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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Spirit Of Laos LA

Visiting: Laos , Thailand
Tour Duration 17 Days
  • Young Monk Boy
  • That Luang Stupa
  • Golden Statues
  • Wat Sen Buddha
  • Monks collecting alms, Luang Prabang
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Moderate
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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7 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Spirit Of Laos tour available at present.

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7 Sarah Robinson, 03/03/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Hill tribes in the north and boat trips along the Mekong were the highlight for me. The scenery in Laos is also stunning!

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Our Response

Thank you for your feedback.  We’re hoping to be able to do the two long journeys by air again once the new season starts, as we understand the accident investigation report is due out very soon.  If we can’t fly, we’ll be looking into rearranging the itinerary to minimise the travelling.  But for the remaining departures this season, we’ll be using two drivers to make absolutely certain that we are well within safety parameters for time behind the wheel.

 
7 , 27/01/14

Name

Doreen Hedges

Tour Name

Spirit Of Laos

Tour Code

LA

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Seeing the Jars and going to the La National Unexploded Ordinance Office for a talk on the mines.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

He was excellent. He looked after us from the beginning to the end. He should get Explore Tour Leader of the year.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Not to do it as the 8 hour days in the coach was too tiring and you didn't get to see a lot.

Our Response

Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry you were unhappy with the two long coach journeys. The reason for these is that due to the Laos Airlines crash last autumn, we cannot use the airline again until the accident investigation is complete, and we are assured that it is safe to do so. There is no other airline available which meets EU safety requirements. But although the journeys are long, we feel there’s far more to be seen than would ever be possible from a plane; and the two days are broken up with stops to observe the local life of the Lao people.

 

 
8 , 27/01/14

Name

Jane Pack

Tour Name

Spirit Of Laos

Tour Code

LA

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Tasting all the different foods, the elephant ride, boat ride through the cave, giving alms to the monks in Luang Prbang & Sean the tour leader

Tour Leader Name

Sean

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Great, he couldn't do enough for you & no request was unachievable

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Take plenty of warm clothing for during the winter months for in the north which is most of the trip as it is colder than the trip notes imply.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Due to the changes in the trip there are several long days driving during the second half of the trip.

 
10 , 15/08/13

Name

Nicola

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Just everything - Laos is stunning in terms of scenery, people, culture. It's just indescribable. It's like stepping back in time. I loved the whole trip - so well planned to see and experience all of this beautiful country. The river trips were amazing - we had a whole day on small boats down the River Ou, a tributary to the Mekong. Luang Prabang was so chilled, what an incredible city, made all the more special by our guide organizing for us to get up before dawn and give rice to the monks. The Plain of Jars is fabulous. The section on the south Mekong was just beautiful. Food great all the way through, accommodation lovely. Just my best ever trip so far with Explore!

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Sean was a star. From Vientiane, he just made our trip wonderful. He always went out of his way to take us out of the way! He helped us at every step experience all that Laos has to offer, down to the most ethical local restaurants, understanding the history of Laos (uncomfortable at times, but you need to know this - we went to the Uxo HQ and had a talk from a local on clearing land mines) and even making sure we could, if we wished (I didn't!) try local delicacies such as grilled rat!. Sean is a gracious, lovely, knowledgeable man who made our trip superb.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

"Go with a relaxed and open mind - Laos is chilled. It's totally non- commercialized. Don't expect a huge choice of food - everything they have is grown locally which makes for very fresh organic food, just not much choice, so don't expect that. Some people on my trip moaned about some of the the accommodation - I personally thought it was all lovely. Not all has electric aircon but if not have ceiling fan and nets. No need to bring a net but take insect repellent. I was so touched by everything I experienced there. It's hard to express in words - Laos has a sort of kindness and generosity that I've never experienced anywhere else. I just felt so welcome. So, just go!"

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Really well-planned tour in terms of itinerary. Well done Explore!.

 
0 J Hynes, 11/01/12
Amazing trip!  very well organised and smooth, no hitches at all, considering we took 8 flights, 6 vans, 4 boats and an elephant!  Advice if going around Xmas/NY - the first few days were COLD (8 deg C) in the mountains at Luang Namtha - really wished I had an extra fleece and hat to sleep in - there is no heating inside the guest houses, and all the restaurants are open to the air at the sides so meals were accompanied by an icy breeze.  Once we got down to Luang Prabang it was delightful.  Be sure to mail any post cards in Luang Prabang as you won't get another chance later.  Also be aware that most tourist items for sale are mass-produced in China - be careful and shop around for a day in LP before buying anything as you will get to see the same stuff everywhere.  "old" coins are Chinese forgeries - saw one coin with Panama on one side and Deutscheland on the other, and a 1799 US Liberty Dollar with the modern US seal.  Silk and cotton loomed textiles tend to be genuine, but the cheaper fabrics are mass-produced - pretty, just be sure not to pay more than a few dollars.  Go to the weaving villages.  However, in Luang Namtha do buy the hand-made trinkets from the Hmong ladies - they are unique.  In the Plain of Jars be SURE to get the driver to take you to the tiny village near Jar Site 2 where they melt US aircraft parts into spoons and bracelets - by far the most interesting, genuine and cheap artifacts you can buy!  Avoid overpriced antique shops in LP - they are tourist traps.  In Phonesavan, go to Nisha Indian restaurant - best food in town, maybe best Indian restaurant in the country - don't be alarmed by the decor.  When down south chasing the Irawaddy freshwater dolphins, stop on the Cambodian side of the river for an Ankhor beer.  Didn't need lots of the things I brought - mosquito net, towel, first aid kit, medicines, food - so gave it all away to a clinic on the last day.  Bring stationery supplies - exam books, pens - as gifts in the villages.  Also you may want to bring or buy instant coffee or tea bags, and dried milk, as the Lao coffee is black as ink and they have no milk at all, only coffeemate and condensed sweetened milk.  Otherwise the food was good, ate 3 meals a day, never got sick, and gained 5 pounds!  The trip is very sedentary so do take the opportunity to rent bikes when you can in LN, LP and VTE, otherwise you are just being transported from one meal to the next.  The jungle trek in LN is cool, with fish fresh from the market roasted on an open flame and served on banana leaves...  enjoy!!
 
0 CV, 16/11/10
Laos is a country that should not be rushed.  It is perfect as a gentle reminder of how life could be if we didn't live at such a fast pace in the UK.  Floating down the Mekong and talking with the novice monks to help them learn English are both highlights.  It is worth seeing Laos as a stand alone trip without other SE Asian countries as it is such a special place - good healthy food, friendly Laos people, fascinating but sad history with the US bombing campaign and the cheapest beer in the world!  Please don't all rush, it will change too fast and become another Thailand! (LA -11th January 2007)
 
0 Gerald A. Vanslambrouck, 22/09/10
Traveling through Laos and meeting the local people was truly a enriching experience. The country is beautiful from the mountain villages in the north to the more tropical regions in the south. The Buddhist philosophy is quite evident in the kind and gentile nature of the people. The local food was a constant treat. The trip far exceeded my expectations. (LA- 10th January 2010)
 
 
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