If you have 10 days in Laos, what are you going to do? Perfect Itineraries & Travel Guide

Laos, a gem in Southeast Asia, is often overlooked by travelers, but is it worth spending 10 days in Laos full of fascinating experiences? From ancient temples and vibrant markets to stunning landscapes and serene rivers, this guide will help you make the most of your time in Laos.

Is 10 Days Too Much for Laos?

In fact, 10 days is a perfect duration that allows you to comfortably explore the highlights of this captivating Southeast Asian country. Laos has a slower pace of life compared to its neighboring countries, and 10 days will allow you to immerse yourself in the unique culture, stunning natural landscapes, and rich history without feeling rushed.

The rural of Laos
You can totally enjoy the tranquil of Laos in 10 days

During your 10 days in Laos, you can expect to:

  • Explore the stunning tribal villages and trekking routes of Northern Laos
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride along the picturesque Nam Ou River
  • Immerse yourself in the captivating UNESCO town of Luang Prabang
  • Witness the early morning alms-giving ceremony with Buddhist monks
  • Interact with elephants at a responsible sanctuary, including bathing them
  • Discover the serene and mystical Konglor Caves in Khammouane Province
  • Explore the enigmatic Plain of Jars archaeological site in Xieng Khouang
  • Indulge in the flavorful local cuisine, coffee, and rice whiskey

What to Do for Laos in 10 Days? – Perfect Itineraries

From rustic villages with unique boat trips through tranquil Laos to the vibrant UNESCO town named Luang Prabang, 10 days will be perfect for you to explore all the highlights of Laos with comfortable and full experiences. Here is our suggested itinerary for Laos in 10 days with the country’s highlights:

Day 1: Arrive China (Boten) – Udomxay

Your journey begins with an arrival at the Mohan (China) – Boten (Laos) border around 8:30 am. After crossing into Laos, you’ll be welcomed by your guide and transferred to Udomxay, enjoying the scenic drive along the way.

  • Play petanque (French ball game) at a local beer shop near the airport for a truly local experience
  • Dinner at a local restaurant featuring sinh dat meal to dine like a local
  • Overnight in Udomxay

Day 2: Udomxay – Muang La Trek

Today is a Khmu Trekking Tour in La District via Tanong Po, meeting at 8 am to gather snacks for a picnic lunch. Then, let’s drive to Muang La, visiting Samakkhixay Village before trekking up the valley, passing rice fields to Sing Kham Buddha Cave. Picnic lunch along the trek.

In the afternoon, continue trekking to Khmu Village Ban Tanong Po to visit villagers and learn about traditional cooking. Dinner with a local family and overnight in Muang La.

Immerse in the rural of Muang La
Immerse in the rural of Muang La (Image: Muang La Lodge)

Day 3: Muang La – Muang Khua

Day 3 is the trek to Luang Cave before returning to Tanong Po village. After lunch, trek to Samakeexai village and take a tuk-tuk to Oudomxay Town, ending the trek around 4 pm. Drive to Muang Khua for dinner at a local restaurant and an overnight stay.

Day 4: Muang Khua – Muang Ngoi

After breakfast, embark on a cruise down the Nam Ou River to Muang Ngoi, admiring the scenic beauty along the way (wear warm clothes as it may be cold on the river). Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and have lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the day is free to explore the peaceful surroundings before dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Muang Ngoi.

Day 5: Muang Ngoi Trek – Ban Kioukhan

This trekking tour takes you from Muang Ngoi to ethnic villages for an authentic rural life experience. The mountain trail provides opportunities to admire unspoiled nature, especially the mountain capes along Nam Ou River.

  • Morning: Trek uphill (1200m, 4-5 hours) to Ban Kioukhan, a Khmu ethnic village
  • Stop at Tham Kaang cave, a former shelter during the Indochina War, along the way
  • Picturesque mountain views
  • Picnic lunch
  • Explore the working and living conditions in Ban Kioukhan
  • Dinner and overnight in villagers’ homes

Day 6: Ban Kioukhan Trek – Muang Ngoi – Nong Kiau

Begin with breakfast at village homes, then trek downhill through natural surroundings to Ban Hadsapheai village (4-5 hours). Continue with a boat ride down Nam Ou River to Muang Ngoi, taking in scenic rock cliffs and rainforest views.

Have lunch in Muang Ngoi before a short boat ride to Nong Kiau. Upon arrival, check in and enjoy a 1-hour traditional Lao massage. Dinner at the hotel restaurant and overnight in Nong Kiau

Day 7: Nong Kiau – Luang Prabang

Enjoy a relaxed morning visit in the beautiful small town of Nong Kiau before cruising down to Luang Prabang. Lunch is served on board, with a visit to the famous Pak Ou Caves en route.

Arrive in Luang Prabang before sunset and visit Vat Long Khoun and Vat Chomphet temples. An optional tea tasting on the boat (5 tea varieties) is available. Dinner at Tamnak Lao restaurant and overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 8: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si

Today begins with a guided city tour of Wat Sen, the Royal Palace (now the National Museum), and Wat Mai. Lunch is at a local restaurant, followed by visits to ethnic minority villages including Ban Ouay (Hmong), Ban Ou (Laoloum), and Ban Thapene (Khmu).

Continue to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall to swim in turquoise pools and explore nature trails before returning to Luang Prabang late afternoon. Dinner at Roots & Leaves restaurant features a Lao traditional dance performance. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

The incredible Kuang Si Waterfall (Image: MapTrotting)

Day 9: “Inside the Hearts of Elephants” Tour

On this day, for those interested, start early attending the almsgiving procession at 5:30 am, followed by a visit to the fresh market before breakfast at your hotel (optional French breakfast available).

After that, let’s come to Xieng Lom Village for the full-day “Inside the Hearts of Elephants” tour. Here, you’ll feed and interact with the elephants, observe them bathing in Nam Khan River, then take a 2-hour walk through traditional Lao gardens to Huay Nok stream, walking alongside the elephants and crossing the stream.

Enjoy a picnic lunch in a forest clearing before visiting Tad Kuang Song Waterfall. Learn about elephant communication from mahouts and experience evening feeding with the elephants. Dinner at House Bar & Restaurant and overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 10: Luang Prabang

Enjoy free time at leisure in Luang Prabang before your airport transfer for your departing flight.

If see interest in the suggested itinerary above, Indochina Voyages also has the same Laos tour, which is named Laos Discovery 10 days, or else you can customize your own journey with our passionate local travel experts.

Moreover, Indochina Voyages also has similar suggestions for your Laos tour in 10 days for your reference:

elephant journey in Laos

The Elephant Journey 10 Days

Chiang Rai – Thaxoang – Hongsa – Sayabuli – Luang Prabang

  • Cultural Treks: Visit tribes and elephant camps.
  • Scenic Boat Ride: Houay Xai to Pakbeng.
  • Unique Moments: Alms ceremony and elephant bathing

>> View details

the unseen Laos

The Unseen Laos 10 days

Tay Trang – Muang Khua – Houy Yang – Seng Luang – Kung Ha – Luang Prabang

  • Cultural Treks: Visit northern Laos tribes and rustic villages.
  • Scenic Adventures: Boat ride on Nam Ou; explore Luang Prabang.
  • Unique Experiences: Alms ceremony and elephant bathing.

>> View details

Before You Go

Before embarking on your Laos adventure, here are some helpful travel information you should know:

Currency and Money matter

The official currency of Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK). While major cities have ATMs and accept credit cards, it’s advisable to carry cash, especially in rural areas. US dollars are also widely accepted.

FYI: Updated to 2024, US $1 = 21.575 LAK

Language and Communication

The official language is Lao, but English is commonly spoken in tourist areas. Learning a few basic phrases in Lao can be helpful and appreciated by locals.

Shopping and Bargaining

Markets and street vendors are great places to shop for souvenirs. Bargaining is common, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices politely.

Local Ride-Hailing Service & Available Transportation

In major cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang, you can use ride-hailing apps such as LOCA for convenient transportation. Tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are also widely available and are a fun way to get around. For longer distances, consider buses, minivans, or domestic flights.

Sim Card & Internet

Staying connected in Laos is easy with a local SIM card. You can purchase a SIM card at the airport or in major cities from providers like Unitel, Lao Telecom, and Beeline. Most offer affordable data packages, ensuring you have internet access throughout your trip. Wi-Fi is also available in most hotels, cafes, and restaurants.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Laos is during the dry season, from November to April when the weather is cooler and more pleasant. The wet season runs from May to October and brings heavy rains, particularly in the southern regions. However, the landscapes are lush and green during this time, making it a beautiful season to visit if you don’t mind occasional showers.

By following this travel guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your 10 days in Laos, experiencing the rich culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality that this enchanting country has to offer. Safe travels!

Maybe you’ll want to read more:

Thuy Dang – From Indochina Voyages Team

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