1 day cruise on the Mekong River, 2 days in the Muang La Resort, and back to Luang Prabang after a cruise on the magnificent Nam Ou River
This 5 days / 4 nights journey make you discover Norther Laos, remote areas and superb resort. You will enjoy admiring untouched landscape and natural life of dozens of ethnic minorities.
We will stop for two days in Muang La Resort ****, a haven of peace offering SPA services and massage in an preserved area with typical Lao villages.
Itinerary at a glance
Day 1. One day cruise on the Mekong River
Day 2. Pakbeng - Muang La Resort
Day 3. Muang La Resort - Discover the area, or free time at the resort
Day 4. Muang La - Muang Khua - Cruise the Nam Ou River - Nong Khiaw
Day 5. Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang
Jour 1. One day cruise on the Mekong River (../L/D)
After an overnight in Chiang Rai or in one of the hotels nearby, you will be transferred in the early morning, on the Thai-Lao ; you will ideally arrive around 8:30 am.
Here starts your 5d/4n journey. Your guide will meet you at the Lao immigration office, with a vehicle, and you will be transferred to the small peer of Huay Xay. A traditional boat awaits you for a full day cruise on the Mekong.
Your goal is to reach Pakbeng, a small town along the river. Along the way you will make a few stops in villages of ethnic minorities living in near-autarky because of their distance from any urban center.
Lunch will be served on board.
You will arrive in the late afternoon at Pakbeng, and will be installed at your hotel, located along the Mekong River, overlooking the river. From there, you will admire the sunset on the jungle and the Mekong River
Dinner at the hotel
Overnight in Pakbeng Lodge ***
Day 2. Elephants - Pakbeng - Muang La (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will visit the Pakbeng Lodge’s elephant camp. This area is well known to host the last wild elephants in Laos. From the camp, you can watch them evolve, bathing, and can have an hour’s ride if you wish.
Back to hotel for lunch.
Early afternoon, an air-conditioned minivan and privatized will drive you to Muang La (about 4 hours drive) by a mountainous road where you can stop to visit some ethnic minority villages. Arrived in Oudomxay, you will make a city tour before going further to the small village of Muang La.
Dinner at Muang La Resort
Overnight in Muang La Resort****
Day 3. Take a break in Muang La Resort, or explore the area (B/…/D)
After your breakfast at the Resort, you can choose to have a 1 day break (the Resort proposes SPA services and massage) or you can decide to explore the area by bicycle, 4x4 or even opt for a short trek to discover isolated ethnic minorities living there for centuries.
Dinner at Muang La Resort
Overnight at Muang La Resort****
Day 4. Muang La - Muang Khoua - Cruise the Nam OuRiver - Nong Khiaw (B/L/…)
In the morning, after breakfast, take the road (2h30 drive) to reach the small village of Muang Khoua, located along the Nam Ou River. From there, take a traditional and privatized boat, that will get you down the river. This part of Laos is one of the most beautiful area, with untouched jungle scenery, karst mountains, and small traditional fishing villages.
Lunch on board
Stop at Sopcham, a beautiful small village in one of the bends of the river, overlooking a karst peak. This small village has specialized in weaving silk and offers 100% hanidcraft products. You will then make another stop in Muang Ngoi Kao, a village known to be a good start for trekking.
After 1 additional hour cruise, you will arrive in Nong Khiaw, a small village where the bridge overlooking the river provides access to the north-eastern Laos.
Free dinner in Nong Khiaw
Overnight in Nong Kiau Riverside*** or Mandala Ou***
Day 5. Nong Khiaw - Luang Prabang (B/…/…)
In the morning after breakfast, you can visit the caves in the limestone rock, that served as the local government’s headquarters for 12 years (during "the secret war").
It will then be time to drive to Luang Prabang (3:30 transport). Along the way you will make a short visit to see the typical village of Ban Nagnane inhabited by the Thai Lu ethnic minority. This village specialized in weaving cotton and indigo dye.
Before arriving in Luang Prabang (if enough time), you can visit the sacred caves of Pak Ou. You will cross the Mekong River by local small boat before discovering hundreds of representation of Buddha, mostly made in wood and in stone.
- Pak Ou caves, 30km from Luang Prabang
- Les grottes de Pak Ou, à 30km de Luang Prabang
If enough time, you will then stop just before Luang prabang to visit 2 weaving villages, specialized in silk and in Saa paper products (made from the bark of the Saa tree.)
You will then arrived in Luang Prabang, where you will be transferred at your hotel.
End of the journey.
English speaking guide
Private transportation in private air-conditioned
Accommodation in twin shared
Mekong River cruise in traditional privatized boat
Nam Ou River cruise in traditional privatized boat
Admission fee to indicated sights
Meals : B=Breakfast // L=Lunch // D=Dinner
2 bottles of drinking water per day during the tour
2 cold tower per day during the tour
Government tax and service charge
- in Pakbeng : Pakbeng Lodge*** (www.pakbenglodge.com)
- in Muang La : Muang La Resort**** (www.muangla.com)
- in Nong Khiaw : Nong Kiau Riverside*** (www.nongkiau.com) or Mandala Ou*** (www.mandala-ou.com)
Optional (with supplement) :
- Transfer from your hotel in Chiang Rai to the Thai-Lao border
- 1 hour elephant ride in the jungle in Pakbeng
- 1 day trek around Muang La
- 1 day journey in 4x4 to discover some remote areas around Muang La
- 1 day bicycle to discover villages surrounding Muang La Resort