Laos Essentials and Plain of Jars | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998


Laos Essentials and Plain of Jars


FROM £$ 2702

Private Tour Highlights

  • Experience the laid back and relatively quiet capital of Laos
  • See the country’s oldest temples – including Wat Sisaket
  • Barter for goods at the local market
  • Experience the cultural history of Luang Prabang
  • Get familiar with the country’s relationship with the Vietnam War
  • Explore the Plan of Jars, a collection of 500+ stone jars
  • See how colonialism has architecturally influenced the area
  • Get a beautiful view of the sunset from Phousi Hill
  • observe the silk weaving process and view the unique textiles produced
  • visit the local market and take a walking tour of the largest site of the Plain of Jars
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Explore Laos essentials and the Plain of Jars with this Yampu tour. Vientiane is the laid back and relatively small capital of Laos. It boasts bustling markets, tree-lined boulevards, Buddhist temples and grand French colonial architecture. While in Vientiane, you will visit some of the most famous sights including Wat Sisaket, the city’s oldest temple, and Phra That Luang Stupa, believed to contain relics of the Lord Buddha. You will also have a chance to visit the local market where many hand made goods are traded including traditional woven textiles and freshly grown coffee.

From Vientiane, you will fly to Xieng Khouang Province. Located in a mountainous region near the Vietnamese border, this area used to be a strategic military zone. During the American war in Vietnam, tunnels that crisscross the area were built as part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. The Xieng Khouang Province is also host to the mysterious Plain of Jars, a collection of over 500 stone jars scattered around the area.

Next you’ll travel by road to Luang Prabang, nestled between densely forested mountains at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong rivers. Once the capital of the Lane Xang (Million Elephants) Kingdom, Luang Prabang also served as a provincial headquarters during colonial times. During your stay you will visit some of the most famous temples including Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Siphouthabath.

Price Includes:
Regional and domestic airfare from Bangkok to Vientiane, Vientiane to Xieng Khuang and Luang Prabang to Bangkok, hotel accommodation including continental or buffet breakfast, Private transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling, Private guided tours in English including all entrance fees, Meals where specified (food only), Bottled water provided on transport during transfers, NTA and Laos Government Tax, Local airport taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are already included in the quote (if airfare has been included in the quote)

* Additional supplements may apply between 24 December – 2 January.

* Additional supplements may apply during the weeks immediately preceding and following the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The dates vary each year, but fall sometime between January 21st and February 20th:
2016 – Monday, February 8th
2017 – Saturday, January 28th
2018 – Friday, February 16th
Best Time to Travel

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$2070 £$2702 £$3311 £$9068
Single £$3570 £$4837 £$6009 £$12155

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary


Arrival to Vientiane and Tuk Tuk Dinner with the Locals

Upon arrival to the Wattay International Airport be met by the Yampu representative and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, Head out for an adventurous dinner safari by Tuk Tuk, the three-wheeled taxis of Laos. Enjoy a meal at a bustling Vientiane evening food market where hordes of hungry locals pick up their takeaway dinners! Visit the market to explore the interesting, traditional Lao food on offer. Select some delicious dishes to try and enjoy your authentic feast while watching the busy market around you. After dinner take a short walk to downtown, past some local petanque courts, to visit the well-known intersection that becomes thriving roadside dessert and drink markets at night. You can try hot soy milk, fresh juices, and other unusual local beverages such as rosella or longan drinks. There are also carts selling delicious traditional Lao sweets, many made with coconut or sticky rice, and Lao-style roti with banana and coconut milk.
Return to your hotel with your guide and by Tuk Tuk in the late evening. less


Landmarks of Vientiane and the 'Laos Textiles Studio' Tour

Spend a half day visiting some of Vientiane’s most significant landmarks. A world apart from other frantic Asian capitals, Vientiane retains a quiet and pleasant aura. Visit some of the city’s most notable temples or ‘wats’, including: Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese invasion of 1828 and famous for its cloister wall housing thousands of tiny Buddha images; Wat Phra Keo, now a museum adorned with carved wooden features, a magnificent 16th century lacquered door with Hindu carvings, numerous Khmer stone carvings and a variety of Buddha statues; and the popular Wat Si Muang with its carved gold pillars, brightly colored ceiling friezes and painted scenes from the life of the Buddha. Also visit the Arc de Triomphe-like Patuxai Victory Monument, a war monument dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. Notice the typically Laotian elements including the half-woman half-bird mythological creatures which adorn the monument. End the tour with a visit to That Luang, a large gold-covered Buddhist stupa in the center of Vientiane, generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant.

Visit the weaving home-studio of Mrs. Carol Cassidy, an American expert in textiles who arrived in Vientiane in 1989 as part of a United Nations project to promote traditional weaving. Impressed by the quality and diversity of weaving throughout Laos, she set up the Lao Textiles Studio which now employs over 40 local weavers who create naturally dyed and woven silk pieces reflecting traditional Lao designs. Learn about Lao weaving techniques with an option to support the cause through purchases at the on-site gift shop. Return to your hotel. less


Vientiane - Tour the Buddha Park

Spend a relaxing half day exploring Vientiane’s Buddha Park located 25km (15mi) southeast of the city. Built in 1958, the park is a fanciful sculpture garden containing more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues including a quirky giant concrete pumpkin with a three-level interior representing Hell, Earth and Heaven. Enter through the mouth of a 3m (10ft) tall demon head and climb staircases from Hell to Heaven. View sculptures at each level with a panoramic viewpoint at the top level. Stroll around the park to observe the many concrete sculptures scattered throughout including characters from Hindu mythology, as well as animals, humans and demons. Most are larger than life and carved with intricate and often bizarre details. Before transfer to Vientiane, enjoy lunch at local restaurant. less


Vientiane - Xieng Khouang

Transfer from the Vientiane hotel to the airport for a domestic flight to Xieng Khouang.

Transfer from the Vientiane hotel to the airport for a domestic flight to Xieng Khouang.


Xieng Khouang - Discovering the Plain of Jars

One of the most well-known and mysterious sights in Laos is the Plain of Jars. There are believed to be up to 2,500 giant stone jars dating back to the Southeast Asian Iron Age (500 BC to 200 AD) scattered over hundreds of hilly square kilometers. Depart from your hotel and drive 10km (6mi) to visit three sites for a better view of this archaeological spectacle of giant carved jars thought to have been used as funeral urns as bones, teeth, charcoal and glass beads have been discovered inside some of them. After, visit the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) camp to learn more about MAG’s current projects to protect the local community from unexploited ordnance (UXO) which still plague the country. Return to your hotel in the afternoon. less


Ancient Capital of Muang Khoun and Transfer to Luang Prabang

Once the royal capital of the minor kingdom Xieng Khuang, Muang Khoun was almost totally obliterated by a decade of bombing during the Second Indochina War. Spend a full day exploring the ruins of this once opulent city beginning with Wat Phia, the only remaining of several Buddhist temples built between the 16th and 19th centuries. Walk around the brick columns built around a seated Buddha of impressive size and see the Lanna-style That Phuan stupa. Continue into town, inhabited mainly by the Phuan, Tai Dam and Tai Neua ethnic groups along with Lao and Vietnamese people. Observe the wooden rows of shophouses with metal roofs lining both sides of the unpaved main road and the ruined remains of fine Buddhist temples marked by crumbling foundations and columns. Visit the big seated Buddha at the newer Wat Siphoum located to the east of the town before returning to your hotel.
Head south east through mountain ranges along a windy road, with many sharp turns and very few straight sections. The views you will see from high in the mountains between the two cities make it an incredibly ride and capture the joy of what Laos is all about: uncrowded, beautiful and green wilderness. Arrive in Luang Prabang, the former capital of Laos, in the early afternoon. less

Plain of Jars - Field

Luang Prabang Early Morning Alms Giving and Pak Ou Caves

The morning alms round (called “Tak Bat” in Lao) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light, truly a spiritual occasion! If you wish to make an offering, please inform your guide a day in advance so that a gift of alms can be prepared. After the alms giving, watch the town come to life during a visit to the bustling morning market before returning to your hotel in time for breakfast.
Explore the Luang Prabang countryside with a full-day boat tour visiting caves, villages and a museum. Depart from your hotel and transfer to the boat pier for a 2hr long-tail boat cruise upstream on the Mekong River. Observe the rugged limestone formations along its banks, as well as the abundance of green forest and fishing villages on the way. Explore the Tham Ting and Tham Phoum Caves, better known as the Pak Ou Caves, home to thousands of miniature Buddha images in different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining. Continue by boat to the small fishing village Ban Pak Ou where lunch is served before returning to Luang Prabang either by boat or by private vehicle along an unpaved road. On the way, stop at a minority village to learn about sticky rice production and other traditional customs. Back in town, pay a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the many ethnic groups existing in Laos both today and in the past. Observe valuable artifacts, traditional textiles and clothing, jewelry, handicraft tools, photography and household objects from the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. less


Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfall and Temples of Luang Prabang

Spend a half day exploring one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with electric turquoise waters. Depart on a 1hr drive south of Luang Prabang, with stops at the vibrant Phousi Market and the nearby Ock Pop Tock Weaving Centre, a social enterprise working primarily in the field of textiles, handicrafts and design. Continue on to the waterfalls and take a leisurely hike through the natural park past the Asian Bear Rescue Center. Swimming in the refreshing waters is possible, although between November and January the water temperature is very cool. Enjoy your lunch before returning to the city for afternoon tour.

Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery. Take a half-day walking tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. Start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now some National Museum housing precious artifacts that belonged to the Royal Family. Drive or enjoy a leisurely walk to explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including: Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Notice its unusually shaped stupa designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”; Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty; the gorgeous Wat Mai with its detailed golden reliefs depicting scenes from village life; and Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 17th century. Notice the stunning “tree of life” mosaic set on its western exterior wall. End the tour by climbing up to the top of Mount Phousi to admire the panoramic views across the Mekong and Khan rivers as well as the mountain range. Return to your hotel. less


International flight home

Transfer to the airport for a flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Transfer to the airport for a flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.

Vientiane, Vientiane Prefecture, Laos

Plain of Jars, Xiangkhouang, Laos

Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos

Places You'll See

  • golden-pagoda-Vientiane-Laos


    Located along the Mekong river is Vientiane, the capital of Laos. One can take in the beautiful city and its many temples it has to offer and then relax after a long day near the Mekong River. Take a Tuk-Tuk, or motorcycle ride in a side car, and visit the impressive Buddha Park. Visit the magnificently enormous statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities galore.

  • Plain-of-Jars

    Plain of Jars

    The Megalithic Landscape of the Plain of Jars is located in central Laos. The Plain of Jars consists of thousands of large Jars arranged in clusters. It is believed they were built to collect rainwaters along well-traveled paths for when water became scarce during drier seasons.

  • luang-prabang-Laos

    Luang Prabang

    Luang Prabang is a city filled with history and culture that will fit anyone’s interests. Rise early and witness the Alms Ceremony, where local Monks line the streets accepting alms, or respects and charities, from locals as well as sincere tourists. Visit the local elephant sanctuary, mountain bike through the area, and take in the history of the city through the many art and cultural centers nearby.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Vientiane : Beau Rivage Mekong Hotel

Luang Prabang : Le Bel Air Boutique Resort

Luang Prabang : Sala Prabang

Luang Prabang : Santi Resort & Spa

4 Star Properties

Vientiane : Lao Plaza Hotel

Vientiane : Green Park Boutique Hotel

Luang Prabang : 3 Nagas Boutique Hotel

Luang Prabang : Le Palais Juliana

Luang Prabang : Villa Santi Hotel

5 Star Properties

Vientiane : Settha Palace Hotel (Deluxe)

Luang Prabang : Kiridara

Luang Prabang : Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel

Luang Prabang : Victoria Xiengthong Palace

Luang Prabang : Villa Maly

Luxury Properties

Vientiane : Settha Palace (Junior Suite)

Luang Prabang : Belmond La Residence Phou Vao

Luang Prabang : Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel


Lorie L.

Traveled July, 2013

Yampu Tours helped me set up a last minute long weekend for my daughter, in Laos.

Yampu Tours helped me set up a last minute long weekend for my daughter, in Laos. They were kind, caring, professional and easy to work with. In the end, it is more expensive to set up a trip this way, but the quality of the experience and ease of setting up various adventures, was totally worth it. I recommend Yampu Tours!

Traveled To

Emily K.

Traveled January, 2015

I had such a great time with Yampu

I had such a great time with Yampu, and I would love to travel with them again. My boyfriend and I booked a customized private tour to Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Laos (Luang Prabang), Cambodia (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh), and Vietnam (Saigon, Hanoi, and Halong Bay.) We both enjoyed every minute of the trip. The guides were all friendly and knowledgeable, the drivers were always punctual, the accommodations were lovely, and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend Yampu to anyone who wants to have a good time on their vacation.

Louise T.

Traveled January 2016

Darla and I were impressed and overwhelmed with the level of service

As I mentioned over the phone, Darla and I were impressed and overwhelmed with the level of service and care that Yampu provided. We will certainly encourage anyone to use Yampu.

Traveled To

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