Imagine a rustic little town on the bank of a river, squeezed between limestone mountains . Stay in a log hut perched precariously on a steep mountainside overlooking a mighty river… Allow the clouds to waft into your room once in a while. Spend your time in the company of your loved one in the lap of nature , kayaking down the river, cycling around the sleepy town or taking long walks up the majestic mountain trails.
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Land in Luang Prabang, and get whisked away to your hotel. A quick freshen-up and you are ready to hit the town. What awaits you are the Royal Palace Museum, Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre and a trek to the top of Mount Phousi .Wind up for the day with a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset.
Don’t forget to capture the Seven days lucky Buddha at Mount Phousi.
Fulfill your goose bumps quota of the day by participating in the Tak Bat , the Alms giving ceremony at the crack of dawn.
Prepare yourself to get stunned by the astounding classical Laotian architecture of the magnificent Wats and the sheer natural beauty of Kuang Si , a three tiered waterfall having its own large plunge pool and small little terraces of water. Don’t miss the bears lounging in a hammock or climbing timber frames in the nearby sanctuary.
Join a local family as an esteemed guest for a traditional Baci ceremonial dinner. The Baci is to celebrate a special event, such as a marriage, a home- coming etc.
Leave your time-manager-self behind when you arrive at the sleepy town of NongKhiaw , a 3-4 hours drive up north. Explore the city at your leisure either cycling or on foot. Soak in the breath-taking scenery, the swollen river cutting through sudden outcrops of tall limestone karsts, the silence, the weather.
Don’t miss a visit to the Phatok cave where the whole village lived for months on end and imagine how it would have been
Take a boat down to picturesque Muang Ngoi and Kayak back to the city – approximately 2 hours of boating, 2 hours of walking and 2.5 hours of kayaking… Get back thoroughly tired yet strangely refreshed and soothe those tired muscles with some quality laziness by the riverside.
Just chill by the riverside bungalows lazily watching the river meander along
Pak Ou Caves
Drive to the Mekong and take a boat ride to the Pak Ou caves, gawk heartily and then take a boat down stream to Luang Prabang. Witness the Lao life unfolding along the river… Do try and engage the local boatmen in conversation – it was well worth it for us…
Back in Luang Prabang, don’t miss a trip to the Ikon Club and swap stories with fellow travelers over cocktails.
Brace yourself for fabulous views on a drive down to XiengKhouang . Explore the Plain of Jars site 1 and enjoy the sunset with lots of unanswered questions in your mind.
Unwind at Bamboozle/Nisha and shoot the breeze with other travelers
Visit the faded glory of the old capital Muang Khuon and the effects of a war that destroyed even the house of Gods. Visit the Plain of Jars sites 2 and 3 to try and answer questions in your mind from the last evening. You will get enough time to ponder over this in the trek between the two sites. On the way back visit the spoon making village of Ban Napia, where the villagers have perfected the art of making kitchen utensils and mementos out of war scrap..
Visit a village where almost every household makes rice whiskey in its backyard. You are free to consume some if you dare.
Drive down to the back packer’s haven …Vang Vieng. On the way understand the intricacies of silk weaving at the Mulberry farm.
Traipse around this idyllic backpacker town, go river tubing , walking/biking or simply lounge at one of the many restaurants and swap stories with fellow travellers.
The Secret Eden trek
Eat well, do your stretches, drink a lot of water. Today the adrenaline is going to flow. The Secret Eden trek – a long, arduous, utterly exhilarating jungle trek – will stretch you to the limit.
If you don’t want to let the adrenaline flow unhindered then the relatively placid, kayaking and caving option exists.
Kick off your shoes and relax with other backpackers at one of the watering holes with a few pints
Explore the caves – at times scary, at times inviting – en route to Luang Prabang. Relax by the Mekong , crossover the rope bridge and wander around the quaint street before hitting the night market for some serious shopping-metal artefacts, handicrafts and the famous snake/scorpion rice whiskey.
End the day swapping stories over cocktails at the Ikon Club or for the more sober-minded, natural fruitshakes from the roadside vendors at the night market
Say Good Bye to Laos and travel back to the airport or like we did, just bid Au Revoir- till we meet again.