Tribal Laos (12 days)

1 Norther Tribe

specialDeparture: December – April
Northern Laos–mysterious and definitely the road less traveled. Rolling countryside and rice paddy fields are abundant as you drive through the hills stopping at remote villages. Weaving is the traditional art and women are seen everywhere making their colorful patterns. The Phongsaly province is a fresh place to explore. Meet the Mouchi tribe, one of only 6 Mouchi villages in the province. Enjoy a traditional welcome massage. Take a private boat down the down the Nam Ou river. Via driving, trekking and boating you discover the real face of Laos. Tribal Laos is for the traveler who thinks he has seen it all!

Day 1 – Luang Prabang
You are met at the airport and driven to your charming accommodation. The rest of the day is free for you to relax.
Overnight at the Villa Chitdara

Day 2 – Luang Prabang
You can discuss with your guide for an optional early morning start (5.30am) to witness and partake in the daily morning ritual of ‘Tak Bat’ or giving alms to the monks. This is a unique ritual still followed by the locals in Luang Prabang. We can also visit the local fresh market to see how the locals shop, before returning to your hotel for breakfast. Duration: 2 hours

After breakfast we visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum, which gives a good overview of the local history and features a guided audio tour. We then begin our temple tour taking in some the cities most beautiful structures, including the country’s most historic and enchanting temple Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style, as well as the unique Wat Mai, with its five tiered roof and Wat Visoun, known as ‘The Water Melon Stupa’ due to its shape.

In the afternoon we visit the excellent Arts and Ethnology Center which gives us a great insight into the ethnic mix and culture of Laos. We then visit the weaving and textile villages of Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek. Our final stop of the day is a climb Mt Phousi, which offers a spectacular sunset and a panoramic view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Duration: 8 hours
Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 3 – Luang Prabang – Kuang Si
After breakfast, we visit the local Phosi Market, this is the place where all the locals shop and your guide will show and explain to you the diverse offerings on display. We also stop at Ock Pop Tock, a silk weaving center. Here you will be given a guided tour and the silk weaving process will be explained. We then drive out of the town where you have the option of stopping to visit Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loum villages, representing the main ethnic groups of Laos.

This then takes us to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails. Next to the falls is a Bear Rescue Center that does a great job in protecting and rehabilitating the rare Asiatic Black Bear. We then return to Luang Prabang by lunchtime. Duration: 4-5 hours Drive time: 1 ½ hours
Tips: bring a towel with you if you’d like to swim at the waterfall
Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 4 – Luang Prabang – Oudomxay
This morning we leave Luang Prabang and drive north to Oudomxay. The morning drive brings us out into rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. After a lunch stop (not included) at Pakmong, about 3 hours drive north of Luang Prabang, the road twists and the scenery becomes increasingly mountainous. This section of the journey is a good opportunity to stop and explore some Hmong villages including Ban Xong Ja. We reach the market town of Oudomxay by early evening where you have the rest of the day at leisure. Duration: 7 hours Driving time: 5 hours
Overnight at the Charming Lao Hotel (B)

Day 5 – Oudomxay – Bounthai
In the morning we take the road to Phongsaly province where you can see colorful tribal villages including a stop at Ban Nakrasip, a Khmu village. Arrive at Bounthai in the late afternoon. Duration: 7 hours Driving time: 5 hours
Overnight in Bounthai at a Local Guest House (B)
Note: Accommodation is very basic (simple room with hot water in the evening only)

Day 6 – Bounthai– Trekking – Mouchi
Following breakfast this morning we drive for 2 hours to the trekking starting point. Following lunch, we trek for 3 hours to the beautiful village of the Mouchi tribe, one of only 6 Mouchi villages in Phongsaly Province. Upon arrival in the village you will get a traditional welcoming massage. Dinner is cooked by villagers, and you overnight with a family. Duration: 5 hours Drive time: 2 hours Trekking time: 3 hours
Overnight in a homestay (B, L, D)
Note: Accommodation is very basic home stay. No running water, no toilets, and a public shower used by the whole village.

Day 7 – Homestay – trekking – Bounthai – Phongsaly
Following breakfast at the village, we trek for a further 3 hours to an Akha Eupa village for a simple lunch. We then transfer directly to Phongsaly, where we can climb a hill to witness a beautiful sunset over the town.
Overnight at the Phoufa Hotel (B, L)
Note: Accommodation is very basic (simple room with hot water in the evening only)

Day 8 – Phongsaly – Hatsa – Muang Khua
After breakfast, we transfer to Hatsa boat pier to start a cruise on a small local private boat (5 hours). On the way visit a few remote local villages before reaching Muang Khua. Duration: 7 hours Drive time: 1 hour Boat: 5 hours
Overnight at the Sern Nar Ly Hotel (B, L)
Note: Accommodation is very basic (simple room and electricity in the town turns off after 10pm)

Day 9 – Muang Khua – Nong Khiaw
Today, take the boat down the Nam Ou river to reach Nong Khiaw. This particular stretch offers stunning limestone karst scenery and remote villages, including Ban Sob Jaem a Khmu and Hmong village that can only be accessed by boat. Upon arrival in Nong Khiaw, you have the opportunity to hire bicycles from your resort and cycle out to some local limestone caves, used as a hospital during the ‘Secret’ War and today is a very picturesque spot. Duration: 6 hours Boat: 5 hours
Overnight at the Mandala Ou (B, L)

Day 10 – Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang (by car)
This morning we head south by road to Luang Prabang. The morning drive brings us out into rolling countryside where you can admire the beauty of the Nam Ou River and the surrounding rice paddy fields. Along the way we stop to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. We arrive in Luang Prabang by lunchtime where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at the Villa Chitdara (B)

Day 11 – Luang Prabang
A free day at leisure in Luang Prabang to rest after your adventure – why not enjoy a spa treatment today?
Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)

Day 12 – Depart Luang Prabang
You will driven to the airport for your departure flight onward or homebound. (B)

Cost $1999.00 per person, 2 persons twin share

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