Luang Prabang Explorer

4 days / 3 nights

Luang Prabang oozes class and old world charm, it’s a living, breathing museum with its gleaming temple roofs and crumbling French architecture and deserves its World Heritage status as one of the most atmospheric cities in the whole region. We delve into some of its 32 stupa-studded pagodas like Wat Xieng Tong and the Royal Palace Museum, we take a boat upriver to river to visit the massive collection of Buddhas in the Pak Ou Caves and enjoy a relaxing day in the turquoise waters of the Kuang Si Falls. To complete our immersion into Luang Prabang we also enjoy a cooking class of authentic Lao food at the classy Tamarind restaurant.

In brief

  1. Day 1: Afternoon Sightseeing including Museum and Temples.
  2. Day 2: Wat Xieng Thong and Pak Ou Caves.
  3. Day 3: Kuang Si Falls
  4. Day 4: Cooking class at Tamarind

In detail

Day 1: Afternoon Sightseeing including Museum and Temples.

We arrive in Luang Prabang and transfer to our accommodation. In the afternoon, we begin to explore the historic town of Luang Prabang. We walk along Sisavangvong St, the heart of the old quarter and explore the National Museum, set in the former Royal Palace. Built in 1904, the palace is a blend of Laotian and French influences and houses many royal treasures. The most important item is the solid gold Pha Bang Buddha, a gift from the Khmer King to his son-in-law, Fa Ngum, founder of the Lao Kingdom. We then continue into the centre of Luang Prabang, exploring the narrow alleys that criss-cross the town, stopping to enjoy some views over the mighty Mekong River. We wind up at the beautiful temple of Wat Saen, originally built in 1718 and under the guidance of Ajahn Khamjan, one of the most revered abbots in Laos. There is the option of climbing Mt Phousi to explore the small temple here and enjoy sunset over this charming town.

Day 2: Wat Xieng Thong and Pak Ou Caves.

This morning, we travel to Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most celebrated temples in Laos. We then take a boat up the Mekong River, passing abandoned riverside temples and isolated villages. Our destination is the Pak Ou Caves, a sacred spot where thousands upon thousands of Buddhas were hidden for safekeeping during earlier invasions. Pilgrims have since added their own offerings and the caves are literally overflowing with Buddhas. After exploring the caves, we cross the river and have a local lunch on the banks of the Nam Ou River. We dine in traditional thatch bungalows overlooking a dramatic cliff face. We then return by boat to Luang Prabang and leave the rest of the afternoon free to enjoy the town.

Day 3: Kuang Si Falls

After breakfast, the destination is Ban Long Lao, a small Hmong village. From here you will walk through open farmland and forest trails to the Kuang Si Waterfall, which, while not very high, is striking in its lush jungle setting. Upon arrival there are plenty of opportunities to swim in the refreshing pools and enjoy a boxed picnic lunch. There is also a Bear Rescue Centre where captured bears have been taken from poachers and rehabilitated and cared for. We’ll take some more time for relaxation and swimming before heading back to Luang Prabang by late afternoon. There is also the option to visit Ban Phonesay, a village well known for its silk weavings once been published on the New York Time Magazine. Back to your hotel for a free & easy evening.

Day 4: Cooking class at Tamarind

Pick-up at your hotel to meet up with the Chef at Tamarind restaurant at 0900am. Then take on a Tuk Tuk tour with Chef to the local food market for today main ingredients. After that, heading out to our stunning lake-side open air pavilions where you learn how to cook 6 Lao traditional dishes including sticky rice; varieties of 'Jeow'; lemongrass stuffed with chicken; fish steamed in banana leaves; Orlarm, a special local dish; and dessert. Enjoy your own cooked lunch and we will bring you back to town at around 1500pm. (Vegetarians are very easily accommodated).