Laos emanates with flavor as you discover that the best way to learn about Laotian culture is through its food. Your customizable tour offers a sampling, taking you through village life and city grandeur, prestigious temples to shrines hidden in secluded caves. The scent of fresh and dried chilies overtakes the daily markets. Vendors cook popular delicacies along riverside promenades. Ethnic minority communities eagerly welcome your desire to learn about traditional weaving techniques and delicate...
Vientiane – Enticing Aromas of the Riverfront
The capital city of Laos rises out of a quiet, wide bend of the Mekong River. A thriving marketplace lines the promenade overlooking the water and offers spectacular views to passing boats, lingering couples, and the spectacular cuisine crafted in front of the eyes of passersby. Renovated French colonial villas add to the grace of the capital city’s serene ambiance, with traditional Laotian architectural embellishments. Cafes carrying on the tradition of French pastries and decadent coffees fill the air with the aroma of chocolate, cinnamon, and freshly roasted coffee beans amongst restaurants offering a mixture of comforting traditional Laotian cuisine and international dishes.
Your flight lands at Wattay International Airport, where your private transfer awaits your arrival. Palm trees and ferns add layers of exotic tropical atmosphere to the tranquil cobbled boulevards. Shops offer marvelous window displays of contemporary styles popular in Southeast Asia. You take the time to settle into the comforts of your accommodation situated within the grandeur of a renovated French villa, shaded by the encircling palm trees. After taking the time to enjoy the dangling chandeliers and glinting marble features of the lobby and dining room, you set out into the city to stroll along the captivating riverside promenade.
The government utilized the location to dam the edges of the Mekong to keep the waters from flooding the city during the wet season. The market comes to life at night with vendors offering clothing and popular trinkets set beneath the red-tented stalls. The scent of chili and ginger emanates from food stalls speckling the promenade. You can sit with a traditional green papaya salad, known as tam som, and enjoy the view of the city at night along the riverbanks while enjoying the light flavor of unripe papaya spiced with chili and dressed with sour lime.
Vientiane – Layers of Laotian Flavor
Luang Prabang – On the Hills of Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang – In the Company of Buddha
Luang Prabang – Morning at the Market
Luang Prabang – Textures and Color
Luang Prabang – In the Company of Locals
- Explore the local markets, accompanied by local chefs for an immersive view of daily cuisine and life
- Relish the flavors of Laos harnessed inside its delicate cuisine during a private cooking course in Vientiane, where you produce up to seven dishes
- Delight in the combination of flavors unique to Luang Prabang during a private cooking lesson capturing imperial tastes of the surrounding villages
- Discover the spiritual ambiance emanating from the thousands of Buddha icons within the limestone crevices of the Pak Ou Caves
- Witness the marvelous emerald and turquoise hues of the natural pools forming at the base of Kuang Si Falls
- Experience the life of ethnic minorities to view the continued tradition of weavings and learn the history of the hillside communities
- Embrace the grandeur of historical monuments and enriching temple complexes during a private full day tour of Vientiane
- Uncover the wonder of a solid gold Buddha on display in a private gallery of the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang
- Climb the more than 300 steps to the top of Mount Phu Si for an unforgettable sunset beneath the gilded stupa of a historical temple
The pleasures of Laos emanate from the vibrant markets and enticing kitchens, gilded temples and lavish royal palaces. Your 7-day tour presents the flavors of Laos’s major cities, from the contemporary and amalgamated cuisine of Vientiane to the traditions of the imperial city of Luang Prabang. Your culinary adventure begins with your arrival in Vientiane. Your private transfer meets you at Wattay International Airport and escorts you to a stunning hotel situated inside a renovated French villa. The remainder of the day takes you along the banks of the Mekong River to wander through the bustling night market. Enjoy the local culture and captivating aromas drifting from the vendors cooking local delicacies in view of the water.
The following morning, your guide meets you after breakfast and escorts you on a full day tour through the monuments and temples of Vientiane. Visit the National Museum and Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple in the city. You tour Phra Kaew, Pha That Luang, and the victory monument of Patuxai, before embarking on a culinary experience inside a rustic restaurant near the Mekong. Learn how to craft seven separate traditional dishes. Then, you venture to the airport with a private transfer for a brief flight north to Luang Prabang. Enjoy the comforts of your charming hotel adorned with traditional Laotian architectural style. Take to the Royal Palace to view the French architecture and golden Buddha icon and traverse the steps leading to the top of Mount Phu Si to enjoy the sunset.
Your guide leads you on a tour of Wat Visoun and Wat Aham before you board a riverboat headed upstream to the celebrated Pak Ou Caves. Upon returning to Luang Prabang, you continue to the gilded temples to view the spires dotting the skyline. Next, a local chef leads you through the marketplace for an immersive experience in the daily culinary lives of locals. Enter into the kitchen to learn the cuisine of the region and sample the remarkable flavors enjoyed through traditional flavors and experimentation.
You wake up early to participate in the ritual of the monks’ morning procession when people offer alms to passing clerics. Continue through the Phousi Market on the outskirts of the city and visit the ethnic communities in villages around Luang Prabang. Take to the trails leading to the turquoise waters of Kuang Si Falls and the sparkling natural pools before you return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon. On the final day, your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Luang Prabang International Airport for your flight home.
$1,633 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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