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Laos

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During this exciting exploration of Laos, students will enjoy a community and cultural experience with city tours, ceremonies, community project work and learning about traditional art techniques. The group will meet and greet the elephants at Luang Prabang Elephant Camp and hike to magical waterfalls set within a stunning national park.

A landlocked nation in Southeast Asia occupying the northwest portion of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. it is a mountainous country, especially in the North, where peaks rise above 9,000ft. The Mekong River, which forms the boundary with Burma and Thailand, flows through the country.

Highlights
  • Learn traditional weaving and spinning techniques
  • Climb 328 steps to the top of Prabang Hill
  • Work alongside local teachers and students for the community project work at a local school
  • Visit the beautiful, turquoise Kuang Si waterfalls
  • Visit the Elephant Camp and feed them bananas!
  • Try bamboo water rafting

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Laos

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Day to day - Sample itinerary

Day 01

Arrive Luang Prabang

Arrive at airport, meet with our guide and transfer to hotel. Once refreshed, the team will enjoy a guided walk and climb Mount Phousi to have a wonderful view of Luang Prabang and the surrounding mountains. In the evening, students enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional Laos food before walking to the night market of Luang Prabang. Our guide will teach simple Laos words so that students can say hello to local traders and bargain to buy local souvenirs from them!

Day 02

City Tour & Ceremony

The group rise early before breakfast to transfer to the serene Wat Sene temple overlooking the whole of Luang Prabang town. Students can bring offerings such as fruit, candles and incense sticks to offer to the monks and nuns. After breakfast the team start their day with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum and houses the precious exhibits that used to be possessions of the former Laos Royal family. Continue with the exploration of the main Buddhist temples of Luang Prabang. Take the opportunity to interact with the monks at the Wat Mai temple before ending the day with a climb of 328 steps to the top of Phousi Hill. Here you can watch the sun set over Luang Prabang town. In the early evening, it is time for Baci ceremonies, which are an integral part of Lao culture.

Day 03

Ethnology Centre - Ock Pop Tok

If you’re an early-riser you can watch as residents of the city offer food to long lines of orange robe clad monks who disembark from pagodas in this magical morning ritual. Later, students will take part in a weaving course and learn about a craft, which is central to Lao culture. You’ll also learn about the raising of silkworms and the use of natural dyes, as well as having the chance to try your hand at weaving and spinning. Today is a day for the culture and handicrafts enthusiasts, to enjoy a visit to The Art and Ethnology Centre to learn about the culture and history of some of the diverse ethnic groups that make up the rich tapestry of the population of Laos. We will end our culture and handicrafts day at Yen Sabai Book and Arts Centre where you have the opportunity to participate in a traditional Paper Stenciling class.

Day 04

Elephant Camp & Kuang Si Waterfalls

The group will be transferred by minivan or boat to the Luang Prabang Elephant Camp on the Mekong River near Kuang Si waterfalls. Students will learn about the Asian elephant and their current status in Laos. Afterwards, students are able to feed the elephants bananas and learn more about these magnificent creatures up close and personal. Enjoy lunch at the elephant camp before driving on to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Once at the waterfalls, take a leisurely hike through the national park and pass by the Asian bear rescue centre. Students can enjoy feeling the mist of the cool, turquoise waters of the amazing waterfalls in the beautiful surroundings. The group will then transfer back to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 05

Community Project Day

Transfer to Ban Doun Mo for a full community project day. The group will work alongside local teachers and students to help clean and paint the school, plant flowers on the school grounds and help the local school children learn English. Teachers and students could think of some fun, but easy games when interacting with the local Laos children to help them learn English. Enjoy lunch with local children then continue working on community project during the afternoon. After a rewarding day at the school the group will return to Luang Prabang for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 06

Community Project Morning & Bamboo Raft Building

Transfer back to Ban Doun Mo to finish the community project work. Play a football game with the local school children or learn some phrases in Lao. Enjoy lunch with local children before saying goodbye to the students and villagers. In the afternoon the group will cycle about 17km to Ban Xieng Lom for bamboo water rafting, where they will be divided into smaller teams. Local guides will instruct how to build rafts so the students can hop on and take a fun but leisurely 20-minute ride down river (life jackets and helmets are provided which all students are required to wear).

Day 07

Departure

After breakfast the group will visit the vibrant morning market. Unlike the large grocery stores back home; the food here is still produced by small farming families and villages and brought to Luang Prabang from the surrounding Northern provinces. Transfer back to hotel to check out and drive to airport for your onward flight.

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What's included

Comprehensive travel insurance
UK Expedition Leader
All meals
Unlimited drinking water
All accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees for all sights in the itinerary
All program transfers in private vehicles
Discount code for outdoor kit retailers
Local Expedition Leader
Tips for Guides
24 hour support throughout expedition