A Laotian Odyssey

Retreat to a world of innocence and tranquility as we journey to the Buddhist kingdom of Laos romancing the Mekong River, gallivanting in remote and rustic villages and appreciating the slow life away from the crowds. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the inspiring Rosewood Luang Prabang

Sail the Laotian Mekong River on the private Mekong Gypsy

Visit to the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary

Experience rustic villages and hill tribes of Laos

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG

Arrive Luang Prabang this morning as we begin a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city with its 

mix of grand French colonial mansions, stunning Laotian architecture, and ancient temples, it is a place without equal in the world. The best way to discover it all is by foot, on a guided walk through its quiet streets. Our knowledgeable local guide leads you through hidden temples, including visiting Buddhist schools, where you are given the opportunity to speak with the monks and understand how Luang Prabang's 35 different temples play a central part in providing opportunities for local education and advancement.  Continue your walk through the charming old town, as the guide points out colonial French buildings of historic importance, provides local insights on the city's history, and leads you through secret pathways. Finally, we retreat to the brand new Rosewood Luang Prabang, an abode of peace and luxury where you will spend the next 2 nights.

Overnight: Rosewood Luang Prabang

Meals: NIL

 DAY 2: LUANG PRABANG (MANDALAO ELEPHANT SANCTUARY)

After a rejuvenated rest, we make a private visit to the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary today exploring the mysterious beauty of the Laotian jungle with recently rescued elephants as your companions. This journey is a perfect way for these happy elephants to enjoy a walk in their natural habitat after decades of hard labor in logging camps. It also offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience to learn from and absorb their calming energy. 

NOTES:

This is a strictly non-elephant exploiting and non riding experience to learn and understand more in depth of conservation efforts and education towards poaching and illegal logging. 

Overnight: Rosewood Luang Prabang

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 3: LUANG PRABANG / MEKONG GYPSY EMBARKATION / BAN DAN VILLAGE

This morning after breakfast, we leave the Rosewood Luang Prabang where you will be met by your representatives of the Mekong Gypsy where you will be welcome to your private vessel for the next 3 nights and enjoy an intimate sailing voyage along the Mekong River exploring rustic villages and interact with remote hill tribes all at your whim. Highlights of the day include a visit to Ban Dan Village, a settlement of Lao Lowland people where we have the chance to interact and visit their homes as well as a chance to hike through the picturesque jungles. 

Overnight: Mekong Gypsy

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: BAN DAN VILLAGE / BAN BAW VILLAGE / KHOK AEK VILLAGE

After breakfast, we set sail to the Pak Ou Caves, one of the most holy sites in Laos, dating back more than thousands of years, carved into a cliffside at the meeting point of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. Follow your guide into the lower cave of Tham Ting, then climb the steps to the upper cave of Tham Phun. Marvel at the mind-boggling number of Buddha icons on display in Tham Phun – some 3,000 statues, ranging from a few inches tall to human-height. As you explore the cave, learn more about the Buddhas from your guide and hear how the cave has become an important place of pilgrimage for local Buddhists. Next, we continue our journey to the traditional Lao Loum village of Ban Baw, where you can see traditional production process of Laos whiskey. For over 600 years the village has been inhabited by three different ethnicities: Lao Loum (the majority in Laos), Tai Lue and Shan. The 180 residents live together in harmony as family, communicating in Lao rather that their native tongues. Over the years they have developed similar customs, wearing indistinguishable clothing and celebrating events such as weddings in the same fashion. Finally, we sail to Khok Ek Village, a traditional Lu village where we will visit the Hmong communities and where we will moor for the night. 

Overnight: Mekong Gypsy

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: KHOK AEK VILLAGE / PAKBENG / BAN HOUY PHALAM

Continue our sail today along the Mekong where we will arrive into the village of Pakbeng where you have the option to visit the village with its strong Hmong identity and its iconic Sichomchaeng Temple, one of the oldest temples in the region built in 1560. Offering spectacular panoramic views of the Mekong and the town, it is worth a pleasant hike. Our sail then continues leisurely to the pretty Kamu village of Ban Houy Phalam, renowned for its weaving and scarf production. There is also the opportunity for a biking excursion into the rural villages and communities. 

Overnight: Mekong Gypsy

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: BAN HOUY PHALAM / CHIANG KHONG / CHIANG RAI / BANGKOK

We continue our voyage on the Mekong with stops in the villages of Pak Tha and Huay Xai enjoying serene scenery where we eventually disembark and transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for a short domestic flight to Bangkok where you may continue your journey of Thailand or Indochina and beyond. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Hidden in the lush green jungle that surrounds the historic royal settlement of Luang Prabang, a river emanating from a flowing waterfall runs through the heart of this exotic retreat. The Rosewood Luang Prabang offers 23 spacious accommodations including four deluxe rooms, four specialty suites, three riverside villas, six pool villas and six luxury tents. Each of the resort’s guest housings is bordered by riverbank. The 75-square-meter luxury tented villas include their own private dining areas and wrap-around decks.

Rosewood Luang Prabang

Roam remote rivers. Indulge in the vagabond lifestyle. Travel the Mekong in the most intimate way possible aboard the Gypsy, our luxurious 41-metre, two-cabin river vessel. Accommodating only four passengers at a time, this chartered cruiser sails from Luang Prabang up the Mekong, stopping at villages and attractions along the way, according to your whims and wishes. 

Mekong Gypsy

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