Simply Laos

Our Simply Laos holiday is the perfect in-depth introduction to this enigmatic country, combining key highlights with plenty of downtime so you never feel rushed. Take in temples and tuk-tuks in Vientiane, lay back on a few 4,000 Island beaches, and comprehensively explore Luang Prabang, one of our absolute favourite cities.

At a glance
  • Delve into Laos’ rich history
  • Enjoy in-depth city and temple tours
  • Taste Vientiane on a streetfood tuk-tuk safari
  • Discover the Vietnam War's impact on Laos
  • Immerse yourself in laid back Si Phan Don
  • Cruise the Mekong River to secluded idylls
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Vientiane - 2 nights

Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Vientiane, capital of Laos, is sometimes overshadowed by Luang Prabang’s superstar status, but this unusual, ‘village city’ has a distinctive character all of its own. Though hectic in comparison to the rest of the country, with a population of less than a million, it is actually fairly sedate when compared to other capital cities in Asia! The city has a heady blend of historic and cultural influences: French colonial architecture sits side-by-side with gilded temples, bicycles weave down winding streets and you get to enjoy it all without large tourist crowds.

Day 1 - Arrive Vientiane

On arrival in Laos, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

Day 2 - City Tour, Tuk Tuk Night Safari & Sin Dat BBQ

Includes:

Spend a day thoroughly exploring the capital. See thousands of miniature Buddha statues at the city’s oldest intact temple, Wat Sisaket; linger in the echoing halls of Wat Phra Keo, the former home of the Emerald Buddha; and climb onto the roof of the Patuxai monument for panoramic city views. Stand in the shade of the golden stupa of That Luang: the holiest place in Laos. Complete your morning with a visit to the excellent COPE exhibition centre, highlighting the Laotian people's continuing struggle with overwhelming amounts of unexploded ordnance left from the Vietnam War era. Your afternoon is at leisure until sunset, when you’ll veer off the beaten track for a tuk-tuk tour of the locals’ favourite night markets and streetfood joints, ending with a Lao-style Sin Dat BBQ.

Click to discover more...

4,000 Islands - 3 nights

The evocatively-named 4,000 Islands, or Si Phan Don, is a network of islands woven through the lush Mekong Delta on the Laos-Cambodian border. Most are far too small to be inhabited, forming micro-habitats for birds and wildlife in the greenery that overflows to the water’s edge. The larger islands and riverbank are home to remote rural hamlets with a few restaurants, sandy beaches, ancient ruins and tight-knit river communities. Along the bank is UNESCO Heritage-listed Wat Phou. Predating Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, it’s believed that the original temple was built by the Khmer Hindus who eventually made Angkor Wat their capital.

Day 3 - Fly to Pakse, Wat Phou, Champasak walking tour, boat to Done Daeng

Includes:

Take a morning flight to Pakse. On arrival, having met your guide, visit the poignant pre-Angkorian ruins of Wat Phou. Then continue on to Champasak and explore on foot. As you walk, your guide will tell you about the history of this World Heritage Listed town, where traditional Laotian architecture nestles beside intriguing colonial-style buildings. At the temple of Vat Kuang Kang transfer to the pier and make the short boat crossing over the Mekong River to Done Daeng, one of the most picturesque islands in this laid-back region. Technically a little too far north to officially be included in the 4,000 islands, Done Daeng shows you what it’s like to take a step out of modern time expectations, to a place where the seasons, weather and natural rhythms dictate the pace.

Day 4 - Island hopping by bike & boat

Includes:

Embark on a day criss-crossing the 4000 Islands by bike and boat. Cycle across the compact Done Khong island to catch a ferry to the quiet island of Don Phi Man. Explore this quintessentially Lao fishing village by bike, soaking up the feeling of time appearing to have stood still. Hop over the Mekong to Don Sang Pai, to visit an ancient Buddhist temple and learn about the beliefs specific to the local culture. Visit the neighbouring island of Don Loppadi, where the residents specialise in weaving bamboo baskets and the region’s essential fishing nets, and have lunch with a local family, before cruising upstream to pass Dom Som and several uninhabited islands, arriving back at Done Khong in the late afternoon.

Day 5 - R&R time

Includes:

Your day is free at leisure to relax and soak up the Si Phan Don pace of life!

Click to discover more...

Luang Prabang - 4 nights

Luang Prabang - the ‘Jewel of Indochina’ - is regularly voted one of Asia's top destinations. This ancient, UNESCO-listed royal city at a junction of two rivers is surrounded by mountains, with Mount Phousi at its core rewarding climbers with panoramic views. It offers a definitive example of the fusion between traditional Laotian architecture and more recent colonial structures; its unique, remarkably well-preserved townscape illustrating a key stage in the blending of these two eras. Immerse yourself in the city’s vivid riverside culture, taste some of the country’s best food, and listen to atmospheric echoes in ancient temples. Between time with your expert local guide, you'll have a couple of days at leisure to revisit some of your favourite sights, explore by yourself, or just sit by the river and watch the world go by.

Day 6 - Fly to Luang Prabang, Baci Ceremony

Includes:

Spend the morning at leisure soaking up the tranquillity in Done Daeng before flying to Luang Prabang. The remainder of your day will be at leisure to begin exploring this stunning city. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, and we’d recommend the local river side stalls for some truly authentic Lao flavours, washed down (naturally!) with a Beer Lao. In the early evening, attend a Baci ceremony, which involves winding cotton around your wrists to symbolise friendship, good health and good luck on your journey.

Day 7 - Tak Bat, walking tour, weaving villages

Includes:

Rise before dawn to witness tak bat (the giving of alms to the monks who leave their pagodas to receive offerings of food from local residents) in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner. Get an overview of the country’s history at the Royal Palace National Museum, take in the city’s iconic temples, and get a deeper insight into Laos culture at the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre. See colourful woven textiles being made in the surrounding villages, then either opt to embark upon an energetic climb up Mount Phousi, visit Wat Prabath Tai for a more accessible sunset experience or head to Wat Aham’s colourful prayer hall in time for the daily chanting.

Day 8 - Nam Ou River cruise & Pak Ou Caves

Includes:

Drive to the village of Ban Khone Kham where you will board a private boat for a cruise down the picturesque Nam Ou River. During the morning you will pass amongst the stunning limestone karst scenery, making a stop at the village of Ban Had Kham, where they produce Lao Khao (the local rice whisky), before enjoying a riverside picnic lunch. Back on board, continue cruising downstream to where the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers converge and visit the Pak Ou Caves where thousands of Buddha statues were hidden in times gone by. Return to Luang Prabang by boat, stopping en-route at Wat Donekhoun – a former favourite temple of the King.

Day 9 - MandaLao elephant sanctuary

Includes:

Spend a day at MandaLao elephant sanctuary, learning about elephant conservation from the dedicated team. Located on the banks of the Nam Khan River, in prime elephant habitat, the project focuses on education and animal welfare, offering an interactive and meaningful elephant experience. The sanctuary is currently home to a handful of elephants who have spent the majority of their lives working in the region’s logging industry, and are now able to engage in natural behaviours within the safety of their new home. After an in-depth briefing, watch the elephants bathing in the river, and walk with them through the wild landscape. Share a meal of produce from the projects organic garden before heading back to Luang Prabang where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Day 10 - Depart Luang Prabang

Includes:

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Click to discover more...

We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 - 4 5 - 6
Standard £1,731US$2,267 £1,456US$1,907 £1,364US$1,787

Bloom Boutique Hotel and Cafe

Conveniently located in the bustling Setthathirath Road area of Vientiane, close to intriguing temples and trendy cafes, the Bloom Boutique Hotel offers simple, high quality accommodation... See more

La Folie

Located on Done Daeng Island, on the banks of the Mekong River, you would be forgiven for thinking you had just pitched up on a Thai island not a land-locked country... See more

Villa Chitdara

Brilliantly located on Khounsua Road - the quiet central street that slips between Luang Prabang's main night market and Mekong River Street - leafy Villa Chitdara is a small but charming guesthouse... See more
1st Class £1,871US$2,450 £1,595US$2,089 £1,503US$1,969

Ansara Hotel

Ansara is a new boutique hotel located in the heart of Vientiane, just a short walk from the Mekong River and yet close to many of the city's main restaurants and places of interest… See more

La Folie

Located on Done Daeng Island, on the banks of the Mekong River, you would be forgiven for thinking you had just pitched up on a Thai island not a land-locked country... See more

Villa Maydou

Set in a pleasant garden in the very heart of the old town, the Villa Maydou consists of two wonderfully restored traditional Lao houses, both under the protection of the UNESCO world heritage programme... See more
Superior £1,923US$2,519 £1,647US$2,157 £1,555US$2,037

Ansara Hotel

Ansara is a new boutique hotel located in the heart of Vientiane, just a short walk from the Mekong River and yet close to many of the city's main restaurants and places of interest… See more

La Folie

Located on Done Daeng Island, on the banks of the Mekong River, you would be forgiven for thinking you had just pitched up on a Thai island not a land-locked country... See more

Maison Dalabua

This charming boutique hotel is located a short walk from Luang Prabang's historical centre and surrounded by UNESCO classified lotus ponds... See more
Deluxe £2,284US$2,992 £2,008US$2,631 £1,917US$2,511

Settha Palace

Located in the heart of Vientiane and within easy walking distance of the city’s main shops, restaurants and tourist attractions, Settha Palace was originally built at the turn of the 20th century.... See more

La Folie

Located on Done Daeng Island, on the banks of the Mekong River, you would be forgiven for thinking you had just pitched up on a Thai island not a land-locked country... See more

Satri House

Previously a residence of Prince Soupha- Nouvong, Satri House underwent extensive renovation in 2008. The result is magnificent and for our money the hotel instantly became a serious contender for Luang Prabang’s boutique hotel crown... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

  • Whilst in the south of Laos you are within easy striking distance of Cambodia. You can either cross by land at the Don Kralor border, giving you access to the little-visited region of Ratanakiri, with its wealth of travel interests; alternatively fly from Pakse directly to Siem Reap, and the majestic Angkor Temples.
  • As alternative to the southern Laos itinerary listed in this holiday, you may wish to consider two nights aboard the Vat Phou Cruise. Described as a ‘boutique river-borne hotel’ the luxurious rice barge plies its trade amongst the 4000 Islands, stopping at key sites including Champasak, the spectacular Wat Phou, Khong Island, Khong Pha Pheng, and the hidden forest temple of Oum Moung.
    Each of the 12 comfortable and elegant air-conditioned cabins offers two single berths with an en suite bathroom; there is a large fore deck and an air-conditioned dining room, both ensuring easy socialising with other guests.
  • Just because Laos is landlocked doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a few days on the beach. In most instances you will fly to Laos via Bangkok, ensuring easy access to many of Thailand’s world famous beach resorts without the need to pay for extra flights.
At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with one of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You will require a visa to enter Laos. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Stephen – Indochina tailor-made specialist

’ Give us just 10 days and we'll show you the full range of what this incredible country has to offer.’

StephenIndochina tailor-made specialist

Speak to Stephen on 01273 670 001

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.

Book With Confidence

For peace of mind when booking your future holiday to Asia, we have introduced flexible booking conditions & full financial clarity.