Treetops, Mountains & Elephants
Laos is a living, breathing adventure playground waiting to be discovered – a land of rivers, jungles and hidden caves. We can’t think of anywhere better for a family holiday with a difference.
There are infinite ways to discover Laos’ spectacular scenery and fascinating culture. This itinerary was one of the most fun we’ve created – you'll be ziplining into a treehouse, kayaking the Nam Song River and visiting Vientiane’s market with a chef. But one person’s chalk is another’s cheese. Tell us your ideas and we’ll work together to bring them to life.
Transport in detail
Most transfers are by private car with one domestic flight of 45 minutes. Three of the road journeys are four to six hours long, but don’t worry, the scenery is spectacular and there are plenty of sightseeing stops.
We know kids (and some adults!) can reach their fill of history and temples, so we’ve focussed this trip on scenery, people and adventure activities
There are lots of learning opportunities for all the family. Get hands on in a cooking class, find out how rice is harvested, spend a night in a homestay and discover how to play petanque, to name a few examples
This trip includes the classic sights like Luang Prabang, but also takes you to a few remote locations where you’ll get a rich insight into ethnic minority communities
Things to consider
The activities in this itinerary are suitable for children aged eight and older. If your kids are younger, let us know and we’ll adapt the trip to suit
Bring motion sickness tablets in case you get car sick – some of the roads are very windy. It’ll all be worth it when you get to kayak down the Nam Song River and fly above Bolaven Plateau on a zipline
Facilities at the homestay and treehouse in southern Laos are quite basic, but we’re sure they’ll be the most memorable nights of your trip
Most families travel to Laos during July and August. This is green season, so expect some tropical downpours, but the waterfalls are spectacular at this time of year and the scenery is lush and fertile
Every family is different and so are our holidays. We’ll listen to what you want, then use our Laos expertise to custom-build the trip you’ve been looking for.
Your adventure begins in Luang Prabang with a baptism of Lao culture, people and animals. First up, get your bearings on a cycle tour of the old town temples, then head into the hills to swim in the pools of Kuang Si Waterfall and explore ethnic minority villages. On day two, you’ll get knee deep in mud at Living Land Organic Farm to find out how rice is grown with the help of water buffalo instead of modern machinery. You’ll meet creatures of a different kind at MandaLao Sanctuary, where you’ll feed elephants and join them in the river for bath time. Finally, round of part one of your trip by joining the locals for a game of petanque and a Lao barbecue.
Hop on two wheels for a cycle tour of Luang Prabang’s old town
Make friends with water buffalo and the elephants of MandaLao Sanctuary
Play petanque (boules) with the locals before a barbecue dinner
The journey to Vang Vieng is one of jaw-dropping beauty. As with all the long car transfers on this trip, we’ll ensure there are lots of stops en-route to explore picturesque villages and admire the views. Twisting and turning through the mountains, you’ll pass lush, fertile valleys and dramatic limestone karsts soaring from the rice paddies. Slap bang in the middle of this magnificent landscape is Vang Vieng, your base for two days of outdoor activities. Discover impressive stalagmites in the vast cavern of Tham Phoukham Cave. Cycle to Tai Dam weaving villages and cool off in the blue lagoon. You’ll also kayak down the Nam Song River, and later watch the sun set behind the mountains.
Stop off on the spectacular mountain drive to see villages and valley panoramas
Cycle along the Nam Song River, and make your way back by kayak
Explore the caverns and rock formations of Tham Phoukham Cave
The finer detail
- Breakfast every day
- Eight lunches: one at the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary; one at an organic farm in Vang Vieng; one on a boat on Nam Ngum Lake; one at a café in Vientiane; one at the coffee plantation homestay on the Bolaven Plateau; two during the Treetop Explorer; one home-cooked lunch during your 4,000 Islands exploration
- Three dinners: Lao barbecue in Luang Prabang; one at the coffee plantation homestay on the Bolaven Plateau; one during the Treetop Explorer
- Three full day experiences; explore Vang Vieng by bicycle and kayak; tour of the Bolaven Plateau by vintage jeep; explore the 4,000 Islands by boat and bicycle
- Seven half day experiences: explore Luang Prabang by bicycle; visit the Kuang Si Waterfall; rice farming experience at the Living Lands Organic Farm; meet the elephants at MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary; visit Tham Jang Cave; market tour and cookery class in Vientiane; visit the waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau
- Two evening experiences: petanque and barbecue in Luang Prabang;
- Treetop Explorer activities, including zipline and Via Ferrata
- All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
- All internal transport & accommodation
Logistics and journey times
Car transfer from Luang Prabang Airport to hotel (15 minutes)
Car transfer from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (4 hours)
Car transfer from Vang Vieng to Vientiane (3.5 hours)
Flight from Vientiane to Pakse (2 hours)
Car transfer from Pakse Airport to Bolaven Plateau (1.25 hours)
Car & jeep transfer from Bolaven Plateau to Homestay (2.75 hours)
Car transfer from Homestay to Tree Top Explorer (1.5 hours)
Car transfer from Treetop Explorer to Don Daeng (1.5 hours)
Car transfer from Don Daeng to Pakse Airport (1 hour)
What's not included
- International flights
- Meals not mentioned
- Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
- Tips for guides & porters