8 Days Family Journey in Laos

8 Days
A Family Journey in Laos

An ethical elephant experience, a rustic river cruise,
cave adventures and more – this eight-day journey will inspire the whole family


The journey begins in Luang Prabang, with an overview of the city’s cultural, artistic and spiritual heritage. Walk to a picturesque waterfall in the forest, spend a day at an elephant sanctuary and consider optional excursions to learn Lao cooking or go horseback riding at an organic farm. Continue south to explore caves, villages and other natural wonders in Vang Vieng, including a cruise down the Nam Song River. The journey ends in the capital city of Vientiane where the family can explore historical landmarks and experience a traditional village blessing before returning home.

With multiple options along the way, this itinerary is ideal for both families with young children or families with teenagers. The journey utilises sustainable modes of travel, including the nation’s new high speed railway and tuk tuks. The visit to the elephant sanctuary contributes to funding wildlife conservation projects.


Day 1 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 1

Arrival Luang Prabang                                                                          [-]

We kick start this immersive tour in charming UNESCO-crowned Luang Prabang. Upon arrival in the former royal capital, we are met at the airport and transferred to the hotel, with the rest of the day free to explore our surroundings. Luang Prabang is a stunning destination that has kept true to tradition. This compact city is packed full of ornate temples and historic buildings. It is also surrounded by pristine natural beauty that takes in jungle, sweeping farmland, cascading waterfalls and ancient caves. Settle into life in Laos’ beating spiritual heart on this excellent adventure. We recommend climbing the town’s highest hill, Mount Phousi, in time for sunset. The 300 steps are rewarded with a splendid vista of the city and the countryside sprawling into the distance. Settle into life in Laos’ beating spiritual heart on the opening day of this excellent adventure.

Overnight at Sanctuary Luang Prabang

Day 2 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 2

Luang Prabang – Tuk Tuk City Tour & Kuang Si Waterfall            [B]

Explore ancient temples and marvel at historic treasures on this fascinating tour. We start our exploration at Wat Xieng Thong. Known as the Golden City Temple, this 16th century complex is adorned in ornate coloured glass and it is regarded as Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temple. We then continue to the Royal Palace Museum. Built in 1904 as the Royal Palace of King Sisavang Vong, this site houses some of the country’s most important relics. We then head to Wat Mai to admire its exquisitely-carved veranda. We end the morning by visiting the TAEC Museum, an independent ethnographic resource centre dedicated to the country’s diverse ethnic groups. After lunch, we take a scenic 32-km drive to stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls, with the opportunity to take a swim. We then visit the nearby Asian Bear Sanctuary to learn about the plight of these animals. At 3.30 pm we head back to respective hotels. An optional activity is a private two-hour sunset cocktail cruise along the Mekong River.

Overnight at Sanctuary Luang Prabang

Day 3 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 3

Luang Prabang – Mandalao                                                                                           [B, L, D]

Walk in the shadow of magnificent elephants during a truly special ethical experience. At 8.30 am we will be met at the hotel lobby by our Mandalao Elephant Sanctuary guide and driven 14 km out of town to the camp. Upon arrival, we receive an introduction before crossing the Nam Khan River to watch the mighty beasts bathing. Next, we embark on a 2.5 km trek following the elephants through thick jungle bursting with tropical flora and fauna to Huay Nok stream. It is then time to say goodbye to the gentle giants as we trek back to Mandalao for a traditional organic lunch. At about 1.30 pm, we return to the hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. This unique day includes a very convivial laotian barbecue dinner, a sindat.

Option | Extension of the morning encounter with Laotian elephants                   [L]

We have the opportunity to extend our exceptional encounter with the giant pachyderms. Our half day becomes a full day including a total walk of 5.5 km on flat and easy terrain. Lunch is then taken in the jungle and a stop at the Tad Kuang Song waterfall allows us to enjoy a cool refreshing swin in the crystal-clear water. Return to Luang Prabang around 4.30 pm.

Overnight at Sanctuary Luang Prabang

Day 4 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 4

Luang Prabang – Free at leisure                                                                                    [B] 

Day free at leisure. No driver / No guide.

Option | Full Day at Nahm Dong Park                                                                      [-]

A relaxing day spent in a beautiful park reveals nature in all its glory. We set off at 8 am on a 10-km drive to Nahm Dong Park for a full-day of serenity and peace. The extensive green space is home to lush greenery, exquisite flora and fauna and idyllic water features. We can lounge with snacks in picnic places, some under straw roofs to shield from the sun. One of the activities we can participate in is the traditional art of paper making using bark from the mulberry tree. This ancient art form is widely practiced in Laos. The woody fibre from the inner bark of the mulberry tree is fashioned to make high-quality paper and other products. Lunch is to our own account, with multiple eating options in the vicinity. In the afternoon, we can spend time relaxing, swimming, and walking in this natural oasis of tranquility. At around 2 pm, we are collected and transferred back to the hotel, with the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at Sanctuary Luang Prabang

Option | 2 Days – 1 Night Family Experience at Nam Khan Ecolodge                                         

Day 1: Tune out and get a taste of tranquillity at Nam Khan Ecolodge. At 2.45 pm, we embark on a 15-minute drive to this organic farm and riverfront resort hugged by stunning natural scenery. Upon arrival, we will be welcomed with a home-made drink and check-in, with some time to sink into our serene surroundings. At 9 am, we learn to cook like a local and join one of the chefs on a culinary journey from farm to harvest and onto the plate. After cooking up a storm in the kitchen, we feast on the fruits of our labour and have the rest of the day to relax in the soothing sound of nature. Connect with nature and get a flavour of local life.

Overnight at Nam Khan Eco Lodge

Day 2: With a strong emphasis on ethology, Ms. Saita our instructor of today with over 25 years of experience will guide your children through a one-hour horseback riding activity with respect for the horses and their natural behaviour to gain their confidence in harmony. You meet at 8am for your first encounter with your new equine friends. After check out, enjoy a family tubing session on the Nam Khan River, a must-do activity in Laos! Lunch is served at the restaurant and the rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.

Day 5 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 5

Luang Prabang – Vang Vieng                                                                         [B] 

We take the time to savour the last moments in the former royal capital before marvelling at the beauty of the landscape of Vang Vieng. At 12.45 pm our driver and guide collect us in our hotel lobby for a 40-min drive to Luang Prabang Railway Station. Our train will leave the station platform at 1.45 pm sharp for an arrival at our next destination 1 hour later. After checking-in, we board a traditional boat and cruise down the Nam Song River past impressive karsts that rise from each side. Vang Vieng is home to a striking landscape of majestic limestone mountain peaks, scenic cliffs and a patchwork of rice paddies, plus the Nam Song River winding through the town. It is also known as the ‘Giulin of Laos’ due to the dramatic karsts pierced by an intriguing network of caves – a reference to the destination in China.

Overnight at Tmark Resort

Day 1 | 6 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 6

Vang Vieng  – Free at leisure – Vientiane                                          [B, D] 

Day free at leisure. No driver / No guide.

After a day at our leisure with multiple optional activities, we set off on a 60-minute train journey to Vientiane (19h10/20h10). Laos’ national capital Vientiane sits aside the Mekong River and has been the capital since 1563. French colonial mansions, smart tree-lined boulevards, glittering temples, river serpent naga statues and wandering Buddhist monks are features of South-East Asia’s smallest capital. It became the seat of government when King Setthathirat transferred power from Luang Prabang because of ongoing incursions from Burmese forces. Modern day Vientiane is an easy place to explore on foot. The city’s most significant sight is the 16th-century stupa of That Luang, a landmark that is the symbol of Lao independence and sovereignty. Other attractions include the riverside boulevard of Fa Ngum and Patuxai, Vientiane’s version of the Arc de Triomphe. As befits the capital city, there are abundant accommodation options, great places to dine and a lively nightlife. Dinner is “to go” and will be taken on the train.

Option | Half Day Vang Vieng Kayak Experience

Vang Vieng is known for its incredible beauty and this adventure tour starts 10 km away in the ethnic Khmu village of Viengsamay. Here we get an introduction into kayaking ahead of journeying down the beautiful Nam Song River which is framed by impressive limestone mountains. We continue downstream to Tham None, Sleeping Cave, which is one of the largest caves in Vang Vieng and this served as a rescue shelter for villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to thousands of bats. In the rainy season we can swim through the entrance to the cave. The final leg of the journey is a gentle paddle that takes us back to Vang Vieng in time to catch the sunset.

Option | Full Day Adventure in Vang Vieng

This programme is perfect for those that wish to exercise and relax at the same time. We will get the chance to explore four different caves and two villages. We set-off by truck up about 15km north from Vang Vieng, eventually taking a boat to cross the Nam Song river (if rainy season) or a bridge (if dry season). Our guide will lead us to Tham Xang (Elephant Cave) where we will see ancient Buddha Statues and an amazing natural elephant limestone sculpture. As we make our way through the cave, we will learn more of its history and interesting past. We will then visit a Lao Village nearby from where we will trek past rice fields and beautiful mountains before reaching two other caves – Tham Hoy and Tham Loup. Within these caves are more lovely Buddha statues and stalactites. A short trek will take us to Tham Nam (Water Cave), where we can cool off and tube inside the cave before enjoying our barbecue lunch made naturally and served on banana leaves. We’ll finally trek from the water cave to a Hmong Village. They are one of the minority groups in Laos that have existed here for hundreds of years, living peacefully in the mountains. We are back in town around 3 pm.

Option | Essential Tour

Today we enter a subterranean world that has both cultural and historical significance. We start our exploration at Tham Chang Cave, an elevated viewpoint that provides a stunning view over the spectacular valley. This cavern was used during the Indochina War as a place of sanctuary for villagers escaping bombing raids. Years later, the wider area provided a place to stay for people in peace time and they took to cultivation of the nearby fields. We continue to Tham Phu Kham Cave, a place considered sacred by the Lao people. This is also a major tourist attraction due to the lagoon within. The mesmerizing turquoise waters are perfect for a dip after the climb to Tham Chang Cave. The main cave chamber contains a Thai bronze reclining Buddha and deeper galleries that branch off into the mountain’s interior. We then head to an organic farm restaurant for lunch, followed by a cruise along the Nam Song River by long-tail boat and a road transfer back to the hotel.

Overnight at Salana Hotel

Day 7 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 7

Vientiane – City Tour                                                                              [B] 

We can delve into Laos’ rich history at some ancient sacred sites. At 9 am we set off from the hotel to Wat Sisaket, Vientiane’s oldest monastery that dates back to 1818. We continue to nearby Ho Phra Keo, a former royal temple that now serves as a museum, with an exquisite collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. After lunch at our own account, we head to the COPE Visitor Centre to learn about the devastating consequences of war, the country’s sobering unexploded ordnance problem, the struggle of survivors and innovative work to combat these issues. We then proceed to That Luang, a golden stupa that features a banana flower-shaped stupa. This is the most revered shrine in Laos. Next, we stop at Patuxai, a striking arch influenced by Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. We return to the hotel at about 4 pm, with the rest of the day at leisure. Today’s itinerary traces Laos’ past to the modern day. An evening activity provides an even deeper insight into the country’s fascinating culture through participation in a baci ceremony. This calling of the spirits ritual is unique to Laos and it has been practiced for centuries. It involves tying white cotton strings around the wrist, while prayers are chanted by a shaman order to elicit good fortune.

Overnight at Salana Hotel

Day 8 | 8 Days A Family Journey in Laos

Day 8

Vientiane Departure                                                                                [B] 

After breakfast at the hotel, we have free time until our flight to pack in a solo sightseeing adventure before we check-out and head to the airport. Take a stroll round the compact charming capital and feast on street snacks from vendors that dot the city. Alternatively, explore the many ornate temples scattered throughout the city. When it is time, we will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the airport. This brings our unforgettable family journey in Laos to an end.




  • Accommodations as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tours and activities as mentioned in the itinerary with English-language guide
  • Transportation by car / mini-van / coach with professional driver
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • All entrance and donation fees for visits as mentioned in the description.


  • Lao visa fees on arrival
  • Optional tours, inclusions of any kind and other services that are not outlined in the tour description
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommended)


  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this excursion; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of menu
  • To avoid any issues pertaining obtaining an arrival visa at the airport, please ensure that your passport contains at least two empty pages. Failure to do so may result in not gaining entrance into the Laos
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour
  • Please note pickup and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.


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