The Elephant Journey 10 Days
4.4 8


Walking and bathing with elephants will get you close to them and be the most inviting scene and for any Laos holiday dreamers. Hence we create this trip for those who love these amicable friends in Laos’ land. This trip is the most asked trip of our Laos tour packages and it can be an unforgettable experience for your friends and family.

  • See the best tribes of Laos, who mostly nested their living in western Laos
  • Trek through the stunning villages and visit elephant camps
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride from Houay Xai to Pakbeng
  • Feel the charms and lures of the UNESCO town named Luang Prabang
  • Surprise with early alms ceremony with Buddhist monks procession.
  • Experience your time with Elephants including playing and bathing with.


Arrival in the morning in Chiang Rai, welcome by your guide and transfer to your lodge in Ban Kiukarn village. Visit the village inhabited by Hmong & Lahu tribes. These ethnic groups are quite important in the region and in the Golden Triangle sector. In the afternoon, first experience with Hmong community. Overnight in the lodge.

Meal: Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide

day 1 The Elephant Journey 11 Days


Breakfast at the lodge and then a short drive will lead you to the border. Your guide will help you to cross the border (by pirogue if the bridge is not yet opened). Once in Laos, your guide will help you to enter the country and you will reach your boat for a cruise down on the Mekong towards Pakbeng (departure must be not later than 9am, the border is opening at 8am). Lunch will be served on board. Option: in the afternoon, Lao teas degustation session during the cruise. Arrival in the late afternoon in Pakbeng, welcome drinks and installation in rooms. Free time at leisure for the rest of the day and the dinner will be served at the restaurant of the lodge. Overnight in the lodge

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide


Breakfast is in the lodge. Then, a short trek into the surroundings of the lodge will afford you a first immersion into real rural Laos. Then cruise downstream the Mekong towards Thaxoang (around 1 hour) with some stops along the way to visit hill tribe villages. Once in Thaxoang, we will embark into our vehicle for 45 minutes to one-hour drive to Hongsa. Lunch will be served on arrival in Hongsa and then check in in your guesthouse. In the afternoon, we will meet elephants with their mahout in the village of Ban Viengkheo. You will learn more about their duties either in the tourism industry or in logging activities. A 2.5 hours elephant ride in Viengkheo (2 persons per elephant) or into the jungle. Return to Hongsa for your evening. Dinner is in a local restaurant. Overnight in Hongsa.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide

visit hill tribes villages

Day 04: HONGSA

Breakfast at your hotel. At 8 am, a guide comes to pick you up. After 2-hour drive along with a bumpy, dirt road (note that the trip can only do by 4WD in conditions that may be quite rough) that will lead to Khamu village where we will meet the local guide that will show us 1 to 3 elephants camps located around this village. Then, it will be a track to find the elephants and their mahout to find them working in the forest for logging. The walk can be slippery and steep but always rewarding. Lunch is in the village or into a camp with the mahout. Then, we will see how mahouts are working with their animals, how they bring logs down steep slopes, pull the logs with their head into the right position to move them into an easier way to push them into the stream and we will follow the elephant returning back to their village along the river and you might be lucky to see some elephant taking their evening bath. Once back in the village, a baci ceremony will be prepared by the villagers to welcome you. At 4 pm, it will be time to leave the village to return to Hongsa. Dinner around a sindat: a traditional Laos barbecue where you grilled your own sliced meat over a steel dome while boiling your broth in which you add your own ingredients like spices, vegetables, vermicelli, etc. Overnight in Hongsa.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide



Breakfast is in your hotel. Drive to Sayabuli. Lunch is by arrival time and we will continue to the Elephant Conservation Center where we will access by using a boat on the Nam Tien Lake. At the camp, we check in at your bungalow (basic). Our visit to the center will start with the unique clinic for elephants in Laos and meet the veterinarians to learn about their duties and the way of taking care of the animals. To deepen our skills, we will go to the museum of the elephant and the mahout school where some people are trained to care for their elephants and live with them. Enjoy your first interaction with elephants by learning some basic commands to control your elephants and complete your first course by walking with elephants around the yard of the center. The next step will be to witness the unique bond between the mahout and the elephant for the bath and then walk into the nearby forest to take the elephant back to its resting area for the night and the rest of the day. End your day by relaxing on the shore of the lake before dinner and going to your bungalow for the night.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide



Breakfast is at the center (western food). After a short debriefing on safety, time to join the elephants for their daily exercises and one hour easy walk in the tropical forest. Walk with the elephant while learning with your guide how Laotian use plants & trees in the jungle. You are now ready to share some unique moments with your animals and we will care of their diet and under professional guidance, you will feed them and learn with the help and your mahout & guides the traditional way to sit on the neck of the elephant. Lunch will be served in the restaurant of the center. Visit the elephant nursery, located in the forest where the baby elephants are learning how to sustain themselves under the control of their mum. While looking at them, discover more on the reproduction program set up by the NGO “ElephantAsia” to reduce the decline of the elephant in Laos. Once this is done, it will be time to escort the elephants to their place for the evening and to practice after your training. In the evening, a boat trip on the lake will be a nice instant to catch the sunset over the islands while sipping a fresh drink with snacks. Dinner and overnight in the center

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide

The Elephant Journey Laos
The Elephant Journey Laos


Breakfast is at the center (western food). Half-day trekking through the forest to discover a sacred Buddha footprint and your guide will teach you about local customs, and traditions. Then, it will be time to leave the camp, jump onto the boat to cross the lake and return to Sayabuli where we will enjoy lunch. A four-hour drive will lead you to Luang Prabang. On arrival in the town, we climb up Mount Phousy to enjoy a unique panoramic view over the region of Luang Prabang before going to your hotel for check-in. Dinner on your own and we invite you to stroll through the night market that takes place every evening in some streets of the town and is probably the best place to attend to find souvenirs or gifts to bring back home. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Tour guide: English speaking guide



Breakfast is at your hotel. After breakfast, we enjoy a short guided tour seeing the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Royal Palace now transformed into the National Museum (closed on Tuesday). Our stroll will also lead us at Wat Mai and the Heritage House. Lunch is served in a local restaurant. We continue our excursion toward Kuangsi Waterfall, en route, we visit local villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Hmong Village, Ban Ou, Laoloum Village and Ban Thapene, Khmu Village, then drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails. The Kuangsi Waterfall setting really illustrates paradise. We return to Luang Prabang by late afternoon and continue to Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for silk hand-weaving and for traditional Saa Papermaking. Once back in town, visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center to increase your skills on ethnic groups in Laos. Dinner will be served at Roots & Leaves restaurant, settled into a yard with a beautiful flowered pond while watching traditional performances.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide



An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. Return to your hotel for breakfast by passing by the fresh market. Visit of Wat Xieng Thong before embarking on a slow boat to cruise up the Mekong to Pak Ou Caves. Once in Pak Ou, we will stop to visit the local caves that are a famous pilgrimage place for locals, especially at the Lao New Year period. The caves are crammed with hundreds of Buddha images. Lunch is at Mae Chan local restaurant with great views over the Mekong. Free afternoon will be at leisure. Option: In the afternoon half-day dyeing class: an introduction to all the dye sources. The student prepares 3 dye sources and dyes silk yarns. Take home the results. Around 1700, time to join some petanque games and drinks at Langbieng Saylom with locals

Overnight is in Luang Prabang.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour guide: English speaking guide



Breakfast is at your hotel and free time at leisure till your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. End of services.

Meal: Breakfast
Tour guide: N/A



Category Price valid from Jan 1st – Mar 31st & Oct 1st – Dec 31st,2023 (per person in US dollar)
2 people 3 – 4 people 5 – 6 people 7 – 8 people Single supplement
Standard $2,623  $2,142  $1,818  $1,711  $289 


Category Price valid from Apr 1st – Sep 30th, 2023 (per person in US dollar)
2 people 3 – 4 people 5 – 6 people 7 – 8 people Single supplement
Standard $2,540  $2,060  $1,735  $1,628  $237 




Hotel Category


Chiang Rai




Pakbeng Lodge



Jumbo GH or similar



Elephant Conservation Center

Basic Bungalow (sharing bathroom)

Luang Prabang

Villa Saykham


Include & Exclude


  • Accommodation at selected hotels, based on twin/ double occupancy with daily breakfast. Single occupancy must add the supplement single
  • Ground transportation in private A/C vehicle
  • Boat cruise as per mentioned in the program
  • Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • English speaking local guide
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
  • All permissions and local taxes
  • Bottle of water & tissue during the transfer


  • Visas and stamps in Laos: visa available at the border (30 US$ to 45 US$ per person depending on nationality, + one passport sized picture + overtime fees; passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond travelling dates. Subject to change without prior notice from local authorities).
  • Domestics and International flights and taxes.
  • International flights
  • Drinks, tips, personal expenses (such as internet, laundry, but not limited to)
  • Travel insurances
  • Banking fees
  • Any other services, meals not mentioned in the proposal
  • Optional tours in the itinerary are subject to surcharge
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Indochina Voyages
  • Additional charges from hotel during its peak season

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