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Oct 31, 2015
Written By Stephanie Mayo

Our recommended 14 Day Laos Itinerary

 

Laos, also known as the “land of a million elephants,” is a Southeast Asian dream destination. It’s a county for everyone, whether you’re an adventure seeker, wildlife enthusiast or simply a nature lover.

Rich with lush vegetation, pristine forests, karst formations, mountains, waterfall it can be really hard to not fall in love with Laos. We recommend spending at least two weeks to explore the country properly. Here is our recommendations for each day:

 

Day 1 of the 14 Day Laos Itinerary – Vientiane

 

Recommended 14-Day Laos Itinerary

 

Upon arriving at Vientiane Airport, explore the city and its important temples like Wat Hoprakeo, Wat Sisaket and That Luang Stupa Museum Shrine—the most significant national monument in the city. Don’t forget to stop by the Arc de Triophe-inspired Patuxai Monument, as well.

You may also want to drop by Talaat Sao or the “morning market,” to shop for souvenirs like silks, cotton, embroidery and silver. Then catch the sunset at Mekong River.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Be Na Cam 2, Nalinthon Hotel or Souksan Guesthouse
$$ – The City Inn Vientiane or Vientiane Nam Phu
$ – Vientiane Backpackers Hostel, Funky Monkey Hoste Backpackers Garden Hostel

 

Day 2 – Vientiane – Luang Prabang

Recommended 14-Day Laos Itinerary

Explore the former royal capital on foot! First visit the National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace, to check out royal artifacts. Then visit Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Sen, and Wat Mai.

Climb the 350 steps to Phou Sii Hill in the heart of the city, and enjoy the stunning view of the Kane and Mekong. At the top, you can also check out the Wat Phou Sii and Indochina war anti-aircraft guns.

Grab some dinner at one of the Top 10 Best Luang Prabang restaurants recommended by TripAdvisor, and after take a stroll along the night market.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – The Apsara Rive Droite, The Burasari Heritage, Mekong Riverview Hotel or Belmond La Residence
$$ – Ock Pop Tok Mekong Villa, Le Sen Boutique Hotel or Lan Kham Riverside
$ –Cheng Backpacker HotelLPQ Backpackers HostelCentral Backpacker HostelKhammany Inn Hostel, or Kounsavan Guest House

 

Day 3 – Luang Prabang

Recommended 14-Day Laos Itinerary

Right after breakfast, hop on a cruise that runs off the Mekong River to the village of Ban Muangke, and make sure to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the countryside along the way. Upon arriving at the village, take a 45-minute walk to Pak Ou Caves and explore the countless gold-lacquered Buddha statues in all imaginable shapes and sizes.

Visit Ban Xanghai, famous for the local specialty of rice wine, and also visit the nearby villages of Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek and Ban Nong Xai.

Day 4 – Luang Prabang

 

Wake up early to witness the daily Lao morning ritual of monks carrying bowls, while the townsfolk give them offerings like as sticky rice.

Next, take a beautiful nature day trip to the exquisite Kuang Si Waterfalls and its cascading turquoise waters.You can cool off or take a swim in the large ponds below the waterfalls, and also enjoy a picnic lunch by the pool.

Pass by teak forests, stunning landscapes, and a cultural exposure to the minority villages of Hmong and Khmu, then visit the weaving village of Ban Phanom for some Lao textile.

Day 5 – Xieng Khouang Road

In the morning, hit the road to Xieng Khouang, which is home to the impressive “Plain of Jars,” and was once devastated by American bombing during the Indochina War.  In order to get there, you will pass by astonishing high, rugged mountains, karst formations and hill tribe villages.

Stop by the hill-top Sala Phoukhoun, and then make your way to Hmong village at Ban Phouvieng, Ban Nongthang, Muangsuy and Thampra.

Later afternoon, arrive at Phonsavan, the capital of the Xieng Khong province.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Nice Guesthouse
$$ – White Orchid
$ – Ber 5 Guesthouse

 

Day 6 – Luang Prabang Plain of Jars

 

Plain of Jars.

Image courtesy of cosian tour

Right after breakfast, journey to the “Plain of Jars,” an extraordinary archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are scattered all over the plateau. Each one is thought to have been made more than 2000 to 2500 years ago, and is speculated to be used to store rice wine, or to serve as urns. For lunch visit the local central market.

 

Day 7  – Vang Vieng

Laos Itinerary

Take a 4-hour trip to Vang Vieng, a beautiful town resting near the Nam Song River. The journey will offer you impeccable views of mountains, limestone karts, paddy fields, markets and wooden stilt houses—a pure nature feast.

While exploring the splendid town of Vang Vieng, relax, unwind and bicycle through the countryside.

After lunch, visit Tam None cave and then cruise along the Nam Song River on a float.

We recommend dinner at any of the restaurants at Vang Vieng recommended by Lonely Planet.

Check in at Vang Vieng.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Silver Naga Hotel, Riverside Boutique Resort or check out this list of quality hotels Vang Vieng Hotels
$$ – The Grand Riverside Hotel, Thavonsouk Resort or Villa Nam Song
$ – Vang Vieng Boutique HotelReal Vang Vieng Backpacker Hostel Vang Vieng Backpackers Hostel,

Day 8  – Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Return to Vientiane by road and stop by Nam Ngum Lake. There, take a breathtaking excursion by boat around the lake littered with floating fishermen’s villages and thousands of islands.

After lunch visit Vang Sang, the 11th century Bhuddist sanctuary, then the salt extraction site.

Journey back to Vientiane and check in your choice of accommodation mentioned on Day 1.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Be Na Cam 2, Nalinthon Hotel or Souksan Guesthouse
$$ – The City Inn Vientiane or Vientiane Nam Phu
$ – Vientiane Backpackers Hostel, Funky Monkey Hoste Backpackers Garden Hostel

 

Day 9  – Vientiane to Pakse – Khong Island

Don_Khong_Island

Image courtesy of wikipedia

Very early morning fly to Pakse, and upon arrival board the local ferry and take a peaceful cruise over the Mekong River to the capital of Champasake. There you can explore the ruins of Wat Phu, a Hindu sanctuary of the Khmer Empire between 9th and 13th century.

Visit the nearby temples of Nang Sia and Thao Ta, or take a scenic drive and ferry boat to Khong Island ( Don Khong), and explore the island by bicycle.

Dinner and check in at a Khong Island hotel or hostel.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Mekong Inn Kongmany Colonial House
$$ – Mali Guesthouse, Souksabay Guesthouse Khongview Guesthouse
$ – Sabaidee Donkhong Homestay

 

Day 10  – Si Phan Done

Head out of town and hop on a long tail boat setting sail through the Mekong River where you will witness thousands of islets jut out in dry season. This is also called the ‘Si Phan Done’ area.

Hop off the boat to temporarily stop by the tranquil island of Ban Khone, and explore French colonial relics and the Liphi waterfalls, also known as the “Corridor of the Devil.”

Afterward, anchor off the beautiful village of Ban Na Kasang where you can experience some of the local culture.

Now, hit the road and journey to the Lao-Cambodia border at Weukham, while taking in the impressive sight of Khone Phapheng, and Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls. Near the falls is home to hundreds of lrrawaddy freshwater dolphins.

Check out the old locomotive railway and the colonial bridge built by the French.

DAY 11 – KHONG ISLAND – BOLAVEN PLATEAU

 

Leave early morning to drive to the Bolaven Plateau, an elevated region in southern Laos, where you can treat yourself with an elephant ride, and visit the villages near the Bolaven Plateau.

You can stay overnight at the Tad Fane Resort.

DAY 12 – BOLAVEN PLATEAU – PAKSE

Get those muscles moving and go for a hike in the morning to the Dan Sin Say Plateau. You will pass through a hanging bridge,  visit coffee plantations and its local villages and ethnic tribes of the Laven, the Alak, the Katu and Suay.

Return to Pakse where you can check-in overnight.

WHERE TO STAY:
$$$ – Forest Hotel
$$ – Alisa Guesthouse, Sompratthana Guesthouse, Royal Pakse Hotel or the Souksan Guesthouse
$ – Sedone River Guesthouse

DAY 13 – PAKSE – TALDO

After breakfast, take a trip to Taldo for a more authentic Southern Laos experience. Drive through forests, hills, villages and the red-surfaced basaltic oil and lush plantations.

In Taldo, trek to the incredible Xeset waterfalls, as well as nearby villages to mingle with the ethnic minorities of Kato, Alack, and Nge.

Take an adventure through forest paths, while explore the lush countryside before driving back to Pakse.

 

DAY 14 – PAKSE – VIENTIANE – DEPARTURE

 

Drive to the airport for your flight to Vientiane and home.

About Author

Stephanie Mayo is staff writer for Mad Monkey Hostels - she is obsessed with Films, Cinema and Latte's
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