Day 1 Arrive Vientiane
On arrival in Vientiane you will need to make your own way to the hotel. The capital city of Laos, Vientiane still feels like a sleepy city with relaxed charm, tree-lined boulevards, interesting wats and colourful markets. This afternoon tour the different highlights of the city, including PHA THAT LUANG, a gleaming golden Stupa which is perhaps most important national monument in Laos; HO PHA KEO, the formal royal temple, now a museum with beautiful examples of Buddhist sculpture; WAT SI SAKET; and PATUXAI, a monumental arch inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, but executed with Lao motifs. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 2 By vehicle from Vientiane to Vang Vieng
Today, you will be driven to the north through the scenic province of Vientiane to Van Vieng. Drive through mountains and cliffs along the first part of the journey stopping en route at a salt field in Ban Keun. Continue your sightseeing with a boat ride on NAM NGUM LAKE, a serene, man-made reservoir which also generates most of the electricity sold to Thailand. Overnight in Vang Vieng.
Day 3 By vehicle from Vang Vieng to Phonsavanh
This morning's sightseeing in Vang Vieng is to PHA THAO CAVE: Enjoy a short trek through rice paddies with a stop at a Hmong village in Ban Pha Thao and continue to visit the cave of Tham Pha Thao and XANG CAVE: also called Elephant Cave which contains a few Buddha images and a Buddha footprint plus the elephant shaped stalactites which give the cave its name. After this, travel by vehicle to Phonsavanh (Xieng Khuang) stopping at local villages along the way. Overnight in Phonsavanh.
Day 4 In Phonsavanh
Today, spend the day visiting the famous PLAIN OF JARS, a vast area extending around Phonsavanh from the south-west to the north-east. Mysterious and ancient, over 300 huge stone jars apparently carved out of solid rock are scattered around the plateau. The jars vary in size from 1 to 3.25 metres high and weigh up to six tons each. There are several different theories as to the purpose of the jars, which are estimated to be 2,500 to 3,000 years old. According to local legend, King Khun Chuang had them constructed in order to store wine for the celebration of his conquest of the province in the 6th century. Today's tour will focus on SITE I and SITE II, out of the many sites so far discovered. Afterwards continue to MUANG KHOUN, an ancient capital and stronghold for the Xieng Khuang royal family which was destroyed during the Indochina War. The town was rebuilt after 1975 with rows of wooden Lao houses and a market area and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Visit WAT PHIA THAT and THAT FOUN. Overnight in Phonsavanh.
Day 5 By vehicle from Phonsavanh to Luang Prabang
This morning visit the lively open-air local market before traveling by road to Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 6 In Luang Prabang
Set between the Nam Khan and Nam Ou rivers, Luang Prabang is an enchanting town filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. The entire town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Begin your tour with WAT VISOUN (Wat Wisunalat). The oldest living temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Visoun dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddhas. Visit the nearby WAT AHAM before continuing to WAT XIENG THONG, the crowning jewel of all the monasteries and temples in the city. Its many ornate buildings feature exquisite mosaic and gold-stenciled murals. From there, take a stroll down the main street (Wat Street) of Luang Prabang stopping at some of the many temples that line its sides, including WAT SIBOUNHEUANG, WAT SI MOUNGKHOUN, WAT SOP and WAT SENE. Climb the hillside stairs to the small temples atop PHOU SI, the 100m high hill which sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 7 Exit Luang Prabang
For today's sightseeing you will travel down the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the PAK OU CAVES. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable. On the return journey, stop at BAN XANG HAI, a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky. Also visit BAN XANG KHONG, a village near Luang Prabang well known for its traditional hand woven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper. Check out of the hotel and end arrangements. No departure transfer included.