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Day 1 - Arrival Day

November 13 – Monday
On arrival at the airport, you will transfer to check in to the beautiful Azerai hotel.
You have the rest of the day to spend either at leisure or exploring your surroundings. The day ends with time for you to enjoy an evening stroll through the famous Hmong Night Market, where hill tribe people sell textiles, gorgeous papercut and other handmade creations.
We will meet at Azerai Bistro at 6:00pm to enjoy the first taste of Lao foods and enjoy a selection of local favourites at one of the best restaurants in Luang Prabang. You’ll be served typical Laotian food, a spicy melange of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines, served with sticky rice and the local chili paste.

Day 2 - Walking Tour 32 Buddhist Temples

Breakfast will be available  7:00am, and Yoga is 9am – 12 noon.

You will be free for lunch and to wander all afternoon.

We suggest you take a walking tour of the town. Begin at the former Royal Palace (National Museum), originally built during the French colonial period as a residence for King Sisavang. This museum features the original royal chambers, paintings depicting traditional Lao life, a throne room, and four of the old royal cars.

Continue on to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for golden bas-relief, followed by the early 18th century Wat Sensoukarahm. Explore the beautiful Wat Xiengthong, a Buddhist monastery considered to be the most outstanding in all of Luang Prabang, featuring a classic sim (ordination hall) and meticulous design. Wat Mai and Wat Sene are also nearby to visit.

If you have energy, spend the rest of the afternoon climbing the 328 stairs to the top of Mount Phousi to the golden Buddhas, for a wonderful panoramic view at sunset. The entire riverside is aglow in spectacular colour when you are at the top of mountain at the end of day. It sits on a hilltop at the highest point above Luang Prabang, and the views over the city and the Mekong River valley are terrific at sunset.

We will meet this evening at the Icon Club for a welcome drink and toast to my friend the Hungarian poet, Lisa Vong.

Day 3 - Early Yoga & Optional ADD ON - Kuangsi Waterfall/Weaving/Elephant Sanctuary

Yoga will be 7:30a-9:30a on this day to accommodate time for an early start if you want to participate in a day of excursions.
Breakfast will be served after yoga for the opportunity to have a full day of touring in this exciting ancient region.
The day’s options include a tour outside the city to the cascading Kuang Si Waterfalls, natural springs and elephant sanctuary, or learn about Laotian weaving with fellow yoginis at Ok Tok Pok.
You can even spend a full or half day learning about elephants and how they are being protected in Laos.
 
The town still has more temples including Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city. Continue on for a visit to Wat Aham and Wat That where the ashes of King Sisavang Vong are interred inside the large central stupa. There is plenty to do in town, or just relax in the Spa and try a Laotian Foot Massage or body scrub.

 

Day 4 - Tak Bat Alms Giving

Tak Bat Alms Giving: An early start gives you the opportunity to participate in the sacred daily morning ritual of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms from the faithful residents. Awaken before sunrise, and meet a procession of monks as they make their way to homes and shops to receive their daily rice, an offering that brings great merit to all people. This procession is unique in Laos, and the only Buddhist nation still preserving the tradition. Afterwards, visit the Phousi morning market before returning to the hotel for breakfast.

Yoga will be 10am – 12:30n to accommodate time for the Tak Bat ceremony. After yoga, it’s another full day of touring in the exciting ancient city!

OPTIONAL AFTERNOON: Take cooking class at Roots & Leaves restaurant: visiting market by tuk tuk and learn to cook local dishes.

Day 5 - Sunset Cruise up Mekong to Pak Ou Caves

Breakfast will be available frm 7:00am, and Yoga is 9am – 12 noon.

You will be free for lunch and to wander early afternoon.

At 3:00p, we will meet at the Mekong River and board a small boat and cruise up the Mekong River to visit the Pak Ou Caves, famed because they are filled with roughly 10,000 small Buddha statues. When an image of Buddha cracks or is damaged, it is bad luck to keep it around, but it cannot be destroyed. For hundreds of years, old Buddhas in Laos have been retired to these caves. This is one of the most spiritually-revered locations in the country.

The ride there and back is stunning as we pass villages and wander up the Mekong River in a traditional long boat. You’ll discover Laos’ river life as you pass by river villages and watch fishermen cast nets on the waterways.

We will stop at the “Whiskey Village” of traditional Hmong hill tribe on the way to the caves. You can see their weaving, and hunt in the shops for old Chinese artifacts and healing quartz crystals found in the area.

After the sunset journey, we disembark to the most outrageous postcard sunset of the trip. You will have an opportunity to take photos of the river delta aglow in colours of the sun setting on this memorable trip in the scenic lands of Laos.

Mellow and relaxed, return to your room for a peaceful night’s sleep after meditating in the caves with the Buddhas.

Day 6 - Baci Ceremony and Farewell Dinner

Our last day in Luang Prabang, this day is the one to conclude your adventure along the Mekong, and savour the last of Laos hospitality.

Time to pack your belongings and head home.

Breakfast will be 7:00am, and Yoga 9am – 12 noon.

If you haven’t had the time to see Mount Phusi, this is the day to climb the steep winding stone stairs to the golden Buddhas sitting at the highest point above town. The views over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River valley will be memories of a lifetime.

On this  night, we will host a traditional Baci ceremony.

The Baci is used to celebrate a special event, homecoming, birth, or festival and combines a blessing in the local folk religion. Su khwan ສູ່ຂວັນ means “calling of the soul” and is the ritual of Baci involving tying strings around a person’s wrist to preserve good luck. You have the option to extend your stay if you wish at Azerai or have them help to arrange a tour to other parts of Laos.

Elephant Conservation Camp - Half Day Excursion

ADDITIONAL ADD ON EXCURSION: LUANG PRABANG ELEPHANT CAMP

To create a safe haven for ex-working Elephants and their children, while providing an ultimate Elephant Experience for our esteemed visitors including education, insight and interaction.

This is a sanctuary for the beautiful Asian Elephant and a place where you can meet these magnificent mammals. When an elephant gazes into your eyes, you feel the power of these gentle giants. These elephants have been rescued from logging operations that threatened their lives.

The Luang Prabang Elephant Camp is supervised by Mr Tha Thao, an elephant expert and instructor whose passion for elephants is infectious. The Elephant Camp has saved starved, beaten and over worked Elephants, and is the perfect place for a face to face elephant experience.

Tha and the Mahouts will engage you with the elephants by feeding them, an opportunity to ride the elephants and even a chance to help bathe them in the river. For an even more hands on and educational experience take a mahout course for the day!

Included in Excursion:

  • Round trip transfer
  • English speaking guide
  • Elephant ride
  • Transfer to waterfall Entrance fee

Kuangsi Falls and Asian Bear Sanctuary

ADDITIONAL ADD ON EXCURSION: KUANGSI FALLS

Transport will be provided through the Luang Prabang countryside to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. En route, drive through beautiful landscapes of rice fields, hills and small villages, with plenty of vistas along the way.

Upon reaching Kuang Si Waterfall, relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. The jungle and dense woods surrounding the falls are perfect for exploring on foot. For the adventurous, it is possible to walk to the top of the falls via a steep track where stunning views await at the top.

For a chance to cool down, take a dip in the turquoise pools at the bottom (Note: when bathing please be respectful, wear a sarong and be careful not to show too much skin).

Before departing, there will also be an opportunity to visit the bear sanctuary next to the falls, run by Free The Bears Fund Inc. There are currently 23 Asiatic Black Bears living in the sanctuary, which has saved them from poaching.

Ock Pop Tok Weaving Demonstration & Lesson

Take a tour of Ock Pop Tok weaving centre for a unique Silkworm and Natural Dyes Class.

You visit a village of master weavers who ply their trade in silk, cotton, or other fabrics, and produce beautiful multi-colored clothing, textiles, purses, etc. You can learn the history of silk production and take classes in dyeing and weaving. There is an artisan shop with pieces so well-done you’ll want to buy something to take home, and you’re helping local people preserve an ancient skill. You will learn about silk worms; where they come from and bizarre facts on Laos sericulture.

Guests are invited to prepare mulberry leaves and feed worms. After a brief introduction to the natural dyes, you can learn to dye scarves, and get an introduction to the weaving technique. You can meet master weavers and try your hand at weaving and spinning.

Azerai Spa Treatments

After exploring the temples and street markets of Luang Prabang, Azerai wellness renews and restores balance with a range of therapeutic massages, exercise and fitness facilities.

The tranquil retreat offers foot and full body massage therapies in private treatment rooms, or in a communal area for hand and foot treatments.

Azerai therapists are inspired by traditional Laotian and Asian techniques that have been passed down over many centuries. The massage retreat will revive and revitalise, with traditionally-trained therapists.