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Nam Ou all the way to Luang Prabang

Days: 4
Location: Laos
Activities: Longboats, hiking, village stays.

BRIEFLY
This is a continuation of the "Pristine Beauty in Laos' Northern Wedge".  On the final day of that trip, Day 8, instead of returning to Vientiane by air, we return to our take-out at Hatsa and continue down the Ou River to Luang Prabang.  Instead of inflatables, however, we'll ride longboats, pausing frequently to stretch our legs with hikes and visits to anything that interests us along the way.


ITINERARY
Day 8, Saturday:  Phongsaly - Village
After breakfast in Pongsaly and a wander through the town and markets, we drive back to Hatsaa.  We'll board motorized longboats for a journey through forests and hills.  We stop for a picnic lunch and later in the afternoon, hike to a Lao Theung or Khum village.  We overnight in a village, dining on Lao food.

Day 9, Sunday:  Longtail ride and hike or work with villagers
After a village breakfast, we continue downriver, passing Lao Loum (lowland Lao) villages and beautiful forest.  We'll hike for two hours somewhere along the way.  Picnic lunch and then continue to Muang Khua where most up-down cargo boats moor.  We'll talk with the boatmen about their lives and the river.  Sleep in the village.

Day 10, Monday:  Muang Khua - Muang Ngoi
Continue our exploration of Muang Khua, then travel downstream for 5-6 hours through limestone mountains, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way.  Late afternoon, we arrive in Muang Ngoi.  After exploring the town, we have dinner and spend the night at a guesthouse.

Day 11, Tuesday:  Muang Ngoi - Resort
We climb to the summit of Wat Phou Xai for dawn photos.  After breakfast, we continue downriver, stopping at a village for lunch.  We arrive early afternoon at a riverside resort and spend the afternoon relaxing.  Dinner and overnight at the resort.

Day 12, Wednesday:  Resort - Luang Prabang
Breakfast and another a leisurely morning.  Just before lunch, we cruise downriver to the river's confluence with the Mekong.  Here we explore the famed Pak Ou caves and their hundreds of Buddha images left by faithful boatmen.  After lunch on the riverbank in full view of the Caves and the tall limestone cliffs in which they sit, we complete the journey down the Mekong, arriving in the old royal capital of Luang Prabang.

For more information and prices, e-mail +662 653 9712 and +6681 450 5340 noting your country of departure.

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