Unknown Hilltribes 14 Days
Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s most ethnically diverse countries with over 90 ethnic minority subcategories, each with their own rich cultures, traditions, costume, dialects and lifestyle. This tour embraces the rich diversity, taking you through the northern mountainous region, off the beaten track to discover areas rarely visited by tourists. You will experience the hill tribe way of life and trek through forests and rice fields. This 14-day journey also takes you through charming colonial buildings, ancient national monuments and the famous Plain of Jars site
Day 1: Houeisay arrival (D, G)
On arrival at the Lao border checkpoint at HoueiSay pier, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free at leissure to explore this town, visiting the local market and villages nearby. The surrounding areas of HoueiSay are home to 34 ethnic minority groups, the second most ethnically diverse province in Laos. Your overnight accommodation will be in HoueiSay.
Day 2: Houeisay/Luang Namtha (B, L, D, G)
Early morning, you will head out the town to Luang Namtha, this will be a bumpy ride driving along dirt roads, uphill and downhill. The scenery is great and wonderful which makes it worth it. Along the way, you will visit hill tribe villages in Muang Phouka and other surrounding area. Arriving in Luang Namtha, which is located on the banks of the Namtha River, is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful tropical forests and shares its border with China and Myanmar in the late evening, you will transferred to your guesthouse where you will spend the night.
Day 3: Luang Namtha/Ban Nalan (B, L, D, G)
After breakfast, you will take a short drive to Ban Chalernsuk, a Khmu minority village 20 kilometres away from Luang Namtha where you will get a truly off the beaten track in this beautiful mountain region, using the local tracks. The trek todays may be tough with some steep uphill and down hill climbs, but the experience is unique and rewarding.
Arriving in Ban Nalan by late afternoon, you will have time to wander around the villages and have have a chance to understand a little more about the local culture and their daily lifestyle as you will spend time with a Khmu family where you will have a local dinner and spend the night. The accommodation is simple dormitory style, no western facilities.
Day 4: Ban Nalan/Ban Namlu/Luang Namtha (B, L, D, G)
Today, you will trek along the bank of the river to Ban Namkoy, passing picturesque landscape of forests and rice fields. On arrival at Ban Namkoy, you will embark on a three-hour walk uphill. This trek is a real challenge; however some physical preparation will enable you to maximize your enjoyment from the walk. Arriving in the small village of Ban Namlu, you will meet up with your truck and drive back towards Luang Namtha Town where you will spend the night.
Day 5: Luang Namtha/Xieng Kok/Muong Sing (B, L, D, G)
In the early morning, you will travel by road to Moung Sing, also home to various hilltribe communities. There is a significant Chinese population and a lot of trade goes on between here and China. En-routes, you will stop by the Akha hill tribe village. They are very poor, but have a ibrant culture and an interesting history. After leaving this village, you will head westbound, travelling over bumpy roads to Xieng Kok, which is a border town near the golden triangle. In late afternoon, you will drive back to Muong Sing with stopover at the Lantern minority village. You will spend the night in Moung Sing.
Day 6: Muong Sing/Luang Namtha/Oudomxay (B, L, D, G)
Early morning, you will visit the bustling colorful Morning Market and the impressive Ethnologic museum, dedicated to region’s ethnic minorities. After that, you will be driven to Oudomxay. On this rough and scenic journey, you will see very few travelers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. Your overnight accommodation will be in Oudomxay.
Day 7: Oudomxay/Nong Khiow/Luang Prabang (B, L, G)
After an early breakfast, you will be driven by road to Nong Khiow, where we board a traditional boat down the Nam Ou River to Luang Prabang. Along the way, you will stop to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves where thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crammed into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. Continue down river to Ban Sang Hay village to sample the local rice alcohol known as Lao Lao. Arriving in Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, you will be transferred to hotel for overnight accommodation.
Day 8: Luang Prabang city (B, L, G)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a guided-tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. You will then visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun. In the late afternoon, you will climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. The rest of the day will be free to wander around the ancient street or just relax with a Laos’s beer along the Nam Khan River. You will spend the nigh in Luang Prabang.
Day 9: Luang Prabang/Lao Spirit Adventure (Elephant + rafting) (B, L, D, G)
This is a full day trip combining a rafting tour with some sightseeing and an exciting elephant ride to/from Tad Sae Waterfall (or alternative route in dry season). Start from the Adventure and Elephant camp, you will cross a small river, you will be introduced to our Asian Elephants and venture on a 1hr – 1hr 30 minutes enchanting journey through forests, plantations and fields. This activity programme provides you with a breathtaking and unique experience as you make your way through forests and along the Nam Khan River up to the waterfalls of Tad Sae. After visiting the waterfall, lunch is served before a relaxing 30-minute rafting tour along the river back to the resort. The evening is free at your leisure. Your overnight will be at Lao Spirit Resort.
Day 10: Luang Prabang/Xieng Khoang (B, L, D, G)
After breakfast, you will visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts and the Central Market. After that, you will be driven 306km uphill a mountain surrounded by wonderful natural scenery to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. On arrival, you will visit the 1st sites of the Plain of Jars, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. If time permits, you will see the old capital of Muang Khoun and the nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe people. You will spend the night in Xieng Khoang.
Day 11: Xieng Khoang (2nd and 3rd site of The Plain of Jars) (B, L, D, G)
After breakfast, you will head out to the old capital of Muang Khoun province and its nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Thai Dam people. The excursion continues to the 2nd and 3rd Plain of jars fields, where you can obtain more scenic views. Along the way, you will visit more local villages and learn about the local culure and lifestyle. You will spend the night in Xieng Khoang.
Day 12: Xieng Khoang/Vientiane (B, L, G)
Your morning will be free until your car takes you to the airport for an afternoon flight to Vientiane. After that, you will visit the impressive Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and the Buddha Park, a a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. You will spend the night in Vientiane.
Day 13: Vientiane City Tour (B, L, G)
After breakfast, you will visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
After lunch, you will visit Wat Ong Tue and Wat Haisok. You will then stop at the Central Market of Talad Sao and Talad Kouadin where various goods are displayed for sale; including fresh food, household goods, souvenirs, textiles, gold, silver and antiques. You will spend the night in Vientiane.
Day 14: Vientiane departure (B, GP)
Free time until transferred to the airport for departure flight. Tour ends.
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