Deep Side Story


Vientiane – Vang Vieng – Sayaboury – Elephant Conservation Center – Luang Prabang – Vientiane

11 Days / 10 Nights

From 75 US$/pers/day

  • The friendly atmosphere around the Mekong with the night market, the outdoor aerobic classes, the charming pedestrian walkway…
  • The majestic karstic reliefs surrounding Vang Vieng and its old bridge, symbol of the city.
  • The time passed at the ECC (Elephant Conservation Center) in total communion with the pachyderms, thanks to the advices of their health care provider.
  • The « Baci » (traditional ceremony in Laos in honour of all happy life events: meetings, weddings…) celebrated for you in a local family’s house.
  • The cooking class, from the purchase of all different products to the tasting: an immersion in the local gastronomy.
  • Thematic, experiential and unique programs and journeys.
  • Direct link with full of creativity, skilled and trustworthy local agencies passionate about their destination.
  • Optimum standard of service during all your trip (before, during and after).
  • Availability of destination’s experts and access to practical informations, detailed and reajusted in real time.

From 75 US$/pers/day.

The price indicated above is only approximate, and can be subject to variation according to various factors like the season or even the number of travelers for example.

Do not forget that it is also variable considering the activities and the spirit around your trip, which can be completely customized to your wishes.

Do not hesitate to contact us to receive your own free tailored quote !

In all our programs, some meals will be included and some left at your own discretion (for some specific times, allowing you to discover some neighbourhoods for example).

Meals included will be indicated next to the Day thanks to the following abbreviations : BKF = Breakfast / LUN = Lunch / DIN = Dinner.

Note: Upon your arrival at Vientiane International Airport, it is possible to obtain your visa on arrival (VOA). Simply bring 1 passport picture along with between USD 30 and 45 / person in cash, visa fees varying from one nationality to another. Make sure your passport is valid at least 6 months beyond your return departure date. Visa on Arrival forms are available before immigration counters.

Day 1 = VIENTIANE (LUN)

Welcome by your Lao English-speaking tour guide in the arrival hall and transfer to your hotel by our private minivan for check-in.

Lunch at local restaurant.

In the afternoon, sightseeing will start with Vat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion in 1828. It shelters hundreds of statues of Buddha in its walls and continue with Vat Phra Keo, now used as a religious museum where you can see Lao and Khmer works of art. It used to host the “Emerald Buddha” that is now on display at Bangkok’s Royal Palace. Then, you will visit That Luang, the holiest place in Laos and object of an amazing pilgrimage in November. It is iconic and represented on all bank notes and official stamps. It is a golden stupa that crowns a small hill and conclude with Patuxai Monument, also called Anousavari, where you will enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the roof. It is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe that is located at the top of Lan Xang Avenue, the Champs Elysees of the Lao capital.

You will end your day by walking along the Mekong riverfront, viewing the sunset and enjoying the night-market at Chao Anouvong Park.

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Day 2 = VIENTIANE (BKF/LUN)

After breakfast, you will start your day with Vat Simuang. It was built in 1563 and houses the much venerated city pillar.

Then, you will visit the COPE center. It was established in 2008 and provides a free permanent exhibition providing education on UXO in Laos, and information on the comprehensive rehabilitation services that COPE offers.

We will then leave town to Buddha Park. It is located around 30 minutes driving from down town, and also called locally Vat Xieng Khuan. It contains numerous of religious sculpture mix up Hindu and Buddhist styles which it is over 200 statues along the Mekong River bank.

Return to town and en-route stop for lunch and a visit at the International Lao Disable Women’s Development Center where is an active advocate for the rights, recognition and equal opportunity of disabled women. They achieve this not only through advocacy but also by training disabled women in a variety of fields and building their confidence and independence.

Return to town and free time at leisure.

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Option : One-day extension in Vientiane to live an unusual experience : discover the Laotian capital thanks to a « Local friend » !

Day 3 = VANG VIENG (BKF/LUN)

Breakfast at the hotel.

We will leave Vientiane town by road up to Vang Vieng. The drive will take around 3 hours passing by ever green mountainous landscapes.

Stop en route to visit minority market at KM 52 villages along the way and recommend lunch at restaurant of the hotel in Vang Vieng.

On arrival, check-in at the hotel and time for freshening up.

In the afternoon, you will visit Tham Chang with a nice view of the city and end your afternoon at the “Blue Lagoon” at Tham Phou Kham.

Light boating on the Nam Song River before sunset.

Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Accommodation in Vang Vieng.

Day 4 = VANG VIENG (BKF/LUN)

This half or full day tour combines all the activities that Vang Vieng is famous for: kayaking on the Nam Song River surrounded by rugged karsts and beautiful rural scenery and exploring limestone caves. You will have plenty of opportunities to swim in pools of fresh spring water.

We will transfer around 10km North to the ethnic Khmu village of Vieng Samay where after an introduction to the basics of kayaking we shall set off down the beautiful Nam Song river. After we will continue traveling downstream to Tham Non, which is one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng and served as a rescue shelter for the villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to a family of bats and the ‘Magic Stone’ of Vang Vieng. In the rainy season we will swim through the entrance to the cave. The final leg of the journey will be a gentle paddle to return to Vang Vieng just in time to catch the sunset in Vang Vieng.

Approximately: 15 minutes transfer, 2 hours kayaking, 45 minutes caving.

Note: In the wet season, due to the high currents, we will start from Pathang village instead, which is 8 km further than Vieng Samay village. Lunch will be served at Vieng Samay village. Two caves will be visited, Tham Xang (Elephant cave) and Tham None (Sleeping cave), as well as the Organic Farm.

Day 5 = SAYABOURY (BKF/LUN)

Breakfast at your hotel.

Then we will take the direction of Kasi which is the “attic fruits” of northern Laos and especially for citrus production. Continuation by taking the new road through the mountains along the Mekong River to catch Muang Nan and Thadua where we will cross the Mekong to join Sayaboury.

Lunch at local restaurant en-route or on arrival at Sayaboury.

Free at leisure and accommodation in Sayaboury.

Day 6 = ELEPHANT CONSERVATION CENTER (BKF/LUN)

Breakfast at the hotel.

We will head to an idyllic place for elephant lovers, at the Elephant Conservation Center.

Your guide will take you for a visit of the Center’s facilities and present their ongoing projects. You will meet the team of veterinarians and biologists and the elephants! Mahouts will share some of their secrets with you and will offer you the opportunity to ride their elephant, bareback, to sense the animal and feel the world from a mahout’s viewpoint. Hold on and try to get used to their swaying steps!

You will then attend the elephants’ daily bath and learn more about the giant guests’ playful characters. Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. You will witness the unique bond between the mahout and his elephant. After a short boat trip on the lake you will reach the nursery. Located in the forest, it is the place where the baby elephants are learning how to sustain themselves, closely watched by their mum.

This program starts at 8am and runs until 4pm. We will pick you up at your Guesthouse in Sayaboury and take you back after your visit. Lunch will be provided at the ECC’s restaurant. Please note that we will try to adapt to the rhythm of the animals, so schedules and activities may vary. Visitors to the Center must be open-minded and ready for a flexible program.

Accommodation in Sayaboury.

Day 7 = LUANG PRABANG (BKF/LUN)

After your breakfast at hotel, we will leave Sayaboury province for an overland drive toward Luang Prabang. It will take around 4 hours. The sceneries along the road are stunning with rice paddies, deep forested jungles, winding roads, lakeside views, palm trees and rural villages.

Check-in at your hotel and lunch at local restaurant.

We will then ascend Phou Si hill. The hill commands great views over the town, the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers and the mountainous ranges. It takes you 328 steps to reach the top, and at sunset set, the changing colors of the sky are particularly spectacular. The light reflecting on the golden spire of the temple at the top is also beautiful. The stairs are lined up with flamboyant and frangipani trees providing a deserved shade as you walk up and down.

Once back to ground level, you will end your day by stopping at the awakening Hmong minority people Night Market. It is held daily in the streets around the National Museum. Villagers come here to sell their handicrafts.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 8 = LUANG PRABANG (BKF/LUN)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Half day city tour with essentials:

Start with The National Museum that used to be the former Royal Palace. Inside the complex of the National Museum, you will see the “Prabang” sacred golden statue, giving its name to the town.

Then you will visit Vat Mai, the former royal temple.

TAEC, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. Depicts Laos ‘rich ethnic diversity with themed rotating exhibits. It is hosted in a former French colonial times judge’s mansion.

End with the Heritage House being a perfect example of Luang Prabang traditional building, made of wood on poles, at the back of Vat Xieng Muane.

We will drive to Ock Pop Tok weaving centre, on the bank of the Mekong, and enjoy lunch at “Silk Road Café”.

In the afternoon, excursion by road to Kuang Si waterfalls, a picturesque series of cascading waterfalls hidden in the forest (bring your swimsuit if you would like to enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool water of the pools). En route to the falls, your guide will take you to some of the nearby ethnic minority villages for a look into Laotian rural life and a chance to interact with the locals.

You will also have the opportunity to visit the Asian Black Bear Rescue Center.

It is also possible to hike to the top of the falls via a steep trail, and if the weather is good, you might enjoy a swim in the crystal clear water ponds.

Around 7pm, you will head to a local restaurant for dinner.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 9 = LUANG PRABANG (BKF/LUN)

In the early morning, head by Tuk-Tuk to the peninsula to witness and attend alms giving. Long lines of monks and novices stroll the street of the town center to collect their daily food subsistence from the worshippers. This ancient ritual is locally known as “Tak Bat”.

You will continue with a visit to the open-air fresh food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace. Lao people still like buying fresh food. While fridges are widely spread in households, people prefer going to local markets and returning home with fresh ingredients.

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

You will enjoy a morning visit to the beautiful Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. It is located at the top of the peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet.

Then we will continue to the pier to board your long-boat for a highly scenic 2 ½ hour boat ride up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. In Pak Ou, thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues are crowded into the two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. They range in size from a few centimeters to the size of a human.

Return to Luang Prabang.

Lunch at “Luang Prabang Kitchen”. This 1920’s restored mansion is an enjoyable place in a quiet part of town. The terrace with frangipani trees is pleasant.

In the afternoon, you will visit Vat Visoun: you will see the famous Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit it takes its name from. This temple was destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from China, and was restored in 1930 by Buddhist monks and local people.

Then we will head to Vat Aham, where you will see the altar of the 2 geniuses of Luang Prabang.

The rest of day will be free day at leisure.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang.

Day 10 = VIENTIANE (BKF/LUN)

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and keep your main luggage in the van until transfer out to the airport for your flight to Vientiane.

We will head to Lao Cooking class in the morning. You will start with a visit to the major food market of Talat Phosy; then spot and learn about local products.

After it, you will be driven to ‘Tamarind Gardens’ to start food preps.

Some of the items you will prepare yourself may include:

  • Varieties of jeow: the fundamental Lao spicy dipping sauces
  • Mok Pa, fragrant fish steamed with herbs in banana leaves
  • Tamarind’s specialty: lemongrass stuffed with chicken & herbs
  • Koy or laap, a tasty minced meat and herb ‘salad’
  • Dessert course: a surprise!

And of course you will learn the art of perfecting sticky rice and its eating etiquette.

Lunch what you cook, and return home with new skills to impress your invitees during your next home party!

Free afternoon at discretion. Explore the city on your own, go shopping or simply rest.

Late afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane on QV 104 at 1835-1920.

Accommodation in Vientiane.

Day 11 = VIENTIANE (BKF)

Breakfast and free time at leisure before transfer out to the airport for your onward flight.

End of our services

EACH PROGRAM IS HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE IN TERMS OF DURATION, ITINERARY, STOPS, TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION, INCLUSIONS AND ACTIVITIES, IN ORDER TO BE TOTALLY IN LINE WITH YOUR INTERESTS, YOUR TRIP PROJECT AND YOUR BUDGET CONSTRAINTS.

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David has been living in Laos for 11 years. Build together your own customized trip.

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Each program is absolutely customizable in terms of duration, itinerary, stops, types of accommodation, inclusions and activities. Anything actually! In line with your wishes and budget constraints.