Laos Classic 3
Arrive in Vientiane and transfer to your hotel. Spend the day sightseeing in Vientiane, a laid back city with interesting wats and lively markets. Visit HO PHA KEO - the former royal temple of the Lao monarchy built in 1565 by King Setthathirat and now converted into a museum containing some of the best examples of Buddhist sculptures found in Laos; WAT SI SAKET - constructed in 1818 by King Anouvong in the early Bangkok style, small niches are carved into its interior walls, containing more than 2,000 silver and ceramic Buddha images; PATUXAI - a large monument in the style of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the huge arch at the end of Thanon Lan Xang has a stairway that leads to the top levels of the monument, providing a good view of the city; PHA THAT LUANG (Great Sacred Reliquary or Great Stupa) - built between the 11th and 13th centuries AD, it is the most important national monument in Laos, a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Overnight in Vientiane.
Vientiane - Luang Prabang
Transfer for your flight from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Spend the day sightseeing in Luang Prabang, the ancient capital city of the Lan Xang Kingdom which is famous for its historic temples and beautiful setting surrounded by mountains. In 1995 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit WAT XIENG THONG - built in 1560 and situated on the banks of the Mekong River, it is the most beautiful monastery in Luang Prabang and shows the typical Lao art style with old religious artifacts and some ancient masterpieces of Lao art; WAT WISUNALAT (Vat Visoun) - built in 1513 during the reign of Chao Wisunalat, it is the oldest operating temple in Luang Prabang with a collection of gilded wooden Buddhas from the 15th and 16th centuries. WAT MAI - constructed in 1821 during the reign of King Manthatourath, it was once the residence of Phra Sangkharaj (the Patriarch of the Buddhist clergy); WAT THAT LUANG - the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa, which was erected in 1910. The inside of the huge sim dating back to 1820 contains a few Luang Prabang Buddhas and other artifacts; WAT SAEN - Thai style wat built in 1718 and restored in 1957. The abbot Ajannn Khamjan who was ordained here in 1940 is one of the most revered monks in Luang Prabang and perhaps in all of Laos. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Excursion by boat to the Pak Ou Caves. These are two caves (Tham Thing – lower cave and Tham Phum) located in the steep rock cliff at the confluence of the Mekong River and Ou River. They are full of Buddha images of varying styles, ages and sizes. Visit BAN XANG HAI - located near the Pak Ou Caves, this village was once a ‘Jar-Maker Village’ and nowadays the community fill the jars (which come from elsewhere) with láo-láo, the local rice whisky. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls. Located in a perfect natural setting near Luang Prabang this multi-tiered waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. It is a nice place for bathing and having a picnic. Visit BAN THA PENE - a quaint, Khmu village with a traditional hydro-rice mill. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Sightseeing in Luang Prabang. Visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM - located on the banks of the Mekong River, it was constructed as a Royal Palace between 1904 and 1909 and today houses the Royal throne of the Lan Xang Kingdom and many other pieces of regalia and religious treasures; PHOUSI: the temples on the upper slopes of the 100m-high Phousi were constructed recently, but it is likely that previously there were other temples on this important hill. From the top there is an excellent view of the town. Transfer.