Laos Ecology Tour
Laos Ecology Tour
from Vientiane / to Luang Prabang
Day 1: Arrival in Vientiane – City tour (D)
Arrive in Vientiane and meet your guide, before being transferred to your hotel to check-in and refresh. Vientiane is more of a village than a capital city, the quiet streets a long distance away from the manic hustle of other Asian cities.
Like all good capital cities it has a long list of attractions, although they’re tucked away and not always easy to find. So your guide willpick you up at the hotel and take you on a half day tour that reveals the hidden charms of Vientiane. Take in the serene Wat Sisaket, the temple hallways covered with miniature Buddha statues and the glorious entranceway showcasing the city’s imperial past. Lao and Khmer artwork has been carefully preserved in the Wat Phra Keo and this religious museum offers an insight into a people who always wanted to be peaceful, yet were constantly battling against foreign invaders.
The Presidential Palace comes from a different time in history, and although you can’t go inside, the rich outer facade glimpses at the city’s colonial past and the influence of the French. Everyone knows about the Vietnam war, yet few people have heard about the devastating impact in nearby Laos. For example, bombs that weren’t dropped in Vietnam, would be dropped in the Laos jungle because it was unsafe for planes to land with them! And the country is littered with land mines. Learn more on a visit to COPE, an association that works with landmine victims and provides an in-depth narrative on the war.
The sights keep on coming as you admire Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe and then the resplendent That Luang, the holiest site in the whole country. Savor the delights of modern Laos cuisine with dinner at the Makphet Restaurant, a place that trains street children and helps them get a job in the hospitality industry.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day 2: Vientiane – Orchid Trek (B,L)
Today is spent on a full day community based tourism trek that will reveal both local culture and the beauty of the surrounding nature.
The Orchid Trek is unlike most tours you will have done before. You’re not just a spectator, you’re an active participant, interacting with the locals and becoming friends with your guide. You’ll depart Vientiane in the morning and drive one and a half hours to the starting point besides Phou Khao Kway National Park. Guides are eager to learn and they love questions, so ask away as you start your journey into a rugged landscape of waterfalls, mountains, and vivid sandstone cliffs. Marvel at the different orchid species, seek out the park’s remaining wild elephants, and gaze down on beautiful panoramas. Vibrant colors mark the landscape; open air fields are bright and welcoming, bamboo forests and green and soothing, while the flowers provide constant shocks of new shades.
A picnic lunch is served along side the riverbank, this activity enabling more villagers to benefit from tourism in the area. Soak up the tranquility, keep your eyes peeled for fluttering butterflies, and then continue towards the multilevel waterfalls of Tad Xay, idyllic spots for a swim. If you’re really brave and keen to do as the locals do, then sample some ant eggs and fried insects at the Dong Mak Kai Market on the route back to Vientiene. Not only will you be overawed by the beauty of the landscapes, you’ll be experiencing a complete cultural immersion on this ecotourism initiative.
Return to Vientiane around 1730. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 3: Vientiane – Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast enjoy some free time before transferring to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. On arrival in Luang Prabang you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Luang Prabang is the country’s most evocative city, teeming with spiritual history and offering a marvelously quaint atmosphere. Orange-robed monks wander the streets, temples stand above quiet street corners, while locals sell fruit smoothies along the streets. Settle into its relaxed rhythm and laze away an afternoon beside the Mekong river or in one of dozens of cute cafes.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang – e-bike tour (B, L)
Early risers are treated to a special sight as a long line of monks leave their pagodas and walk the through the streets, collecting offerings from the residents in the soothing dawn light. It’s well worth the early alarm call. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel in at 08:30 for a short transfer by tuk-tuk to the electric powered bike station and your “responsible Luang Prabang Tour.”
This is a very quiet town, marked by serenity and encased with tranquility. So it doesn’t make sense to splutter around Luang Prabang in a noisy tuc tuc. The emission free bikes allow you to either pedal along, or coast gently coast along on the bike’s rechargeable battery. At this pace you’ll see the delights of the town, from the locals washing clothes in the river to the many centuries of buildings that cover the center. Spend the morning exploring Royal Palaces, holy temples, stupas that look like watermelons, and the wonderfully iconic Wat That. Ride along the river and savor the atmosphere of Wat Xieng Thong, a temple that’s much revered in Luang Prabang and is blissfully covered in mosaics and carvings. Keeping up the local theme of the afternoon you’ll enjoy a Laos set menu at Tamarind, one of the town’s best local restaurants.
Now leave the town behind and ride out to Phosy market, the journey marked by a succession of local scenes; perhaps schoolchildren plaiting each other’s hair, or old wooden houses emitting smells of fried banana. Exotic colors and flavors cover the Phosy market, the produce seeming to compete to look the most bizarre. Dragon fruit? Peculiar shaped purple things? Your guide will help out and help haggle as you try things that won’t be found in the supermarket back home.
The tour continues at a non-profit organization that preserves traditional weaving techniques, before you hit the Mekong river once more and ride back into town.. A stop and entrance to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center is included.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 5: Luang Prabang – The Living Land and Kuang Si Waterfalls (B, L)
You will be collected from your hotel at around 08:00 this morning for a short transfer to the Living Land Community Farm, an entirely organic farm in a beautiful rural setting that’s flanked by rice paddies. This morning’s tour continues your cultural immersion as you wander through the flourishing fields of this wonderful organic farm.
For many centuries the Laos people have been self- sufficient, surviving off the land and finding ingenious ways of maximizing the land’s bounty. Roofs are made from thatch, baskets are intricately weaved, noodles are hand made, and sugarcane juice is extracted. You’ll learn about it all in the interactive museum, situated in a stilted wooden house. Not only will you be wandering through the farm’s fields, you’ll be actively trying your hand at being a farmer, including getting personal with the resident buffalo and ploughing the rice fields.
Bring a change of clothes because being a farmer can be dirty business! (Hot showers and changing rooms are available). You’re helping create the rice that sustains a nation, but how does it go from the field to your mouth? There’s fourteen stages in total and a local will reveal all. (Please note that the activities will be shared with other visitors. The maximum group size is 10 people.) You will then be transferred from Luang Prabang to the Kuang Si Waterfalls for a beautiful afternoon in the country’s pristine nature. Outside Luang Prabang the hills are alive with rice fields and small villages. The drive offers countless viewpoints and endless panoramas before you reach the tumbling cascades and the thick green forest begins. Enjoy a picnic here, climb above the waterfalls on a steep trail, or take a dip in the soothing turquoise waters. Nearby there are bears. None of them are completely wild, so you can still enjoy all the hiking trails in the area, but the 23 Asiatic black bears that live in the bear sanctuary have been rescued from poaching and their antics are always pleasing on the eye.
As you return to Luang Prabang you can immerse yourself in rural Laos once more, stopping at a traditional village and discovering more ancient traditions and welcoming smiles.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 6: Luang Prabang departure (B)
After your breakfast, you’ll have free leisure time until being transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to visit the Heritage Information Center.
Rates & Services
Rates: 01.10.2015 – 30.04.2016
|Price per person in USD (private tour)||2 persons in double room||1 person in single room(single traveller)||Single room supplement|
|Hotel Category Standard||934||1.672||180|
|Hotel Category Superior||1.244||2.258||462|
|Hotel Category First Class||1.022||1.832||253|
Note: On 24.12 and 31.12, some hotels charge for compulsory gala dinners. Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.During certain dates, seasonal surcharges may apply, especially during Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year (15.02. – 21.02.15). Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.
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For rates for 3 or more travellers in one booking, please inquire with our team.