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Luang Prabang to Kunming Laos Yunnan Tour - 12 Days

Destination: Laos, Yunnan
Duration: Twelve Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All Year
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During this fascinating overland journey from the laid back life style of Laos to the beautiful Yunnan province we drive through some of the remotest and most fascinating areas of South-East Asia; regions that are not much travelled by western tourists. Colorful hill tribes, various ethnic groups, stunning landscape and breathtaking scenery are just a few of the many highlights of this tour. From the romantic town of Luang Prabang in northern Laos we travel to the bustling city of Kunming, the ※city of eternal spring§ and capital of the diverse Yunnan Province. Experience two fascinating countries full of great contrasts and with many enriching encounters with the local ethnic minorities!
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
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US$2600/persons 2600USD/Person

Day 1: Luang Prabang

Arrival in Luang Prabang. Pick up at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Luang Prabang is located in north central Laos at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan River. In the centre of the city is Mount Phousi with stunning views of the surrounding temples and hills. In 1995 Luang Prabang was listed by the UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. This ancient royal capital offers a charming amalgamation of crumbling French architecture, glistening temples, natural beauty and laid back life style of the local population. Luang Prabang is also an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 2: Luang Prabang (B)

In the morning we explore the streets around Luang Prabang by traditional ※Tuk Tuk§ and discover some of Luang Prabang hidden treasures and highlights. We start with a visit to the Monastery Wat Visun. It was first built in 1512 during the reign of King Visun. The original structure burned down in 1867 only to be rebuilt 30 years later in 1898 on the same location. Continue to the nearby Wat Aham Monastery, which literally translated means ※The Monastery of the blossoming heart§. The monastery formerly served as a residence of the Sangkharat. We then drive to Luang Prabang's biggest and arguably the most beautiful temple 每 the Wat Mai. Wat Mai was built by King Anourout towards the end of the 18th century and served as a temple for the royal family and long has been the residence of the Pra Sangkharat, the highest Laotian Buddhist dignitary. After a visit to the National Museum we climb Phousi hill to enjoy the view overlooking the city and watch the amazing sunset. From here we can see the magic Mekong and the small Nam Khan rivers. From there, we explore Street Night Bazaar, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 3: Luang Prabang 每 Nong Khiaw 每 Ban Na Luang Village (B/L) (160km/ca 3.5hrs, walking time 2-3h)

We drive through a magnificent landscape towards Nong Khiaw, a rustic little town nestled amongst fantastic lime stone mountains. Our Minivan drops us off outside Nong Khiaw from where we will near the Nam Ou river. From there you will trek about 2-3 hrs through rice paddy fields and pristine forest to Ban Na Luang Village. Ban Na Luang village is located 25 km south-west of Nong Khiaw near the Nam Ou river, nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by magnificent 1200m lime stone mountains. In cooperation with the Lao government and the village chief/villagers we have created a two-day activity visit for our guests to experience the life and the rich culture of the locals. Earnings from this visit are invested in the Village Fund to improve health care, education and local infrastructure. Currently the lack of a school and water system undermine this village's future. So with your visit you can make a difference. The inhabitants of Ban Na Luang Village belong mainly to the Khamu and the Hmong ethnic groups. Both the Hmong and the Khamu originally migrated here from Southern China. In today's China however, the Hmong are officially regarded as an Ethnic Group, whereas the Khamu are considered as am ※undistinguished Ethnic Group§.

Overnight accommodation in a very simple, local style Guesthouse.



After a local style breakfast you have time to stroll around the village. You can also take part in our guided activities like Cotton processing, natural dyes, basket making, animal tending, gardening, planting, Lao village style cooking, school visits carpentry or you can assist a local farmer harvesting. Of course these activities always depend on the season and on what is happening in the village on that day. After lunch we say good-bye to the villagers and head back to Nong Khiaw where we arrive late afternoon.

Overnight accommodation is at the Nong Khiaw Riverside Lodge.


Day 5: Nong Khiaw 每 Muang Khoua 每 Oudomxay (B,L) (boat: 5 hrs/car 4 hrs /ca 125km)

Today one of the many highlights of this tour awaits you. The Nam Ou River is one of the most important rivers of Laos with some of the most stunning scenery Laos has to offer. On board a Long Tail Boat we journey slowly upstream while taking in the spectacular scenery along the way. Along the way we pass remote villages, rugged mountain terrain, impressive Karst Cliffs and we can observe the traditional daily village live along the river. We stop at one of the many villages, most of which are only accessible by boat. The Nam Ou River runs 448 km from Phongsaly in Northern Laos to Luang Prabang where it merges with the Mekong River. We disembark at Muang Khoua, a remote mountain village perched on the side of a mountain. From here we continue by road down to Oudomxay where we arrive in the early evening. The mountains surrounding Oudomxay towards the Chinese Border are home to various ethnic groups like the Akkha (Eko) Hmong, Yao or the Khamu which. Despite modernisation many of these Hill Tribe people still live their traditional live styles and with a bit of luck you may even spot some of these hill tribe people in their traditional costumes.

Overnight in Oudomxay


Day 6: Oudomxay 每 Boten/Mohan 每 Menglun (B,L) (180km / 4 hrs)

Drive through the ever changing landscape of northern Laos toward the Border of China. After the border formalities you say goodbye to Laos. You walk accross the border into China where you are already expected by your Chinese Guide.

Drive via Mengla to the town of Menglun. Menglun is located about 75km southeast of Jinghong on the banks of the Luosuo River, a tributary of the Lancang Jiang (Mekong River). The main attraction of Menglun is the beautiful Menglun Tropical Garden which situated across the Luosuo River and spreading over 900 hectares. The park has been founded in 1959 and today more than 8000 species of plants can be found there. A small ethno botany museum displays a model tropical forest. We stay overnight in a simple but clean accommodation near the Botanical Garden.


Day 7: Menglun 每 Luchun (B,L) (car: 250km / 5.5.hrs)

Today we drive through one of the most famous Pu Er Tea growing areas in China. The first part of our journey we drive along the scenic route parallel to the Lao border to Jianchuan. We cross an area that is rarely visited by western tourists. Lunch at a local restaurant in Jianchuan before we continue to Luchun for our overnight accommodation. The ever changing, magnificent landscape compensates for today's rather long drive.

Overnight in Luchun.


Day 8: Luchun 每 Yuanyang Rice Terraces (B,L) (130km /ca 3 hrs)

During today's drive to Yuanyang you will experience some of the most spectacular rice terraces of the region. There are countless photo opportunities along the way. This area is home to the Yi and Hani ethnic minorities. The Yuanyang rice terraces have been carved out of the Ailao Mountains over hundreds of years by Hani farmers living in the area. We drive to some of the viewpoints from where you enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the rice terraces. Continue to Xinjie for overnight accommodation.


Day 9: Yuanyang Rice Terraces 每 Jianshui (B,L) (100km / 4 hrs)

We leave the Hotel early (around 6 am) to witness a magnificent sunrise over the rice terraces. After that if possible we will visit one of the bustling weekly local markets in the area where we can observe the local people from various ethnic groups (Hani, Yi, Zhuang, Miao) doing their weekly shopping. Many of them still wear their traditional costumes. Lunch in Xinjie. In the afternoon we drive to Jianshui. Jianshui (Lin An) is located 190 km south of Kunming. Its history dates back to the Jin Dynasty (256-420) and it later became a part of the Ningzhou and Nanzhao Kingdoms. During the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) Jianshui (Lin An) became an important military outpost which resulted in the development of the contemporary town. The surrounding hills are home of the Dai, Hui and Yi ethnic groups.

We stay overnight at the magnificent and well preserved former residence of the once wealthy an influential Zhu family.


Day 10: Jianshui 每 Tuan Shan 每 Kunming (B,L) (190km / ca 4.5 hrs)

After Breakfast we visitit the recently renovated Confucius Temple „Wen Miao※. The "Wen Miao" of Jianshui is the third largest Confucius Temple in China and construction started around 1285. There is a small lake (※the sea of knowledge§) within the compound which, during the early summer months, is full of beautiful, blooming Lotus flowers. We also visit the ※Westgate§ from the late Ming Dynasty. Continue to the traditional Zhuang-Village of Tuanshan with its unique and well preserved architecture. On the way you also visit the "Twin Dragon Bridge", an ancient stone bridge from the Qing Dynasty. Lunch in Jianshui. In the afternoon we drive to Kunming. On the way stop a Xingmeng, a village inhabited by a Mongol minority left behind by Khengis Khans army over 700 years ago. We reach Kunming in the late afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Kunming.


Day 11: Kunming 每 Stone Forest 每 Kunming (B,L)

In the morning we visit the Green Lake Park where we take a stroll through the busy Park, a popular gathering point for the local population, to see the locals engaged in their morning workouts, practice Tai Chi, show off their birds and enjoy social dancing. Continue to the Stone Forrest near Lunan, where years of rain and erosion left behind a bizarre and impressive landscape of limestone pillars which, with a little imagination, indeed resembles a forest. We have a walk through the maze of paths and walkways leading through this natural wonderland and learn more about the Sani people, an ethnic minority populating the area. Drive back to Kunming.

Overnight in Kunming.


Day 12: Kunming Departure(B)

Transfer to the airport or train station for departure.


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