How to Spend 9 Days in Laos? Best Itineraries Revealed

Discover the enchanting beauty of Laos in a comprehensive 9-day adventure, perfectly designed to showcase the best this hidden Southeast Asian gem has to offer. This article on how to spend 9 days in Laos is meticulously crafted to help you immerse yourself in the country’s rich tapestry of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. From the spiritual serenity of Luang Prabang’s ancient temples to the vibrant streets of Vientiane and the untouched beauty of rural landscapes, each day unfolds a new chapter of discovery.

Best Places to Visit in Laos& How Many Days to Spend There?

Luang Prabang (3-4 Days)

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Nestled in the mountainous north of Laos, Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site that exudes a serene and timeless charm. This former royal capital is renowned for its well-preserved architectural, religious, and cultural heritage, blending traditional Lao and European colonial styles. Visitors are drawn to its golden-roofed temples, old monasteries, and the famous alms-giving ceremony at dawn, where saffron-robed monks collect offerings from locals. The town is also a gateway to natural wonders like the Kuang Si Falls, a breathtaking multi-tiered waterfall. For a deeper cultural experience, the night markets offer exquisite local crafts and cuisines.

Ideally, you should spend 3-4 days in Luang Prabang to fully absorb its tranquil atmosphere and explore nearby natural attractions.

Vientiane (2-3 Days)

Vientiane

Vientiane

As the capital of Laos, Vientiane stands out with its laid-back charm, French-colonial architecture, and Buddhist temples. The city is home to significant landmarks such as Pha That Luang, a gold-covered Buddhist stupa, and Patuxay Monument, Laos’s version of the Arc de Triomphe. Visitors can enjoy strolls along the Mekong Riverfront, explore vibrant markets, and savor the local cuisine, which is a blend of Lao and French flavors. The Buddha Park, with its collection of over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues, is a short drive from the city and offers a unique cultural experience.

Vientiane can be thoroughly explored in 2-3 days, making it perfect for a short, culturally rich getaway. Wondering why? Read our article on how to spend 3 days in Vientiane.

Vang Vieng (2-3 Days)

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng

Once known as a backpacker’s haven, Vang Vieng has transformed into a destination for eco-adventures and relaxation. Situated about 4 hours north of Vientiane, this small town is set against a backdrop of stunning limestone karsts and the meandering Nam Song River. Vang Vieng is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like kayaking, caving, rock climbing, and hot air ballooning. The Blue Lagoon and Tham Phu Kham Cave are must-visit spots for their crystal-clear waters and stunning views. The town has also developed a range of accommodation options, from hostels to luxury resorts to accommodate travelers.

Generally, 2 to 3 days in Vang Vieng will provide ample time to enjoy both the adrenaline-pumping activities and the peaceful natural scenery.

Pakse

Pakse

Pakse

Located in southern Laos, Pakse serves as a gateway to the region’s ancient ruins and natural wonders. It’s the perfect base for exploring the Bolaven Plateau, known for its coffee plantations, ethnic villages, and stunning waterfalls like Tad Fane and Tad Yuang. From here, a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple complex, is a must. The Mekong River and its tributaries offer opportunities for boat trips to the 4000 Islands, where you can spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

Spend 3-4 days in Pakse to explore the town and its surrounding attractions at a leisurely pace.

Suggested Itineraries for 9 Days in Laos

Itinerary 1: Classic Laos 9 Days Tour

Classic Laos 9 Days Tour

Day 1 – Arrival in Luang Prabang: Afternoon visit main attractions like Wat Visoun, Wat Aham, Wat Xieng Thong, and Phousi Hill.

Day 2 – Join the Alms Giving Ceremony & Explore Pak Ou Caves: Cruise upstream the Mekong River to visit Pak Ou Caves. Also, stop at Ban Muangkeo to taste some Laos rice whisky. On the way back, check out Ban Xangkhong to see how paper is made from wood.

Day 3 – Explore Kuang Si Waterfalls: Time to relax in the refreshing cool waters. Pay a visit to some hill tribe villages as well.

Day 4 – Transfer to Phonsavan. Journey through high mountains and karst formations and visit ethnic minorities along the way.

Day 5 – Explore the Plain of Jars: Listen to its mysteries and admire the captivating sunset over the field.

Day 6 – Transfer to Vang Vieng. Stop at some viewpoints to admire the breathtaking scenery of Laos’ countryside.

Day 7 – Explore Tham Chang Cave: Delve into the magnificent beauty of the cave. Afternoon enjoy a relaxing bike ride through the countryside of Vang Vieng or join a tubing experience on the Nam Song River.

Day 8 – Transfer to Vientiane: Check out famous tourist destinations like Wat Sisaket, Wat Ho Pra Keo, That Luang Stupa, and the Patuxay Monument.

Day 9 – Depart Vientiane. End of 9 days in Laos.

>>> Please check here for the detailed tour itinerary.

Itinerary 2: 9 Days Laos Adventure Tour

9 Days Laos Adventure Tour

Day 1 – Arrival in Luang Prabang: Check in at the hotel and relax.

Day 2 – Luang Prabang city tour: Check out the Royal Palace Museum, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visoun, Wat Aham, Wat Mai, and Phousi Hill.

Day 3 – Explore Pak Ou Caves: Along the way, make a stop at Ban XangHai to taste some delicious Laos rice wine.

Day 4 – Explore Kuang Si Falls & Fly to Vientiane: Spend the whole morning discover, swim, relax in Kuangsi Falls. Have a picnic lunch by the fall.

Day 5 – Vientiane city tour: Visit some magical highlights of this city, including the National Museum, Wat Sisaket, Haw Phra Keo, Pha That Luang, and Patuxay Monument.

Day 6 – Fly to Pakse & Discover Bolaven Plateau: The first stop is Tad Lo. Then, move to Tad Yuang and Tad Fane waterfalls.

Day 7 – Visit Wat Phou Temple & Transfer to Khong Island: This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Laos. After visiting Wat Phou, you will visit the Ban Nong Bune village to meet with skilled wood carvers. Then, transfer to Khong Island.

Day 8 – Discover Khong Island – Transfer to Pakse: Cruise to explore Si Phan Done, including Don Det and Don Som islands, Done Khone Island, Sumphamith Waterfall, Ban Khone, Nagasang, and Khone Phapheng Waterfall.

Day 9 – Depart Pakse.

>>> Want to know more interesting activities you can do in Laos with this tour, please check out our comprehensive program.

Which Itinerary Better Suit You?

Both of these itineraries offer enriching experiences, spanning 9 days in Laos and covering key destinations like Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane. Each tour delves into the cultural heart of Laos, featuring visits to significant historical and cultural sites, including ancient temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The natural beauty of Laos is a highlight in both itineraries, with excursions to attractions like the Kuang Si Waterfalls and scenic boat trips on the Mekong River. Additionally, both tours provide opportunities for authentic local experiences, such as exploring traditional villages and markets, ensuring a deep connection with Laotian culture and lifestyle.

However, there are still some key differences between them.

Itinerary 1 Itinerary 2
Itinerary Focus Includes a visit to the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan, offering a unique archaeological experience. Includes visits to the Bolaven Plateau and Khong Island, focusing more on natural landscapes and adventure.
Activities Focuses more on historical and archaeological exploration. Offers a broader range of activities, including an exploration of the 4000 Islands region.
Experience Ideal for those interested in the historical and archaeological aspects of Laos. Suitable for travelers seeking a mix of nature, adventure, and cultural experiences.

When deciding between these two captivating tours, it’s essential to consider what aspects of Laos most appeal to you. If you have a keen interest in the country’s rich historical tapestry and exploring its archaeological wonders, itinerary 1 is an excellent choice. This tour offers a deep dive into Laos’s past, bringing you face-to-face with ancient relics and historical sites.

On the other hand, if your idea of a perfect trip includes a variety of experiences ranging from adventurous boat trips to tranquil moments in nature, itinerary 2 is more suited to your tastes. It’s designed for those who wish to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Laos, with activities that offer both excitement and opportunities to connect with the serene landscapes.

Hope you now have knowledge of Laos tourism and even choose a suitable itinerary for your future trip. If you still have any questions or want a tailor-made program for 9 days in Laos, contact us right now for a private consultation. Before that, don’t forget to check out our well-planned Laos tours for more suggestions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

9 days in Laos is generally enough to explore the key highlights and experience the essence of the country. This duration allows for a balanced itinerary covering major destinations like Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and the scenic countryside, while also providing time for cultural immersion and relaxation. However, if you wish to delve deeper into off-the-beaten-path areas or enjoy a more leisurely pace, a longer stay might be more fulfilling.


In general, Laos is slightly more expensive than Vietnam, especially when it comes to accommodation and transportation. While both countries offer affordable options for travelers, the less developed tourism infrastructure in Laos can lead to higher costs for similar services. However, daily expenses like food and local activities in both countries are relatively comparable and budget-friendly.


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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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