Day 2 - Ban Xieng Mouark - Luang Prabang (L,D)
After breakfast, enjoy a last dip in the pool surrounding by the splendid garden before walking down towards the most famous falls of Luang Prabang: the Kuang Si waterfalls. There is a 15 minute transfer to the village of Long Lao where lives harmoniously Hmong and Lao people. Start trekking through various vegetation and landscapes before arriving at the top of the falls- what a sight! Don’t forget to take your swimming suit as we will have time after lunch at the falls to freshen up a swim in the famous turquoise waters. Kuang Si is known by locals to be a rejuvenating source with medical virtues!
Enjoy a delicious Lao Picnic lunch nearby the waterfalls.
You might also like to visit the bear sanctuary which is 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. The main threat to these bears is poaching due to the use of their bile in Chinese medicine. You can read about their habits and observe their playful nature, whilst learning about the difficulties they are facing.
Transfer back to your hotel in town this mid- afternoon.
Meet up again at 5.30PM in appropriate clothing and have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions: The Baci. The purpose of the Baci, which is a mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs, is to call back escaped spirits to the body. This is something that is very important before major events such as weddings, births, travel, welcoming friends and farewells.
Lao people 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 to the body.
During the Baci, special flower trays and food treats are prepared which are then touched by the participants while a Buddhist mantra is chanted. After the chanting is completed, cotton threads are tied around the participants’ wrist whilst they receive and individual blessing. This special, private ceremony will leave memories for years to come.
Farewell dinner at Khai Phen. This restaurant is run by Peuan Mit, an organization founded by Friends-International in Vientiane in 2004, in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare to address the needs of street children and young people in Laos.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Distance and journey time:
Transfer: 15 minutes
Trekking: 4 hours / Difficulty: Medium