Discover Luang Prabang, a city where deep-rooted spiritual traditions are found alongside spectacular natural beauty. Travel along the mighty Mekong River to a Buddha-filled cave. Venture through villages where the way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. And trek through unspoiled jungle to a cascading blue waterfall.
Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si - Full Day
There are not enough superlatives to explain Luang Prabang, but on this full-day excursion dozens will certainly come to mind.
Start with a private cruise outside Luang Prabang along the Mekong River. The Mekong is the lifeblood of Laos and it is easy to see why: the waterway is filled with fishermen and boats transporting goods and small villages dotting the shoreline. The passing scenes are fascinating to watch as the boat makes its way to the Pak Ou caves. Go ashore and take a short walk to see the cavernous limestone structure which is filled to the brim with Buddha images of all ages. It is no surprise this cave is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Laos.
Return to the boat and coast back down the Mekong, stopping in at a local village to gain further insight into life on the river. At midday, arrive in Luang Prabang and stop for lunch at a restaurant that promotes traditional cuisine. Learn about the recipes and techniques used for generations of Lao residents while tasting freshly prepared dishes.
Having had a taste of the spiritual, traditional and culinary side of Luang Prabang, it is time to experience the natural beauty of the region. Drive through the countryside outside Luang Praband to Kuang Si waterfall, a cascading series of pools in the forest. Relax alongside the clear blue waters or opt for an active trek to the top of the falls.
For further insight into the natural wonders of Laos, a stop can be made at the Asiatic Black Bear sanctuary. Located near the falls, this centre houses endangered bears rescued from poachers. The centre explains the efforts of the passionate animal lovers who are working to stop the poachers and preserve the bear’s natural habitat. Nearby there is also a butterfly park where dozens of colourful butterflies swirl around the tropical flowers.
Late this afternoon it is time to return to the city, driving once again through the vibrant rural landscapes that make up the Laos’ countryside. (L)
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