Enhance your travel experiences in Laos by engaging with local experts in the fine arts, history, culture, cuisine and more? Take a look at the many customized options for Laos with our partners’ Trails of Indochina below!
- Baci ceremonies are an integral part of Lao culture. Held to celebrate a special event, it is based on an ancient belief that the human being is a union of organs and the soul watches over each of them. The Baci ceremony calls the soul from wherever it may be roaring back to the body and re-establishes equilibrium. At the end of the service, the village elders wrap a white cotton thread around your wrist while chanting an invocation to strengthen the power of the blessings. Optionally, we can also arrange tradition music and dance after taking part in this ancient practice.
Seminar with Co-Director and Sunset Cocktails at Ock Pop Tok
- Veo Duangdala and Joanna Smith co-founded the Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre in April 2000. Veo comes from a family renowned for its weaving and Jo left her career in the UK as a magazine photographer in search of something different. Enjoy a private 1.5 hours presentation with one of the co-directors titled “The Silk Road: From Silkworms to Nagas”; looking at the journey of a Lao textile from the creation of silk to the weaving process and the meaning behind different motifs. The spacious grounds of the Living Crafts Center are ideal for relaxing after the seminar and sipping cocktails while watching the sunset.
Blessing Ceremony at Wat Sene
- Visit the screen Wat Sene temple overlooking the whole of Luang Prabang town. Bring offerings such as fruit, candles and incense sticks to offer to the monks and the nuns before partaking in a blessing ceremony that is believed to bring you health, happiness, and longevity. After the blessing, a white thread will be tied to your wrist – it is thought that this will help you to succeed in realizing your dreams. The blessing ceremony will bring good tidings carried with you throughout the remainder of your journey in Laos and hopefully return home with you.
A Lao Evening – Traditional Storytelling and Food
- Why is Mount Phousi called Mount Phousi? What has it got to do with mushrooms and the Ramayana? All questions will be answered when we visit the Garavek Theater, whose aim is to promote and preserve the local myths, legends, and folktales. Every evening, they present a selection of traditional Lao stories told in English by a Lao storyteller, with the live musical accompaniment of the khene – the quintessential Lao folk instrument. After the performance, transfer to one of the best Lao restaurants in the country. Choose between a typical Luang Prabang meal, a “buffet” of all the local specialties, or be adventurous and try foods usually only found in local markets and private homes….or out in the jungle!
Petanque – The Local Pastime, Passed Down for Generations
- Enjoy your free time like many of the locals in Luang Prabang do – playing a couple of rounds of Pentanque. This French game, to throw or roll a heavy ball as close as possible to a smaller target ball, has been played on courts here since the colonial period. Team up with your travel companion for a match or if you feel con dent particularly, play against a Lao person and see whose technique works best.
Jungle Survivor Picnic
- After visiting the viewpoint at the bottom of Kuang Si waterfalls, join our food guide and set out on a short trek up to the top collecting herbs, mushrooms, bamboo shoot, and other vegetables along the way. Once at the top, help to prepare your truly local Laos “jungle” picnic lunch.
An Orchid Discovery near Vientiane
- Travel to Ban Hatkhai in the south-eastern part of the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area. Guided by local villagers and an orchid expert, you will not only be surprised about the abundance of orchids but also get insights into their specific biology and ecology. While hiking through bamboo forests and jungle paths, you will also have the opportunity of getting introduced to many other plants used by the local people for medical purposes or as a food supplement.
20th UNESCO Anniversary Walking Tour
- In celebration of the 20th UNESCO Anniversary in December 2015, a book we published that highlights multiple aspects of Luang Prabang. The walking tour you will take is based on the book and has been put together by connoisseurs who have been involved for many years researching, documenting and preserving the town’s traditions and treasures. Set out on foot for an “off the beaten track” walking tour with your local guide and the 20th Anniversary Book in hand. After the tour, stroll along a tree-lined lane just off the main road and step into a bygone era. Courtiers of the former royal Lao court built the residences and temples lining the brick path, and we will take a break at a lovely little café.
Meet Luang Prabang’s Monks
- With over 60 Buddhist temples, UNESCO listed Luang Prabang is a town of temples – and monks. Spend time today to meet some of the most senior monks in town and learn more about their life or Buddhism in general.
Laos Textiles and Cocktail Reception in Vientiane
- Visit the home weaving studio of Mrs. Carol Cassidy, an American textiles expert who arrived in Vientiane in 1989 and was so impressed by the quality and diversity of weaving in Laos that she set up the Lao Textiles Studio which now employs over 40 local weavers who create naturally dyed and woven silk pieces reflection traditional Lao designs.
Evening Aperitif Talk with a Heritage Expert in Luang Prabang
- Take a step back in time as you’re transferred to the serenity of the Silk Road Café located on the banks of the Mekong River. Sip on your cocktail while the sun sets and enjoy an exclusive, private Q&A session with our local expert on Laos – a European who has called Luang Prabang home for over 20 years. Formerly a consultant for UNESCO, he’ll share with you his enthusiasm and passion for Lao culture, history, customs, and the natural environment.
Private “Butterfly Breakfast” or “Butterfly Cocktail”
- In the morning or late afternoon, enjoy a private visit and breakfast/cocktail at the Kuang Si Butterfly Park. You will have the park all to yourself as you are being guided through by one of its owners. Afterward, sit down in the parks café for a delicious breakfast or Lao cocktail and snacks, and learn more about the beautiful butterflies as well as their habitat. This is an excellent addition to any Kuang Si Waterfall tout and ideal for someone looking for an exceptional experience or for a family wanting a fun time with children.
Laos Coffee Time
- High in the mountains surrounding the city of Luang Prabang, dwell a bouquet of diverse hill tribes who produce a rare specialty highland Arabica coffee. Meet a local expat who has been in Laos working in agriculture. He has been part of a coffee promotion initiative to provide farmers an alternative to growing opium. Learn about the different types of coffee beans produced in Luang Prabang and what positive effects the project is having on the locals. Have a chance to see coffee being roasted and of course taste the final product of these fine Lao Arabica beans in the form of a latte, cappuccino or the local specialty, the Luang Prabang espresso.
Cooking Class at Kuang Si Waterfall
- In the morning drive in the direction of Kuang Si Waterfall where the organic farm of Ms. Vandara, a published Lao cookbook author, is located. Start your cooking class by selecting items from the garden and learn in this beautiful environment how to prepare Lao food under the guidance of Mrs. Vandara. In the afternoon, say goodbye and head to the Kuang Si Waterfall National Park for a leisurely hike or swim. For the more adventurous, you can continue to the top of the main waterfall before returning to Luang Prabang in the afternoon.
A Private 500 Candles Dinner
- Take part in an intimate dining experience in La Residence Phou Vao’s Spirit Gardens. The entrance to the garden is lit by 500 glistening candles and the 7 – course dinner which follows will leave you full and fulfilled with lasting memories of a special evening.
Luang Prabang Lao
- For foodies who want to get a taste of the local flavor, head to Luang Prabang’s famous night market. Walk through the market and head towards the small side streets where vendors offer “food buffets” and different local snacks. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells while your guide explains the different cooking methods or ingredients to you. After looking and trying (if you want!) head to a famous local restaurant for Sindad BBQ, a “BBQ at your table” type of Laos traditional way of cooking which is very popular with the locals.
Sunset Cruise on the Anantara Cruise
- Depart from Luang Prabang town in the late afternoon on the luxurious Anantara boat for a cruise up and downstream. The Mekong River plays an intrinsic role in everyday life for those living along its shores. From the boat, observe the local villages and rural life along the tree-lined banks’ fo the river. Enjoy the cool breeze off the water with a refreshing cocktail and canapés, and experience a magical sunset over the Mekong River.
Private Helicopter Journeys
- Enhance your travel experience by hiring your very own helicopter for the day. Let Access Trails whisk you away to the famous “Plain of Jars” or other destinations within Laos. Additionally, Trails offers scenic flights of the capital, Vientiane, and aerial photography flights.
As Virtuoso Luxury Travel Advisors we can bring you some the best travel adventures! Contact Us for questions and additional information about this AMAZING trip into Laos with Tailored Experience through Trails of Indochina! We are your Southeast Asia Specialist!