Delve deep into Laos on an overland tour that reveals Luang Prabang’s serenity, Vientiane’s history, Vang Vieng’s rugged beauty and more.


7 Days, 6 Nights     FROM US$ 993 PER PERSON

From the northern wilds surrounding Luang Prabang and the towering karst cliffs of Vang Vieng to the historical richness of Vientiane, this overland journey through Laos is the ultimate introduction to this friendly, fascinating nation. You’ll be warmed by the genuine smiles of local villagers and hill tribe peoples, and lulled into deep relaxation on the banks of the Mekong. There’s more to this little-explored nation than meets the eye.

You’ll start your journey in tranquil Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the spiritual capital of Laos. Here, amidst glittering temples and forested mountains, you’ll visit the National Museum, cruise up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves and swim in the turquoise lagoons of Kuang Si Falls.

It’s hard not to marvel at the majesty of the karst formations as you drive along Route 13 to Vang Vieng, a riverside town that offers both rustic charm and rugged views. Then, explore what Laos looks like underground and see the famed reclining Buddha in the Golden Crab Caves. You’ll cap off your cross-country journey with a cultural exploration of Vientiane, quiet possibly the most laid-back capital in Asia. Here, French cuisine, charming colonial architecture and long walks by the Mekong await. You’ll be transferred to Wattay International Airport with lasting memories of this beautiful, culturally rich nation.


“If you want to go somewhere unexpected and different in Asia, Laos is it. There is so much beauty here that international visitors don’t know about.”

Bounhom Inthanouson, Backyard Travel Laos Specialist


Witness a traditional baci ritual, which mixes animism and Buddhism
Cruise the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the enigmatic Pak Ou Caves
Drop 100 meters underground to see the reclining Buddha in the Golden Crab Caves
Enjoy a privately guided city tour of Vientiane

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Luang Prabang Arrival

    To kickoff your overland travels through Laos, you’ll start in Luang Prabang, the nation’s spiritual capital. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport, you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to your hotel.

    After check-in, take some time to refresh and relax. But as night begins to fall, we’ll bring you to Mount Phousi, where climbing the 300-plus stairs to the summit will reward you with 360-degree views of the sun setting over the city. On the way back to your hotel, we’ll stop for a bit of shopping and souvenir hunting at the hill tribe night market.

    Overnight in Luang Prabang

    No meals included on this day

    Lao Umbrellas on sale at Luang Prabang night market Laos
  • Day 2: Pak Ou Caves and Luang Prabang

    After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, we’ll visit the most photographed temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Xieng Thong. Located close to the Mekong, this temple built in 1560 is lovely to view in the soft morning light.

    Next, your overland tour of Laos takes briefly to the water: you’ll board the Nava Mekong, a traditional wooden boat, for a relaxing 2-hour cruise up the Mekong. From the decks of the Nava Mekong, you’ll view the lush mountain landscape and observe the riverine lifestyles of the villages along the water.

    At the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, you’ll disembark to explore the shadowy realm of the Pak Ou Caves. Inside this popular Buddhist pilgrimage site, you’ll find thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of varying sizes.

    You’ll continue cruising and moor at the foot of an impressive limestone cliff for lunch. A selection of regional dishes will be served onboard the Nava Mekong. After lunch, you’ll cruise back to Luang Prabang in the early afternoon, in time to embark on a leisurely city tour.

    You’ll begin the tour at the former Royal Palace, which now houses the National Museum. Dive into the history of Laos and gain some valuable insights to inform your overland tour through this intriguing country. We’ll then continue on to Wat Mai, famed for its golden bas-relief and known as one of the most splendidly decorated temples in Laos.

    We’ll continue walking to Wat Sensoukarahm, which was built in 1718 and boasts a dazzlingly beautiful golden façade.

    As evening falls, you’ll have the rare opportunity to witness one of Laos’s oldest traditions, the baci. A ritual based on mixed animist and Buddhist beliefs, the baci is performed to call back escaped spirits to the body. The Lao people believe this is an important ritual held to celebrate special occasions, such as births, weddings and warm welcomes to friends from afar.

    Overnight in Luang Prabang

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    wat-mai-suwannaphumaham-laosLocal woman making flower offerings. She then sells  to people who take them to a temple as an offering. LaosSunset_Mekong_Laung_Prabang_River_Laos
  • Day 3: Luang Prabang and Kuang Si

    If you’re a morning person, you’ll want to rise early to see the ritual of monks collecting alms at dawn. As the sun rises, orange-robed monks emerge from their temples and walk barefoot down the streets of Luang Prabang, collecting offerings from local residents. This beautiful, tranquil ceremony highlights the spirituality of the Lao people.

    After breakfast at your hotel, visit Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s holiest site. After being destroyed by the Black Flag invaders from Southern China, the temple was entirely rebuilt in 1887. In its courtyard stands the Watermelon Stupa, which is shaped like the fruit. You’ll continue past Wat Aham, built in the 1500s, and see Wat That. The ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred here inside the central stupa.

    Later this afternoon, you’ll embark on a scenic 1-hour drive through the countryside to reach the multi-tiered cascades of the Kuang Si Waterfalls. On the way, you’ll view rice paddies, verdant hills and sleepy villages, and you’ll stop at a village that is home to one of the region’s many ethnic minority groups. Take the opportunity to learn about their traditions, much of which has been maintained for centuries.

    At Kuang Si Falls, take the time to drink in the beautiful natural surroundings. The thick jungle surrounding the falls is spectacular to explore on foot. If you’re feeling adventurous, walk to the top of the falls on a steep trail. Stunning views over cascading water await at the top. Kuang Si Falls also has numerous turquoise pools that are perfect for swimming. (Please note: When swimming, please be respectful of local standards of modesty. Wear a sarong, and be careful of showing too much skin.)

    You can also opt to visit the bear sanctuary located next to the falls. Founded by Free The Bears Fund, Inc., the sanctuary is home to 23 Asiatic Black Bears that have been saved from poaching.

    On the return journey to Luang Prabang, you can stop at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park, a beautiful garden that is home to hundreds of Laos’s breathtaking butterflies! (The park is closed on Tuesday.)

    Overnight in Luang Prabang

    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 4: Luang Prabang-Vang Vieng

    Today your overland Laos tour brings you amidst the natural beauty of Vang Vieng, a rustic town built on the banks of the Nam Son River.

    After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you’ll embark on a 5-hour drive on Route 13, a road with spectacular scenery heading south to Vang Vieng. We’ll stop in Kasi, a region famous for its fruit, and we’ll also stop for any photos you may want to take along this gorgeous route. (Please note: This is a windy road with sharp bends and many ascents and descents along the way.)

    In the afternoon, you’ll arrive in Vang Vieng, a rustic town set against a splendid karst backdrop. The remainder of the day is free to explore as you wish, with your private guide and driver at your disposal. Your guide can give you ideas for activities, or simply relax and enjoy the fantastic views! Don’t forget to catch the sun sinking below the Nam Song River!

    Overnight in Vang Vieng

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Nam Song River in Vang Vieng. Laos-view-of-vangvieng-laos
  • Day 5: Vang Vieng-Vientiane

    Today after breakfast, your day begins with a short drive to “Golden Crab Cave,” or Tham Pou Kham in Laotian. Pass into the cave through a small entrance and descend 100 meters underground. Suddenly, the cave widens and a reclining Buddha statue will welcome you to this You’ll also find enigmatic rock formations, including a pair of “Golden Crabs” for which the caves are named. After your exploration, go for a refreshing swim in a water hole in the Ka River.

    Next, a local long-tail boat (maximum 2 people per boat) will bring you roughly 1 hour upstream on the Nam Song River to the vast fields of the Organic Farm, which specializes in making organic mulberry tea. After going on a brief tour of the farm, you can opt to have lunch here (not included).

    After lunch, begin the drive to Laos’s capital, Vientiane. You’ll reach Nam Ngum Lake, the largest lake in Laos, in about 1.5 hours.

    This artificial lake was built as the reservoir for Laos’s first-ever hydroelectric dam and has a generating capacity of 155 megawatts. If you’d like, you can hire a small boat for a short lake tour (not included).

    After another 2 hours on the road, you’ll arrive in Vientiane. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure, window-shopping at the night market or strolling along the Mekong River.

    Overnight in Vientiane

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    -cycling-in-laosSong river, Vang Vieng,Laos
  • Day 6: Vientiane

    Day 6 of your overland Laos tour will be devoted to exploring the hidden charms of the “City of Sandalwood,” Vientiane. Quite possibly the most laid-back capital in the world, Vientiane provides a unique kind of respite from the hustle and bustle of other Asian capitals.

    Your first stop will be Wat Sisaket, a rare original temple still left intact after the invasion of Siam in 1828. It is one of Vientiane’s most tranquil and beautiful sites. Enjoy the breezy, teakwood arcades housing thousands of small Buddha statues.

    Our next stop will be Wat Phra Keo, which has been converted into a museum on religion. The temple showcases a collection of Lao and Khmer art. We’ll also pass by the Presidential Palace, which served as the French governor’s residence during colonial times. Although we are not allowed inside, the stately grounds offer a good glimpse at Vientiane’s colonial history.

    Continue to Wat Simuang, which is considered the guardian spirit of Vientiane. Here you’ll find a pillar from the Angkorian era. Locals believe that if you circle the pillar three times and make a wish, your wish will come true.

    Next, we’ll visit COPE, an aid organization for landmine victims. Our visit will provide in-depth knowledge about the American/Vietnam War and the impacts of unexploded ordinances (UXO) still felt today, as well as about the efforts to clear them.

    In the afternoon, we’ll head to the Patuxay Monument, Laos’s own Arc de Triomphe, where climbing the stairs to the top will offer sweeping views of the city. Your Vientiane tour will end at That Luang, which is considered the holiest spot in Laos. Built in the 16th century by King Setthethirat, the temple’s golden spire is resplendent in the late-afternoon sun.

    Overnight in Vientiane

    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 7: Depart Vientiane

    After breakfast, the day is free to spend at your leisure until it’s time for your scheduled transfer via private car to Wattay International Airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast


All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.