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Essence of Luang Prabang - 4 Days/3Nights

Discover the hidden charm of this UNESCO World Heritage town as you explore the back lanes of Luang Prabang. Visit famous old temples, charming French colonial architecture and spend some time chatting with young Buddhist monk novices to learn more about their daily lives. Enjoy the most exotic elephant ride in Indochina through stunning teak forests and hills just outside of Luang Prabang. Hike along mountain streams and stunning limestone formations before relaxing in turquoise blue pools surrounded by secluded waterfalls. 


Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport transfers and daily excursions.  
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you.
Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.

Trip Highlights

  • Sunset dinner cruise on the Mekong River
  • Boat cruise to the mysterious Pak Ou caves
  • Elephant ride with the Shangri-Lao Explorer Camp
  • Trekking through stunning landscapes


Day 1: Arrive Luang Prabang                    
Upon arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. In the evening, you will enjoy a sunset dinner cruise along the Mekong, aboard the Nava Mekong. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (Dinner)

Day 2: Luang Prabang
After breakfast, board a private boat for a cruise upstream on the Mekong River. Stop at the village of Ban Muangkeo and trek briefly to reach the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two caves set in a limestone cliff facing the Mekong River crammed with thousands Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes. Return to Luang Prabang by boat, stopping at Ban Nongxai, an artisans village. After lunch, visit the quaint Royal Palace Museum before a walking tour through Luang Prabang’s hidden secrets and quiet back lanes. Visit Wat Chomkhong, famous for its decorative carvings. This area also features a mix of old French Colonial buildings and traditional old Lao houses. After, stop at the small but charming Wat Phapai and also the Fine Arts School to see some of the quality artwork on display. This brings you to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing the classical Luang Prabang style.  Then visit Wat Siphoutthabat, home to a monk school, where you will have the opportunity to chat with a young novice and learn about their daily life.  End the day at the night food market where your guide will show you typical Lao cuisine. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Luang Prabang

At 8 am, drive 15 kilometers to the Shangri-Lao Explorer Camp. You will get an introductory tour of the elephant camp and talk with their veterinarian in the hospital, feed the elephants and relax by the riverside. Your trek begins with an elephant ride across the river and continues for 1.5 hours through teak forests and over hills to reach the protected Huay Sae Valley. On arrival, enjoy a traditional Lao lunch and wine by a secluded waterfall at the Jungle Sala. Depending on the water level you can refresh and swim in the natural pools. Continue 1.5 hours trekking on foot along a mountain stream, crossing bamboo bridges, waterfalls, fantastic limestone formations and turquoise blue pools in the dense jungle. Along the way you will learn more about this important ecosystem.  After, horses from the Hmong hill tribes will assist to carry your bags up a more demanding up hill section for the last 30 minutes of the trek. Enjoy stunning views to the mountain ranges while your guide explains the local agriculture and farming methods. Down at the Nam Khan River, you will ride on a luxurious bamboo raft back to camp. There is an optional 30 minutes stop at the Tad Sae Waterfall along the way. Arrive at the camp at about 5 pm and drive back to your hotel in Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang (Breakfast, lunch)

Day 4: Depart from Luang Prabang
Your morning is free until it's time to transfer to the airport for your outward flight. (Breakfast)


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Per Person Rates (based on double-occupancy)
start from: $960


Contact Us for advice on hotels and a quote based on your choice.


Please note that peak season supplements for stays over Christmas and New Years may apply.
Rates Include

  • All airport transfers to and from hotel by private car
  • All tours and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • All surface transportation as per the itinerary by air-conditioned car with bottled water
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast including taxes and service charge
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to indicated sites
  • Services of a local English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Tips
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Supplements for stays on Christmas or New Year's Eve and mandatory gala dinners if applicable at the hotels on those dates

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
  2. Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:

    Red Lantern Journeys
    1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
    Seattle, WA 98103

  3. Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit and we will initiate your reservations.
  4. Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.


Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions


Cancellation/Refund Policies


- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.

- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.

- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.

- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.

- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.

- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.



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