Things to do in
Laos

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Our most recommended things to do in Laos

Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

1. Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

This tour has 2 options: (1) Mekong cruise and cave in the morning and waterfall in the afternoon (2) Waterfall in the morning and cave and Mekong cruise in the afternoon. The itinerary is the same except for the order. Unlike cheaper tours from other companies, both include a 25 km, 3-hour one way boat trip between Luang Prabang and the caves. You will be picked up at your accommodation between 7:45 am and 8:15 am then, we head straight to the pier to join the 8:30 am long tail slow boat trip departure and head off on the mighty Mekong river. Enjoy the many views from the water, witness rural laos, pass by local villages, fishermen, children and soak up the scenes of daily life by the river. After the first hour and a bit, the boat takes its first short stop at the popular Ban Xang Hai, also known as ‘the whiskey village’. Here you visit the village, see the process of making Lao Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey and taste the fresh local delights. Why not pick up a couple of bottles for later! We continue by boat travelling slowly along the Mekong in the direction of the glorious Pak Ou Caves. We arrive at a small boat landing dock where stairs lead you straight up to the cave. These limestone Buddhist caves have been a place of worship for thousands of years, over this time a collection of Buddha statues and idols have filled these spiritual natural caves The boat will enter the Ou River to visit the limestone cliffs. Then, after a 30-minute boat ride down the Mekong River, we will arrive at Manifa Elephant Camp for lunch. We enjoy a full buffet style lunch @ the restaurant – overlooking the Mekong river and free-roaming elephants. After lunch break, we take by car to Kuang Si Waterfalls – you will have 2-hours to explore the three layered Kuang Si Waterfall walk the trails of the nature reserve and swim in the refreshing turquoise water pools and visit the bear rescue center. You'll leave for Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, making a short visit at Ban Na Uan Hmong village on the way. Your return to the city is expected to be between 5:30PM-6:00PM, which is the ideal time to visit Phousi Mountain for the sunset.

Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

2. Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

Start your full-day adventure with pickup from your hotel in Vang Vieng and join a 6-mile ride north to Ban Vieng Samai, the kayak starting point. Your kayaking guide will provide you with paddling instructions before you set off downstream on Nam Song River. On the journey, glide over many small rapids and enjoy the scenery of the incredible mountain karts along both sides of the river. Then, take a break from your kayaking tour with a visit to Tham Nam Cave. Tube inside the marvelous, 1,640-foot-long cave, dragging yourself with the help of a fixed rope. Take some time to enjoy a picnic lunch and then hop back on your kayak, paddling until you reach the center of Vang Vieng. Afterwards, you will have the choice to either be transferred back to your hotel, or to participate in activities such as zip lining and swimming in the Blue Lagoon 1. Before the zip line experience, your guide will walk you through instructions and safety training. Fly 4,440 feet over the green forest and river. The journey consists of 7 lines, 12 platforms, and 2 bridges. The Blue Lagoon 1 is one of the most famous locations in the city. Sit back and relax or jump in the natural pool to cool down. After your fun day out, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Vang Vieng in the evening.

Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

3. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

Enjoy a half-day Luang Prabang waterfall tour which lasts for 5.5 hours. Get picked up at your hotel at 8:30 AM and climb into a Tuk-Tuk, one of the most popular forms of transport in Laos. As you ride through the incredible scenery, take in the sights and experience real Laos culture and customs from your guide. First, enjoy a local coffee at a viewpoint of the Mekong River. At 10 AM, visit a lovely Luang Prabang village, one of the highlights on the tour and learn more about local life. At 11 AM, head over to Kuang Si Waterfall, the main highlight of the tour. At 1:15 PM, stop for lunch with your guide as you learn about the cuisine of the local people. Finish the tour at 2 PM after you're dropped off back at your hotel.

Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

4. Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

In the morning, get picked up by your guide and head to Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest surviving Buddhist temple. The temple is famous for its cloister wall that houses more than 6,800 Buddha icons of all sizes. You may also be able to witness the many locals that come to pray in the morning, enlightening you to traditions of the area. Stop at Wat Prakeo, which once held the Emerald Buddha and now functions as a museum, and the Patuxay Monument, a symbol of the country's resilience and independence, to learn of Laos' complex history. Take time to lunch before walking through Vientiane's laid-back streets, enjoying the refreshingly easygoing atmosphere of the capital. Pass through a number of gorgeous temples before arriving at Talad Sao, Vientiane's central market. With two distinct areas, a modern shopping mall and the sprawling original market, Talad Sao offers an abundance of treasures for you to discover. Bring your day to a stunning conclusion by heading to the Mekong River, where the sun paints the water in brilliant orange hues as it sets below the horizon.

Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

5. Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

Set off into the Mekong River after being gathered from your hotel, passing scenes of fishermen and wildlife on the way. Once you arrive at the Pak Ou Caves, head to Tham Ting, the first cave. The smaller cave is illuminated from the entrance, making it a popular place to burn incense and offer prayers. As your guide leads you through the dark cave with a light, catch sight of the Buddha icons, numbering in the 1,000s that fill the place.  After your excursion through the caves, hop aboard your boat and make your way to the village of Ban Xanghai. Here, you can witness the traditional method of making lao-lao, the local rice wine. A short drive then takes you to Ban Phanom, which is famous for its handwoven textiles. Watch the craftsmen deftly work at their looms, weaving silk and cotton into intricate patterns. Conclude your day of adventure with a leisurely boat trip back to Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

6. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

Experience the stunning beauty of Luang Prabang's natural scenery on a half-day motorbike tour, choosing between the sunrise or the sunset options. Choose the sunrise option to start your tour early when you’re picked up from your hotel at 5 AM. You’ll be taken to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang as the sun rises at 6 AM before cruising down the Mekong River on a local boat. At 7:30 AM, enjoy a local breakfast to learn more about traditional cuisine in Laos. Finish the tour at 8:30 AM when you’re dropped off back at your hotel.  Alternatively, choose the sunset option and start the tour in the afternoon. Get picked up from your hotel at 4:30 PM and head off on the back of a motorbike to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang at sunset. Learn about the city's rich history from your expert guide and try some local cuisine in Luang Prabang. Sample delicious dishes like Or Lam, Khao Soy, and Nam Van before being dropped off at back your hotel at 8:30 PM.

Vang Vieng: Half-Day Zip Lining with Cave Exploration Option

7. Vang Vieng: Half-Day Zip Lining with Cave Exploration Option

Experience the green forest canopy that covers the mountains on the side of the river. Make your way along a stream down to the zip line at the Tham None river bank. Get strapped in and take an exciting zip line ride over the green forest and river below. There are 6 lines in total for you to enjoy. Before the zip line experience, your guide will walk you through the instructions and safety training. Fly 4,440 feet over beautiful landscape.  You can also choose an option to upgrade your journey by visiting Tham Nam None Cave during this half-day tour. If you choose the Tham Nam None Cave option, you can explore the secluded cave that served as a place of refuge for people caught up in the chaos of the Indochina Wars. Make your way into the cave on an inflatable innertube and pull on a rope to reach the walking point  to see many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

Luang Prabang: Local Village & Kuang Si Falls Private Tour

8. Luang Prabang: Local Village & Kuang Si Falls Private Tour

Catch a ride directly from your hotel and spend the first part of your morning watching quiet monks take part in an alms giving ceremony, processing through town requesting donations from faithful residents. Afterward, browse the produce-packed stalls and vocal vendors at Phosi Market, where you can barter for dried buffalo skin and loose leaf tea. Swing by the villages of Ban Ouay, Ban Ou, and Ban Thapene to explore the cultural differences between each ethnic group. Continue on to Kuang Si Falls in the afternoon. Plunge into aquamarine pools and snap photos of the tumbling cascades of this stunning waterfall before heading down forested trails that lead to a nearby bear sanctuary. Check out exhibits housing rescued Asiatic black bears and listen as your guide explains how these cuddly creatures are being protected from the illegal wildlife trade. As the sun begins to dip toward the horizon, return to the city and the stupa at Wat Siphouthabath where you can grab a seat and watch the setting sun illuminate this sacred site in golden light before you head back to your hotel.

Luang Prabang Outskirts: Mountain Bike Ride Day Trip

9. Luang Prabang Outskirts: Mountain Bike Ride Day Trip

This mountain bike trip combines great cycling with the chance to discover authentic Lao rural life. Leave the beaten path and find your own adventure outside of town. Get geared up and ride out of town along the Mekong River. After crossing the old communist bridge, make a stop to visit Xieng Lek Village, famous for its mulberry paper and weaving. Follow the Nam Xuang River past villages before offroading into the countryside, up and down hills, past rice paddies and local villages. Ride through vast rice paddies and Lao Leum, Hmong, and Khmu villages with locals tending to the daily activities of Lao agrarian life. The last leg of the ride will take you along the Nam Khan River. Before entering Luang Prabang City enter the beautiful Wat Phon Phao, with its huge golden stupa and an incredible view overlooking all of Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

10. Luang Prabang: 4-Day Explorer Tour

Day 1 Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport meet and greet your local guide at the exit of the arrival hall. Drive to the hotel where you can get some rest and relax at your own pace. Day 2 Enjoy a short but thorough guided tour of the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong. With its roofs sweeping low to the ground, it embodies classical Laotian architecture. Then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, and take in a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as exploring the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, 2 linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai where they make the local rice wine and Ban Xangkhong a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking. On return, visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai. You'll then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River.  Continue to explore the night market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by Luang Prabang locals. Return to the same hotel in Luang Prabang. Day 3 Wake up to the beautiful morning in Luang Prabang, and if you are an early riser, participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (sticky rice) from the residents. This tradition is unique to Laos, the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. After breakfast, drive about 15km out of town to journey to the elephant village in Ban Xienglom. En route stop at a famous and well-known village, Ban Phanom, where almost all of the villagers are weavers. Next, stop at Henri Mouhot, the explorer who discovered Angkor Wat, a monument at Kaeng Noon.  Once at the Elephant Village Camp, get up close and personal with elephants while you feed them. Visit the elephant hospital, museum, gallery, and dung paper making facility.  Return to the town visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. Returning to Luang Prabang by afternoon, you'll be back in the city in time to observe the sunset at Wat Phabath Tai. Day 4 Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.Enjoy your breakfast and free time to pack in the morning before check-out, you will then be transferred to the airport to catch up with your flight.

Other Sightseeing Options in Laos

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What people are saying about Laos

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 231 reviews

The trip to the waterfalls was definitely worth it, although I would not go there again with the tuk tuk, it brings no added value compared to a van. We were there at 10am and there were few other tourists there, you couldn't swim, the water was just too cold for that. On the way back we visited an unscheduled Buffalo farm, a brilliant project, absolutely worth seeing !!!

It was very good

Not only was the food they took me delicious, but they also dropped in at places I wanted to visit, such as temples and markets, and took lots of photos. I explained the history of the city and temples and spent a very meaningful time

Both the boat trip and the locations were very convincing. The boat driver and guide were competent and made us feel safe. One should move away from information. I very much doubt that people over the age of 80 can do this tour.

Managed to get to know more about the local cuisine, daily habits and culture through this tour. Tour guide was really friendly and accommodating. Would recommend to our family and friends in future.

very good quality of service. very complete and uniquely landscaped