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Complete itinerary through Laos in 12 days

Laos is a fascinating country that you can combine with a neighboring country, such as Cambodia or Northern Thailand, or you can visit it as the only destination. To see the most essential places in Laos you will need about 10 days, adding a few more if you want to visit some more rural areas of the Boloven Plateau.

Some circuits combine Laos with Vietnam. For me it is a complete mistake, since to visit the essential places in Vietnam you will need at least three weeks. Vietnam is meant to be a unique destination, visiting in a single trip (unless you have all the time in the world, if you have more than 10 or 15 days and want to combine it with a country, my recommendation is with Cambodia or the north from Thailand. In our case we arrived to Luang Prabang from the north of Thailand, although last year I traveled to Cambodia and after visiting it I think the combination is more appropriate.

In this post I tell you about the best 10-day route you can follow in Laos, adding extra days to get to know the Bolaven Plateau. And you have more detailed circuits on the blog with Laos, Cambodia or Laos and northern Thailand.

Complete itinerary through Laos in 12 days


Day 0. Arrival in Luang Prabang Laos

We are in Luang Prabang with a direct flight from Chiang Mai. Normally, Chiang Mai, despite having an international airport, for trips to some closer neighboring countries, always has a stopover in Bangkok. But it is not impossible to find a direct flight to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai.


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There is also the option of arriving with a direct flight from the Capital of Laos, Vientiane. Or by bus from Thailand (although it takes too many hours and it is preferable to make a stopover in Bangkok before choosing this option).

You can start your Laos itinerary from another point, although Luang Prabang gives you the opportunity to start in the north and go down to Pakse, our last destination.

Day 1 and day 2. Visit Luang Prabang and the Kuang Si Waterfalls

Once in Luang Prabang I recommend that you stay two days. You will need one day to visit the most essential places in the city and an extra day to visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls, surrounded by a beautiful natural environment that is worth knowing. If you have more days, you can add one more day to the city to go more slowly, but it is quite small and you can get to know it well in a day and a half.

Posts from Luang Prabang:

Before leaving Luang Prabang we spent two days getting to know the Muang Ngoi Neua area and I explain it to you here. I do not include it in the itinerary because the road is actually somewhat complicated, first on secondary roads you arrive in curves, then a boat is required... to visit a rural village. The area is beautiful, but after touring Laos, the landscape is similar to the entire country, there are many more villages to choose from, if you have more days I recommend visiting the Boloven Plateau. But if you want to add this option you have all the information in What to see and do in Muang Ngoi Neua, how to get there and where to stay.

We were caught in confinement a few days after being in Luang Prabang and were blocked in the country. So we extended our stay a lot and we could easily visit many off-road places. And if you have time, the area is beautiful, but if you don't have much time, I would recommend ruling out this option.

Complete itinerary through Laos in 12 days

Day 3. We continue our trip to Vang Vieng

Before October 2021, to make this journey it was necessary to spend about 4 hours in a minivan and you would arrive in Vang Vieng somewhat dizzy from so many curves and wanting to spend the rest of the day at the hotel. But now there is a direct train and it will only take 1 hour and 8 minutes to get there. My recommendation is that you try to take the first train of the day to take advantage of that afternoon to do some activity such as tubbing or visit the town.

Day 4. Explore Vang Vieng

The outskirts of the city are surrounded by mountains, with incredible viewpoints, many caves and springs. This day is to visit these places. You can do it by renting a motorcycle for a few euros, or hiring a tuk tuk or taxi to spend the day with you, taking you everywhere.

Posts from Vang Vieng:

Day 5. Drive from Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Take the first train you find from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. This journey lasts almost 3 hours and if you arrive early you will be able to explore some of the most essential places in the city that can be visited in the afternoon, such as several temples, a museum and the night market.

Day 6. Visit of Buda Park and Vientiane

Get up early and take advantage of the day to finish getting to know Vientiane and get closer to visiting Buda Park. Some of the places in the city center that I recommend you visit soon are the Royal Palace Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Si Saket and Wat Mixai.

Posts from Vientiane that may interest you:

It is possible to visit the city at this time, but if you want to go a little slower, you can add one more day to the capital of Laos or on the 7th, leave on the last flight you can find to Pakse, the next stop.

Complete itinerary through Laos in 12 days

Day 7. Flight to Pakse, the next stop on our route through Laos

You have several options to get from Vientiane to Pakse. The most economical option is to do it with the sleeper bus. The cost is around 19 euros per trip, but it is a 15-hour trip. Flights between both cities cost between 40 and 80 euros (2023 prices) with the Laos skyway airline being the cheapest. It is advisable to book online in advance to get a better price.

The flight lasts around 1 hour and a half, and taking into account the time to go to the airport, waiting for check-in... it will take you half a morning. In the afternoon, take the opportunity to visit the market night and the most commercial area of ​​the city.

Day 8. Visit Pakse

Dedicate the 8th to visiting the city. The city does not have many attractions, but it does have several beautiful temples such as Wat Phousalao and Wat Luang. Pakse is the main starting point to explore the Boloven Plateau.

Day 9. Visit the Vat Phou archaeological site

Spend the morning visiting the archaeological site of Wat Phou. One of the most beautiful places to see in Laos with Khmer heritage. It was built between the 5th and 7th centuries and is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

If you finish early, you can organize your day to start the tour of the Bolaven Plateau. Although if you have time, I recommend leaving this afternoon to rest, enjoy the hotel and start the route very early the next day.

Day 10, 11 and 12. Route through the Bolaven Plateau

Spend two and a half days touring the Bolaven Plateau. An area full of jungles, incredible waterfalls, plains, villages... It is one of the most beautiful areas to see in Laos. I add the route that we followed with all the essential stops and the accommodations that we had during the 3 days and 2 nights of the route.

Return to Pakse to catch your return flight. Most likely, you will make a stopover in the capital of Laos or the capital of a neighboring country.

Complete itinerary through Laos in 12 days


I hope you enjoy your trip to Laos and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue readingmany more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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