Life on the Mekong in Laos - Awesome Experiences

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Life on the Mekong in LaosLaos

From £1,288 per person for 7 nights
Delve deep into leisurely Laos, travelling by waterways in more ways than one to see waterfalls, caves and island archipelagos along the majestic Mekong River.

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Extraordinary & Secret Places

Life on the Mekong in Laos

Life in Laos is laid-back, from the beguiling capital of Luang Prabang to the fishing villages, ruined temples and lesser-visited waterfalls dotted along the banks of the mighty Mekong river. Take it all in on a week-long trip and find yourself falling in love with this beautiful country and the warmth of its people. 

What makes this experience awesome:

  • Private holiday with personal guides and private transport included
  • Savour time in mesmerising Luang Prabang
  • Take a speedboat to the breathtaking Pak Ou caves
  • Hike to the Kuang Sy waterfalls, through Hmong villages and peaceful countryside
  • Admire Si Phan Don, the stunning 4,000 Island archipelago on an overnight Mekong cruise by longtail boat
  • Explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of the 10th-century Vat Phou temple complex
  • Visit the Pha Pheng waterfall, known as the ‘Niagara of the East’
  • Experience total relaxation with a 1.5-hour massage in Champasak Wellness Centre

Get set for an adventure through one of Asia’s most mesmerising countries. Starting in the photogenic capital of Luang Prabang, together with your private guide you’ll explore its tranquil temples and lively markets and speedboat to the famous Buddhist shrine at Pak Ou caves, before hiking through unspoiled countryside to the sparkling Kuang Sy waterfalls. Next, you’ll fly to Champasak province, to begin a cruise along the mighty Mekong river by longtail boat. Savour slap-up meals and an unforgettable sunset onboard, hopping off the boat for excursions to the UNESCO Heritage site at Vat Phou, the 4,000 Island Archipelago and the impressive Pha Pheng Waterfalls. Your time in Laos ends with a blissful massage and a bike trip of Champasak’s captivating countryside

Laos River


All holiday departures up to 30th June 2019 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Full Itinerary



Day One: Arrive in Laos

On arrival at the airport, you’ll take a private transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to enjoy this beautiful city, with its setting where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers collide. Speckled with ancient Wats, busy with robe-clad monks and packed with street food stalls, crumbling French villas and chic boutiques and restaurants, Luang Prabang is one of our favourite places to spend a few days.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Classic - Le Sen Boutique Hotel/

Premium - 3 Nagas

Deluxe - Maison Souvannaphoum

Meals included: None

Luang Prabang

Day Two: Exploring; temples and caves

Explore Luang Prabang with your private guide this morning. You’ll climb the steps that cut through lush forest to the top of Mount Phousi for views across the city; you’ll visit its oldest temple, Vat Visounnarath, as well as the Royal Palace and temples of Vat Xieng Thong and Vat Mai; and you’ll head to the city centre and the vibrant Hmong market. In the afternoon, it’s time to head out by speedboat (2 hours) to the famous Buddhist site of the Pak Ou caves. Cruising along the Mekong River, you’ll travel past soaring limestone cliffs and tiny villages until you reach this sacred spot, where thousands of buddha statues face out towards the water. You'll return between 5 and 6pm and have a free evening to grab some dinner - your guide can give recommendations dependent on your preferences. 

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Classic - Le Sen Boutique Hotel/

Premium - 3 Nagas

Deluxe - Maison Souvannaphoum

Meals included: Breakfast

Vat Visounnarath

Day Three: Waterfall Walks

Meet your guide for the short drive through lush, village-speckled valley towards the Hmong ethnic community of Ban Long Lao Kao. Spend time taking in the sights of the village, before beginning a hike towards the gracefully flowing, jade-coloured waterfalls of Kuang Si (3hrs 30mins). You’ll pass through vegetable gardens, paddy fields and forest en route, before sitting down to a picnic in an unforgettable setting by the water. Then there’s the chance to swim or just relax, before heading back to Luang Prabang for a free evening. 

In the evening, you might choose to attend an optional Baci ceremony, a ritual of tying bands around people’s wrists to celebrate important life events such as birthdays, joining the monkhood or weddings. During the ceremony at a local house, the person officiating will recall your souls (the people of Laos believe we each have 32) to attract beneficial influences. You’ll then enjoy dinner and find out more about this special ceremony. For related costs see the Extras tab.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Classic - Le Sen Boutique Hotel

Premium - 3 Nagas

Deluxe - Maison Souvannaphoum

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Kuang Si

Day Four: Onwards to Pakse

After breakfast, you’ll meet your driver and travel to the airport for your onward flight towards Pakse, gateway to the incredible landscapes of Champasak province in southern Laos. You’ll check in to your hotel here, with the rest of the day free to settle in and explore.

Overnight in Pakse

Classic - Champasak Grand Hotel (Superior Room)

Premium - Champasak Grand Hotel (Superior River View Room)

Deluxe - Champasak Grand Hotel (Suite)

Meals included: Breakfast

Mekong Boats

Day Five: Mekong River Cruise

After meeting at the Sinouk Coffee House in central Pakse at 9:30am, we transfer you to our cruise boat via long tail riverboat, for your 2.5 hour journey to Champassak. Settle in to your cabin and have lunch on deck: this afternoon, you’ll explore the evocative ruins of the 10th-century temple complex of Vat Phou. Return to the boat in time for a stunning sunset, then enjoy dinner before docking in a remote Laotian village to spend the night onboard.

Overnight on the boat (Vat Phou Cruise)

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Vat Phou Cruise

Day Six: Mekong River Cruise Continued 

This morning you’ll set sail for the village of Huei Thamo, a few minutes away from the mysterious forest of Oum Muong with its hidden temple and namesake stream. Continuing your cruise, you’ll then disembark to walk through Ban Deua Tia, a small traditional Laotian village where life moves slowly. Your journey culminates for the day at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest island in Si Phan Don, the 4,000 Islands archipelago. You’ll have a freshly cooked dinner aboard the boat, fuelling up for a day of exploring tomorrow. 

Overnight on the boat (Vat Phou Cruise)

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Don Khong

Day Seven: 4000 Islands and Champasak

It’s breakfast on board today as your boat cruises along the Mekong to the little village of Bat Veuthong, where you’ll transfer onto a smaller vessel to explore the serene 4,000 Islands archipelago. Disembark to wander the sleepy islands of Don Khone and Don Det, before heading back to the mainland by boat for an authentic lunch in the fishing village of Xieng Di. After your visit to Phapheng waterfall you will be transferred back to Pakse by bus, for an onward car journey to the River Resort in Champasak. The River Resort is an enchanting hotel , a collection of spacious villas by the lush banks of the Mekong, bordering paddy fields and with a stunning infinity pool and open-sided restaurant . End your day with a blissful 1.5-hour massage at the Champasak Wellness Center, renowned for its stunning riverside setting and sublime organic treatments.

The River Resort is one of the most enchanting hotels we feature, a collection of spacious villas by the lush banks of the Mekong, bordering paddy fields and with a stunning infinity pool and open-sided restaurant.

Overnight in Champasak

Classic - The River Resort (Deluxe Pond/Garden Villa)

Premium - The River Resort (Deluxe Riverfront Villa)

Deluxe - The River Resort (Deluxe Riverfront Villa)

River Resort 1

River Resort 2

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

4000 Islands

Day Eight: Final morning bike trip and goodbye Laos

On your final morning in Laos, you’ll explore the countryside on a two-hour bike trip. Cross paddies and zig zag mountains, passing grazing water buffalo, busy farmers and peaceful villages as you experience life in the slow lane Laos-style. Afterwards, you’ll return to your hotel, ready for your private transfer to Pakse airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Pha Pheng Falls

International flights are not included

Overall meals included: 7 Breakfasts; 4 lunches; 2 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • All internal transport and accommodation

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from experience: call 0208 432 0885 for AX specially negotiated flight rates
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the holiday
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.


Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £700 per person and take approximately 20 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: Luang Prabang (LPQ). Arrive anytime (hotel check in 2pm).

End point: Pakse (PKZ). Depart after 2pm. 

All holiday departures up to 30th June 2019 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

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