- Watching the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
- The cruise along the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, and Nam Ou river
- The evergreen nature of Kuang Si waterfalls, Nahm Dong Park, and MandaLao Elephant Camp
- Sensing the skin, the smell, and the breath of the elephant as close as you wish
- Walking back to the past while staying at Chateau Orientale Resort
VARIOUS ACTIVITIES ON SITES
- Gentle city visits of the ancient town of Luang Prabang
- The leisure cruise along the lazy Nam Ou River, and Nam Ou River
- Soft trek to explore Nahm Dong Park and the trail to Kuang Si waterfalls
- Learning about the bio-system in Laos at Pha Tad Ke garden
- Learning about the elephant in Laos, and its living condition
- The untouched nature along Nam Khan River, Mekong River
- The exciting Kuang Si waterfalls, and Nahm Dong Park, and MandaLao Elephant Camp
- The green nature of Pha Tad Ke, the first and only botanical garden in Laos
- Attending the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
- Visit various temple and museum in Luang Prabang
- The visit to the local villages during the tour to see the local life
Luang Prabang – Mekong Cruise – Pak Ou Caves – Nahm Dong Park – Hillside Resort – Ban Long Lao – Kuang Si waterfalls – Pha Tad Ke Garden – MandaLao Elephant Camp – Chateau Orientale
Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang - Welcome Dinner
Pick-up at the airport, transfer to your hotel in town. Take some rest before joining the welcome dinner at local restaurant with the traditional dance & folk song
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.
This is the perfect place to start your “1-week Luang Prabang Exploration”. You are free to stroll around the city for your own first impression of this ancient city.
The welcome dinner will then be served at local restaurant with traditional dance & folk song. This is the best chance for you to have the first impression Laos culture. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2: Cruise Mekong to Pak Ou Caves
Full day cruising the mighty Mekong to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves; the day activities also includes the visit the some main sites in the city including Royal Palace, Wat Xiengthong, Traditional Art and Ethnology Center, and Wat Prabaht
After breakfast, you will first visit Royal Palace Museum, which was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. We then embark on a leisure 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. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On arrival back in the city, we will visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong a superb piece of Lao temple architecture, which presents a sweeping two-tiered roof and ornate mosaics including a beautiful ‘tree of life ‘glass montage on the rear temple wall. Afterwards, we will visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. From there, we will transfer to visit Wat Prabath to admire the sunset; this is the really peaceful place to catch the last beauty of the day.
The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Morning Alms Giving - Nahm Dong Park - Hillside Resort
Wake up early to join the daily morning alms giving.
In the morning, we explore Nahm Dong Park, which locates just 10 km from town but offering the amazing nature exploration. The afternoon is free to relax at the nearby peaceful Hillside Resort
Wake up as the sun rises, we will prepare to join the most sacred tradition of Laos, the daily morning alms giving, which dates to the 14th century. More than 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temple to gather their daily meal from the faithful residents sitting quietly on the streets.
From there, we will visit the temporary morning market near the former Royal Palace. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, to vegetable, to fish, or chicken. This is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life.
After departing at 8:30 am from your hotel, transfer to Nahm Dong park, which locates in Ban Xiengmouk, 10Km from city center. Arriving at the park, we will have a short welcome by the park manager before joining the morning activities here.
We will first start with the Zipline flying over the jungle and the waterfalls admiring the amazing evergreen scenery. The zipline will take about 1 hour.
Then we will walk back via the jungle trail crossing some flying bridges, small streams, and clear natural pools, where you can take a refresh splash if you wish so.
The picnic lunch will be served at the viewpoint where you can get a panoramic view over the region, including the mount Phousi in the city center.
You are free to take some rest at one of the viewpoint salas before transferring to the nearby Hillside Resort, where you can relax by the inviting swimming pool. Overnight at Hillside Resort
Day 4: Trek Ban Long Lao - Kuang Si Waterfalls
Visit the nearby hill tribe village. Follow the jungle trail and trek to Kuang Si waterfalls. The afternoon is dedicated to refresh at Kuang Si waterfalls before transferring back to town
After breakfast, begin with a visit to the ethnic Khmu village of Ban Longlao Nung before heading to the nearby Hmong village of Ban Longlao Song. You will be able to observe the lifestyles of these two culturally very different minority groups and see how despite their differences they manage to work together on a day to day basis and even sharing the same school.
As we continue onwards the trail leads through rice paddys and vegetable fields before reaching the mountainous forest. Along the way we explore a cave which was used as a bomb shelter by the locals during the second indochina war.
After visiting the cave one more hour of trekking brings us to one of the many springs which feeds Kuang Xi waterfalls, here a beautiful pool full of sacred fish can be seen. After descending from the top of the waterfall we enjoy a Lao style lunch amongst some beautiful settings!
The afternoon is spent bathing and relaxing around the turquoise pools below the waterfall. You can also visit the bear conservation center which is located nearby and home to many bears which have been rescued from illegal farms.
Before returning to Luang Prabang we take a short walk to a nearby Khmu village of Ban Thapene which is home to some of the most beautiful pools of Kuang Xi Waterfalls.
Approximately: 2 hours driving, 4 hours trekking
Day 5: Explore Pha Tad Ke Garden and Local Villages
In the morning, explore Pha Tad Ke, the first and only botanical garden in Laos; in the afternoon, explore some local villages along the Mekong river including Ban Chan, and Ban Xiengmene
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 Botanic 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 field.
Stop by the Mist House where you will learn more about the importance of biodiversity conservation and 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.
The boat will drop us at Ban Chan, which is renowned in the region for its pottery making. Admire a young man work the clay into a small bowl, and visit the underground kilns which are used to cook hundreds of jars at a time. These ancestral methods are transferred, from one generation to another and require patience and dexterity. Feel free to support them by buying a little figurine in order to support their handicraft (at own expenses).
We continue the boat along the Mekong river to Ban Xiengmene, where we visit Wat Long Khun temple and the limestone cave Tham Sakkarin, and a tour around Ban Xiengmene village.
If you wish, we can ascend about 123 steps to Wat Chomphet, which offer the panoramic view over the city of Luang Prabang.
Take the ferry back to Luang Prabang; transfer back to your hotel by tuk tuk. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 6: MandaLao Elephant Camp - Chateau Orientale
In the morning, we will explore MandaLao Elephant Camp, which promote NO-RIDING elephant tour. Here you can learn more about the elephant, and its living condition in Laos. Relax at the nearby Chateau Orientale Resort, which brings you back to the memory of the forgotten lands in the past.
After picking you up from town or your hotel we will leave Luang Prabang around 08:30 for the nearby village of Xieng Lom. Upon arrival you are invited to have coffee or tea as your guide for the day provides an in-depth introduction to elephant behavior and the ways we should interact with them.
A quick boat ride across the Nam Khan River will deliver you to the waiting elephants. You will be introduced to your new friends and feed them some special treats – a sure way to begin an instant friendship.
Enjoy observing elephants from the river bank as Mahouts wash them in the Nam Khan river. You can experience elephants washing, swimming and playing in the water. Please note this is voluntary activity for the elephants and Mandalao does not force them to get in the water. (On cold days the elephants are less likely to want to get wet.)
After 2 hours crossing through a beautiful stretch of traditional Lao gardens you will arrive at the jungle-covered Huay Nok stream. As you walk alongside the elephants and crisscross through the cool water you will experience a profound sense of understanding, respect, and caring for these amazing animals. As you prepare to start your walk back to MandaLao, you will bid farewell to your new friends with more treats and goodbye hugs.
When you get back to MandaLao, you will head to the restaurant and enjoy a delicious fresh Lao meal made from our own organically grown produce. There you can relax, kick-back, and process the day’s experiences on the veranda overlooking the river and misty mountains.
Following lunch, walk to the nearby Chateau Orientale Resort, which may bring you back to the memory of the pass in the land of a far-away ancient Kingdome. Free for the rest of the day to relax or stroll around the resort overlooking the gentle Namkhan river. Overnight at Chateau Orientale Resort.