Embark on a family adventure in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Town filled with historical monuments and natural wonders. Admire French colonial buildings alongside traditional architecture of temples. Visit the local market and learn basic Lao words. Feed and bathe elephants in the river and finally learn how to dye different patterns on a shirt. There’s something for everyone in the family in this trip!
UNESCO World Heritage getaway
Admire the rich architecture and artistic heritage of colonial buildings of Luang Prabang, the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Laos.
Learn basic Lao
Learn basic Lao language and practise using these words and pictures at a local market.
Meet & greet gentle giants
Prepare food for the elephants using local ingredients and give them a bath in the river.
Luang Prabang – Arrival
Luang Prabang Airport – Luang Prabang (4 km): 15 min
Welcome to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos!
Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, the guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check-in. Once settled, take-off for an afternoon introduction tour of Luang Prabang.
Learn all about this UNESCO World Heritage town from an experienced local guide. See and learn about historical French colonial buildings and traditional architecture. Play a game of petanque, a local favourite activity perfect to interact with the locals while enjoying some snacks and Beerlao (for the adults).
Dinner is at Coconut Garden, a restaurant offering Lao cuisine catered to children and westerners tastes.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Phosy Market Amazing Race – Kuang Si
After breakfast, meet the guide and embark on a unique adventure to Luang Prabang’s largest market, Phosy Market! Rub elbows with the locals and gain a deeper insight into their daily life.
Begin the amazing race with a brief Lao lesson from the guide to learn some basic words. Working individually, or in teams, today’s goal is to try to take photos of all the objects written in Lao on the list. The first one to collect photos of all the items wins!
After the race, enjoy Lao dishes in a family-run Tamarind restaurant dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the local cuisine. The friendly staff will happily explain the ingredients and customs of the cuisine during the meal. (Note: Closed on Sundays)
After lunch, drive through the outskirts of Luang Prabang and take a short trek to Kuang Si Waterfall, a cascading series of clear water pools. Relax at the waterfall or opt for an adventurous trek to the top of the falls.
There is an option to make a stop at the Asiatic Black Bear sanctuary. Located near the falls, this centre houses endangered bears rescued from poachers. Learn about work involved to stop the poachers and preserve the bear’s natural habitat.An additional visit can be made at the unique Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, a social enterprise that produces sustainable and delicious cheese while giving back to the community and environment. While the buffalo may be the stars here, there are also playful pigs, cheeky chickens and rollicking rabbits that are just as fun to interact with for the young and young at heart. Enjoy a homemade ice cream at the cafe before saying goodbye to the Buffaloes and the team. (Opening Hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday - Sunday)
Return to the city in the late afternoon and enjoy the scenic views of rural landscapes of Lao countryside.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Living Land – Communication with Giants
Luang Prabang – Mandalao Elephant Camp (15 km): 30 min
This morning, set-off for the countryside for what promises to be an unforgettable experience: a day as an organic farmer in Laos. The destination is a local organic farm: a stilted wooden farmhouse situated in the middle of emerald green rice paddies.
The organic farm, established by the local community after seeing an increase in destructive slash-and-burn agricultural techniques, not only feeds the community but also helps to educate other farmers on sustainable farming methods.
Learn about the vegetable garden and witness various activities such as basket weaving, noodle making and sugarcane juicing with a knowledgeable farmer from the community.
Gain a deeper appreciation for the Lao farmers with hands-on work on the fields. Learn about the various stages of rice production and help the farmers plough, plant, harvest or thresh the rice using traditional techniques.
Having worked up an appetite, a selection of rice-based snacks will be served before returning to Luang Prabang at midday.
Be picked up from the hotel in Luang Prabang (around 14:30) and be transferred to the village of Xieng Lom. Upon arrival, enjoy some tea or coffee while the guide provides an in-depth introduction to elephant behaviour, their connection with humans and the best means of interacting with these majestic creatures.
After the introduction, begin the ‘cooking’ portion of the itinerary. Spend some time alongside the mahouts and learn how to create delicious snacks for an instant connection with the elephants. Using rice as a base, combine fruits, herbs and seasonings into what is described here as an elephant health ball.
With the food prepared, the first meeting will take place. Embark on a boat ride across the Nam Khan River where the elephants await. The guide will provide instruction on how to approach and interact with the elephants, as well as the best means of delivering their special handmade snack.
Then, watch and observe how the elephants and their mahouts interact and bond during bathtime in the river.
After the bath, embark on a short 1 km trek up Hoy Kang Stream side-by side these gentle giants. This trek is flat and can be catered to clients’ needs or physical abilities.
Enjoy a final drink and snack overlooking the Nam Khan River, followed by the short journey back to Luang Prabang, arriving around 16:30 - 17:00.
(NOTE: MandaLao Elephant Conservation does not allow clients to bathe the elephants directly. This is in line with the WAP-World Animal Protection Guidelines which EXO Travel works closely with. The elephants are free to choose if they enter the river or not and the only people that will wash the elephants would be their mahout.)
Overnight in Luang Prabang
HD Family Natural Dyeing Class
After breakfast, visit Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre to learn more about the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts in a beautiful garden on the banks of the Mekong River.
Learn and try tie-dying a t-shirt using a variety of patterns and traditional techniques. Something fun for the kids and the parents with personalised t-shirts to bring home.
Return to the hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Luang Prabang – Departure
Luang Prabang – Luang Prabang Airport (4 km): 15 min
If time permits, make a short visit to the Heritage Information Centre (Note: Closed on Sundays) of Luang Prabang to gain some insights into UNESCO’s work in culturally-rich Luang Prabang.
The guide and driver will be available for the final airport transfer in accordance to the flight schedule.
Our Services Include:
- Accommodation based on 2 adults in a shared twin or double room in selected hotels with max. 2 x children under 12 years old sleeping in extra bed(s)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
- English-speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply)
- All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.
Our Services do not Include:
- International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
- Meals other than mentioned above
- Camera/video entrance fees
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance, tips, visa
- Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above
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