Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Private

Zen Tour of Laos (8 days)

EXO Travel - Laos

Pakbeng, Laos To Luang Prabang, Laos

Valid for Departures Now Through: 30 Sep 2018

Zen Tour of Laos (8 days)

Day 1

Pakbeng, Laos

Day 2

Muang La, Laos

Day 3

Muang La, Laos

Day 4

Nong Khiaw, Laos


Day 1
Pakbeng, Laos
Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge Lunch, Dinner

Begin this Zen tour of Laos on the Thai side of the Thai/Laos bordertown Chiang Khong. Please arrive before 8:00 at the Thai immigration office and proceed through customs to the Laos side. After crossing the Lao border of Houay Xay, a guide and driver provides transport to the private cruise boat, heading for Pakbeng.

En route, make a quick stop at a local hill tribe settlement to learn a bit about local customs and traditions.

Continue with a delicious set menu onboard as the boat cruises along the Mekong River.

Reach the town of Pakbeng in the late afternoon. This small, dynamic 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 sun set over the river.

Enjoy dinner at the hotel and spend the night in Pakbeng.

Distance and journey time:

Houay Xay – Pakbeng by boat (150 kilometres): 6 hours

Day 2
Muang La, Laos
Muang La Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, head for the Muang La Elephant camp to participate in the daily bathing of the elephants. Then, enjoy a mini-activity with the elephants for about 30 minutes and learn about this endangered species.

After lunch at the hotel, depart Pakbeng and travel north, heading towards the remote province of Oudomxay.

Passing through Oudomxay, take note of how this once quiet town transformed into an important trade hub. Upon arrival to the Muang La Resort, check in, relax and enjoy the views. Facilities include a spa, sauna and steam room. As the resort is built next to a natural hot spring, the staff happily fills a small pool every evening with the hot spring water.

Enjoy dinner at the hotel and spend the night in Muang La Resort.

Distance and journey time:

Pakbeng – Muang La: 4.5 hours

Day 3
Muang La, Laos
Muang La Resort Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin the day with a departure right after breakfast for the remote and isolated Ikhos village. This ethnic minority originates from Tibet and Yunnan and these villagers see very few foreigners. Because of this, the village has an entirely unique feel. Let the guide explain the daily life of the villagers and how they follow ancient customs passed down over centuries.

After a picnic lunch, leave the village behind during a 45-minute walk to the Hmong village of Ban Tauser. The Hmong originate from the high steppes of Tibet; a visit here shows their way of life, including the essential importance of their livestock.

Return to the resort at the end of the day and spend the evening at leisure with dinner and overnight stay at the Muang La Resort.

Day 4
Nong Khiaw, Laos
Mandala Ou Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, drive approximately two hours to Muang Khua, a small town on the banks of the Nam Ou River. At Muang Khua, board a private longtail boat for the cruise down one of the most beautiful stretches of river in Laos. Compared to the Mekong, the Nam Ou is considered more dramatic, wild and also has far less traffic.

Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch along the way and spot various villages during the downstream cruise.

In the late afternoon, reach the destination of Nong Khiaw, famed for the dramatic limestone mountains which surround it. Disembark and check in to the accommodation on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Enjoy some time at leisure (we suggest to try the sauna) and don’t miss the sunset over the river.

Enjoy Dinner at the hotel and spend the night in Nong Khiaw.

Distance and journey time:

Muang La – Muang Khua (76 kilometres): 3 hours

Muang Khua – Nong Khiaw (105 kilometres): 5 hours

Day 5
Luang Prabang, Laos
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Breakfast

After breakfast, start the drive to Luang Prabang.

Make an optional stop at the mysterious 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.

Continue for another hour to Luang Prabang, check-in at the hotel and take some time to freshen up or relax. Enjoy lunch at leisure.

Board a Tuk-tuk with Francis Engelmann, a local architect who is intimately familiar with the rich architectural history of this majestic UNESCO World Heritage site. Listen as Mr Engelmann shares his deep knowledge of Lao culture where he has lived for over 20 years.

While the day comes to an end, climb the 328 steps of Mount Phousi, reaching the peak just before sunset. At the top, enjoy some stunning panoramic views over the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, the neighboring mountain ranges, and the city’s skyline.

Descend the steps on the opposite side of the hill and stroll to the nearby colourful Night Market. Every evening along the main street, the area’s ethnic groups gather to sell their handicrafts, creating the perfect spot to find souvenirs.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang (135 kilometres): 3 hours

Day 6
Luang Prabang, Laos
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Breakfast, Lunch

Awake at 6:30, when the world is asleep and the mind is not yet clouded with the day’s affairs. Meet the instructor Michelle and join the morning mantra class for a a series of stretching exercises that slowly wake up the body.

Enjoy a healthy breakfast at 8:30 followed by a short break for reflection or other activities.

Next, continue the program with a 30-minute intention session, clarifying personal health goals.

Take another break for a well-deserved lunch at the restaurant, and enjoy a few hours of rest. Lounge by the pool or soak up the scenic mountain views. Alternatively, indulge in an unsurpassed pampering experience at the hotel’s award winning spa.

At 16:00, continue with a yoga and meditation session built on harmonious exercises and movements. If the weather allows, seize the opportunity to join this session at the small private pool.

Enjoy a dinner at leisure and spend the night in Luang Prabang.

Day 7
Luang Prabang, Laos
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Breakfast, Dinner

For a unique Laos sight, meet the driver at the hotel at 5:30 for a special (and optional) dawn excursion. Witness long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas, walking down the streets barefoot.

Continue with a 45-minute road trip through rural villages. Be among the very first visitors to the Kuang Si Waterfalls and enjoy a ten-minute hike in the area, followed by a well-deserved picnic including champagne.

Visit the asian black bear sanctuary next to the falls at around 10:00, as this is the time when the bears are fed and become very active. Return to Luang Prabang after a fascinating morning, or make a final stop at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park to visit a beautiful garden filled with hundreds of exotic butterflies.

Transfer back to Luang Prabang and enjoy some free time to freshen up or simply relax. In the evening, take part in one of Laos’ oldest traditions: the Baci.

Travel to Wat Phou Kouey, a secluded and beautiful hillside temple on the outskirts of Luang Prabang. Receive a simple cotton bracelet from one of the elders in combination with a personal blessing, as the knot is carefully tied to the wrist. Reflect on the experience that has been performed for thousands of years by the Laos people.

Conclude the ceremony with a peaceful moment in silence inside the temple and return to town for a unique wine dinner at Tangor. Tangor serves a selection of Western food with purely Southeast Asian flavors, paired with excellent wines.

Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure and spend the night in Luang Prabang.


Tangor is closed on Sundays

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Kuang Si (32 kilometres): 1 hour

Day 8
Luang Prabang, Laos
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Breakfast

After breakfast, enjoy some free time at leisure before the transfer for the next flight arrives.

Distance and journey time:

Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min

**** END OF SERVICES *****

“This itinerary may alter due to local conditions, the strength of the group and other unexpected circumstances. We do our very best to adhere to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, the guide has the final say.”

Tour Features


  • Cruises & Water Tours
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing
  • Walking & Biking
  • Wildlife & Nature


Enter Laos through a rural bordertown and travel the country to meet some of indigenous tribes. Witness their unique culture and beautiful artisan crafts. Travel towards UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang for the last leg of the trip and find inner peace through meditation and a selection of excursions.

About Us

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Insider Tip

Alms giving at dawn in Luang Prabang is not to be missed, we recommend a parallel street to the main tourist thoroughfare to see them on the way back to the monastery,with only the locals for company.

Terms & Conditions

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for EXO Travel - Laos


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