Luang Prabang & Ventiane
Family Travel, History & Culture
Laos’ isolation from foreign influence offers travellers an unparalleled glimpse of traditional Southeast Asian life. From the fertile lowlands of the Mekong River to the rugged Annamite highlands, Laos offers some of the region’s most untarnished hidden gems.
Set by the meandering Mekong River in central Laos, Luang Prabang is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, one of the most alluring blend architecture, scenery, warm culture and slow life. Thereafter, we head to the capital city of Vientiane to get further acquainted with the culture of this Buddhist nation.
Arriving into Luang Prabang, we drive 10km/½ hour to your hotel. Sitting at the confluence of Mekong and the Khan rivers, this UNESCO city is Asia’s best-preserved fusion of traditional and colonial architecture. It is also Laos’ most beautiful cultural precinct.
Start by examining Royal Palace Museum’s interesting artifacts, before settling into Wat Xiengthong and Wat Khili. Early afternoon, gain insights into Laos’ rich ethnic and cultural blend at ‘Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre’. Then, we head out of town to Ban Xangkhong and Ban Xienglek weaving and textile villages. Back in town, visit Wat Visoun (‘Water Melon Stupa’) and climb Mt Phousi for panoramic view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River.
Rise before sunrise to participate in alms offering for saffron-clad monks. Laos is the only Buddhist nation still preserving this tradition. After strolling around unusual fruits and vegetables on a local morning market, we drive 30km/1h to Kuang Si Waterfall, lying in shallow pools atop a steep hillside for a gourmet picnic breakfast. Visit Free the Bears Rescue Centre which cares for many abused bears and detour at wood-carving minority villages before returning.
Head to rural Laos for a family farm tour with friendly farmer Lautlee. Learn how local crops are grown, help at the organic vegetable gardens and get hands-on processing sticky rice into Lao noodles “kapoen”. Mid-afternoon, we cruise the Mekong River through tranquil countryside sceneries into Pak Ou Caves, a holy Buddhist site adorned with thousands of sculptures. Enjoy local canapes and drinks as the sun sinks behind the mountains before returning to town.
Drive 10km/½hour to airport for your 1h flight to Vientiane. Start at the Xiangkun Temple, an open-air Buddha Park sculpture including highlights such as “Peace Hell Tower” and a big reclining Buddha symbolizing the cycle of life. Head to the gold-covered Luang Stupa and conclude at the traditional night market.
After breakfast, we transfer to Vientiane Airport, where you will board your flight home.
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang • Lao Poet Hotel, Vientiane
Located in a historical district of Luang Prabang blessed with mountain vistas, enjoy the freshwater infinity pool, teeter on the cliff edge, or indulge in the Mekong Spa.
(Refurbished: 2010; Rooms: 34)
A city-centre hotel designed for both business and leisure travel with sauna facilities.
(Opened: 2018; Rooms: 55)
Rosewood Luang Prabang • La Seine Hotel Vientiane
An urban retreat at Luang Prabang outskirts surrounded by mountains, jungles and waterfalls.
(Opened: 2018; Rooms: 23)
Inspired by Parisian designs and contemporary Lao aesthetics, spacious rooms overlooking Mekong River feature daring colour palettes, Art Deco-inspired interiors, and handcrafted Lao textiles.
(Opened 2018, Rooms: 36)
Amantaka Luang Prabang
Set on a garden estate with a swimming pool at heart, this graceful French colonial all-suite property lies within strolling distance to the Mekong River. (Opened: 2008; Rooms: 24)
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