Day 1: Arrive in Vientiane (D)
You will be warmly welcomed on arrival in Vientiane and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Vientiane is a fascinating capital, with a fusion of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences. This charming and easygoing city will provide a smooth introduction to Laos. After a short rest, you will have an orientation walk around the Lao capital, strolling around some of the city’s most historical sites and seeing some of the French colonial architecture. You will witness the sunset by the Mekong riverside before an overnight stay in Vientiane.
Day 2: Vientiane (B, L)
Today you will have a whole day to visit the major sights of the capital, including Wat Sisaket, 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 the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you can stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe. From there you will go to the ‘Morning Market’ which is a great place for browsing antiques, handmade textiles and gifts.
In the afternoon you will visit the National Museum (closed Tuesday), formerly known as the Revolutionary Museum, which exhibits artifacts, photos and legends of Laos’s great historical fighters and leaders. You will stay overnight in Vientiane.
Day 3: Vientiane - Luang Prabang (B, L)
You will take a flight to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city of Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. On arrival, we transfer you to your hotel. In the afternoon you will visit the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of textiles made by the local and the hill tribe people from areas surrounding Luang Prabang. You then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa, as well as viewing a beautiful and panoramic sunset over the ancient city and the Mekong River. You will stay overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 4: Pak Ou cave - Khouangsi Waterfall (B, D)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (often in the form of sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the ritual.
After breakfast, you will enjoy a short guided tour of the city's oldest temple, Wat Sene, and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives you a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. The two linked caves are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, you will stop at the small village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is distilled. You will return to Luang Prabang in the afternoonand on the way take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a small village well known for its hand weaving.
After lunch you continue towards the Khouangsi Waterfall, and en route visit the local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, Laoloum and Ban Thapene. You then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall. Here you can take a dip in the inviting pools or walk along the forest trails surrounding the waterfall. Return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk hand weaving and for traditional Saa paper making. You will watch the sunset at Wat Siphouthabath and have dinner at local restaurant before and overnight stay in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Luang Prabang - Phnom Penh (B, L)
Today you say good bye to Laos and take flight to Phnom Penh. Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Following this there will be a city tour including the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, the Toul Sleng Museum of Genocide, and Wat Phnom. You will have dinner at a local restaurant and an overnight stay in Phnom Penh.
Day 6: Phnom Penh (B)
Today you can enjoy a free day in the capital of Cambodia for shopping, relaxing or additional historic site visits before an overnight stay in Phnom Penh.
Day 7: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (B, D)
In the morning you will transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for departure to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you will transfer direct to the ecological site and visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, famous Bayon, Baphoun, the Terrace of the Leper King and more. You will experience the wonder of Angkor Wat and bask in the sunset from Phnom Bakheng Hill. You will then have a dinner with an Apsara show at a local restaurant before and overnight stay in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Siem Reap (B, D)
Today you will continue on to visit fabulous Ta Prohm (embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers), Pre Rup, East Mebon and Neak Poan. In the afternoon you will visit Krovan, the Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples before an overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Departure (B)
In the morning you will visit the floating village of the Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on Tonle Sap Lake. Also know as the " Great Lake" of Cambodia, it is the largest lake in Asia. In the afternoon, you will visit "Les Artisans d'Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles" and have free time at the local market (if time permits). Finally, you will transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure.