This tour is organised and led by Steve Davey | The land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, but the tours don't appear on the Intrepid Travel website | The only way to book is through this site!

Highlights of this trip

• Historic Luang Prabang

Haunting Plain of Jars

Vang Vieng scenary

• Champasak ruins

Si Phan Don waterfalls

• Mekong river boat

• Photography tuition

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Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Private Groups in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information

Included in the trip price

9 nights hotel or riad accommodation

1 night in desert camp

• 1 night in guesthouse

• 8 breakfasts

2 dinners

All transport as per itinerary

• Todra Gorge 4WD safari

• Camel ride to desert camp

Walking tour of Marrakech

Taxi to main square & dinner

Transport to Majorelle Gardens

Majorelle Gardens entrance

Cooking class, Ait Benhaddou

• Essaouria walking tour

• Pre-trip Facebook group

• Experienced Intrepid leader

Expert photographic tuition

Included in the trip price

11 nights hotel accommodation

1 night homestay

All transport as per itinerary

• 11 breakfasts

• 6 lunches

• 6 dinners

• Havana walk with local photographer

Vintage car Havana tour

• Viñales tobacco farm visit

• Trinidad finca visit

• Santiago city tour

• Domestic flight from Santiago to Havana

• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members

• Experienced Intrepid leader

Expert photographic tuition

Start: 19 Sept. 2019
End:
28 Sept. 2019

Code: IOMO19

Price: From £1495 pp
excl. flights, based on

Min 8, max 12 people

Places left: 4

Trip is confirmed.

 

Single supplement: £295

Estimated current
flight cost £295

Printable version of itinerary

Included in the trip price

3 nights Hotel accommodation

1 night Gite accommodation (single supplement not available)

• 4 nights Riad accommodation

• 1 night luxury desert camp

All transport as per itinerary

• 9 breakfasts; 1 lunch & 5
dinners

• English Speaking Guides

• Couscous cooking demo.

• Essaouira walking tour

• Marrakech walking tour

• Majorelle Gardens entrance

• Sahara Desert Camel ride

• Short Atlas Mountains hike

• Entrance fees as per itinerary

• Arrival & departure transfers for
group flight.

• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members

• Experienced Local leader

Expert photographic tuition

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of laos

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Website, Images and text © Steve Davey/stevedavey.com 1990 - 2019

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unforgetPlaces4PCThis tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books), which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.

Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Special Groups Dept. in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information

tour summary

tour itinerary

land arrangements for this tour

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Start: 27 Nov. 2019
End:
10 Dec. 2019

Code: IOL19

Price: From £1995 pp
excl. flights, based on

Min 8, max 12 people

Places left: 6

Trip is to be confirmed.

 

Single supplement: £400

Estimated current
flight cost £750
 

This itinerary includes a domestic flight - from Vientiane to Pakse. The above trip price includes the prevailing domestic flight cost of £110. If this price changes a supplement may be payable, and will be notified at the time of booking.

Impressions of Laos Itinerary

Day 1: Luang Prabang
Day 2: Luang Prabang
Day 3: Luang Prabang
Day 4: Phonsavan
Day 5: Phonsavan
Day 6: Vang Vieng
Day 7: Vang Vieng
Day 8: Vientiane
Day 9: Vientiane
Day 10:
Pakse
Day 11: Don Khong
Day 12: Don Khong
Day 13: Pakse
Day 14: Tour ends
 

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laos itinerary

Printable version of itinerary

Included in the trip price

• 13 nights Hotel accommodation

• 13 breakfasts; 1 lunch

All transport as per itinerary

• Vientiane to Pakse flight

• Kuang Si Waterfall entrance

• Wat Xieng Thong Temple

• Luang Prabang King's Palace

• Boat trip to Pak Ou Cave

• Plain of Jars excursion

• Vientiane temple visits

• Wat Phu Temple Champasak

• Bolaven Plateau plantation

• Ban Khone Village boat trip

• Si Phan Don waterfalls

• Mekong dolphin excursion

• Entrance fees as per itinerary

• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members

• Experienced Local leader

Expert photographic tuition

Impressions of Laos itinerary

Day 1: Luang Prabang
Sabaidee! Welcome to Luang Prabang.

Once the heart and soul of the ancient Lao Kingdom (Lan Xang) and designated a World Heritage site in 1995, Luang Prabang is endowed with a legacy of historic red-roofed temples and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention some of the country's most refined cuisine, a multi-ethnic population and rich culture.

There are many sights to see in and around Luang Prabang, or it is simply a fantastic place to wander around.

We will start our adventure with a group meeting before we all head out for an optional meal.

Accommodation: Parasol Blanc (Classic room) or similar

 

Day 2: Luang Prabang
All over South East Asia, Buddhist monks head out before dawn to collect alms of food from the faithful. Laos is the best place to see this in the World, and in Luang Prabang you will see lines of one hundred or more orange-robed monks walking silently in bare feet - each carrying a metal monk's bowl.

Getting up in the misty early morning to offer food to the monk. On their daily outing collecting alms, a practice that dates back centuries. The people of the town wait out the front of their houses with food for the monks to collect and take back to the temple. It is done early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk you ‘het bon’ or make merit.

Next transfer to a beautiful Kuang Si Falls, a picturesque, multi-level cascade that offers fantastically blue pools. In the early morning there will be fewer people here, and although the falls will be in shadow, this can be much better for those classic long exposure pictures that result in a misty blurred effect on the water. Apart for the crowds later in the day, parts of the falls will be in direct sunlight giving excessive contrast.

At the afternoon visit Wat Xieng Thong, the most enchanting of Laos’ monasteries. Inside you'll find monks eager to practice their English with you. Continue to Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham temple meaning ‘new temple’ where used by Laos Royalty in the past. Beside Wat Mai, we will visit ‘Former King palace’.

In the late afternoon you can either climb to the top of Mount Phousi in the centre of town to see the sunset, or shoot down by the river.

Included activities:
• Monk alms giving
• Kuang Si Water Falls
• Wat Xieng Thong Temple
• Phousi mount
• King's Palace

Accommodation: Parasol Blanc (Classic room) or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 3: Luang Prabang
This morning you will visit the Pak Ou cave, Thamting caves and Ban Sang Hai Village by taking a boat along the Mekong River.

An important religious site overlooking the river at the junction of the Mekong and Ou Rivers, the revered Pak Ou Caves consist of two sacred limestone caverns filled with Buddha images of all styles and sizes, brought by devoted villagers over the centuries. The lower cave, known as Tham Ting, is entered from the river by a series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight. The higher cave, Tham Phum, is deeper and requires a torch for viewing.

After the spiritual pursuit of visiting a religious cave, we will re-enter the profane world with a visit to Ban Sang Hai Village, known as the Whiskey village. Here you can see the process of making lao-Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, second only to BeerLao in popularity.

The afternoon will be free to explore this fascinating town. his might include a ferry visit to the far bank of the river where life seems unchanged for generations, or taking in more of the many beautiful Wats - the ornate Buddhist Monasteries that litter the town.

Included Activities:
• Boat trip to Pak Ou Cave and Thamting
• Ban Sang Hai Village

Accommodation: Parasol Blanc (Classic room) or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

 

Day 4: Phonsavan
After breakfast you’ll check out and transfer from Luang Prabang to Xiangkhoang (Phonsavan) (approximately 6 hrs). This is a long journey, but passes through stunning scenery. We will also pass a number of hilltribe villages that often straddle the high mountain ridges. We also pass through the town of Phou Khoun that has a busy hilltribe market.

Phonsavan is the provincial capital of Xieng Khouang Province. It was built in the late 1970s and replaced the old Xieng Khouang which had been destroyed during the Second Indochina War.

The best-known tourist attraction is the nearby Plain of Jars, which is to be nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status. The main economic activities in Phonsavan are governmental administration, mining companies from China and Australia, tourism and the work of NGOs clearing unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Today you will have a chance to visit villages from the Hmong and Yao hilltribe minorities.

Included Activities:
• Visit Hmong, Yao villages

Accommodation: Anoulack Khen Lao Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 5: Phonsavan
Today we will visit the famous Plain of Jars, a vast area extending around Phonsavanh from the south-west to the north-east. Mysterious and ancient, over 300 huge stone jars apparently carved out of solid rock are scattered around the plateau. The jars vary in size from 1 to 3.25 metres high and weigh up to six tons each. There are several different theories as to the purpose of the jars, which are estimated to be 2,500 to 3,000 years old. According to local legend, King Khun Chuang had them constructed to store wine for the celebration of his conquest of the province in the 6th century.

Today's tour will focus on Sites I and II, out of the many sites so far discovered. Afterwards continue to Muang Khoun, an ancient capital and stronghold for the Xieng Khuang royal family which was destroyed during the Indochina War. The town was rebuilt after 1975 with rows of wooden Lao houses and a market area and is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.

Included Activities:
• Excursion to the Plain of Jars (Sites 1 and 2) and Muang Khoun.

Accommodation: Anoulack Khen Lao Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 6: Vang Vieng
Today we will travel to Vang Viang (approximately 6-7 hrs). Again, it is a long journey, but through stunning scenery. We will be in a private vehicle so we will be able to stop for any photo-opportunities.

Vang Vieng is a riverside town in Central Laos. The town has been known as a party destination for years, and whilst this remains more outdoor-oriented activities are now available such as mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, caving, swimming and rock climbing.

Our hotel overlooks the river, and so we should be in the perfect position to photograph the sunset!

Accommodation: Silver Naga Hotel (Deluxe Room) or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 7: Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is nestled amidst stunning limestone karst rock formations. A popular excursion here is to ride up in a balloon at either sunrise or sunset. If you are lucky the balloon will make the perfect platform for a spot of sunrise photography.

Most of today is free, so you will have time to try some of the avtivities here, or simply walk or bicycle out into the countryside.

In the late afternoon we will head out to visit one of the local caves, and then try to find a good spot to photograph the sunset.

Included Activities:
• Cave visit

Optional Activities:
• Balloon ride – 120 USD / Person

Accommodation: Silver Naga Hotel (Deluxe Room) or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 8: Vientiane
This morning we transfer to Vientiane (3-4 hrs approximately). Again, we will be in a private vehicle and will be able to stop for any photo-opportunities.

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. There are beautiful sunsets down by the river, and although it has developed over the years, since the first time I visited over twenty years ago, it is still one of the most relaxed and laid-back capital cities you will ever visit.

Accommodation: Mali Namphu Boutique Hotel – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 9: Vientiane
Vientiane, the city of gold and green. With its lush parks and spectacular gilded shrines, temples and statues, the capital of Laos is a relatively calm and agreeable city.

Get ready for a full day of spiritual and significant sightseeing in this chilled-out city. The scarlet and gold pillars and awning of Wat Hor Pra Kaeo are up first, followed by Wat Si Saket, one of the oldest temples in the city. Next, visit the grand stone archway of Pratu Xai, a war monument dedicated to those who fought for independence from French colonial rule. The crowning-jewel of Vientiane’s monuments is Pha That Luang, a shining Buddhist stupa that sits on ground considered holy for thousands of years. After spending some time admiring this Laotian icon, take a visit to COPE – an organisation that crafts and supplies prosthetics and orthotics free of charge. Spend a time in town, perhaps ask your leader where you’ll have the best chance of finding a khao jee (a baguette with salad, meat and pate).

Included Activities:
• COPE
• Wat Sri Saket
• Wat That Luang
• Wat Hor Pra Keo
• Pratu Xai (Anousavary)

Accommodation: Mali Namphu Boutique Hotel – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 10: Vientiane to Pakse

Enjoy breakfast before transferring to the airport for your flight to Pakse.

Upon arrival in Pakse transfer to your hotel.

Pakse located on the edge of the Mekong River, Pakse is a frontier town and a crossroad for trade between Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.

Discover a few of the impressive waterfalls on the fertile Bolaven Plateau – Laos’ premier coffee-growing region. During colonial times the Bolaven Plateau was populated by French settlers who were attracted to the cooler climate and fertile soils which created ideal coffee-growing conditions. Today, Lao coffee beans fetch some of the highest prices in the world, and are a source of income for the hilltribes living on the plateau. Visit a small-scale Fair Trade organic coffee farm to sample a freshly brewed Arabica and Robusta coffee. Situated in a forest-setting, Tad Lo Lodge is nestled next to big and small stream waterfall along the route.

Included Activities:
• Bolaven Plateau
•Visit to coffee plantation

Accommodation: Champasak Palace hotel (Standard Room) – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 11: Si Phan Don
From Pakse we take a short drive to Wat Phou temple, one of ruined Khmer Hindu Temple complex in Southern Laos.

After that continue on the road to Don Khong, the main island of the area known as Si Phan Don (4000

Included Activities:
• Wat Phou Temple entrance

Accommodation: Villa Muong Khong – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 12: Khone Island
Exploring Si Phan Don today by boat visiting Ban Khone Village which located in Don Khon Island area and known as fisherman’s village. You will see local life of Laos people here lining with the river. After that take a short drive to Liphi waterfall, one of the highlights of Si Phan Don.

Included Activities:
• Si Phan Don boat excursion
• Ban Khone visit
• Liphi waterfall
• Boat service to looking for dolphin

Accommodation: Villa Muong Khong – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 13: Khone Phapeng waterfall
Travel to Khonephapheng Falls, the largest waterfalls in Southeast Asia in terms of water volume. Many people called this waterfall as Niagara of Asia. The falls are characterised by thousands of islands and countless waterways, giving the area its name Si Phan Don or 'The 4000 islands'. After that transfer back to Pakse for your departure flight tomorrow.

Included Activities
• Khone Phapeng waterfall

Accommodation: Champasak Palace hotel (Standard Room) – or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 14: Departure Day
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Hotel check out time at 12:00 noon

Meals included: Breakfast

 

 

 

 

To keep the trip cost as low as possible, we will need to manage the bookings so that no one is left with a single room, without paying the single supplement. If you are a solo traveller then every effort will be made to ensure that there is someone for you to share with. This has usually always been possible, but if you are flexible about the choice of accommodation when filling out the booking form, then that will give you more chance to secure a place.

Most of the official sites in Laos have limited opening hours, and will often only open at 8am - which is obviously not very good for sunrise! We will try to get around this wherever possible, but we are unable to guarantee anything.

Sometimes when we make an early start it will involve leaving our accommodation before breakfast is served. In this case we will have to make our own arrangements.

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