Laos Trekking To Vietnam - 21 Days

Laos Trekking To Vietnam - 21 Days
Tour Itinerary

Laos Trekking To Vietnam - 21 Days. The northern part of Laos is a remote region where a craggy and mountainous landscape has kept the modern world at bay, protecting isolated minority villages perched on sheer hillsides and huddling in protected valleys . Tucked away on a hillside with the most stunning panoramic views in the area, Pu Luong Retreat provides a refreshing escape from the crowds only 160km - 4 hour drive from Hanoi. With magnificent mountain ranges, stunning rice terrace fields, scenic rivers and waterfalls, breathtaking mountain passes and remote traditional villages, Pu Luong is truly a microcosm of Northern Vietnam.

Day 1 - Arrival Luang Prabang

Transfer from Airport to Hotel: 15 minutes. Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, our local adventure guide will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check-in. After checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure to explore the town or relax at the hotel. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at Tamarind, one of Luang Prabang’s most famous restaurants offering a great introduction to traditional Lao cuisine. The hotel is a short stroll from the restaurant, both situated in the historic town center. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 2 - Luang Prabang Full Day Walking City Tour ( B , L )

Walking and City tour up to 5 hours Difficulty: Very Easy. Wake up early for a pre-dawn experience of Luang Prabang. Begin by climbing the 365 steps of Mount Phousi, getting to the top before the sun comes up. At the top, enjoy a breathtaking sunrise accompanied by panoramic views of the town below. From here, continue with an interactive tour of the town, exploring its architectural and historical wonders on foot. From colonial French buildings to ancient Buddhist temples, discover what makes this UNESCO city so unique. After pausing for breakfast, continue the tour to the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum), followed by Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sene. The next stop is the Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, the temple dates back to the 16th century. Lunch will be at a famous noodle soup shop where it is possible to sample Khao Soy, a local favorite. lunch, Wat Visoun, the holiest temple in the city, was entirely rebuilt in 1887 after being destroyed by the invading Black Flags from Southern China. Continue passed Wat Aham and on to Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are kept inside the large central stupa. Finish with the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, a museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities.

Note: closed on Monday) is at leisure this evening. For a unique alternative evening, visit the Storytelling Theater. From 17:00-18:00, observe a unique show from Garavek, to promote and preserve the traditional stories, myths, legends, and folktales. (not included in cost) Stay at Luang Prabang.

Day 3 - Luang Prabang - Pak Ou - Pakbeng ( B , L , D )

Transfer 6 hours - Pick up this morning will be at 07:00 from the hotel. Take a short drive to the pier to board a private boat for the tour to Pakbeng. Two stops will be made en route, the first being 2 hours upstream at the Pak Ou Caves. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The second stop is at the village of Ban Baw, where it is possible to witness the processing of traditional rice alcohol.  Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch on board as the boat continues to cruise along the scenic Mekong River. Late this afternoon, reach the town of Pakbeng. Located halfway between Houay Xay and Luang Prabang this small town is lined with wooden houses along a steep street on the hillside. Depending on the river's current, the boat may reach Pakbeng in time to watch the sunset over the river.and overnight in Pakbeng

Day 4 - Pakbeng - Mekong Elephant Camp and Trek ( B, L, D )

Trekking distance up to 3 hours Difficulty: Easy

the day by crossing the river to Mekong Elephant Camp to view and assist with bathing the Elephants. The camp's pool is designed to allow all 8 elephants to bathe at the same time. For those who would prefer to not take part, they can view the elephant bathing from a nearby platform. bathing, visitors are helped onto the Elephant's backs to begin the trek. The trek starts with a ride down the river bed surrounded by bamboo plants and then continues into the forest. Wind through the surrounding foliage, riding along paths connecting various villages. There will be a chance to guide the elephants along the path, taking them down to the river to feed. The trek will also train in the basic mahout techniques.  Alternating between walking and riding on the back of the elephant, the trek passes through the countryside typical to this region of Laos. The valleys provide panoramic views over several alluvial plains where sweet corn and tobacco grow along with traditional houses and gardens view then opens out to the surrounding countryside. those who wish to do a more challenging excursion, please enquire the Mekong Elephant Camp and enjoy the rest of the day and Dinner at leisure.

Stay in Pakbeng.

Day 5 - Pakbeng - Oudomxay ( B , L , D )

Transfer 2.5 hrs - 3 hrs . This morning, enjoy breakfast overlooking the Mekong before a late (10:00) check out, heading away from the river towards Oudomxay. This is a reasonably straightforward journey, where the landscape is covered with a variety of agricultural farming.  There will be a chance to stop at the Ban Yor Pottery village en route along with a few photo stops. Upon arrival in Oudomxay, enjoy lunch followed by a walk up the town's highest temple, Wat Phu Tat, to get a panoramic view of the surrounding town and countryside. The rest of the day is spent at leisure.

Stay in Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

Day 6 - Udomxay - Nam Kat Yola Pa ( B , L , D )

Trekking distance up to 6 hours Difficulty: Medium

next two days of exploring are Ecotourism at its best! It’s perfect for those seeking a true experience of the Laos rainforest. Journey through some of the most stunning scenery in the Nam Kat Protected Rain Forest Area. Cross rivers and streams, trek through dense forests, and experience true natural beauty. It is predominantly spent trekking through the forest and mountains of pristine trees and is designed for moderately active people who love getting into the great outdoors. Departing from the resort at around 9:00, trek uphill to Houay Soum waterfall. This waterfall has two levels and a chance to walk under the falls. A refreshing swim is always a good option to help cool down.  Trek onwards to a part of the park famous for its many beehives. This will take about one hour and will be followed by a lunch break. Note: this activity mostly takes place during the dry season from November to May. and overnight at the Tree House

Day 7 - Phoupapak Mountain - Sightseeing the Wildlife ( B, L, D )

Trekking distance up to 5 hours Difficulty: Medium

morning, after breakfast, depart around 08:30 and delve further into the densely forested mountainside. Whilst trekking, there will be an opportunity to see animal tracks from monkeys, squirrels, and a variety of birds.  It may be possible to spot monkeys that venture out of the high canopy looking for food. After lunch, continue trekking downhill, reaching the resort around 17:00. and overnight at Nam Kat Yola Pa Resort

Day 8 - Oudomxay - Phongsali ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Oudomxay to Phongsaly: 7-8 hours

breakfast, depart for Phongsaly. The road is situated on the mountain slopes and is in good condition. The drive will pass by beautiful landscapes, banana plantations, local rural life in the villages that border the road, and panoramic views over the surrounding mountains.  Make a stop at Ban Bountai around 12:30 and enjoy a picnic lunch or a local soup delicacy. There is also a chance to visit the local market. Continue to Phongsaly for about 4 hours. Arrive around 16:30 and check in at the hotel.  Once settled, take a guided walk through the streets of Phongsaly. The charm of the town is made by the narrow paved streets bordered by traditional Chinese houses in wood. The guide will explain the history and culture of this multicultural city and the harmony that reigns between Lao people and Chinese immigrants.  There will also be a visit made to a Chinese temple where some beautiful views await. Finally, walk to Wat Keo where the monks can be seen playing petanque or football in the early evening.  After the tour, enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Stay in Phongsaly

Day 9 - Phongsaly – Multiple Tribe Trek ( B, L, D )

Transfer from Boun Neua to Phongsaly (42 km): 1-hour Trekking distance up to 4-5 hours Difficulty: Medium

breakfast, drive to Mountain and meet the local guide for the day. Then, transfer to Ban Aya, the H’mong village where the trek begins. After a tour of the village and an opportunity to meet the people, take a guided trek through the amazing jungle and amongst paddy fields. Stop en route to enjoy a typical Lao picnic lunch. After lunch, descend to Ban Aneng, another Hmong village located in a lower area. Explore the village and learn more about their cultures and traditions. Visit some other tribal villages of Akha Mouchee, Tai Yag, Laopan, and Tai Yue, before going back to Bountai by private car.  Transfer back to the hotel in Phongsaly. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Stay in Phongsaly

Day 10 - Phongsaly – 400 years old Tea Plantation – Muang Khua ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Phongsali to Ban Komaen: 30 mins Transfer from Ban Komaen to Muang Khua: 4.5 hours

breakfast, visit the famous 400-year-old tea plantation, located in the village of Ban Komaen, about a 30-minute drive south of Phongsaly. According to some tea experts, this village has some of the oldest tea trees in the world. The large root system of the old trees extends deep into the mineral-rich soil and gives ‘Phongsaly Tea’ its specific aroma and taste. The oldest trees stand 6 m high with a stem up to 30 cm in diameter. These are regularly cut and kept to a reasonable size by the Phunoy people, climbing to pick the precious leaves. They then process and sell this rare tea in cigar-shaped tubes. The road to Ban Komaen passes through more recent tea plantations and offers a stunning view of Phongsaly and surrounding mountains. In the village, a newly built tea-tasting shop serves food and sells 400-year-old tea. You can also explore the temple with its characteristic Buddha statue with big ears. Next, take a 4-hour drive to Muang Khua with a stop en route to have lunch in a local restaurant (not included). Upon arrival, check into the hotel until dinner. Tonight’s dinner is included at a local restaurant, overlooking the Nam Ou River.

Stay in Muang Khua

Day 11 - Muang Khua – Muang Gnoi ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Muang Khua to Muang Ngoi by boat: 4 hours

breakfast at a local restaurant, board a private longtail boat for a cruise down one of the most scenically beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic and wild and also has far less traffic. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way and spot various local villages while cruising downstream. In the late afternoon, reach the destination of Muang Ngoi, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to the accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River.

Stay in Muang Gnoi

Day 12 - Muang Gnoi - 3 Minorities Trek - Nong Khiaw ( B , L , D )

Transfer from Muang Gnoi to Nong Khiaw by boat: 1-hour Trekking distance up to 5 hours Difficulty: Medium

thing in the morning, take a fishing boat about 15 minutes downstream to Ban Sopkhan, a Lao Loum village. After visiting the village, begin a 2-hour trek through rice fields to Ban Pha Yoong (a Hmong ethnic village), and Ban Tad Lene (a Khmu village). After a picnic lunch,  continue trekking to the village of Ban Sopkong. From Ban Sopkong, float downriver to Nong Khiaw by boat.

stay in Nong Khiaw

Day 13 - Nong Khiaw – Vieng Kham ( B , L ,D )

Transfer from Nong Khiew to Vieng Kham: 2 hrs Trekking up to 3hrs Difficulty: Medium

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and meet at 08:00 for a one-hour boat ride upstream to the starting point of today’s trek. Start hiking up Phou Pha Deng. The journey takes about two hours, mostly uphill, and leads to a panoramic landscape surrounded by karst mountains and valleys. Hike back down the steep trail before getting back to Nong Khiew for a relaxing lunch. Drive out to Vieng Kham, and discover the bizarre delicacies of the area. Dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Vieng Kham.

Day 14 - Vieng Kham - Nam Et Phou Louey NPA ( B , L ,D )

Transfer 30 mins Trekking up to 3-4 hours Difficulty: Medium

Meet with the guide and driver around  08:30 at the guesthouse in Muang Hiem (Viengthong). After a 30-minute drive in a private car or van through gorgeous mountainous landscapes, arrive at Ban Nam Poung Village, an ethnic Khmu village situated on the edge of the national protected area. Upon arrival, receive a brief orientation of the area and a description of the itinerary from the village guide, porters, and cooks at the visitor center.              

At 09:30, hop on a hand tractor (tok to) – a tractor for plowing rice paddies that can be converted into a vehicle- and pass-through this Khmu village.  This is a good opportunity to see the daily village life and briefly learn about Khmu culture.  The following 7km on the tok tok continues through the village’s rice and corn fields with moderate climbs.

At about noon, on the edge of the fields and forest, enjoy a local picnic lunch inside a farmer’s hut. The guides will explain the different management zones of the park and how local people coexist with nature.

After lunch, start trekking into the forest following a 7km trail built and maintained by the village. This trail passes through a thick jungle and mixed deciduous forest. The local guide will point out medicinal plants and spot animal tracks and birds along the way. After approximately four hours of walking, arrive at The Nest’s campsite and be shown to the accommodation for the evening – a hanging spherical “nest”. After checking in, spend some free time relaxing, bathing in the nearby river, and soaking up the tranquil natural setting.

In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmu dinner prepared by the village cooking group as darkness begins to settle. It’s important to take an early dinner so that the smell of food and fire is not strong while visiting the wildlife observation platform later in the evening. Dinner is eaten at the camp and is not allowed at the observation tower.

After dinner, receive a briefing about wildlife viewing at the Poung Nied Salt Lick – one of the largest salt licks in the protected area. The guides will explain the species of animals that can be seen, as well as the rules and expectations for spotlighting.

Stay at the observation tower for a few hours (depending on curiosity and patience) until no later than 23:30. Overnight sleeping on the tower is not allowed to reduce any negative impacts and disturbances to the wildlife.

The most common animals are Sambar and barking deer (AKA muntjak) and various species of civets, although, if lucky, it’s also possible to see bears, and several species of wild cats and other exotic critters.

Note! Please wear warm clothes as it can be quite cold in the late evening/nighttime

Overnight in The Nests

Day 15 - Nam Et Phou Louey NPA - Vieng Kham ( B , L, D )

Transfer 30 min Trekking up to 3-4 hours Difficulty: Medium

Before breakfast, walk with the guide back to the salt lick to identify different wildlife tracks. Spend approximately an hour on the observation platform, as morning is a great time for bird watching. Afterward, follow the guide to check the camera traps and help change the camera trap memory cards.

Once back to the camp, enjoy breakfast and help the guide to sort photos of wildlife taken by the camera traps during the previous night. These photos will be uploaded to the website after the trip for viewing and download.

Twelve surrounding villages involved in this project receive monetary bonuses in the form of a village development fund based on the number and type of wildlife spotted at night and captured by the camera traps. (This fee is included in the tour price.)

Trek back through the forest to the village’s fields, and enjoy a farmer’s picnic before riding the tok tok (hand tractor) back to the village. After arriving in the village, bid farewell to the hosts and be transferred back to Muang Hiem by private truck or van. Arrive in Muang Hiem around 4-5 pm. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax. Meet up with the rest of the group for dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Vieng Kham.

Day 16 - Vieng Kham - Vieng Xay ( B , L , D )

Transfer 4.5 hrs Walking: 2hours Difficulty: Easy

Leave early this morning and drive to Vieng Xay, an uncommon visited area, the cradle of communism in Laos. Arrive in time for lunch. Spend the afternoon exploring Viengxay. The town of Viengxay contains hundreds of caves that sheltered local people and the country's future leaders for a vital period in world history. In the 1960s Laos was caught up in the conflict known to the world as the Vietnam War. For nine years, from 1964 to 1973, more than 20,000 people lived in a 'hidden city' they built inside the limestone peaks all around the area to try to survive daily aircraft bombing raids directed by US forces. They were only able to farm or work at night, so inside the caves, they built everything they needed for their society to survive, including schools, hospitals, markets, a radio station, and the headquarters of the Lao Patriotic Front - also known as the Pathet Lao. Take an audio tour that tells the story of the 'hidden city' through the history that created it and interviews with local people. Discover the area's beauty as well as its fascinating hidden history.

Overnight in Vieng Xay.

Day 17 - Vieng Xay - Na Meo Border- Hieu ( B, L, D )

Transfer 2.5 hrs Trekking up to: 1.5hrs Difficulty: Easy

After breakfast, be transferred for approximately an hour and a half from Vieng Xay to Na Meo. Here, receive assistance while crossing the border between Laos and Vietnam.

Reach Vietnam around 10:00 and, after formality, transfer for two and a half hours to Pu Luong Nature Reserve (103km). Walk on a village road lined with stilted homes of the ethnic Thai people who inhabit the area. After arriving at Hieu Village, be warmly welcomed by the homestay owner and then have dinner and a chat with the host family.  Fall asleep with the comforting hum of Hieu Waterfall just outside the house.

Note: All homestays in Vietnam are traditional wooden houses shared with the localhost. There will be a simple mattress, blanket, mosquito net, and pillow. Simple sleeping bags are available as well. There will be a common bathroom with hot water for showering and a western toilet.

Day 18 - Hieu Village- Nua Village ( B , L ,D )

Trekking up to 5 hrs Difficulty: Medium

Enjoy dreamlike waterfall scenery at dawn and walk around the village to interact with local people. Have a hearty breakfast at the homestay and say goodbye to the host family and villagers. Then trek along the stream and through rice terrace paddies for between 10 and 12km (5-6 hours). Enjoy a picnic lunch en route before arriving at the next homestay.Shower and enjoy dinner with the host family before tucking in for the evening.

Overnight at local homestay

Day 19 - Nua Village - Kho Muong Village ( B , L ,D )

Trekking up to 6-7hrs Difficulty: Hard

After breakfast, trek to Kho Muong Village. This trail has some steep climbs and a few stream crossings. Although the trek becomes increasingly remote, one is never far from a villager tending to their fields. Pass by steep limestone mountains and caves through the dense rain forests, all within the confines of Pu Luong Nature Reserve The accommodation for the evening is perhaps the most remote of the village homestays. Trek to a recently discovered and now protected cave, home to rare bats. It is a fantastic tour around the cavernous hollow interior, untouched as yet by fairy lights and concrete trails.

Overnight at the local homestay

Day 20 - Kho Muong Village - Hang Village ( B , L ,D )

Trekking up to 7-8hrs Difficulty: Hard

Today’s hike is mostly on a village path through terraced rice paddies and across streams, as well as an unpaved old French road -part of the original Ho Chi Minh Trail. Take a break from the heat of the midday enjoying a home-cooked lunch in a local home before continuing to a village nestled amongst steep karst mountains. It is recommended to stroll around the villages and join in as the villagers go about their daily lives -a perfect up-close encounter with the local culture. Alternatively, relax in one of the three Eco homestays. Overnight, stay in a traditional Ban Hang-style stilted house.
Overnight at local homestay

Day  21 - Hang Village - Mai Chau - Hanoi ( B , L  )

Transfer to Hanoi: 3hrs Trekking up to 2hrs Difficulty: Easy

After a leisurely breakfast, take a short hike through the terraced rice fields and bamboo forests.  Arrive at the meeting point with the driver and take a bus to Mai Chau for lunch. After lunch, take time to walk around Mai Chau Village to buy some souvenirs. Then say goodbye to Mai Chau and transfer three hours back to Hanoi for check in .

Overnight in Hanoi – End The Tour .

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Tour price: Contact us

Group size: 2 to 25 Pax

Departure date based on your inquiry

Tour Cost Includes:

  • Meals in tours : L = Lunch , D = dinner , B = breakfast
  • Lunch in Midway restaurant/City Restaurant or Pack Lunch
  • Accommodation in tour - 21 nights
  • Boat trip, local ferry in tour
  • Back up AC vehicle for the complete tour
  • English speaking Local Guide - Cum trekking guide
  • Fresh Fruits/Snacks (Only trekking part)
  • Unlimited filter water during trekking (Only trekking part)
  • Entrance fees and permissions
  • Driver Allowance
  • Toll and Parking charges
  • 10% Government Taxe

Tour Cost Excludes:

  • International flight tickets, visa
  • Accommodation in Hanoi after day 21
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips and Gratitude
  • Travel insurance
  • Any Hard and Soft Drinks with meals
  • Laos Trekking To Vietnam - 21 Days 1
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