DAY 1 LUANG PRABANG
Arrival in Luang Prabang. Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation: 3 nights in Luang Prabang
Excursion by boat to Tham Pak Ou Caves (5-6 hours)
Travel up the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the Tham Pak Ou Caves. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images of every style and material imaginable. On the way to Pak Ou Cave, stop at Ban Xang Hai Village (If time permitted, open 6.00 am – 15.00 pm and closed on Buddhist holidays), a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky.
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang, the ancient capital city of the Lan Xang Kingdom, is famous for its historic temples and beautiful setting surrounded by mountains. In 1995 it was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Visit Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong was built in 1560 and situated on the banks of the Mekong River, it is the most beautiful monastery in Luang Prabang and shows the typical Lao art style with old religious artifacts and some ancient masterpieces of Lao art.
Visit Wat Visunalat (Wat Visoun) and That Makmo
Wat Visunalat (Wat Visoun) was built in 1513 during the reign of Chao Wisunalat, it is the oldest operating temple in Luang Prabang with a collection of gilded wooden Buddhas from the 15th and 16th centuries. Also visit That Makmo, one of the more unusually shaped stupas in Luang Prabang. It is affectionately called by many locals as That Makmo, meaning Watermelon Stupa, on account of its rotund shape.
Visit Wat Aham
Explore Wat Aham, an old temple known for its two enormous banyan trees.
Visit Mount Phousi for sunset
Climb 328 steps starting from the entrance on the opposite side of National Museum, or 410 steps on the other side of Khan River to the small temples atop Phou Si. The hill is 150m high and sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river. (B)
DAY 3 LUANG PRABANG
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang
In the morning, visit a local market to see the bustle and activity of the early morning. Continue to the National Museum (Royal Palace), a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here and provides unique insights into the history of Laos. Then, visit Hor Phra Bang. Hor Phra Bang was built to enshrine the Phra Bang Buddha, the most highly revered Buddha image in the country. The image after which the town of Luang Prabang is named is now housed in a richly ornamented shrine. According to Laos legend the image was made in Sri Lanka almost 2,000 years ago. Judging from its style, it likely dates from the 14th century. The Phra Bang image was given to Fa Ngum, the first ruler of the Lan Xang Kingdom in 1353 by the King of Angkor. On two occasions during the following centuries the image was taken to Thailand by Siamese invaders. In 1867 it was returned to Laos. Afterwards, visit Wat Mai.
Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls (3 hours)
From Luang Prabang, travel by vehicle to to Kuang Si Waterfall. This waterfall is located in a perfect natural setting near Luang Prabang, this multi-tiered waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. Enjoy swimming in the clear water or just relaxing in the natural environment. Visit a local village (Ban Ou or Ban Na Ouane) on the way, before returning to Luang Prabang by vehicle. (B)
DAY 4 LUANG PRABANG
Transfer to the airport. (B)