Laos and the Plain of Jars

×

Status message

You are currently NOT logged in to ITN.

You may browse the Message Board but cannot post messages until you login. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe to ITN.
❮ Back To Message Board
<p>Can someone suggest a small-group tour that does a 10 to 14 day trip to Laos that includes the Plain of Jars? Any recommendations appreciated. </p>

Adventures Abroad does a 9-day trip to Laos (a little shorter than you want, but close) that includes the Plain of Jars. This is their "LA1" trip:
http://www.adventures-abroad.com/viewinit.php?viewtour=LA1
AA also does Laos in combination with several other countries; I took "LA3", which was about a month long and included Vietnam and Cambodia as well as the 9-day Laos "LA1" segment. Laos was the highlight of the trip, and I specifically chose AA because I wanted a trip that included the Plain of Jars. I'm very glad I did - the Plain is amazing.
If you have any questions about AA's Laos trip, I'd be happy to answer them!

Make sure that the tour company that you choose for Laos goes to all 3 sites of the Plain of Jars. I was disappointed that the 2-week tour that I took to Laos in 2005 (with a former ITN advertiser that no longer seems to offer group tours) went to only 2 out of the 3 sites. But the real highlight to me in Laos was not the Plain of Jars, but rather Luang Prabang, a magical place. As much as I am a fan of Adventures Abroad, IMHO their Laos itinerary simply doesn't spend enough time in Luang Prabang.
You might want to check out Mekong Tours at http://www.mekongtours.com/html/mtiten.htm. They have an in-depth tour of Laos from January 22-Feb. 8, 2011 that goes to all 3 sites of the Plain of Jars plus it spends more time in Luang Prabang than AA. Mekong Tours is run by a professor, has small groups, and was previously mentioned by others on this forum (which is how I found out about it).

There are approx. 50 sites where the "Jars" are found, but, as Ada points, only three are available to visit. The most visited site is just on the outskirts of Phonosavanh, one is about an hour out, and the third requires a four wheel drive vehicle (if conditions are muddy). These three sites have approx. 1,000 jars.
And reinforcing Ada's remarks about Luang Prabang, this city is number one on the list of places tourists visit (if you don't count flying into Vientiane as your entry point to the country).

Hi Joe.....Are you 50 years old or older? If so, I can recommend the ElderTreks Laos tour. It is 16 days long, and spends a full day at Plain of Jars. My husband and I took this trip several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. ElderTreks is actually a Canadian company, home based in Toronto, but most of the clientele is from the US. The groups are small (16 pax maximum) and the tour leaders are excellent. Our leader was Roger Burrows, who was one of the best we've ever had. Also.....even though the world "elder" is in the company name, the tours are NOT for the infirm. They are always very active and very off the beaten path.

In November 2010 I used Third Eye Travel for a private 12 day trip to Cambodia and Laos, which included Plain of Jars Sites 1 & 2. Using a standard group tour itinery I found on-line, I did an on-line "bake off" of 14 companies--asking for essentially the same itinerary and amenities from each--and TET (Arun Dali) came away hands-down the best value. As far as the Plain of Jars, I sort of felt it was one of those situations where "you see one, and you've seen them all". They're fascinating and everything, but do you need to see all the sites and all the jars? I'd say "no"--especially considering how remote Site 3 and the other sites (which may/may not be de-mined) may be. I've traveled to over 70 countries and used many travel agencies, and I strongly believe that you will feel comfortable working with Arun at TET, and enjoy the travel arrangements and price. Happy traveling!