7-Day Laos Elephant Experience

  • 7-Day Laos Elephant Experience

    Classic

  • 7-Day Laos Elephant Experience

    Adventure

  • 7-Day Laos Elephant Experience

    Family

Package Code : LA-SA-EE7

Known as Lane Xang, or the “Land of a Million Elephants”, the Lao PDR historically had large and widely distributed populations of both wild and domesticated elephants. Within this 7-day Laos Elephant Tour, we will discover the Elephant Conservation Center in Xayabouly and the ancient town of Luang PrabangYou may find 5 reasons to join the elephant tour here
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Must see

icon UNFORGETTABLE MOMENT

  • Walk along the small street of ancient Prabang, and allured by charm of the city
  • Panoramic view over the ancient town of Luang Prabang during sunset
  • Holy spirit of Baci Ceremony
  • The cruise along the Mekong river
  • Sensing the skin, the smell, and the breath of the elephant as close as you wish

icon VARIOUS ACTIVITIES ON SITES

  • Joining the once-in-a-lifetime Baci Ceremony
  • Walk along the small street of the ancient Luang Prabang
  • Cruising along the might Mekong river to visit the mysterious Pak Ou caves
  • Strolling around the garden of Pha Tad Ke, the first and only botanical garden in Laos
  • Refreshing at the exciting Kuang Si waterfalls
  • And the highlighted activities of the tour is the exploration of Elephant Conservation Center, interact with Elephant, and learning the efforts to re-enforce our friends back to nature

icon NATURE EXPLORATION

  • The untouched nature along the bank of Mekong River
  • The exciting Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • The first and only botanical garden of Pha Tad Ke
  • The nature along the way from Luang Prabang to Xayabouly
  • The nature at Elephant Conservation Center

icon CULTURE EXPERIENCE

  • Attending the daily morning alms giving in Luang Prabang
  • Visit various temple and museum Luang Prabang to learn about the culture of Laos
  • The visit to the local villages during the tour to see the local life
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Itinerary

Luang Prabang city tour – Baci Ceremony – Pak Ou caves – Pha Tad Ke Garden – Kuang Si waterfalls – Elephant Conservation Center (Xayabouly) – Luang Prabang

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Detailed Schedule

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Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang - City Tour - Baci Ceremony

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Pick up at the airport and transfer into town. Embark on a short orientation city tour visiting the main sites including Wat Mai, Royal Palace Museum, or Mount Phousi.

Late afternoon, join the Baci Ceremony and share the dinner with the host family to experience Laos culture

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
After a soft rest, visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts.
Continue to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, which is one of the most beautiful temples in town.
If time permits, we will take a short walk around the small streets of city center, watching the life of local people. 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

Day 2: Morning Alms Giving - Cruise the Mekong to Pak Ou Caves

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Wake up early to join the daily morning alms giving and visit the temporary morning market. After breakfast embark on the cruise to the mysterious Pak Ou caves. Visit some villages along the way.

The day excursion also includes the visit to some main sites of the city including Wat Sene, Wat Xieng Thong, and Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center

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
Breakfast at the hotel, we will first visit the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene. After that, we embark on the leisurely cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, a 16th century cave monastery filled with thousands of Buddha images, which locates 25 Kilometers North of Luang Prabang in the limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong river.  En route, you will stop at Ban Xanghai, a well-known village for its traditional Lao rice whisky distilling. You will arrive back in Luang Prabang.
On arrival back in the city, 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. Our last stop today is the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 3: Explore Pha Tad Ke Garden - Refresh at Kuang Si Waterfalls

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In the morning, stroll around the first and only botanical garden in Laos, Pha Tad Ke Garden. Learn about the bio-system in Laos. Then refresh at Kuang Si waterfalls park in the afternoon. Take the boat back to Luang Prabang whilst the sun is setting behind the mountains.

After breakfast, we will take the cruise to Pha Tad Ke Botanical garden.
Upon arrival, 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
In the afternoon, we continue the cruise downstream the Mekong river further to Ban Sing, enjoying the peaceful scenery of the countryside.
We then transfer by local tuk tuk to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall.
We then take the boat upstream the Mekong river back to Luang Prabang whilst the sun is setting behind the mountain.
Transfer back to your hotel by tuk tuk
Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 4: Start the Experience at Elephant Conservation Center (ECC)

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After breakfast, join the transfer to Elephant Conservation Center in Xayabouly, where we experience the daily life of the elephants. There are various of activities and chance for you to get familiar with these amazing giant friends.

In the morning, our driver will transfer you to the meeting point where we will join the minivan of Elephant Conservation Center for the transfer to Xayabouly (about 90KM).
When you have arrived to the pier at Nam Tien Lake, we will transfer you to the center by boat. You might be able to catch a quick glimpse of one of our elephants while our boat docks. You will have some time to install yourself in your private bungalow before lunch is served. After enjoying a Laotian style meal, your guide will take you for a visit of the Center’s facilities and present our ongoing projects.
During the hospital visit our veterinarian and biologist will take you into their world and explain about the projects they are undertaking. Through the visit of the only Elephant Hospital in Laos, you will discover the conservation actions implemented by The Elephant Conservation Center. You will then observe the elephants’ daily bath and learn more about our giant guests’ playful characters. Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. They also use this time to socialize.
After the elephants have washed themselves, you will meet our mahouts, who will show you how they get on and off the elephant and the commands they use. You will then have the opportunity to interact with the elephants with the mahouts at your side. Get a feel for the elephant’s amazing skin and prickly hair, and experience up close the dexterity of their trunk as you offer them some food. Feel free to take photos standing next to our giants!  For those who really want to get a feel of being on top of the elephant, mahout style, you can request to do so later on when bringing the elephants to the forest or socialization area.  But this is absolutely not central for the experience. We propose and is strictly on the neck, not in a chair on the elephant’s back!
While walking the elephants to their nightly resting ground you will witness the unique bond between the mahout and his elephant. Our experienced mahouts use vocal commands to steer the animals through the thick foliage.  As you stroll together with these magnificent creatures into the dense forest of Nam Tien, take a moment! This is the REAL land of elephants!  Your guide will give you some interesting information about the biodiversity of our protected forest.
Before dinner, take some time to take in the surroundings from our viewpoint. You can also go for a swim in the lake or visit the museum. During meal time, feel free to ask your unresolved questions to the staff or share one of the Lao style cocktails!

Day 5: Continue the Experience at ECC

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Continue the experience a the Elephant Conservation Center, join the daily activities of the elephant, walk along through the jungle with them to find the foods. This rare opportunity will bring you closer to their natural life, something which is very special about our program and difficult to find anywhere else in Laos.

On the second day, you will meet up with the elephants in the forest. After spending the night grazing in the jungle it is time for another bath. Enjoy strolling together with these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. If you wish, you can ask to ride the elephant, bareback on the neck, for a short time on their way through the forest, to get a physical feel for the animal.

When they have had their fill of water they are brought to the Socialization Area. This is an area where the elephants can freely interact during a big part of the day, recreating a semi-natural living environment. Here the elephants can enjoy being elephants. Follow the guide around the perimeter to learn more about the elephants. Take your time on the different platforms to see how a new herd is being formed. This rare opportunity will bring you closer to their natural life, something which is very special about our program and difficult to find anywhere else in Laos.

Lunch is served at one of the viewing platforms. You have some time to let everything sink in. Following the forest picnic, you can see the resident mother and baby at the nursery. The mahout of the mother stays close by while she and her baby have a bath and play. The mother trusts him around her offspring and even lets him play with her a little bit. Afterwards, board our boat for a trip back to the center in time to see the afternoon bath. You will meet our veterinarian or biologist again as they will conduct a target training session. All our elephants are being trained using ‘positive reinforcement’ techniques to facilitate any necessary treatments. We offer you the chance to follow their work from a safe distance. Afterwards you can walk the elephant back to the forest.

Day 6: Continue the Experience at ECC - Transfer back to Luang Prabang

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Continue the experience with the elephant before transferring back to Luang Prabang in the afternoon. Free to stroll around the town of Luang Prabang for the last-minute shopping before taking the departure flight

On the third day, our guide and biologist will explain the enrichment activities. Enrichment is a dynamic process for enhancing animal environments within the context of the animal’s behavioral biology. We are providing cognitive enrichment in the form of hidden food, toys, a mud bath etc. to give the elephants mental stimulation and avoid boredom. They love it! We invite you to take part in this amazing experience by helping our team to prepare the socialization area: cut and hide the food, create elephant toys etc. to give the elephants a challenge. Once they arrive, you will have the opportunity to observe how the elephants interact with what you have created! This is a novel and unique way to interact with our elephants, contributing directly to their well-being. After Lunch at the restaurant you can take your time to pack your bags and say goodbye to the staff. Perhaps you would like to take in the scenery for one last time before we bring you back to Luang Prabang. From there, our driver will transfer you back to your hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang

Day 7: Departure

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Free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight

You are free to stroll around the town for your own exploration before taking the departure flight

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Complementary Info

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