Trip:

Last Minute: Laos Discovery Group Trip (17 days)


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Last Minute Laos

Carpe Diem travels to Laos and Cambodia in small groups that consist of no more than ten travellers, making less of an impact upon the local people and environment. That allows us to really submerge in the culture of your destination: we eat local food, stay in charming smaller hotels and guesthouses, meet local people and visit places inaccessible to larger groups. This way, you’ll enjoy a truly inspiring authentic experience of local life.

Our group adventures will take you out of the guidebooks and into the world – without rushing you. We allow you more than enough time to do your own thing. On every tour there is a balance between shared activities and free time for you to explore independently or just relax and do nothing for a bit.

Groups usually consist of people from different nationalities, with mixed interests and ages. But you will all have at least one thing in common: a shared love for travel and a healthy curiosity for new experiences and cultures. Group travel often turns out to be an amazing experience, sharing precious moments with similar minded people. You won’t be the first to make friends for life while having the trip of a lifetime!

Laos, also known as The Land of a Million Elephants, is truly one of the world’s hidden gems. In this enchanting country you will see some of the most beautiful scenery the world has to offer, combined with a fascinating culture and amazingly friendly people. Carpe Diem takes you deep into this laid-back nation and introduces you to its charming villages, superb cuisine, unique customs and awe-inspiring countryside. We visit the country’s famous highlights like UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang and the capital Vientiane, but we also take you off the beaten track to discover the authentic, unspoiled Laos.

This last minute laos trip takes you across the country in a mini-van, on a boat and by foot. We’ll visit lesser known places and more remote areas to offer you the chance to get up close and personal with this unique place. Carpe Diem takes you deep into green forests, to the mystical ancient Plain of Jars, to small riverside villages and to hidden places only locals can find. We introduce you to the Lao people and give you the opportunity to really get to know them, learn about their daily routines and the amazing traditions that are still part of everyday life in this old-fashioned nation.

This 17-day tour starts off in vibrant Bangkok (Thailand), where you will spend a few days discovering this bustling city before you take the night train to Laos. There we take you to see breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, the mighty Mekong, endless tea plantations, rolling mountains, remote villages and charming colonial towns bustling with live. This uniquely handcrafted journey gives you the chance to truly get to know the refreshingly untouched Laos and show you its hidden gems, while you will still have enough time to swim, stroll and sightsee on your own and at your own pace. Come to Laos with Carpe Diem and you will leave the country with irreplaceable memories of smiling locals, saffron-robed monks and astonishing natural beauty. For those in search for the authentic Asia, our Laos Discovery will not disappoint!

Do you want to know more? Read the day to day itinerary:

  • Read day to day itinerary

    Day 1
    You arrive at Bangkok airport, where our representative will meet you to bring you to your hotel in the city centre. Your accommodation has a fantastic view from its rooftop swimming pool! The rest of the day you are free to do what you like. You can take a stroll through the city centre or relax at the hotel’s swimming pool. Your guide will be able to give you recommendations on things to see and do. Early evening there is a group introduction on the hotel’s garden roof terrace.

    Day 2
    We spent the morning on the river of Chao Praya, where you’ll enjoy a guided boat trip. The afternoon is free to make your own plans (with which your tour guide can help you). Early evening we transfer to the railway terminal for an overnight train ride to Ubon Ratchathani. You will have tickets for a sleeper carriage, food and drinks can be purchased on the train.

    Day 3
    After departing the train, we cross the border with Laos. Afterwards we travel to Dong Khong Island, one of the famous Four Thousand Islands in the Mekong River. We’ll reach our locally-run guesthouse by a small boat. On our way, we visit Champasak – home of Angkorian-era temples.

    Day 4
    After breakfast you take a boat trip to the largest waterfalls in South East Asia: the Khon Phapheng and Somphamit falls. Here you can have lunch. On the way back, we make a few stops to see some old French architecture and an old railway with an abandoned train still on its tracks in the middle of the jungle. Upon returning to your guesthouse you can watch the beautiful sunset while enjoying a refreshing drink.

    Day 5
    Today we travel from Dong Khong Island to Dong Daeng. Local villagers will take you on a boat and for a short walk to the village, where you can enjoy a delicious local lunch. We continue our journey to the Boloven Plateau, stopping a few times in some charming local minority villages. You spend the night in a small resort in the middle of the forest and next to a beautiful waterfall. An ideal place to relax and go for a swim.

    Day 6
    This morning we head for the mountains to have a nice long walk and be amazed by the truly beautiful scenery. We bring a packed lunch for a delicious picnic along the way.

    Day 7
    After breakfast, we drive to the town of Savannakhet on the Mekong River, in an area inhabited by many ethnic minorities. The journey will take approximately four hours and we stop for lunch in this lovely town. Across the river, you will have a glimpse of ‘modern’ Thailand. In the afternoon we go on a short trek through the forest, accompanied by guides from an environmental NGO which has set up a project in the region. They will tell you all about the plants and animals specific for this area.

    Day 8
    We drive up to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. You will see some beautiful scenery along the way and have many magnificent views. We can stop to stretch legs or take pictures as much as you like. After arriving in the evening, you can visit the riverside for a local barbecue and a refreshing drink.

    Day 9
    We make a guided walking tour through the capital and visit the That Luang Stupa national monument, the National Museum, the Ho Phra art museum and Wat Sisaket – the oldest temple in the capital. We also visit a humanitarian project that works with children who live on the streets. This will help you to understand the issues the poorest people in town are facing, and to appreciate what is being done to help. They also have a training restaurant where you can have lunch.

    Day 10
    Early morning we drive through the mountains and rivers to Vang Vieng. After you have checked in at your local resort – beautifully situated right next to the river – we make a small boat trip to visit one of the stunning caves for which Vang Vieng is justifiably famous.

    Day 11
    We leave early and drive up to Phonsavan, site of the mystique Plain of Jars. These huge jars (some weigh more than six tons!), of unknown age and origin, are scattered over a few square miles and a truly amazing ancient sight. On our way over there, we can stop at a few minority villages where they grow delicious exotic fruit. We spend the night in a small but charming hotel.

    Day 12
    In the morning you visit the market, to see all the exotic fruit and vegetables available – and maybe even try a few. We continue to visit some of the Jar sites and see for ourselves why they still baffle historians. Recent theory is that the jars are funeral urns – the larger the jar, the more important the person. But other historical artefacts found in the area have brought the experts no closer to understanding the civilization that created them.

    Day 13
    Today we take you on a very scenic trip through mountains and tea plantations to the city of Luang Prabang. We will make a few stops and probably lay our eyes on lots of different ethnic people walking at the side of the road. On arrival in Luang Prabang, you have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Lao massage, before visiting the night market where you can buy some beautiful locally-made items for reasonable prices.

    Day 14
    Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. This morning we visit the Kwang Xi Waterfall, where you can swim surrounded by jungle and eat your packed lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Royal Palace Museum and Vat Xieng Thong, which is considered the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its classical Lao architecture.

    Day 15
    We take a boat trip on the Mekong River and head for the famous caves of Pak Ou, where thousands of retired Buddha statues are stored. We will havelunch overlooking the river. On our way back, we visit a village where people make paper in a traditional manner.

    Day 16
    In the morning you are free to do something on your own, until we fly back to Bangkok in the afternoon.

    Day 17
    The trip ends after breakfast.


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The investment for joining our last minute grouptrip will be Eur € 2295 per person sharing a twin or double room. Supplement Eur € 195 (Total: Eur € 2490) for a single room and it includes:

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Airport transfer
  • All tourtransportation including the overnight train out of Bangkok
  • Internal flight LPQ-BKK (luang Prabang, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand)
  • All touradmissions
  • English speaking local guide
  • Service of a representative

Starting date:

  • December 7th 2014

 

You’ve looked after us magnificently and have been more friends than tour leaders. This is a recommendation in itself.
Adrienne de Tristan, UK