TOURCODE 71538 (SWT-4) Description
During the Secret War in Laos there were many places of significance, with Long Tieng being the most famous. Luckily for us it is recently open to the public, and this tour will head straight for this mountain outpost that served as the command and control center of the counterinsurgency here in Laos during the 1960's and early 70's.
We will also visit many other important Lima Sites and talk about their history. And in between we will see stunningly beautiful landscapes, eat local meals and take in their unforgettable hospitality, and visit some of the most popular destinations in Laos.
This tour can be accommodated with minivan, 4x4 truck, or motorcycle.
Day 01 Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng (L)
We start our tour by leaving Luang Prang and heading south through twisting terrain to Xiang Ngeun and up into the mountains to the Kasi Pass. From there it’s all downhill and we will pass by Lima Site 25 near Kasi and Lima Site 16 which served as the airstrip runway in Vang Vieng, where we stay overnight.
What used to be rice fields set amongst some of the most scenic mountains and surroundings turned into a backpacker haven fifteen years ago. It became famous for its tubing down the river, rows of bamboo huts selling Lao and western food and showing "Friends" reruns on TV. This vibe is still there, but now the town is starting to attract a more sophisitcated traveller coming for the beautiful landscapes, hiking and and light adventure. Vang Vieng is a fun place, and great for our first night’s stop. (200 km)..
Day 02 Long Tieng (B/L)
Today's journey takes us climbing up and around the Nam Ngum Lakes. Reaching those Lakes gives us some great, not to be missed views of the surrounding countryside. Then we hit the new road, and ride down into Long Tieng. Long Tieng was a military base, which during the Laotian Civil War, served as a town and airbase operated by America’s Central Intelligence Agency.
During the Secret War in Laos from 1964-73 no place stood out more than Long Tieng. Only years prior it was all but uninhabited, only to become Laos' second largest city and one of the busiest airports in the world. Filled with 40,000 Hmong fighters dressed in traditional clothing, Khmu and Lao Teung in military unfiforms, Thai mercenaries and American pilots and advisors, all in a valley perched on top of a mountain range and surrounded by dense jungle accessible only by plane.
We will tour the airbase site known as Lima Site 20A, visit General Vang Pao’s House along with the King's Palace, Skyline Ridge, the Runway and for the fit amongst us we can climb the speed brake. We’ll see some of it today, and the remainder tomorrow morning.
Overnight stay at a local guesthouse.
Day 03 Long Tieng to Phonsavan (B/L)
After breakfast we will resume touring Long Tieng. There is a lot to take in, and we will cover anything we missed the day earlier and go over some areas again with a different light.
Then we leave for Phonsavan, which we will reach in the afternoon passing through Xam Thong Lima Site 20 which played a major role in the war. A new school stands on the old Hospital base, and the Air America bunk House Chimney is still standing.
Upon arrival in Phonsavan we will visit the Plain of Jars; a huge site of stone urns, some with lids. What the jars were used for isn’t known, but there are many guesses. The most popular guess is that the jars were used as a ‘burial ground’. Time permitting we will visit the 1000 step Mountain and the spoon Village. That evening we will enjoy a nice local style Lao meal in town and then back to our guesthouse, and our last night ‘on the road’
Day 04 Phonsavan to Luang Prabang (B, L, D) (230 km)
ON our last day we be be up and away early. Route 13 heading back to Luang Prabang via Phoukoun takes us high into the mountains, traversing bends, twists and turns. Exciting roads with "jaw dropping" views which are hard to beat anywhere in teh world. We will make stops to take photos and take in the views before arriving in Luang Prabang where we will have our final dinner together, undoubtedly talking about the great time we had, and our visit to the "most secret place on earth".
Included Travel Services
- All sightseeing as described in program above
- Transportation in private vehicles (4x4 or motorbike)
- Transfer from airport and back
- Accommodation in hotels (twin shared)
- English speaking guide
- Admission fees to sights described above
- Meals: B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
- Lao PDR governmental tax and service charge
- Luggage Handling
Not Included Travel Services
- International air tickets to/from Lao PDR
- Visa fee (approximately US$30/pax, depending on nationality)
- Travel insurance of any kind
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Tips, drinks, personal expenses and other expenses not described in the program above
- Single room surcharge on request
Accessibility: Our trips are generally unsuitable for people with reduced mobility and other disabilities. Please contact us to discuss if this trip is suitable for your specific requirements.