Enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River, observing stunning scenery and riverside French villas along the way. Stop by the Pak Ou Caves, known for the hundreds of shrines and miniature Buddhist statues that line their walls.. Unwind in the laid-back jungle town of Luang Prabang. Watch as orange-clad monks gather offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from locals before sunrise in a daily alms giving ceremony.. Visit Ock Pop Tok, an inspiring fair trade social enterprise that provides a sustainable source of income to local weavers and artisans. Browse their beautifully-made traditional textiles and handicrafts while learning about the organisation.. A full day of sightseeing in Vientiane includes visits to the capital’s most dazzling attractions, including the golden Pha That Luang (or the Great Stupa), the most sacred monument in the country.
Laos just might be south-east Asia’s most enchanting destination. With its untouched natural beauty, relaxed pace and fascinating Buddhist culture, travellers are quickly enamoured with this frequently overlooked gem. Delve into Laos tradition in beautiful Luang Prabang, first with a traditional Baci ceremony, then observing the daily giving of alms that takes place between locals and saffron-robed monks. Explore the stunning, French-influenced scenery of this UNESCO-recognised city on a scenic boat ride on the Mekong. See the fascinating Pak Ou Caves, stuffed with Buddhist shrines, and countless sacred stupas, Buddhist temples and French colonial buildings in sleepy Vientiane. Meet incredible locals along the way, with visits to organisations like COPE and Ock Pop Tok, who do remarkable work in this remarkable country.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 1
Arrive in beautiful Luang Prabang, the jewel in Laos’ crown. Take your included transfer to the hotel. After settling into your room, your journey begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Following this important meeting, you will be welcomed to the country with a tradition Baci ceremony. The ceremony, which aims to bring the 32 souls (khouan) that look after you back to your body and attract beneficial influence, is traditionally performed at all important events in a person's life. Afterwards, enjoy a free evening to explore this charming, French-influenced riverside town.
Wake early to participate in the alms giving ceremony, one of the most sacred Buddhist traditions in Laos, where locals offer food to monks in order to seek spiritual blessing. Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to side streets. Follow the locals as they kneel down, ready to give offerings of rice, fruit and sweet snacks to the monks. Later that morning, spend time learning about Laos’ diverse ethnic groups at the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre. Afterwards, enjoy an essential activity in Luang Prabang – a boat ride on the Mekong River. It's a great chance to see the riverside from a different angle, with all its stately French villas, trees, and slow-paced two-wheeled traffic. Further along the stream, outside of town, you visit the Pak Ou Caves, located at the confluence of the rivers Mekong and Ou. Enjoy lunch on the boat along the way.
In the morning, visit Ock Pop Tok, an inspiring fair trade social enterprise that provides a sustainable source of income for female artisans in Luang Prabang. Their dedicated team shows women how to make a better living from their skills. The organisation then employs women to design, make and sell beautiful textiles and handicrafts at three shops across the city. Later take a short ride out of town to visit Kuang Si Waterfall. Its glorious blue-green cascades make for one of Laos' most photogenic attractions, and the pool at its base is great for swimming in. There is time to visit the nearby Bear Rescue Centre as well. In the evening, sit down to dinner at Khaiphaen, a Friends-International enterprise dedicated to improving the welfare of disadvantaged youth through skills-training.
Fly to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, in the early morning. Though not as visually impressive as Luang Prabang, this city is renowned for its food and has some must see sights. Its main streets are awash with a variety of high-calibre restaurants that serve a remarkably diverse span of cuisines from across the globe. Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the city, stopping in at Wat Si Saket, Hor Prakeo, Patuxai (Victory Gate) and That Luang along the way. You’ll also visit the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE), a remarkable not-for-profit organisation that makes rehabilitative devices and medical equipment accessible to people with physical disabilities in Laos.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. There are no planned activities for today and you are free to depart at any time.