THE REAL LUANG PRABANG

Code: LA-FE-RL6 Duration: 6 days Theme: Family Tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience the local flora at Pha Tad Ke, the first and only botanical garden in Laos
  • Learning about the cultural change, and ethnic diversity in Laos at Traditional Arts & Ethnology center
  • Refreshing at Kuang Si waterfalls, the most beautiful waterfalls of Luang Prabang
  • Experience the life, and joining the daily activities of a Lao family at the traditional village, locating 25Km from Luang Prabang

TOUR ROUTE

Luang Prabang – Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center – Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center – Kuang Si waterafalls – Ban Lae (homestay) – Pak Ou caves – Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: welcome dinner with traditional dance & folk song
+ Excursion: Airport pick-up
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang

+ Arrival Flight: TBA

 

On arrival at the Luang Prabang airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
Situated in the centre of northern Laos, Luang Prabang is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural, historic and architectural values and its harmonious relationship between the natural and built environment.
You are free to stroll around the city for your own exploration of this ancient town.

The dinner will be served at the local restaurant with traditional dance & folk song, the chance for you the have the first impression of Lao culture.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: Experience the local flora
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

The Pha Tad Ke boat departs Ban Wat That at 9:00 (please be at the pier at 8:45). Enjoy a 15-minute leisurely boat trip down the Mekong River. Upon arrival at Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden reception you will be given a short presentation about the gardens. After that walk through the Ginger Garden and the Ethno-botanic Garden, which is the centrepiece of the garden. Follow the path through the Limestone Walk and take in the amazing mountainous Mekong landscape. Learn how to make a bamboo stick animal at the site of the hunting lodge of the former royal family. Then continue your tour of Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden walking through the Arboretum, Palm Garden and Bamboo
Garden
to our viewpoint that overlooks the rice fields. Stop by the Mist House where you will learn more about the importance of biodiversity conservation. Finish your excursion with an optional orchid talk at Pha Tad Ke Nursery.
All of the gardens will have introductory panels and labels. You can always ask our expert staff should you have any questions or require more information.
Enjoy a delicious Lao set lunch at the Pha Tad Ke café before taking the boat back to Luang Prabang.

In the afternoon, your city tour begins with a visit to the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. After that, you will visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.
If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people, and visiting the traditional house of Heuan Chan, the Chantal wooden house dating back to 100 years old. Late afternoon, we climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.  The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver
+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch
+ Excursion: learn about Lao culture, and ethnic diversity, then refresh at the exciting Kuang Si waterfalls
+ Accommodation: Hotel in Luang Prabang
+ Pick-up: 06:30AM

 

After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center (TAEC), the collection of diverse Lao ethnic groups. We will stroll around to visit the center to understand more about the Lao diverse ethnic culture.

After that, we will join the seminars of “Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Change in Laos”
This fascinating 60-minute presentation and question-and-answer session gives background on Laos’ ethnic communities, their history, and their culturalpractices, including livelihoods and crafts. Guests have an opportunity to learn about lifestyles in ethnic villages, and are shown unique artefacts fromTAEC’s collection that are not accessible to the general public.

The seminars are led by one of the two TAEC Founder/Directors, either Thongkhoun Soutthivilay, a Luang Prabang-native who worked at the Luang Prabang National Museum for 10 years, and who has attended trainings and conferences in the US, Thailand, Netherlands, Japan, and Brunei; or Tara Gujadhur, an American who has worked in Luang Prabang for over 10 years, with a background in anthropology and sustainable tourism development

The ethnic Khmu lunch will be served at TAEC Café.

In the afternoon, we transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls which is the biggest in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great swimming holes and are very popular with both tourists and locals
We will also take a short visit to the Bear Rescue Center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.
Before returning to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park (closed from 15 APR – 30 JUN; 01-14 SEP, & 01 JAN every year), whose mission is to create a research centre studying and publishing about Laos butterflies, host plants and preservation.

Transfer back to Luang Prabang late afternoon. Free for the rest of the day.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

+ Guide & Driver

+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

+ Excursion: Experience the traditional class at Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center; then cruise the mighty Mekong to Pak Ou caves

+ Accommodation: Nam Ou Riverside Resort

+ Pick-up: 05:30AM – 06:30AM depending on the season

An early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there, we will take a short visit to the morning local market near the Royal Palace. At the market, you can find anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground, this is what the locals do every day. This is really the chance for you to get a real flavor of the local culture.

After breakfast, we will visit Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, where we will walk around to have a short visit before joining one of the below class:

 

Dyeing Class: An introduction to silkworms and silk types, students have a hands-on experience with natural dye preparation and create 3 natural dyes using plants directly from our home-grown garden (just like the Lao have done for hundreds of years!)

At the end of class, you will take home 2 dyed silk skeins or 2 cotton napkins and 1 Silk scarf you dyed yourself.

 

Weaving Class: Start with an introduction to silks, dyeing and weaving techniques. Each student is assigned a loom — a guide and a weaver will help you learn the art of weaving.

 

Batik Class: Introduction to Hmong Batik culture! (Only available Monday through Friday)

Each student will create a wax resistant, Hmong-style design on hand-loomed hemp, together with the legendary Mae Thao (Grandmother) Zuzong, our resident Batik Teacher.

 

Bamboo Weaving Class: Join the master bamboo weaver and learn about the many uses of bamboo in Laos.
Half day class students will weave a placemat or traditional fan.

 

Village Weaver Class: The Village Weaver Projects are a series of initiatives that create economic opportunities for artisans in rural locations. With this class, you can learn about Laos and some of its ethnic groups through their artisan traditions. More specifically about 3 distinct ethnic groups who participate in our Village Weaver Projects as you create 3 small crafts to take home.

 

Lunch will be served at the Silk Road Café overlooking the Mekong River

 

In the afternoon, embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.

After that, our cruise will continue further onto Nam Ou river to the lovely Nam Ou Riverside Resort, where we will spend the night.

+ Guide & Driver

+ Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

+ Excursion: experience the daily life of a Lao family at the traditional village

+ Accommodation: homestay at Ban Lae

+ Pick-up: 08:30AM

After breakfast, we will transfer directly to Ban Lae, which locates 25Km from town (10Km from the resort)

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the host family, before strolling around the village to see the life of local people.

We then visit the local school, which should be livelier during the weekdays. If not, the visit to the local market is another option for you.

The lunch will then be served at the house of the host family.

In the afternoon, you can choose to either relax or to enjoy agricultural activities such as rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields (depending on the season); Traditional fishing techniques (you can sample your catch for dinner!); walk around the farm and rice field; or explore the river with the local boat.

If you wish, the dip in the Nam Xeuang river is very inviting and worth a try.

You may wish to join and help the host with preparing the dinner. This is the chance to learn about Lao cuisine.

Before the dinner, we will join the Baci Ceremony, held by the elders of the village. The Baci ceremony as a traditional ritual of the Lao people expresses the spirituality of the country and is a highly memorable experience and a deep insight into Lao culture for the participants.
During the dinner, the folk tales will be told by the host family and translated by our guide.

You may wish to stroll around the riverbank, and sense the nature, admiring the starry sky before going to bed.

+ Guide & Driver

+ Meal: Breakfast

+ Excursion: Fishing experience on Nam Xeuang river; transferring back to Luang Prabang to take the departure flight

+ Accommodation: None

+ Pick-up: 05:30AM

Wake up early, you never want to miss the chance to admire the sunrise over the Nam Xeuang river, and the nearby mountains.

We will then visit the local temple and join the Alms giving to see how it is different from what you will have done in Luang Prabang some days ago

After breakfast, the morning will be dedicated to the fishing by the stunning Nam Xeuang river, experience traditionnal fishing techniques.

There is also the change to experience the local Bamboo weaving; Silk weaving, or Fishing net.

We come back to the village at 11:00AM to join the transfer back to Luang Prabang.

We may have time to stroll around the town before transferring out to the airport to take the departure flight