Oct 17th Arrival(11:10 am), City tour
Oct 18th Living Land / Kuang Si Waterfalls,
Oct 19th Morning Alms / Boat Cruise / Pak Ou Caves / Elephant / Bike / Cooking Class / BBQ
Oct 20th Trek, Kayak, Tad Sae Waterfalls
Oct 21th Departure (12:00)
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel and have lunch break. At 1:30, We start walking tour from the tip of the peninsula to the Royal Palace located in the center. Our guide will take you to the many temples and historical architectures as much as time allows until late afternoon.
Wat Xieng Thong, once known as “The Temple of the Golden City”, holds great cultural, historic and architectural importance. It is serenely situated near the tip of the peninsula at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, with a grand staircase leading up from the Mekong. For centuries it was considered the ceremonial gateway to the town, with visiting dignitaries and soon-to-be-crowned kings arriving via these steps.
Wat Sene, The temple was built in 1718 by King Kitsarath with 100,000 stones from the Mekong river. It literally means "Temple of 100,000 treasures"
Wat Mai, built in 1788, known for its glorious bas-relief work, golden stencilling of its sim (assembly hall), and for the ritual cleansing of the Phra Bang during Lao New Year.
Heuan Chan Heritage, is a traditional wooden house dated back to over 100 years ago and a very rare surviving example of a pre-colonial Lao style aristocratic mansion.
Royal Palace, which is today the national museum and built by French colonialists between 1904-09, displays a lovely collection of artefacts and offers you an insight into the fascinating history and culture of Laos.
In the last of the city tour, we visit Mount Phousi that is a 100 m high hill in the centre of the old town, located on the peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. 328 steps to the top will be an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa Wat Tham and see beautiful sunsets. In the top of the hill, we enjoy the sunsets view over the heritage town.
We then climb down the hill and have free time in the night market and enjoy dinner.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
After breakfast, we drive to Ban Phong Van about 5kms outside Luang Prabang, among lush
rice fields and overlooked by wooded hills and mountains to join in a Living Rice Farm where
they grow organic vegetables, salads, herbs and rice and supply leading restaurants and hotels
in Luang Prabang. Coming here you will be shown how rice is grown on the farm, experience
the life of a farmer and try your hand at some of the activities. Or just view it all from the comfort
of our traditional Lao rice house balcony, which is surrounded by rice terraces and our organic
vegetable farm. All the family can join in and there are great photo opportunities. After
experience in the farm, we enjoy lunch at restaurant overlooking their rice fields and taste
typical Lao dishes.
Alternatively, we can visit Pottery Village, Ban Chan or The Bamboo Experience in this morning.
In the afternoon we visit Kuang Si Waterfalls to enjoy the magnificent natural surroundings. The water tumbles down and cascades gently into several cool, clear pools where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. The adventurous may walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where stunning views are awaiting them. Kuang Si Waterfalls also is a place where a rescue center for protecting sunbears, the endangered species, is located.
On the way back to the city, we stop at Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre which is created as a way to allow visitors to observe the impressive skills that go into Lao textiles. Here you will meet the Master Weavers and see silk weaving on your very own. You will discover the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts. After the visit you can have a stroll in the beautiful tropical garden with a nice sunsets view of the mighty Mekong River, the terrace will be the perfect place to sip a drink while contemplating the landscape.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Early start at morning around 5:15 am in March to October and 5:45 in November to February. We rise early to observe the sunrise procession of monks receiving alms and experience offering food to monks. Morning Alms (Sai Bat) is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture, and is very unique to Laos. Laos is the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession.
We then visit Luang Prabang morning market. The market lining a couple of quiet streets near the Royal Palace, starts early and is over by mid-morning. It sets up along a couple of side-streets next to one of the city’s many Wats. A butcher and some of the more touristy stalls have actual tables for their wares. But most of the vendors, selling anything from rice to fresh vegetables to steamed fish to frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground.
After breakfast we pick you up from your accommodation at 8:00 AM, then embark on a boat trip to Pak Ou Caves on the Mekong River. We see a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as well as the mysterious nature from boat. On the way we will visit Ban Xang Hai, is also known as Whisky Village. Here you can see the process of making lao lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey and for some maybe even an early morning sample!
After a short stop at the village, we continue boat trip until Pak Ou where the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam ou rivers is. Pak Ou Caves are two linked caves crammed with thousands of lacquered Buddha Status of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Exploring the caves about 40 min, the boat takes us to Manifa Elephant Camp. We enjoy a beautiful buffet style lunch at the restaurant – overlooking the Mekong river.
In the afternoon, we experience elephant in their 120 hectares jungle or the Mekong riverside for an hour. We can choose from many ways of interactions with elephants (feeding, bathing, riding or walking with)
If you are interested in ethics and conservation, sustainable elephant tourism, please read elephant FAQ on our homepage for preparation. They are made by GIZ Germany and supported by Travelife. Manifa Elephant Camp's management is based on the regulation satisfying they defined.
After having free time to relax in the garden, (shower and swimming pool also available) we’ll start cycling around to see very rural Laos and enjoy the panoramic Mekong sunset view on the way. Alternatively we can join in a cooking class to learn basic Lao dish. We then enjoy a barbecue dinner with views of the tropical forests and the Mekong river in silhouette with starry night sky and moon.
Overnight in Manifa Elephant Camp’s new cottage accommodation
At around 9:00 AM we head off our way south to Ban Long Or. Cross the Nam Khan River by boat to the opposite village Ban Suan Dala and begin our 1 hours trek through beautiful jungle, rice paddies. Our first destination is a Khmu village Ban Hoay Fai. We then walk down to Tad Sae Waterfall. Each rainy season these falls erupt with life as the extra water from the mountains plunge over the flat rocks. The natural pools at the base of the waterfall are a must for a swim. (Optional elephant riding/bathing available in Tad Sae Waterfall)
After lunch break and enjoy swimming in Tad Sae Waterfall, we start kayaking on the Nam Khan River. The Nam Khan river valley will provide us panoramic views of Luang Prabang countryside. Upon arrival at Ban Noon Village in the late afternoon, we go back to the city center by car. (5;30 PM)
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Until the time you are transferred to the airport, we have free time in Luang Prabang