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Celebrate New Year in traditional Lao style (in April) with this 06 days adventure in the country's former royal capital, Luang Prabang. Visit serene golden temples where devotees come to cleanse Buddhist statues, then prepared to get soaked on the streets as revelers 'cleanse' each other with playful water throwing. The trip also includes a riverboat ride along the mighty Mekong and visits to some of the region's most stunning sights.

Quick Reference Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Luang Phrabang Arrival
  • Day 2 - Luang Prabang
  • Day 3 - Luang Phrabang
  • Day 4 - Luang Phrabang
  • Day 5 - Luang Phrabang Departure
View full itinerary

Trip Highlight

Celebrate New Year in traditional Lao style.

Soak up the Buddhist flavour of Luang Phrabang.

Take a boat trip to the sacred Pak Ou caves. 

Experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions, The Baci.

Attend the annual Miss Pi Mai parade, locally called “Nang Sangkhane”.

  • Luang Phrabang Arrival

    Day 1: Luang Phrabang Arrival

    Arrival in Luang Prabang. Your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. 

    Welcome to the spiritual capital of Laos! Lao New Year is celebrated at the same time each year. This is one of the most famous and popular festival in Laos. On the 13th, Buddha images are taken out of the temples to be cleansed with scented water by devotees, and placed on special temporary altars within the compounds of “wats” (temples). Devotees gather the scented water falling off the images, to take home and use it to pour on friends and relatives, as an act of cleansing and purification before entering the New Year. Boun Pi Mai is a time for much joyous celebration, with good deeds and prayers in anticipation the New Year. 

    As the day comes to the end, you will have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions, The Baci. The purpose of the Baci, which is a mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs, is to call back escaped spirits to the body. This is something that is very important before major events such as weddings, births, travel, welcoming friends and farewells. 

    The Baci ceremony will be set at Wat Phoukway or Wat That Luang. 

    Enjoy a delicious dinner at Blue Lagoon restaurant, one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang. 

    Overnight in Luang Prabang.

    We suggest 03 options for accommodation.

    Meals:  D
  • Luang Prabang

    Day 2: Luang Prabang

    After breakfast, enjoy a tour of morning market fair. This small market is very active from 0800 in the morning and is a typical passing spot for Laotians who come to buy and sell. You could be surprised by what you will find! 

    Then you will build a sand tomb in Mekong River. This is another Pi Mai tradition: sand is brought to the temple grounds and is made into stupa then decorated with flags, flowers, white lines and splashed with perfumed water before being given to the monks as a way of making merit. 

    After lunch (not included), take a half-day guided tour of Luang Prabang by walk. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 1400. 

    Start your city tour at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Finish the tour at Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics. 

    Enjoy your evening at leisure. 

    Meals:  B
      As Above
  • Luang Phrabang

    Day 3: Luang Phrabang

    This morning, you will escape from the hustle of the city and explore the beauty of Laos’ culture and natural wonders with a half day exploration around Luang Prabang. 

    Enjoy the cruise on the mighty Mekong River, departing around 1000. You will travel at a leisurely pace and have plenty of time to appreciate the simple rural lifestyles along the river and the dramatic yet peaceful scenery. 

    The cruise upstream to the Pak Ou Caves takes approximately 2 hours and along the way you will stop to explore the village of Ban Xang Hai

    The caves themselves are very close to the confluence of the Nam Ou and Mekong Rivers, hence the name Pak Ou. In these 2 caves are displayed hundreds of sacred centuries-old Buddha images which are the object of pilgrimages during the Lao New Year festivities. 

    As you cruise back downstream a selection of typical Lao dishes will be served onboard. 

    The cruise back to Luang Prabang takes approximately 1.5 hours, arriving around 1400. You will be met at the boat jetty for a private transfer to your hotel to freshen up. 

    This afternoon, you will attend the annual Miss Pi Mai parade, locally called “Nang Sangkhane”, which is only held in Luang Prabang. Every year, there are seven contestants, each one symbolizing one of King Kabinlaphom’s seven daughters and they ride down the main street from Wat Xiengthong to Wat That Noi. 

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

    Meals:  B,L
      As Above
  • Luang Phrabang

    Day 4: Luang Phrabang

    Today is the national last day of the festival and marks the start of the Lao New Year. 

    Begin your day with the traditional morning alms giving at Mount Phousi. This is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Return to the hotel for breakfast. 

    Every local family will hold a Baci at their houses and good food to welcome the New Year as well as to wish their elders good health and long life. 

    This afternoon, you will watch the second part of Miss Pi Mai parade. The girl who is crowned Miss Pi Mai will make her first appearance. She is usually perched atop the animal/spirit (sometimes on an elephant) that symbolizes the coming year with the other final contestants at the bottom sprinkling the way with perfumed water and rose flower petals. The revealing of Miss Pi Mai to the public is the climax of the parade. 

    Enjoy your farewell dinner at Roots & Leaves restaurant - watch a cultural show The shows reflect Lao people’s way of life and cultural heritage, whether a welcome ceremony (Houay Pon), 14th Century court dance (Nang Keo), rice harvest celebration dance (Khmu Bamboo Dance), or a fashion show depicting traditional and contemporary Lao fashion.

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

    Meals:  B,D
      As Above
  • Luang Phrabang Departure

    Day 5: Luang Phrabang Departure

    Your morning is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

    Meals:  B
      As Above


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