Day 1 - Luang Prabang arrival
Upon arrival to Luang Prabang, complete all immigration requirements and proceed through customs. Our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After checking in, enjoy some free time at leisure before a 16:30 hotel pick up.
Depart alongside the guide to begin the Luang Prabang experience. Start with a game of petanque alongside local players- a favorite pastime of the Lao people. Enjoy snacks and drinks while getting acquainted with the charming Lao culture.
After shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs, enjoy dinner at Coconut Garden. This is a great introduction to Lao food, which also caters for western tastes and children.
Transferred back to the hotel around 21:00.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 2 - Luang Prabang Kuang Si Water falls– Communicating with Giants
Leave the city behind and head to the peaceful countryside. Laos is home to the most beautiful natural landscapes in Southeast Asia and today’s drive provides a glimpse of these sceneries.
The beautiful drive ends at an even more beautiful destination - The Kuang Si Waterfalls. The falls are a series of cascading turquoise pools, surrounded by lush forest. Spend time exploring the falls and enjoying the pristine nature. Take a challenging, but rewarding hike to the top of the highest point or simply relax on the rocks of the lower pools.
For further insight into the natural wonders of Laos, a stop can be made at the Asiatic Black Bear Sanctuary. Located near the Kuang Si falls, this centre houses endangered bears rescued from poachers. The centre shows the efforts of the passionate animal lovers who are working to stop the poachers and preserve the natural habitat of the bears.
An additional visit can be made at the unique Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm, a social enterprise that produces sustainable and delicious cheese while giving back to the community and environment. While the buffalo may be the stars here, there are also playful pigs, cheeky chickens and rollicking rabbits that are just as fun to interact with for the young and young at heart. Enjoy a homemade ice cream at the cafe before saying goodbye to the Buffaloes and the team. (Opening Hours: 9.30am – 5.30pm, Monday - Sunday)
Return to Luang Prabang and have lunch independently.
At 14:30 after lunch, Transport will be provided out of town to the nearby village of Xieng Lom. Upon arrival, enjoy either coffee or tea while the guide explains the day’s itinerary and provides an in-depth introduction to elephant behaviour and the best means of interacting with them.
After the morning’s introduction, continue with a short ride across the Nam Khan River where the elephants await. The guide and mahouts will provide an introduction to the gentle giants, followed by a chance to feed them some healthy snacks.
Elephants and Mahouts will interact and continue their on-going bonding in the river,
while you watch them and enjoy the majestic elephants during bathtime.
Continue the experience with the trekking portion of the trip. After crossing through a stretch of beautiful Lao gardens, head into the jungle-covered Huay Nok stream. Walking alongside the elephants, crisscross through the cool waters developing a profound sense of understanding, respect and care for these amazing animals. After the trek completes, start the walk back and bid farewell to the elephants.
NOTE: MandaLao do not allow customers to bathe the Elephants directly. This is to fall in line with WAP-World Animal Protection Guidelines whom we are working closely with. The elephants are free to choose if they enter the river or not and the only people that will wash the elephants would be their mahout.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3 - Luang Prabang – Kumu Lodge
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Luang Prabang’s most photographed temple, Wat Xieng Thong. A short walk will head to Wat Xieng pier, where a river cruise awaits along the Mekong to the Kamu Lodge.
On the way stop at the Pak Ou Caves. Locally referred to as Tam Ting, these two caves are carved out of towering limestone cliffs and contain thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of all different sizes. Continue upriver for another hour to reach the Kamu Lodge for lunch.
The Kamu Lodge features 20 private canvas tents, each protected from the elements by a thatched roof.
The tents are also decorated with bamboo and wooden furniture allowing the Lodge's grounds to harmoniously blend with surrounding nature. Tents feature a private attached bathroom and toilet with solar powered hot water and electricity.
This afternoon, participate in a variety of different activities:
Rice planting and harvesting in surrounding rice fields
Gold panning (January to June) in the Mekong
Traditional fishing techniques in the Mekong
Local village visit and encounters
Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Day 4 – Kumu Lodge – - Luang Prabang – Departure
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and spend the morning at leisure. Relax or visit the nearby local village with the guide before check out (10:30).
After lunch at the Lodge, depart on the cruise back to Luang Prabang at 14:00, arriving around 17:00.
Upon reaching Luang Prabang, the rest of the day is free for last minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for the onward flight.