Laos Itinerary: How to Spend 10 Days in Laos?

Embarking on a 10-day adventure in Laos offers an enriching dive into the heart of Southeast Asia. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Laos remains one of the most enchanting destinations in the region. From the spiritual serenity of Luang Prabang and the vibrant streets of Vientiane to the adrenaline-fueled adventures in Vang Vieng and the tranquil islands of Si Phan Don, this itinerary is designed to showcase the diversity and beauty of Laos. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast or nature lover, spending 10 days in Laos will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation of its timeless charm.

Why Visit Laos in 10 Days?

Visiting Laos in 10 days provides a perfect window to deeply explore and appreciate the unique charm and serene beauty of this lesser-known gem in Southeast Asia.

Laos is a land where the clocks tick slower and the people greet you with warmth, offering a break from the hustle of more tourist-heavy destinations. With 10 days in Laos, you can immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance of Luang Prabang, witnessing saffron-robed monks collecting alms at sunrise, an experience that epitomizes the country’s deep Buddhist roots. The ancient temples and the serene Mekong River set a backdrop for truly peaceful reflections. Adventure seekers can explore the lush landscapes of Vang Vieng and trek through remote hill tribe villages, while the 4000 Islands offer a stunning retreat to nature, with opportunities to spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

Best Time to Visit Laos

Laos Weather

Laos Weather

The best time to visit Laos is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. During these months, the weather is predominantly dry and cool, making it ideal for exploring the outdoor attractions and engaging in activities like trekking and river cruises. Early in the dry season, particularly November and December, the temperatures are more comfortable, and the landscape remains lush and green, a result of the preceding monsoon rains.

As the season progresses, temperatures start to rise, peaking around April, but the increase in heat can be a good opportunity to explore the highlands where the climate remains cooler. Additionally, visiting Laos during this period allows travelers to experience several vibrant festivals, including the Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) in April, which is marked by water festivals, parades, and ceremonies across the country. This season combines the best weather conditions and cultural experiences, offering visitors a rich and enjoyable travel experience.

>>> You may also like: Laos Weather: When is the Best Time to Visit Laos?

Best Places to Visit in Laos in 10 Days

Luang Prabang

Morning Alms Giving in Luang Prabang

Morning Alms Giving in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom, is a mesmerizing blend of tranquil spirituality and stunning natural beauty, nestled at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its well-preserved architectural, religious, and cultural heritage, offering an atmosphere that feels somewhat paused in time.

Things to Do:

  • Witness the Alms Giving Ceremony: Experience the profound spiritual ritual of saffron-robed monks collecting alms at dawn.
  • Explore the Royal Palace Museum: Dive into the history and artifacts that paint a picture of Laos’s royal past.
  • Visit the Kuang Si Falls: A breathtakingly beautiful series of turquoise waterfalls that you can swim in and explore.
  • Climb Mount Phousi: For panoramic views of the city and a stunning sunset.

Must-Try Delicacies:

  • Khao Soi: This local noodle dish is distinct from the Thai version, featuring a hearty, spicy broth made with minced pork or buffalo meat.
  • Laap: A traditional Lao salad made with minced meat, fish sauce, lime juice, roasted ground rice, and fresh herbs, offering a burst of fresh flavors.
  • Sticky Rice: Often served with most meals and perfect for pairing with the region’s dips and laaps.

Visiting Luang Prabang is not just a journey through a physical landscape, but a passage through a rich tapestry of cultural heritage, backed by the warm hospitality of its people.

Vientiane

Patuxay, Vientiane

Patuxai Victory Monument, Vientiane

Vientiane, the serene capital of Laos, stands out with its laid-back charm and French-colonial elegance nestled alongside the majestic Mekong River. This city combines a relaxed atmosphere with a rich tapestry of cultural and historical landmarks, making it a unique urban escape in Southeast Asia.

Things to Do:

  • Visit the Patuxai Victory Monument: Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city, reminiscent of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe.
  • Explore That Luang: The iconic golden stupa, which is a national symbol of Laos, offers insights into the country’s spiritual and architectural heritage.
  • Stroll Along the Mekong Riverside: Perfect for evening walks, where you can enjoy night markets and sample local street food.
  • Haw Phra Kaew: Once a temple to house the Emerald Buddha, now a museum of religious art.

Must-Try Delicacies:

  • Larb: Often considered the national dish, made from minced meat seasoned with lime juice, chili, and aromatic herbs.
  • Lao Sausage: Savory and spicy, these sausages are a staple, flavored with lemongrass, garlic, and chilies.
  • Beerlao: No visit is complete without trying the national beer, a perfect complement to spicy Lao cuisine.

Pakse

Pakse, Laos

Pakse, Laos

Pakse, the capital of Champasak Province, serves as a gateway to southern Laos and is an essential stop for adventurers looking to explore the region’s ancient ruins and natural wonders.

Things to Do:

  • Wat Phou: An ancient Khmer temple complex offering a blend of historical architecture and stunning natural scenery.
  • Bolaven Plateau: Known for its cool climate, stunning waterfalls, and coffee plantations, it’s perfect for trekking and exploring rural life.
  • Champasak Cultural Landscape: Including the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Phou, this area is rich with history and lush landscapes.
  • Mekong River Cruise: A relaxing way to see the local wildlife and visit isolated island communities.

Must-Try Delicacies:

  • Coffee: The Bolaven Plateau’s high-altitude coffee is a must-try, known for its strong and robust flavor.
  • Khao Piak Sen: A comforting Lao noodle soup typically made with chicken or beef, perfect for breakfast.
  • Papaya Salad: Made with fresh green papaya, tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and lime, it offers a tangy and spicy flavor profile.

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng Lagoons

Vang Vieng Lagoons

Vang Vieng is a vibrant town in Laos, nestled in an idyllic landscape of craggy limestone mountains and serene rivers. Once known for its backpacker party scene, Vang Vieng has transformed into a hub for outdoor activities and eco-tourism, offering breathtaking views and adventurous experiences in the heart of nature.

Things to Do:

  • River Tubing: Float down the Nam Song River, enjoying the slow pace and stunning scenery – a signature Vang Vieng experience.
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride: Take to the skies at sunrise or sunset for unparalleled views of the limestone karsts and green valleys.
  • Explore the Caves: Visit Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon for a mix of adventure and relaxation, with opportunities to swim in crystal-clear waters.
  • Kayaking and Trekking: Engage in active pursuits along the river and through the surrounding landscape, perfect for nature lovers.

Must-Try Delicacies:

  • Laap: A traditional Lao meat salad that is considered a staple in Vang Vieng, made from minced meat mixed with lime juice, fish sauce, mint, and spices.
  • Barbecue Fish: Grilled river fish, often seasoned with local herbs and served with sticky rice, is a simple yet delicious local meal.
  • Sticky Rice with Mango: A sweet treat made with locally grown mangoes, especially refreshing after a day of outdoor activities.

Vang Vieng offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and tranquility, making it an essential destination for those looking to explore Laos beyond its urban centers. Whether you’re up for thrilling adventures or just want to unwind amidst stunning landscapes, Vang Vieng has something for everyone.

Suggested Itinerary for 10 Days in Laos

Itinerary in Brief

Classic package tour in Laos 10 days

Day 1: Arrive in Luang Prabang

Day 2: Day tour to Pak Ou Caves

Day 3: Explore Khouang Si Waterfalls

Day 4: Transfer to Xieng Khouang

Day 5: Transfer to Vientiane

Day 6: Vientiane city tour

Day 7: Transfer to Don Khone Island, en route stop in Pakse

Day 8: Explore Don Khone Island

Day 9: Transfer to Pakse via Tadlo

Day 10: Depart Pakse.

Day 1 – 3: Luang Prabang

On the first 3 days of your 10 days in Laos, you will be immersed in the rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty of Luang Prabang. The journey begins with an exploration of historical temples and a sunset view from Mount Phousi, offering panoramic vistas over the city and Mekong River. Day two invites guests on a scenic cruise to the spiritually significant Pak Ou Caves, adorned with thousands of Buddha statues, and includes stops at local artisan villages. The adventure continues on the third day with a visit to the serene Khouangsi Waterfall and an engaging experience at the Living Land Farm, where visitors can participate in traditional Laotian farming practices.

This introduction to Luang Prabang is designed to blend cultural insights, historical exploration, and natural wonders, providing a profound connection to Laos’s heritage and landscape.

Day 4: Xieng Khouang

Plain of Jars

Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang

This Laos 10-day tour will then take you to Xieng Khouang – the region renowned for the Plain of Jars, an archaeological marvel featuring hundreds of large stone jars scattered across several sites. These mysterious artifacts, some dating back to the Iron Age, are believed to have been used for burial practices.

In addition to the Plain of Jars, visitors can explore the town of Phonsavan, which provides insights into the local culture and the impact of recent history, particularly regarding the Secret War. The MAG UXO Visitor Centre in Phonsavan is a crucial visit, providing educational displays about the unexploded ordnance in the area, a legacy of the extensive bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War era.

The region’s natural beauty is highlighted by its rolling hills and lush landscapes, making Xieng Khouang a unique blend of history, culture, and nature. This day promises an enriching experience that deepens the understanding of Laos’s complex history and vibrant present.

Day 5 – 6: Vientiane

Days five and six in Vientiane offer a deep dive into the cultural and historical richness of Laos’s charming capital. As the political and economic center, Vientiane is home to a mix of beautiful Buddhist temples, colonial architecture, and peaceful riverside ambiance.

Buddha Park

Buddha Park in Vientiane

Highlights in Vientiane include:

  • Pha That Luang (Great Stupa): This gold-covered large Buddhist stupa is regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol. Visitors can admire its stunning architecture and learn about its significance in Lao culture.
  • Patuxai Victory Monument: Often referred to as Laos’ own Arc de Triomphe, this monument offers panoramic views of the city from its top. The detailed Laotian design, incorporating mythological creatures and Buddhist symbolism, makes it a fascinating stop.
  • COPE Visitor Centre: This educational center provides insights into the impact of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the people of Laos, ongoing recovery efforts, and the history of the Secret War.
  • Wat Si Saket: The oldest temple still standing in Vientiane, Wat Si Saket is famous for its cloister wall housing thousands of tiny Buddha images and rows of seated Buddhas that date from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
  • Buddha Park: Although a bit outside of the city, this park features a collection of whimsical but impressive Buddhist and Hindu statues set in a meadow by the Mekong River. It’s a surreal landscape that offers unique photo opportunities and a glimpse into the religious iconography.

These two days in Vientiane allow for both exploration of significant cultural sites and relaxation along the scenic riverbank, offering a well-rounded experience of Lao urban life. If you don’t want to travel at a rushed pace like this, you can remove Xieng Khouang from your itinerary to make up 3 days in Vientiane for a more leisurely experience.

Day 7 – 10: Pakse & Don Khone Island

The last 4 days of your 10 days in Laos should be spent exploring the enchanting southern regions of Laos, particularly Pakse, and the idyllic Don Khone Island. In Pakse, you can immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of the Bolaven Plateau, renowned for its exquisite coffee plantations and breathtaking waterfalls. It’s an opportunity to delve into agricultural tours and savor some of the world’s finest coffee right from the source.

Bolaven Plateau Waterfalls

Bolaven Plateau Waterfalls

Moving to the serene 4000 Islands, you’ll relax on Don Khone Island, where life moves at a gentle pace. Here, the days can be spent biking through tranquil village paths, enjoying the rustic scenery, and perhaps even spotting the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. The combination of rich natural beauty, slow-paced rural life, and the soft murmur of the Mekong makes this part of the tour a perfect retreat.

As the tour wraps up, there’s ample time for reflection and leisure, allowing you to absorb the profound beauty and calm of Laos before your departure. This segment of the trip not only highlights the natural and cultural diversity of Laos but also provides a peaceful conclusion to a memorable adventure.

>>> For the comprehensive tour itinerary, please check our Classic Package Tour in Laos 10 Days.

Spending 10 days in Laos offers an unforgettable adventure into the heart of Southeast Asia. From the historical depths of Luang Prabang’s ancient temples to the vibrant streets of Vientiane, and the serene natural beauty of the Bolaven Plateau and the 4000 Islands, each destination presents a unique facet of Laos’s enchanting allure. This journey not only connects travelers with the country’s profound spiritual traditions and breathtaking natural settings but also offers a deeper appreciation of its peaceful lifestyle and warm hospitality. As the journey concludes, the memories of Laos’s timeless charm and the tranquility of its landscapes promise to linger, inviting a return to its welcoming embrace.

Planning your own trip to Laos in the upcoming time, don’t forget to check out our wonderful Laos tours for more suggestions. Or, contact us right now for a tailor-made tour program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Laos is considered one of the cheapest countries to visit in Southeast Asia. The cost of travel in Laos can be quite low, with options for budget accommodations, local meals, and public transportation that are reasonably priced. Activities and entry fees to major tourist attractions are also relatively inexpensive. However, costs can vary depending on your travel style, with luxury options available that can make your trip more expensive.


Tourist visa is required for visitors to Laos, except those from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Laos is considered safe for solo travelers, thanks to its friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere. However, like any travel destination, it’s important to take standard safety precautions such as protecting personal belongings and avoiding isolated areas late at night.


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Alice Pham

Hello, I'm Alice Pham - a travel blogger at IDC Travel. I have traveled to almost places in Vietnam and gained numerous useful experiences. I'm here willing to help you plan the most wonderful trip to our stunning S-shaped country.

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