Northern Laos Adventure

LaosActive, Culture, Landscapes

Northern Laos Adventure

Luang Prabang • Muang La • Phongsavanh • Nong Khiaw

Explore the incredible countryside and cultures of Northern Laos with this incredible 6-day itinerary. Starting from the country’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed former royal capital, Luang Prabang, visitors are taken on a journey through lush landscapes, across soaring mountains and to colourful villages, to get a true taste of this unspoiled land.

Guests are transported by 4WD, boat and on foot along dirt tracks, bamboo bridges and winding rivers, for a truly immersive experience. And with boutique hotels and resorts awaiting at the end of the day, this is the perfect choice for the soft adventure seeker.

5 Nights
From SGD 2,185Per Person

Northern Laos Adventure

Depart Luang Prabang this morning and journey north, heading towards the remote province of Oudomxay. Expect a total journey time of approximately 6 hours (193km), including stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. This northern region of Laos is known for its verdant mountains, rice paddies and areas of thick jungle. Various ethnic villages will be encountered during the journey, some of which sit precariously perched on steep mountainsides, while others sit in valleys carved out by ancient rivers.

Pass through the provincial capital of Oudomxay. Once a sleepy town, Oudomxay has become an important trading hub, reflecting the changes which are happening rapidly in the region. This bustling town makes the final leg of the journey (a stark contrast of jungles and wilderness) all the more exciting.

Arrive at Muang La Resort in the late afternoon. Check in, relax and enjoy the views. Facilities include a spa, sauna and steam room (evenings get cold November – March). The resort is built next to a natural hot spring; staff fills a small pool every evening with water from the spring. In the evening, enjoy a five-course set menu combining Asian and European influences.

Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort

Meals: Lunch | Dinner

Distance and journey time

  • Luang Prabang to Oudomxay ~ 193km; 4hr
  • Oudomxay to Muang La ~ 23km; 40mn

This full-day tour includes approximately 5 hours of walking and a transfer of approx. 50 minutes.

After breakfast, embark on a 25 minute 4x4 ride along the Nam Pak River before taking a small mountain road to the trailhead. Begin trekking along a narrow mountain trail winding through the lush forest.

Arrive in the Kamu village of Houay Ho where the guide will help to explain a bit about the life of the villagers. Set off from the village following a narrow trail along mountain streams, passing through rice fields to reach the Lao Loum village of Ban Phonsavan. Upon arrival, enjoy a well-deserved picnic lunch in the lush countryside of northern Laos.

After lunch, follow a mountain trail overlooking the magnificent scenery and pass through farms in the heart of the local countryside. The guide will happily explain how the local people use the plants and herbs of the forest to feed (and sometimes heal) themselves.

Continue the trek, crossing small bamboo bridges on the descent to the Yang village of Long Ya. Learn how the peaceful life of the villagers is interspersed with different communal activities. The village is well known for the production of rice alcohol (“Lao Lao”) and also houses a small Buddhist temple.

A further 2 kilometres heads to the temple of Wat Hoytinphabath, which houses a 35m long reclining statue of Buddha. Leave the village following a dirt road along the River Huay Ya and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery before arriving back at the resort, in the late afternoon, for a well-deserved rest.

Dinner and overnight in Muang La Resort

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

This full-day tour includes no ‘real trekking’, only walking through and between villages. Travelling by 4x4 is the only way to cover enough ground and climb the steep mountains in order to reach the most untouched and fascinating villages in the region.

Set off after breakfast to visit an entirely isolated Ikhos village. This ethnic group originates from Tibet and Yunnan and these villagers have seen very few foreigners. The guide will help to convey the daily life of the villagers and how they still follow ancient customs passed down through the centuries.

Sitting at 1,000m above sea level, this village makes the ideal location for a picnic lunch.

After lunch, leave the village walk for approximately 45 minutes to the Hmong village of Ban Tauser. The remote route to the village opens to a viewpoint with a stunning 360° panorama.

Return to the resort at the end of the day.

Dinner and overnight at Muang La Resort

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

After breakfast, drive for 76km; approx. 2 hours, to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Board a private longtail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic and wild and also has far less traffic.

Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages during the cruise downstream.

Reach the final destination of Nong Khiaw in the late afternoon, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to the accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River.

Enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure. Don’t miss the amazing sunset!

Overnight in Nong Khiaw.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch

Distance and journey time

  • Muang La to Muang Khua ~ 76km; 3hr
  • Muang Khua to Nong Khiaw ~ 105km; 5hr

Mandala Ou Resort

After breakfast, travel by car towards Luang Prabang. Upon reaching the dam, board a boat for the cruise down the spectacular Nam Ou River, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way.

Stop for a visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong rivers. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues.

Continue downstream for another 2 hours to Luang Prabang, with the option to stop at a local village along the way.

Our guide will be waiting at the boat pier to provide transport in Luang Prabang to the hotel or airport.

Distance and journey time

  • Nong Khiaw to Nam Ou dam by car ~ 7km; 2½hr
  • Nam Ou dam to Luang Prabang by boat ~ 50km; 2hr

Note
There is an option to drive from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, taking approximately 2½ hours but this will not allow a stop at the Pak Ou Caves.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch

Optional Experiences

Royal Ballet Theatre Performance

Attend an evening performance at the Royal Ballet Theatre. Founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Research, the Ballet aims to preserve this important aspect of Lao cultural heritage. Watching the spectacular performances of the Royal Ballet, including scenes from the Lao-Ramayana, Lao folk dances and tribal dances will provide a unique experience that you will never forget.

Show starts at 06:00pm (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).

Attention: subject to change without prior notice from the company. Please note that the Royal Ballet Theater is normally closed from June to September.

Land Cost

Price per person in SGD

5D4N Northern Laos Adventure

Valid from Oct 01, 2017 o Sep 30, 2018.
    02 Persons         03-04         05-06     SGL Supp.
Oct 01, 2017 to Apr 30, 2018235719551653658
May 01 to Sep 30, 2018218517831481489
Land prices do not include air passage to/from Luang Prabang. Please check with us for attractive tour-based airfare between Singapore and Luang Prabang.
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Accommodation

Muang La Resort

  • Muang La Resort in River View Room

Nong Khiaw

  • Mandala Ou in Riverside Bungalow

Inclusions

  • Hotel accommodation in shared twin/double room with daily breakfast (B=Breakfast)
    • 03 nights in Muang La Resort in River View Room
    • 01 night in Mandala Ou Resort in Riverside Bungalow
  • Other meals as indicated in the itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles (boat is not air-conditioned).
  • Services of an English-speaking local guide (please check with us for other language guides; supplements will apply).
  • All entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.

Exclusions

  • Air passage to Luang Prabang; please check with us for attractive tour-based airfare between Singapore and Luang Prabang.
  • Early check-in or late check-out at the hotels
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, e.g. soft/hard drinks at meal times, laundry, phone calls, etc.
  • Tips & gratuities for guide/driver