Countryside around Vang Vieng with karst mountains in the background

Laos by Rail

Trip code

Travel the incredible landscapes of Laos via the most scenic route possible: the brand-new Vientiane to Boten railway line.

Stopping off at Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, and Muang La, this overland adventure makes even Laos’ most rural areas more accessible – and with a focus on sustainable tourism, there are plenty of responsible activities woven into the mix.


Price based on 3* accommodation
Price based on 4* accommodation
Price based on 5* accommodation
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Key facts

10 nights/11 days
Soak up Laos’ unique culture on a full-day tour of Vientiane and a half-day tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Luang Prabang
Enjoy dinner at a vocational training restaurant
Meet the elephants at MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary
Discover scenic landscapes as you explore Vang Vieng by bicycle and boat, tour the countryside in a 4X4, visit Kuang Si Waterfalls and take part in a hands-on farming experience

Transport in detail

Entirely overland, this trip explores Laos by train. Where the train doesn’t reach, transfers (i.e. between station and hotel) will be done by private car.

What's great

Experience Laos’ new train line, which takes you through the countryside to some incredibly scenic locations – with speedier travel between destinations

Meet local people and make a difference to the places you visit as you take part in a wide variety of sustainable activities

See diverse Laotian landscapes – including limestone karsts, lush farmland and the forested Mekong – with ease

Things to consider

Some destinations do not offer accommodation at every grade, but this is all part of Laos’ simple charm

The train only has a few departures per day, so your itinerary is dictated by when the departures are

Thanks to the train line, these are all commonly visited destinations in Laos – though we can help you explore further afield if you’d like to expand your route

The experience

This trip has been built around destinations on the brand-new Vientiane to Boten railway line. Want to tweak the trip to suit your needs? Speak to one of our specialists to tailor a train journey just for you.

Day 1-2


Your first day is all about easing yourself into Laos’ notoriously laid-back atmosphere in peaceful Vientiane – a city brimming with centuries-old religious structures, colonial buildings and red-roofed market stalls. It can be hard to know where to begin, so we’ve lined up a knowledgeable local guide to help you delve into the capital’s ancient and modern history, covering royal temples, the historic Patuxai Victory Gate and the quirky, statue-filled Buddha Park. A visit to the COPE exhibition center will provide a moving insight into how this charitable organization supports victims of unexploded ordnance – a still-present reminder of the bomb attacks Laos endured during the Vietnam War.

Arch monument in Vientiane with palm trees and water in the foreground


See Vientiane’s historic temples and monuments

Learn about the impact of UXOs at the COPE Center

Roam the quirky Buddha Park and see what statues you stumble across

Stone Buddha statues in Buddha Park in Vientiane

Day 3-4

Vang Vieng

Lose yourself in some of Asia’s most beautiful mountain scenery as your train weaves its way deeper into rural Laos, towards Vang Vieng: a town characterized by its towering limestone karsts, lush green rice fields and bluest of blue lagoons. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of the area’s natural wonders; bike or kayak to the idyllic surrounding villages, encounter stalagmites and stalactites in the caves beneath the mountains, and float your way back to base on a private boat cruise along the lazy Nam Song River.

Wooden path leading through rice terraces of Vang Vieng at sunset


Enjoy the scenery of Vang Vieng’s limestone karsts as you arrive by rail

Get active as you visit caves and villages by bike and kayak

Spend a day relaxing and soaking up the scenery

Farmer working in rice fields of Vang Vieng with karst mountains in the background

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day
  • Five lunches; one at an organic farm in Vang Vieng; two at the Muang La Lodge; a picnic at Kuang Si Falls; one at the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary
  • Three dinners; three in Muang La
  • Four full day experiences; a city tour of Vientiane; boat and bike adventure in Vang Vieng; full day 4x4 tour to visit Laos’ ethnic minorities; full day trek to Ban Phavie
  • Four half day experiences; city tour of Luang Prabang; farming experience; Kuang Si Falls & Buffalo Dairy visit; MandaLao elephant sanctuary
  • All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
  • All internal transport & accommodation

Day 1:

Car transfer from Vientiane Airport to hotel (15 minutes)

Day 3:

Car transfer to Vientiane Railway Station (30 minutes), Train to Vang Vieng (1 hour) & Car transfer to hotel (10 minutes)

Day 5:

Car transfer to Vang Vieng Railway Station (10 minutes), Train to Oudomxay (1 hour 45 minutes) & car transfer to Muang La (45 minutes)

Day 8:

Car transfer to Oudomxay Railway Station (45 minutes), Train to Luang Prabang (45 minutes) & Car transfer to Luang Prabang hotel (30 minutes)

Day 11:

Car transfer from hotel to Luang Prabang Airport (15 minutes)

  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
  • Tips for guides & porters