landscape of hidden laos

Day 1

Plain of Jars - Sam Neua

This morning, you’ll be collected from your hotel in Phonsovan by minibus and begin the breezy, beautiful journey to Sam Neua, the capital of Houaphan province and one of the least-visited provinces in Laos. The route is packed with dramatic beauty and often described as “a journey of a million turns”. Late in the afternoon, you’ll arrive in Sam Neua and spend the night in a simple guest house.

Sam Neua - Mai Chau

Day 2

Sam Neua - Mai Chau

Today, you’ll be collected from your hotel and transferred to Viengxai, a narrow valley peppered with spectacular limestone peaks and caves. With an audio guide, you’ll visit the cave of Kaysone Phomvihane, one of the Pathet Lao leaders who later became the first prime minister of Lao PDR. During the war, these caves were the headquarters of the Pathet Lao leaders and – incredibly – around 23,000 of their followers.

Locals cycle in Mai Chau, Laos

Afterwards, you’ll continue to the border at Na Meo. Once you’ve crossed over the border, your Vietnamese guide will be waiting on the other side. You will need a Vietnam visa in your passport already as no visa on arrival facility is available at this crossing. You’ll travel through Thanh Hoa province, an isolated region scattered with Muong villages, tumbling rice terraces and limestone peaks. Eventually, you’ll arrive at your homestay in Mai Chau, where you’ll sleep in a traditional stilted house for 2 nights.

girls smiling

Day 3

Mai Chau

After breakfast, you’ll hop on the back of a motorbike and be whisked off to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, an area of outstanding beauty with rich forest, karst mountains and cascading rice terraces. You’ll stop for lunch at a local Hang village before trekking through the nature reserve. During the trek, you’ll visit a handful of minority villages before returning to Mai Chau.

Vietnam locals smiling with bicycles and fruit for sale

Day 4

Mai Chau – Hanoi

This morning you will visit remote villages with your guide to learn more about their customs and culture. You’ll return to your homestay for lunch before beginning the minibus journey to Hanoi, stopping along the way to stretch your legs and buy some local snacks. You’ll arrive in the late afternoon and continue your adventure in Vietnam.

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A peek at your accommodation

roosts on the floor
exterior of the lodge
room of accommodation

Combine this trip with...

Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

Plain of Jars

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Xin Chao Hanoi!

3 days / 2 nights (flexible)


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