Bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, it's easy to understand why Asia's least populated country does not get a much attention, but therein lies its charm. Laos remains one of the least developed countries in Asia, with lush jungles and striking karst river valleys where life remains tranquil and unhurried.
The prize of Laos, if not Indochina, is sublime Luang Prabang which should be the primary focus of your travels through the country. If you've a little longer than a couple of days to linger, we can planning sightseeing in the stunning karst landscapes to the north of Luang Prabang, with light trekking, bicycling (road and dirt), and boating on the tranquil Nam Ou River.
In an off-the-beaten-path town, we'll take you that much further out to explore the magnificent landscape of northern Laos beyond the ordinary trip and experience local cultural in unforgettable encounters, all carefully-planned and led by the most experienced and knowledgeable guides in the region.
Our private Laos tours will excite both the adventurous traveler and those seeking a more comfortable, luxurious experience with our ultimate Luang Prabang stopover. We've designed this to be a wonderful few days, balanced between sightseeing on foot, tuk-tuk, and relaxing at the wonderful La Residence Phu Vao or Amantaka resorts.
A private baci welcoming ceremony, time with an endangered Asian elephant at a local camp learning care about the project, a private audience with monks within their temple, and a cooking class round out the unique experience of this special trip highlighting the best of Luang Prabang. Northern Laos also offers spectacular scenery and quiet roads for cycling, an areas we've organized bicycle tours since 2001, but we can blend in short rides to your trip.
"We were pleased that Indochina Travel was small enough to provide the things larger companies cannot, yet with all the benefits of using a larger one. In Saigon, we were honored to visit our guide's family. The BEST parts of our trip were the PEOPLE we met, especially the real, local people, not just the famous ones (though they were fascinating as well). Cuong made this possible throughout our time with him."
—Ric Haas, Menlo Park
"Chris and I had a wonderful journey. Thanks to you, everything was flawless. All of the guides were superb (especially Thiha in Burma). The accommodations were top-rate in most cases, the special activities and personal service much appreciated!"
—Ann & Chris McMurray, Alexandria, VA
"Overall, we had an excellent trip! Don and I both loved Bhutan and Myanmar. Both countries are beautiful, each in their own way. Our main comment would be to say how wonderful our guides were. As we've discussed in the past, it's really the difference between a good trip and great one. It was really nice to have the same guide for the entire itinerary, you really get to establish a rapport and they get to know us. We thought both guides were very professional, knowledgeable and personable, and we learned a lot from both."
—Irene Ing and Don Ershig, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Boating - "Thank you for an amazing adventure, we were delighted at every turn and the activities and people we met were thoroughly fascinating. We really the appreciated the authentic experiences we shared. Our girls are still talking about the trip, please give Linh and Duc our best!"
—The Anderson Family
Halong Bay Kayaking - "This was our fourth trip with you guys and it couldn't have possibly been any better. Your crew is outstanding in every way-well prepared, attentive, and professional. Again, you planned some very special things for us which we really enjoyed. Thank you for another amazing experience."
Few places in the world offer the delights for families that Luang Prabang does, from boating, biking, kayaking, to cultural immersion with meeting local children in monasteries and classroom visits. There is also a wonderful elephant camp, and kid-friendly resorts, all within a tranquil setting on the Mekong.
We pioneered the very first cycling trips in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia through our adventure wing, VeloAsia, starting in 1993. With its low population and tepid economy, the country is one of the best on two wheels, from leisurely spins around Luang Prabang to challenging overland trips into Vietnam.
With no economy to speak of, Buddhism in Laos is as strong as it has ever been in Luang Prabang, a city covered with gleaming gold temple stupas. Let us facilitate personal encounters with novice and elder monks to understand this important facet of life in Laos.
Aman, Orient Express (Belmond), and other world-class resorts in addition to charming, local boutique hotels offer exquisite choices accommodation. Ask us to recommend the perfect fit for your stay.
Our favorite elephant camp in Southeast Asia is home for a couple dozen of young, endangered Asian elephants you can meet up close, learning about their care and working hands-on to feed, wash and trek with the gentle animals.
Our favorite small town in all of Asia, Luang Prabang is the splendid ancient capital of Laos, situated in the remote north, featuring a cluster of shimmering royal temples and well-preserved French architecture—remnants of the faded grandeur of the Lao monarchy and colonial era that followed. Luang Prabang is tiny and compact with a bucolic setting on a tongue of land at a strategic junction of the Mekong and Khan Rivers encircled by peaks and camouflaged by palm trees and dense tropical foliage... from a distance, only golden-spired stupas can be seen—flashes of gold rising above the greenery.
No visit to Indochina is complete without time in the region's most delightful and well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. Here is old Asia, long passed in almost all other places in the region and the perfect place to slow down.
Within 90 minutes of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Hanoi, enchanting, ancient, and tranquil Luang Prabang is world's away.
Luang Prabang is a rare tranquil town, where one can stroll down small lanes and roads without traffic to discover the treasures of the French period as well as temples and sublime setting along the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
In and around Luang Prabang are some of the most beautiful, unspoiled landscapes in Indochina but is also a special setting for couples, many of whom in fact mention it as their favorite place. Sumptuous resorts, sublime architecture, fine dining, river cruising, and unique rituals, such as blessing by monks, make for a very romantic place.
North of Luang Prabang are some of the least populated and developed landscapes in Southeast Asia, beautiful river valleys, remote hill tribe villages and bucolic rice paddies of emerald green. Venture with us into these remarkable landscapes by foot, bike, boat and kayak.
If you've the time, the capital is an east stop en route from Angkor or Bangkok, featuring historic colonial-era and religious architecture as well as a glimpse of a bustling city on the move. Let us plan a full day capturing the best of Vientiane.