LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES

laos-tour-of-unknown-hilltribes
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HOUEIXAI - LUANG NAMTHA - BAN NALAN - MUANG SING - OUDOMXAI - LUANG PRABANG - XIENG KHOUANG - VIENTIANE
15 Days/ 14 Nights
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Atmospheric Laos, a country you will want to float away in and stay forever! 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. We experience the hill tribe way of life and trek through forests and rice fields. Our 16-day journey also takes us to through charming colonial buildings, Ancient national monuments and the famous Plain of Jars site.
* BRIEF ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrival – Houeixai Adventure Tour to Home of 34 Ethnic Minority Groups
Day 2: HoueiSay – Luang Namtha (B)
Day 3: Luang Namtha – Ban Nalan Homestay Tour in Khmu house (B/L/D)
Day 4: Ban Nalan Trekking Day Trip to Ban Namlu – Luang Namtha (B)
Day 5: Luang Namtha – Xieng Kok – Moung Sing – Stopover at Lantern Minority Village (B)
Day 6: Muang Sing – Luang Namtha – Oudomxay – Laos trekking to Minority’s Village (B)
Day 7: Oudomxay – Nong Khiow – Luang Prabang (Road + River) (B)
Day 8: Oudomxay Adventure Tour to Luang Prabang (B)
Day 9: Luang Prabang Sightseeing Tour (B) 
Day 10: Luang Prabang to Pak Ou Cave by Boat Trip along Mekong River (B)
Day 11: Luang Prabang – Fly to Vientiane – Xiengkhouang (B)
Day 12: Xiengkhouang – Discovery Tour to Plain of Jars (B)  
Day 13: Xiengkhouang – Vientiane (flight) (B)
Day 14: Vientiane City Tour (B)
Day 15:  Vientiane – Departure (B)

DAY 1 – LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: ARRIVAL – HOUEIXAI ADVENTURE TOUR TO HOME OF 34 ETHINIC MINORITY GROUPS

On arrival at the Lao border check point at Houeixai pier, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Today you are free at your leisure 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.
Overnight in HoueiSay.
Houei Say in Laos       Hmong Girls in Houei Xai in Laos
Houei Xai Tour to Hill Tribe Villages

DAY 2 – LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: HOUEIXAY – LUANG NAMTHA (B)

Early morning we head out the town to Luang Namtha, this road has recently been improved, and is now a very smooth and comfortable drive. We visit hill tribe villages along the road at Muang Phouka and other surrounding area. 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. We arrive in Luang Namtha in the afternoon.
Overnight in Luang Namtha.

DAY 3 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: LUANG NAMTHA – BAN NALAN HOMESTAY TOUR IN KHMU HOUSE (B/L/D)

Heading out of the town, we take a short drive to Ban Chalernsuk, a Khmu minority village 20 kilometres away from Luang Namtha. We get well and truly off the beaten track as we trek into this beautiful mountain region, using the local tracks. Today’s trekking may be tough at times with some steep uphill and downhill climbs, but the experience is unique and rewarding. The friendly Khmu hill tribereside in this area, they have a primitive and basic lifestyle. We arrive at Ban Nalan by late afternoon; here we have a chance to understand a little more about the local culture and their daily lifestyle as we spend time with a Khmu family. We enjoy a local dinner and will stay as guests at the Khmu family house, the best way to experience authentic village life. The accommodation is simple dormitory style, no western facilities. (Home stay)

DAY 4 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: BAN NALAN TREKKING DAY TRIP TO BAN NAMLU – LUANG NAMTHA (B)

Today’s trekking leads us along the bank of the river to Ban Namkoy, passing picturesque landscape of forests and rice fields. The forests here vary from a few isolated trees to overgrown bamboo. On arrival at Ban Namkoy we embark on a three-hour walk uphill. This trek is a real challenge; however some prior physical preparation will enable you to maximize your enjoyment from the walk. As we pass through several hamlets, we are sure to attract attention from the locals, as visitors do not frequently encounter this remote part of the country. At the small village of Ban Namlu, we meet up with our truck and drive back towards Luang Namtha Town.
Overnight in Luang Namtha.
Khmu's House in Ban Nalan - Laos       Landscape in Luang Namtha - Laos
Khmu Village – Landscape in Luang Namtha

DAY 5 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: LUANG NAMTHA – XIENG KOK – MOUNG SING – STOPOVER AT LANTERN MINORITY VILLAGE (B)

Early this morning, after breakfast we travel by road to Moung Sing, also home to various hill tribe communities. There is a significant Chinese population and a lot of trade goes on between here and China. We stop along the way at the Akha hill tribe village. This ethnic group originally lived in China but immigrated into Laos over a century ago. They are very poor, but have a vibrant culture and an interesting history. We depart this village, heading westbound, travelling over bumpy roads to Xieng Kok, which is a border town near the golden triangle. In late afternoon, we drive back to Muong Sing with a stopover at a Lantern minority village.
Overnight at Moung Sing.

DAY 6 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: MUANG SING – LUANG NAMTHA – OUDOMXAY – LAOS TREKKING TO MINORITY’S VILLAGE (B)

Early morning, we visit the bustling colorful Morning Market and the impressive Ethnologic museum, dedicated to region’s ethnic minorities. This local market also attracts numerous ethnic minorities that converge from the surrounding mountainsides to barter and trade their goods. We then make our way back to Luang Namtha and then onto Oudomxay. Oudomxay is one of the most beautiful provinces of Laos, located in the upper North. Experience untouched nature, a rich cultural life ….
Overnight in Oudomxay.

DAY 7 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: OUDOMXAY – NONG KHIOW – LUANG PRABANG (B)

We depart early for our drive to Nong Khiow, where we board a traditional boat down the Nam Ou River to Luang Prabang. This tranquil town with its gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop has been claimed by UNESCO to be “the best preserved traditional city in South East Asia”. En route we 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 wine known as Lao. Arrive in Luang Prabang in the late afternoon and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Buddha Statue in Oudomxay - Laos       Luang Prabang - Laos
Buddha Statue in Oudomxay – Monks in Luang Prabang

DAY 8 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: OUDOMXAY ADVENTURE TOUR TO LUANG PRABANG (B)

We depart early for our drive to Luang Prabang. These back roads are a perfect way to explore the real Laos. The drive is difficult at times; however the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes for a memorable experience. Luang Prabang is a tranquil town with gleaming temple roofs, fading colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop and has been claimed by UNESCO to be “the best preserved traditional city in South East Asia.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.

DAY 9 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: LUANG PRABANG SIGHTSEEING TOUR (B)

After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing starts with the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai, and then climb up to the top of Phousi Hill for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa. A visit to Luang Prabang would be incomplete without ascending 329 steps to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa and to enjoy a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.

DAY 10 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: LUANG PRABANG TO PAK OU CAVES BY BOAT TRIP ALONG MEKONG RIVER (B)

Today, we explore Luang Prabang further by visiting the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, its exterior architecture is remarkable with decorated guilded stuccoes and doorways, a “tree of life” mosaic pattern set in colorful glass on the back wall and its three tiered roofs sweeping low to the ground representing classical Laotian architecture. In the afternoon we embark on a slow boat for a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, passing by lovely tranquil countryside towards the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, which are two caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. On the way, we stop at the small village of Ban Xang Hai, famous for producing local rice wine. Before returning to Luang Prabang, drive to the hilltribe village of Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving products.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Khuoang Si Waterfall in Luang Prabang - Laos       Pak Ou Buddha Caves in Luang Prabang - Laos
Khouang Si Waterfall – Pak Ou Buddha Cave

DAY 11 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: LUANG PRABANG – VIENTIANE – FLY TO XIENG KHOUANG-PLAIN OF JARS SIGHTSEEING TOURS-OVERNIGHT IN PHONSAVANH (B)

This morning we visit the National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. We then take a flight to Xiengkhouang via Vientiane. On arrival, we visit the “Plain of Jars”, an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. The largest jar reaches a height of 3.25 metres; researchers still question the origin and significance of these jars.
Overnight in Phonsavanh.

DAY 12 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: MUANG KHUON – DISCOVERY TOUR TO PLAIN OF JARS- OVERNIGHT IN PHONSAVANH (B) 

After breakfast we head out to the old capital of Muang Khoun province and its nearby villages, home to the Hmong hill tribe and Thai Dam people. Our excursion continues to the 2nd and 3rd Plain of jars fields, where you can obtain more scenic views. Along the way, we visit more local villages and learn about the local culure and lifestyle. Return to Phonsavanh by late afternoon.
Overnight in Phonsavanh.

DAY 13 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: PHONSAVANH – FLY TO VIENTIANE – VIENTIANE ADVENTURE TOUR (B)

Today we visit the local market of Phonsavanh and nearby villages of the Hmong. You are free at your leisure until your transfer to airport for your flight to Vientiane. On arrival at Wattay airport you will be transferred to city center. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Vientiane is a charming and fascinating capital, with an interesting mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Soviet and American influences. This wonderful city is best explored on foot and a guided walking tour provides you with a pleasant introduction to the main points of interest, taking in some of the city’s fine colonial architecture. We spend our evening by the Mekong River at sunset absorbing this splendid city at night.
Overnight in Vientiane.
Waterfall in Xieng Khoang - Laos       Vientiane Capital - Laos
Waterfall in Xieng Khouang – Vientiane Capital

DAY 14 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: VIENTIANE CITY TOUR (B)

Today we start visiting some the major sights; including the oldest temple Wat Sisaket, an amazing structure featuring remarkable frescoes and Buddha images. We also visit the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. Enroute to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. We also take a visit to the central market Talat Sao. In the late afternoon we visit the weaving village of Ban Nong Bouathong, and then we drive to the outskirt of the city to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, near the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. Observing the spectacular view of over the Mekong River at sunset from one of the riverside bars is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight in Vientiane.

DAY 15 LAOS TOUR OF UNKNOWN HILLTRIBES: VIENTIANE – DEPARTURE (B)

After breakfast, you are free until your transfer to the airport.
End of service!
* INCLUDING:
•    Transportation in private
•    Accommodation in twin shared room
•    Domestic airticket as stated only
•    Boat trip as stated in above sights
•    English speaking guide
•    Admission fee to indicated sights
•    Meals: daily breakfast at hotel
•    Gov’t tax and service charge
•    Luggage handling and drinking water
* EXCLUDING: 
•    Visa stamping fee on arrival
•    Int’l air tickets to/from Laos
•    Travel Insurance in all kinds
•    Lunch or dinner unless where stated
•    Single room (quoted separately)
•    Other foreign language guide
•    Peak tourist season or special event rates
•    Child or adult in triple sharing room
•    Tip, drinks and other personal expenses

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