NTCC Promotion: A Weekend in Luang Prabang
Enjoy a few days exploring the old town of Luang Prabang. Bordered on two sides by the swift and silent flow of water, this picturesque peninsula of French colonial shop houses and red-roofed temples is best explored on foot or bicycle. Escape into the nearby countryside to visit Buddhist caves, waterfalls and weaving villages.
Day 1 | Luang Prabang | Meals: None
Arrive in Luang Prabang where you will meet your guide and driver and transfer to your hotel.
This afternoon, we explore this historic and charming town and World Heritage Site. Normally, we begin at the well-known Wat Xieng Thong. This 500-year old temple is at the northern tip of the peninsula. Impressive is the mosaic pattern at the back wall, the temple design is in typical Luang Prabang style.
From here, we walk up the peninsula seeing daily life in the small streets and at several temple grounds. The advantage of doing this walk in the morning, besides the temperature, is that we’ll get a real sense of what this sleepy heritage town is like. If the English language skills of people along the way are limited, feel free to ask our guide to help translate.
We’re not in a rush and there’s time to explore the temple grounds, shops or other sites we come across while walking. Always included is a visit to the National Museum, up until 1975 still inhabited by the Lao royalties. Admire the way former Lao kings used to live. Opposite the palace is Phousi Mountain. The saying goes that those who haven’t climbed the 328 steps up have not really made it to Luang Prabang. It’s a rewarding climb; at the top we have incredible views of Luang Prabang, the Mekong River and surrounding area. Can you discover where your hotel is?
Day 2 | Luang Prabang | Meals: B
In the morning we rise early to witness the sacred ritual of alms giving to the monks. At the crack of dawn and as part of the morning ritual of many a Laotian, monks from different temples come out to receive alms from the people. The morning market at this time is getting started as well, so we pay a visit here before we return to the hotel for breakfast.
Khiri has designed some simple guidelines to help keep your experience as unobtrusive to fellow travelers and the monks as possible. This will help keep the alms ritual a beautiful sight for future travellers to see as well.
Afterwards, visit the Morning Market and see an array of meats, vegetables and spices the locals use in their cooking. Return to your hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, depart through Laos’ scenic countryside to the Pak Ou Caves: it’s an ancient pilgrimage site for local buddhist on along the Mekong River 27 miles outside of Luang Prabang. On arrival in Ban Pak Ou, a boat will ferry us across the river to reach the caves – known for its figures of more than 3,000 Buddha images.
Stop at two riverside villages along the way. In Ban Xang Khong, the weaving of prized Lao textiles still takes place on ancient wooden looms. Some villagers are also engaged in mulberry paper production. The villagers of Ban Xang Hai produce Lao Lao, a rice whiskey. Try a swig of this potent drink – if you dare!
Travel south of town to the Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop along the way to visit the Living Crafts Centre, a place where you can learn about textiles and meet the weavers who help keep these traditions alive. At the falls, crystal water cascades into idyllic turquoise pools. Bring a bathing suit if you would like to swim!
Also take time to visit the nearby Sun Bear Refuge sanctuary to learn more about the poaching of these endangered creatures.
Day 3 | Luang Prabang | Meals: B
Relax on your own until it is time to transfer to the airport for your flight onward.
* Checkout time from the hotel is normally at noon; please let us know when you want us to reserve a late check out.
Price land arrangement (not including airfare) in USD per person based on double/twin sharing, valid from 01 May 2014 – 30 Sept 2014:
Option 1 | Overnight at Villa Saykham, Standard room
2 Persons USD 280 pp | 3-4 Persons USD 210 pp | 5-6 Persons USD 160 pp
Option 2 | Overnight at Sala Prabang, Riverside room
2 Persons USD 315 pp | 3-4 Persons USD 249 pp | 5-6 Persons USD 195 pp
Option 3 | Overnight at 3 Nagas, Superior room
2 Persons USD 350 pp | 3-4 Persons USD 285 pp | 5-6 Persons USD 230 pp
– All transfers and transport as per the program
– All accommodation as per program (based on double sharing room)
– All meals as mentioned (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
– English-speaking station guide on days 1 & 2
– Entrance fees on tour
For more information and bookings please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.