This customized foodie journey gives guests’ ample opportunity to sample the best of the city’s culinary offerings at some of its most vaunted restaurants. There’s also scope to learn the basics of Lao food at a fascinating local cookery class.
Welcome to Luang Prabang, the spiritual capital of Laos. On arrival at the airport, you will be greeted and transferred to hotel for check in. You are free to choose one of the 2 suggested programs we make as below:
This evening you will be welcomed with traditional Baci ceremony. The Baci ceremony is performed in celebration of an important event, such as a wedding, birth, or for welcoming guests, and is a means of expressing goodwill and good luck to others. The Lao believe that each person has 32 spirits which constitute their spiritual essence and the Baci is the ritual used to call back any escaped spirits in to the body. Guests will receive blessings of good luck as the locals wrap bracelets around their wrists and recite traditional chants.
Founded in 2002 in cooperation with the Institute of Cultural Research, the Royal Ballet Theatre aims to preserve this important aspect of Lao cultural heritage. Watching the spectacular performances, including scenes from the Lao-Ramayana, Lao folk dances and tribal dances, will provide a unique and unforgettable experience. The show starts at 6:00pm (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday). Attention: subject to change without prior notice from the company. Please note that the Royal Ballet Theatre is normally closed from June to September.
Proceed to L’Elephant, one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang, for dinner before being driven back to the hotel. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, visit the historical National Museum. Once the Royal Palace of Laos, the National Museum is filled with artworks, artifacts and jewels and provides an excellent insight into the history and rich culture of the country. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-reliefs, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a dazzling golden façade. The morning tour finishes at Wat Xieng Thong, the most revered temple in Luang Prabang. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong River, this temple was built in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is decorated with ornate carvings and mosaics.
Enjoy lunch in town at the Tamarind restaurant, where you will have a chance to sample some unusual local specialties not available back home (Note: closed on Sundays). After lunch, you will be driven to the hotel for some time to relax and freshen up before heading out again later.
In the late afternoon, board the Nava Mekong, an elegant and traditional riverboat. Cruising gently down the Mekong River, you will be able to take in views of rural villages as the sun sets behind the surrounding mountains. The riverboat will moor on the opposite bank in time for dinner, which will include a selection of classic Lao dishes and traditional local entertainment including music and dance performances depicting traditional Lao folk tales and legends. After dinner, cruise back to Luang Prabang. A short ride will take you back to the hotel or stop to visit the evening hill tribe market, which features dozens of stalls selling local souvenirs, handicrafts and textiles. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Today we discover Luang Prabang on the pedal with a soft biking half day tour. The tour starts with a visit to Phosy Market where guests can join the locals and support vendors by buying fresh products or fruit. The guide will be on hand to encourage guests to taste some of the exotic fruits on offer, and to help identify new items not found in the grocery store back home!
Continue the ride to Ock Pop Tock. This non-profit organization seeks to preserve traditional weaving techniques, a trade which was once an important source of income for many Lao families but is slowly fading out as modern technology has evolved. A short tour introduces the processes of silk weaving, from the initial stages of creating the dyes to the final process of loom weaving. Ride along the Mekong back into town for the final stop of the day, the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, which is dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. Traditional costumes, tools and artifacts are on display alongside in-depth descriptions and written histories. It is a great opportunity to gain insight in to the Lao people (Note: closed on Mondays).
For lunch, we suggest enjoying lunch at Le Tangor, one of the best restaurants in Luang Prabang, known for its pleasant atmosphere and its unique fusion food blending the best of seasonal Lao produce with French flair. After lunch, return to the hotel and enjoy some free time to experience the charming atmosphere of Luang Prabang.
You will then be picked again at 15.30 for a private evening cooking class at a stunning lakeside location - the perfect way to learn the secrets of Lao cuisine. The expert chefs will first demonstrate how to prepare authentic Lao dishes. You will be able to try your hand at creating the local cuisine, slicing and pounding their way through the ingredients before cooking each dish in the traditional way. At the end, you will be given a cook book to take home, allowing you to practice your new-found cooking skills and relive your time in Laos. And of course, after the hard work preparing the meal, you will be able to tuck in to your creations for dinner.
Return to the hotel then overnight in Luang Prabang.
Get up early to watch the monks collecting alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Lao people. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
Depending on the client’s flight schedule, there may be time to enjoy a unique tour that supports two excellent local charities and allows you to donate books to local communities. The idea behind the ‘Bucket of Books’ excursion is to help the local community without being invasive. The books are sourced from two excellent local charities; Big Brother Mouse and Pha Tak Ke.
Big Brother Mouse is a not-for-profit, Lao-owned project employing local staff who work with the goal of helping young Lao citizens develop new and beneficial skills. It is not an NGO. Started by a retired American publisher working with several bright Lao college students, Big Brother Mouse started publishing “books that make literacy fun!” The books are written and illustrated by Lao writers and allow children to educate themselves through reading. The cost of five books is included in every Bucket of Books, with that money going directly to Big Brother Mouse. After lunch, you will be transferred to the airport in time for the onward flight.
MORE TOURS HERE
Positioned atop a hill, gazing across the sacred mountains, Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is an unforgettable place to stay.
With a reputation as one of the most serene Luang Prabang hotels, Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is a haven of peace. Relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy stepping back into a more gracious era.