Khiri Travel FAM Trips

Wild Laos

Khiri Travel Laos organizes a familiarization trip around the country right after the PATA Travel Mart in Phnom Penh (17-19 September 2014). In this 10-day tour one of our managers takes you on a discovery of seldom-seen places in the slow paced country.

We created an energetic program to show you a side of Laos that you would not usually see on fam trips. We venture beyond the scope of mass-market tourism available online. Laos is a beautiful and safe place rich in culture, history and protected wilderness. We want to take you on an “off the beaten track” journey and share our passion for discovery. You will fall in love with Laos’ people, food and countryside for a trip of a lifetime!

For hotel inspections or other Khiri activities, you can do an extension from Luang Prabang. This tour provides a range of comfortable accommodations; however, depending on your budget we can make adjustments. See the highlights described below. For more information see the full itinerary.

This tour gives you a unique insight of the treasures Laos has to offer to your guests.

Program & date

Wild Laos – 10 Days | Sunday 21  – Tuesday 30 September 2014

Day 1 | Sunday, September 21 | Vientiane | Meals: D
It is impossible to visit Laos and not gain a healthy curiosity about Buddhism. Wat Si Muang in Vientiane, despite being less well known to tourists than other temples, is actually a unique place to observe how Lao people live their Buddhist faith. For example, one can witness devotions such as a woman hoping to become pregnant, an individual seeking a monk to bless a new car or a student praying to do well on an upcoming exam.

Day 2 | Monday, September 22 | Vientiane – Xieng Khouang | Meals: B L
Our Lao guides are very eager to integrate tourism by arranging visits to places that show the daily challenges and industriousness of the Lao people.

The Plain of Jars is an archeological site of unsolved mystery where hundreds of elephant-size stone jars are littered haphazardly over many square kilometers of the landscape. Of more interest to some industrious local people, however, are the remains of the bombs that rained down on this area during the second Indochina War. The villagers collect scrap metal from the exploded bombs and convert a relic of a horrible war into a cottage industry making eating utensils and bracelets.

At the Lone Buffalo Foundation you can visit young boys and girls who are learning English from native speakers through play. On the football field or playing computer games they are encouraged to overcome their shyness, learn new skills and practice speaking English. In 2010, this foundation sponsored the first ever Lao youth football team to travel to Sweden to participate in the Gothia Youth World Cup.

The Mulberries Project is a means to improve sericulture and teach women skills for creating high-quality silk handicrafts to earn a steady income.

Day 3 | Tuesday, September 23 | Xieng Khouang – Sam Neau | Meals: B L
Road trips in northern Laos can be agonizingly slow-paced by western standards. However, they also reward you with unparalleled opportunities to observe how local people actually live and travel and what this isolated countryside looks like. The trip from the Plain of Jars in to Sam Neua has interesting sights to break the monotony. Thampiu Cave, the place where 374 civilians were killed in 1968 during War in Indochina. There is a small museum inside the cave and if you are lucky, one or two elderly villagers who are survivors of that deadly event willing to tell their story. The mysterious standing stones at Hintang. No one is quite sure who built them or why, perhaps burial sites or markers of some sort.

Square-grid---FAM-Trip-Laos3

Day 4 | Wednesday, September 24 | Sam Neua – Viengsay – Viengthong | Meals: B L
This region is certainly “off the beaten track” from most standard tours and includes towns such as Viengxay and Viengthong. Nearby is the Nam Et – Phou Louey National Protected Area or NPA by the short name.

Marvel at the amazing towering karst formations, those craggy limestone monoliths, in the middle of town! Viengxay is another place with a historical connection to the war. There are caves where you can see how the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party lived in hiding during the second war in Indochina.

Day 5 | Thursday, September 25 | Viengthong – Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA | Meals: B L D
Son Koua Village is home to the ethnic Khmu people. The village guide will give you a warm welcome that includes performing an offering at an animist shrine to appease the village spirit. From the village you will embark by long tail boat to journey to the NPA via the Nam Nern River. Along the way discover the importance of upland rice cultivation while keeping one eye out to spot an illusive monitor lizard or native birds.

After darkness, the NPA moonlit night safari commences and you get back in the boats. Floating down the river, the boatman quits the engine to allow the boat to drift quietly. Everyone will be hoping to hear or see nocturnal wildlife in the water or jungle such as Sambar deer, otters, barking deer, cat-like civets, porcupine and owls. The accommodations for this evening will be an ecolodge.

Day 6 | Friday, September 26 | Nam Et / Phou Louey NPA – Nong Khiew | Meals: B L
There is more to see in the jungle on foot. The local guide knows how to live off the forest and will teach you how to identify and use some medicinal plants. There are also more stories to hear about the history of this protected area and how it was used as a major settlement during the war.

Day 7 | Saturday, September 27 | Nong Khiew | Meals: B L
This sleepy village on the banks of the Nam Ou River is just being discovered for its adventure opportunities. The one-day hike to the 100 Waterfalls is amazing. Starting with a peaceful boat ride, you then take a guided hike through farm villages and rice paddies to the waterfall stream. For the next two hours you walk upstream under tree cover stepping over small cascades (wear secure footwear!). You are rewarded at the top of the hill with a nice view, a picnic lunch and a waterfall that invites a refreshing shower.

Day 8 | Sunday, September 28 | Nong Khiew – Luang Prabang | Meals: B
Enroute by boat from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, an intriguing stop along the way is Pak Ou Caves, a sacred site for Buddhist pilgrims. Scattered throughout mysterious and dimly lit rock caverns perched on a hill above the Mekong River are over 3000 images of the Buddha. Some of the statues are inlaid with precious gems making a symbolic testament to the devotion of the Lao people.

Ban Xang Khong and Ban Xang Hai are two interesting riverside villages where the local economy is on display in villager’s homes. In Xang Khong (ban means village), you can watch women sitting at hand-operated looms weaving exquisite and intricately detailed silk and cotton textiles. Lao Lao is the name of the local whiskey distilled in Xang Hai. Try a swig of this potent drink if you dare!

Day 9 | Monday, September 29 | Luang Prabang  | Meals: B
Two days is certainly not enough to explore this laid back town. It is enough time to see the highlights, eat the freshest food in Asia, and plan a return trip!

Day two in Luang Prabang Old Town you have the chance to focus on food, specifically the local staple, “sticky rice.” Start the day with a guided and interactive experience all about rice. The most enjoyable part involves getting into the mud of the rice paddy and steering a primitive plow behind a beast of burden— a buffalo named Susan. The last part of the rice tour is for tasting. Sample some sticky rice dipped into delicious sauces and other rice-based snack food.

Another don’t miss morning activity is waking up early and watching the townspeople gather on their bamboo mats along the street. This activity is in preparation for the line of saffron monks in their bare feet that will soon come shuffling past to collect alms. This is a very moving scene to witness, but, being a sacred ritual, you should show respect.

Early morning is also a wonderful time to explore the temples and charming shop houses along the side streets. Luang Prabang is best experienced on foot to soak up the ambiance and appreciate the hidden charms of this culturally and historically rich place. We bring you to see Wat Xieng Thong, an older but ornately decorated temple that defines the classic Luang Prabang style. Visit the National museum housed in the former Royal Palace, it contains the prized Pra Bang Buddha after which the town is named.  Overlooking the palace is Phousi Hill. Time your climb up the hill for the late afternoon to see wonderful views of the town and the Mekong River silhouetted by the setting sun.

Day 10 | Tuesday, September 30 | Luang Prabang – onward | Meals: B
We enjoy breakfast and depending on your departure flight, transfer you to the airport. Checkout at the hotel is at noon.

 

Click here for the complete itinerary, terms and conditions.

This familiarization trip is valid for bonafide travel agents only.

For bookings, information and complete tour descriptions, please contact our Khiri Travel Laos office at sales.laos@khiri.com.