. Then drive to Hat Sa (22 km from Phongsaly). Take a traditional boat on the Nam Ou River. The Nam Ou River is a branch of Mekong River, reflecting nationalism in Laos. Historically, what is presently known as Luang Prabang, originated from a group of minorities who emigrated from Nan, China along the Nam Ou River. The river begins from a pond at the foothills of the Phou Khoud Mountains (close to the boarder between Laos and China). With a radius of about 25 meters, the ponds create the source of the Nam Ou River in a flat area surrounded by white sand, gravel, dense grass and huge soft wood. Afterwards, the Nam Ou River comes down through a mountainous area until reaching the Pak Ou Cave. Taking a boat trip along the river, we can discover the different life styles of local people. On the way, visit Muang Sam Phanh, Ban Kha Na and lowland Lao people where traditional Lao homes can be seen. The unique characteristic of a traditional Lao home has a direct impression on the Lao people and their livelihood that is different from the present mixed architecture of tradition and modernism. A traditional Lao home is built high off the ground with hard wood stilts embedded either into the ground or on stones. Wooden planks are used for flooring, wooden boards or bamboo used for sidings and either grass or shingles can be used for roofing depending on what the home-owner can find at the time. Lunch on board the boat. Upon arrival in Muang Khoua in the late afternoon, transfer to the guest house and check-in. Dinner and accommodation at the guest house.
Day 11 : Muang Khoua - Nong Khio - Pak Ou - Luang Brabang (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the guest house.
Early morning visit the local market, where tribal people from the surrounding villages meet to exchange goods. Board a traditional boat for the second leg of the cruise. Arrive in Nong Khio and continue by car to Pak Ou village at the mouth of Nam Ou River, to visit Tam Ting, the caves housing over a thousand Buddha statues. Afterward a brief stop is made at the village of Ban Xhanghai to observe the traditional process of making local rice alcohol. Then continue by car to Luang Prabang, arriving in the late afternoon. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao cultures with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 12 : Luang Brabang
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit Vat Visoun, the site of most impressive stupa, That Makmo with a rounded dome stylistically more Silankalese than Lao. Walk for a step to Vat Aham, which was a city's major tutelary shrine, dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Yaw Gneu (ancestors). Next, climb the 350 steps to reach the summit of Vat Phousi hill located in the center of the city. The temples on Phousi hill are all rather recently constructed and are located at the summit of this sacred hill. There are excellent views of the town and surrounding mountains from the top of the hill. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796, the five-tiered roof of the wooden Sim in the standard of Luang Prabang style. Next, visit Vat Xieng Thong, considered as the most beautiful temple. The Sim of the Vat represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. The rear wall of the Sim features an impressive " tree of life “ mosaic set in red background. Inside richly decorated wooden column support a ceiling vested with Dharma-wheels. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha images which were displayed in Paris in 1911. Near the compounds East gate stands the Funeral Chapel. Inside are an impressive 12 meter high funeral chariot and various funeral urns of each royal family member. The gilt panel on the exterior of chapel depicts semi-erotic episode from Ramayana.Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit the weaving village of Ban Phanom and the paper making village of Ban Xang Khong. Return to Luang Prabang and view the sunset from Vat Prabaht Tai, located on the banks of the Mekong River. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 13 : Luang Brabang - Khuang Xi - Luang Brabang (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by road to the Khuang Xi Waterfalls (30 km’s - approx. 1 hour drive). The waterfalls tumble over tiered limestone formations into cool, clear pools ideal for swimming and relaxing. On the way to the waterfalls, visit Khmu minority village of Ban Thapaene.
Picnic lunch nearby the waterfalls. Return to Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Ban Xom known for its cotton production. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day14 : Luang Brabang - Vientiane (B,L,D)
Breakfast at local restaurant. Visit the National Museum (former Royal Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the royal family. Then stroll on the Central Market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily. Lunch at local restaurant. Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for Lao Airlines flight to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, transfer to the hotel and check-in. If time permits, visit Thong Khan Kham Market. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 15 : Vientiane (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828. All other temples in the city have undergone extensive restoration. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. Special displays include antique brass drums and palm leaf manuscripts. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha, which now resides in Bangkok’s Wat Phraw Kaew. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patouxay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane landmark is the That Luang Stupa. This great sacred stupa, considered the national symbol, was built in 1566 by King Sethtathirat. Its central structure is 45 meters tall and echoes the curving lines of an elongated lotus. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the Xieng Khouan Buddha Park, located 24 KM South of Vientiane. It is not a temple since there are no monks living there. It is popularly called “Buddha Park” because of its collection of bizarre Buddhist and Hindu sculptures that are scattered in a meadow by the Mekong River. Included are statues of Shiva, Visnu, Arjuna, Buddha and other Hindu or Buddhist deities. The park was designed and built in 1958 by the venerable Bounleua, a yogi-priest-shaman. He merged Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, mythology and iconography into a cryptic whole. On the way back to Vientiane, stop to see the Friendship Bridge linking Laos and Thailand. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 16 : Vientiane – Deparature (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Vientiane airport for departure flight – (airfare is not included in the tour price).
Tour rates: Rates vary depend on group size, travel time, accommodation level, transportation and other service. Please check with us for the best tour ratesPrice included
- Transfer and tour by air-conditioned car / minivan / or with English French speaking local guide, domestic air tickets (subject to availability)
- Domestic airport taxes, private traditional boats for river journey’s, entrance fees, meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner),
- Accommodation in twin shared rooms with private bathroom (except, perhaps very basic guest houses), service charges, room tax and baggage handling.
- Arrival and departure flights, Laotian visa fee
- International airport tax upon departure, all other meals not mentioned above, drinks, tips
- Other personal expenditures such as telephone, laundry, and personal travel insurance.
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