The step of finding a tourism agency and / or local guide for our 15-day tour of Laos has been fairly quick and conclusive. In fact, there are few local agencies in Laos, which limits the choice and makes the task faster.
As a reminder, we are two couples going to Laos for 12 days with the last 3 days in Cambodia. We had already worked out our itinerary before questioning the local agencies and guides so that they could offer us a quote adapted to our needs, especially for private transport (guides and / or private drivers).
15-day tour of Laos – How to get around Laos?
With a very underdeveloped rail network, roads in poor condition, and the possibility of renting a car strongly discouraged, the organization of transports in Laos was not going to be simple … The best solution was the solution “all comfort” to choose transport private. Finally, we could also consider bus and / or plane journeys for some routes. That being the case, we decided to first consider our tour with a guide-driver or with a private driver + a local French-speaking guide for just some places only (see our contacts below).
15-day tour of Laos – Reminder of my itinerary
- Day 01: Luang Prabang
- Day 02: Luang Prabang
- Day 03: Luang Prabang – Kuang Si
- Day 04: Luang Prabang meets the minorities of the North
- Day 05: Luang Prabang – Nong Khiaw – Muong Ngoi
- Day 06: Muong Ngoi – Pak Ou – Luang Prabang
- Day 07: Luang Prabang – Pakse
- Day 08: Pakse – Boloven Plateau
- Day 09: Boloven Plateau
- Day 10: Bolovens Plateau – 4000 islands
- Day 11: Khone Islands
- Day 12: Khong Islands – Siem Reap
- Day 13: Siem Reap – Temples of Angkor
- Day 14: Angkor Grand Circuit
- Day 15: Siem Reap – Tonle Lak
Why a local agency or a local guide in Laos?
First of all, as a matter of principle, I prefer to work with local agencies from well-established countries or small agencies rather than major global tourism groups that often tend to operate the premises. I think it’s more normal for the tourism economy of a country to come right back into the country and benefit the people of the countries I visit. In addition, skills level, a local agency will know better his country and its tourist sites than an international tourist agency …
Benefits of a local guide in Laos
A local guide will save his clients time. Indeed, in general, he knows all the strings, will reserve in advance the tickets, will know at what time it is better to visit the site, will know the times of transport and combine everything to optimize your time …
A local guide in Laos will give us information, comments, anecdotes that will make the visits much more interesting and entertaining. Finally, he can make us enjoy opportunities to discover his country outside the tourist classics. He can personalize and make our trip unique and unforgettable.
Finally, the last reason why I spend most of the time with a local agency is because their services are often cheaper than with tourist agencies established in France or Europe …
How to find a local agency or a local guide in Laos?
For our 15-day tour, given the distances to travel into Laos, the most practical is to combine a local guide on some Laos places + a private driver for the entire route into Laos. So I looked on travel forums and specialized websites for a list of local agencies or independent guides serious and reliable that can meet our needs.
Rather than contacting a maximum of agencies and guides, I eliminated from the list those whose evaluations were not good … Then for the others, I submitted the same project route and asked them for a accurate and detailed quote.
Upon receipt of quotes, I was able to compare, discuss, deepen certain points and, for some, negotiate the price. As it takes a lot of time, I will comunicate herebelow the informations about agencies and guides I contacted:
- Ly from Amica Travel: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sandrine from Laos otherwise: email@example.com
- Thom from Tonkin Travel: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thongsavanh Lu: email@example.com
- Bounpheng: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Huong from MotaÏba: email@example.com
I kept the best agency for the end since I can say that it is the MotaÏba agency that best met our expectations, both in terms of services offered (quality, originality, flexibility …) at the level the budget (very good value for money):
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