AND ETHNIC MINORITIES
The Luang Prabang and Ethnic Minorities itinerary blends the most important cultural visits to the ancient capital and the nature experience at the village inhabited by the Khmu tribe.
Visit Luang Prabang, ‘City of the Golden Buddha‘, the legendary capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom, located on the peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam rivers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Admire the beauty of the Kuang Si waterfalls and cruise the Mekong River to discover the Pak Ou Caves, or the Thousand Buddha Caves, an important place of worship and pilgrimage for centuries.
Explore the village of the Khmu ethnic minority to learn about their culture and environment: founded by Lao Spirit Resort, a project launched in 2003 to involve local people in tourism, thus helping the local economy, as well as to enable visitors to have a cultural experience by meeting the ethnic groups.
Visit the Elephant Park Project, an elephant preservation project developed along the banks of the Nam Khan River.
This sample itinerary starts and ends in Luang Prabang. It can be tailored to suit your travel needs as well as combined with other routes.
Length : 5D 4N
From : LUANG PRABANG
To : LUANG PRABANG
Destinations : Luang Prabang, Lao Spirit Adventure
01. ARRIVE IN LUANG PRABANG - CITY TOUR
Welcome meeting by our staff on your arrival in Luang Prabang, the legendary capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom located on the peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam rivers, and transfer to the hotel.
We then begin our walking tour of the most important monuments.
We visit Wat Visoun, built in 1513, Wat Aham, or ‘Monastery of the Blossoming Heart‘, built at the beginning of the 19th century as a place of meditation and a meeting place between animist and Buddhist cultures, and the Wat Mai, ‘New Monastery‘, built at the end of the 18th century, one of the most complex and picturesque temples in the city, richly decorated and easily distinguishable by its unique five-level roof.
Late in the afternoon we climb Mount Phousi to visit the sacred golden stupa and admire the beautiful city skyline and a romantic sunset over the Mekong.
A walk to the Night Market on Luang Prabang’s main street in the evening is definitely worthwhile, as you can meet local traders selling handicrafts from the area’s ethnic minorities.
Included : Private pick up from the airport, guide, tickets, private transportation and hotel
02. LUANG PRABANG - PAK OU CAVES
Pak Ou caves
After breakfast we the Wat Sene Souk Haram temple, or ‘Temple of 100,000 Treasures‘, built in 1718 using 100,000 stones extracted from the Mekong River, and Wat Xieng Thong, or ‘Monastery of the Golden City‘, founded in 1560, one of the most important in Luang Prabang, known for the grace and elegance of its architecture.
Afterwards we head to the pier and embark on a river cruise to Pak Ou Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves. Located at the confluence of the Mekong and Ou rivers, they are one of the must-see sights on a trip to Laos.
The sanctuary consists of two large limestone caves: Tham Ting, the lower cavity, which can be reached by climbing the 30-step staircase, and Tham Theung, the upper cavity, which can be reached by climbing the 70-step staircase.
The Pak Ou caves have been an important place of worship for many centuries for the faithful, who offer a Buddha image as a gift when they make a pilgrimage there. As a result of this tradition, today both cavities house thousands of statues of Buddha of different sizes, from a few centimeters to about 2 meters, in different styles and spiritual positions (mudras), from meditation to ascent to nirvana.
During the cruise we admire the typical Laotian rural landscape and the local lifestyle. We stop for a short visit to the village of Ban Xang Hai, known for the production of “Lao Lao”, the famous rice whiskey.
We end the day with a tour of the Buddhist temple Wat Long Khoun, or ‘Monastery of Happiness‘, built in the 18th century and once used as a sanctuary by those seeking spiritual rejuvenation, including monarchs who spent three days here in meditation before the coronation ceremony.
Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, boat, tickets and private transportation
03. LUANG PRABANG - KUANG SI WATERFALLS
Kuang Si waterfalls
At 5:30am we witness the Tak Bak ceremony, the monks’ quest, an ancient Asian Buddhist religious tradition practiced with constancy only in Luang Prabang. Every morning, for the past 2,500 years, hundreds of monks walk barefoot from their temples to the centre of the city. Forming a long line, they slowly walk through the streets to collect alms, especially ‘sticky rice’, donated by the faithful, who wait silently on the pavements, in exchange for prayers and blessings.
Once finished, we return to the hotel for breakfast. We then continue our tour of the most important attractions.
In the morning we visit Phousi Market and some local villages to learn about the local lifestyle.
We continue to the outskirts of Luang Prabang to the incredible Kuang Si waterfalls. Along the way we visit some villages inhabited by ethnic minorities. Once at the falls, there is plenty of free time for a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, to explore the trails that lead into the forest, or simply to relax surrounded by this beautiful natural setting.
On the way back to Luang Prabang we visit the villages of Ban Xang Kong and Ban Xieng Lek known for their ancient textile tradition and the production of paper from mulberry bark. We end the day with a beautiful sunset from the top of the Wat Phabath temple.
Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation
04. LAO SPIRIT ADVENTURE
Tad Sae waterfalls
We start the day with a hike (approx. 3h, low difficulty) to the Lao Spirit Resort in the Khmu tribal village, a project launched in 2003 to involve local people in the tourism sector thus helping the local economy, as well as to enable visitors to have a cultural experience by meeting this ethnic group.
Afterwards, we visit the “Elephant Park Project” developed along the riverbank and continue with a short trek to the villages in the area.
Lunch at the local village Ban Houay Fai.
In the afternoon we visit the Tad Sae waterfalls, then return to the Khmu village aboard a local boat.
Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, tickets and private transportation
05. LUANG PRABANG - DEPARTURE
After breakfast we head to the National Museum: formerly the Royal Palace, it now houses an important collection of valuables including statues of Buddha and many other objects donated by visiting dignitaries to the court of Luang Prabang.
Afterwards we visit the Central Market.
Following this, transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight.
Included : Breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation
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