WHY SHOULD I GO TO LAOS ?
Over centuries the landlocked Lao people have been cultivating rice and growing organic vegetables. Laos is dominated by mountains, forests and subsistence agriculture. The rhythm of life is strongly tied to the changing seasons and the requirements of farming. Today Laos still relies on this farming and agriculture, their life style is still preserved. You can experience something of this lifestyle while you are in Laos with us.
Upon arrival, (depending on your arrival time) your half day city tour enables us to see the major temples of Vientiane including the oldest, Wat Sisaket, with it’s thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the national icon of Laos, That Luang Stupa, stopping along the way to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. Overnight in Vientiane.
After an early breakfast we depart the capital for our journey northbound. Our drive will take approximately 4 hours passing through spectacular countryside before climbing into the mountains. There will be photo opportunities along the way and a stop at a colourful local market where various hill tribes come to trade goods and buy provisions.
We will arrive in the midst of the stunningly beautiful scenery of Vang Vieng in time for lunch at the Organic Farm where you can eat traditional Lao food and sample some roasted goat cheese and mulberry wine.
After lunch we will visit the famous Than Jang Cave, once used by local people as a hideout from Chinese invaders. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Vang Vieng by foot or bicycle, take a boat ride up river or just relax by the pool at your hotel. Overnight in Vang Vieng (B)
This morning we drive further into the mountains passing spectacular scenery and numerous hill tribe villages. We will lunch at an altitude of approximately 1,300 meters above sea level surrounded by the endless mountain peaks of this remote region.
After lunch we continue on along Route 13 stopping for photo opportunities and arriving in Luang Prabang early evening. After check in at your hotel you can freshen up for our evening at the Traditional Baci & Cultural Show (optional quotation). Out of respect for the nature of this traditional performance we request that you wear formal dress and we will provide you with a traditional Lao shoulder scarf. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B)
This morning after breakfast we head off onbicycles to begin our city tour with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts from the Royal period in Luang Prabang. Cycling on, we are seeing the city’s oldest temples, the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roof sweeping low to the ground, representing classical Lao architecture, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham.
You will be cooking your traditional Lao lunch atthe Tamnak Lao Cooking School. Among the traditional dishes you may learn to cook are Lap, consisting of minced meat and fresh herbs and spices, a fish and eggplant soup and a stir-fried chicken and pork dish. You will also learn how to make the famous Jeowbong, a traditional sauce eaten as an accompaniment to sticky rice and BBQ meat.
After relaxing at your hotel to let you lunch settle we will pay a late afternoon visit the Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’many ethnic cultures. You can enjoy a coffee at the centre’s café if you chose before our climb to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred gilded stupa and to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and the sun setting over the Mekong River. Descenting the mountain your will find yourself in the midst of the famous Luang Prabang Night Market, where you can find a unique selection of handmade textiles and handicrafts locally made by both ethnic Lao and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B, L)
This morning you have the option and opportunity to rise early and participate in the daily morning ritual of ‘Alms Giving’, you will experience saffron-clad monks collecting offerings or ‘Alms’ from faithful local residents. This tradition is unique to Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the daily procession.
After breakfast back at the hotel we begin our journey to Kuang Sii Waterfall stopping along the way to visit the morning Phousi Market, this where all locals of Luang Prabang come to do their daily shopping. You will see a variety of local foodstuffs and products including dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, fish, vegetables and fruit, everything needed for daily life in Laos.
On arrival at the Kuang Sii Falls you will have the opportunity to cool off with a refreshing swim in the topaz pools below the falls, walk along the forest trails and visit the Bear Sanctuary. You will also enjoy a picnic lunch below the falls.
Upon return to Luang Prabang we board our private boat for a pleasant and scenic cruise up on the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. These caves are an ancient pilgrimage site and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha images left there over hundreds of years.
Returning to Luang Prabang we disembark our boat and have the option of taking a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village famous for its hand weaving or returning to the hotel for free time to relax. Overnight in Luang Prabang (B, L)
This morning we head out to Living Land Farm, a working community farm aprroximately 5kms outside the town. There you will learn all about the rice growing process and have an opportunity to participate in seasonal farm activities such as identifying viable rice seeds, ploughing with a buffalo, hand planting, weeding and harvesting rice and threshing rice seed.
You may be picking vegatables form the organic garden or catching fish to cook for your all natural, organic lunch where there will be a variety of local rice products for you to sample.
We will return to Luang Prabang late afternoon and have the option to go to a local petangue game and enjoy a few Beer Lao, experience a spa treatment or massage or just relax at the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Optional quotation: petangue game and spa treatment or massage (B, L)
Breakfast, you are free until transfer to airport.
|Prices above are based on below local standard hotels and room types|
|Vientiane||Avalon Hotel (Standard)||Chanthapanya (Superior)||Lao Plaza (Regular Floor)||Dhavara (Deluxe)|
|Vang Vieng||Ban Sabai (Standard)||Elephant Crossing (Standard)||Silver Naga (Deluxe)||Riverside (Deluxe)|
|Luang Prabang||Villa Banlao (Standard)||Moungluang (Deluxe)||Juliana Hotel (Deluxe)||Xiengthong Palace (Superior)|