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Laos Select 'n' Mix options 2018

  Experience an enriching day out, skipping tourist sites and focussing on the community.  Meet with Buddhist monks at Wat Sok Pa Luang temple to better appreciate their role in Laos society.  Gain an understanding of the struggles facing people with disabilities, visiting the Lao Disabled Women Development Centre and COPE (an organisation that provides rehabilitation services for those affected by landmines and other unexploded ordances).  These organisations provide a greater understanding of the war's impact on Laos.
Vientiane: Monks & Charities
   

 

  Spend the afternoon exploring the workshop, studio and gallery of designer Carol Cassidy's Lao Textiles.  The studio specialises in woven art and specialises in 100 percent hand woven silk.  Carol and her 40 Lao artisans produce exquisitely crafted wall hangings, scarves, shawls and custom furnishing fabrics.
The women use hybrid looms (designed by Carol) to produce intricate brocade, ikat and tapestry textiles.  Wall hangings can take 4 months to create and are a labour of love.

Vientiane: Textile art & crafts
   


  Spend an evening tasting local dishes, starting with a cold beer - joining locals as they wind down after work.  Then weave through vibrant street markets to sample a range of local fare from noodles to fried insects, BBQ meat and fruit ice cream.  Visit Sihom and the Ban Anou night market (and city's culinary hub).   After filling up on savoury treats, venture to a hidden sweet shop for desert.  The speciality here is ice cream and stick rice - an oddly delicious combination.
Vientiane: Sunset foodie tour
   
     

  Culture and cooking with a local Loation lady who is an office worker by day and a chef by night.  Learn to cook a selection of dishes in her outdoor home kitchen.  Lao cuising used a wide variety of spices & herbs such as coriander, mint, lemon basil, ginger, shallot & chili.  Distinguished by spicy, sour and bitter notes, Lao dishes offer interesting heat and layers.  Soumaly will share with you some secret twists, stories and her love of food.  Afterwards sit down and enjoy the meal you have cooked.
Vientiane: learn to cook with a local
   
   

  Gain a deeper understanding of Luang Prabang with a theatrical evening performance.  Discover fascinating legends and mystical folktales that have been passed down from generation to generation as they are performed on stage at a charming colonial house.  With space for just 30 in the audience, the folk tales seem to come to life on stage.  The stories (in English) are accompanied by traditional music played on a 'khene' - a bamboo mouth organ, unique to Laos.  After the show head to a cafe on the banks of the Mekong River for a drink.
Luang Prabang: Myths & Folklore
   
     
  Join a local guide for a fun, interactive night out in Luang Prabang.  Start late afternoon with a game of petanque - a favourite with the Lao People.  Enjoy snacks and drinks between games.  The clime 328 stairs to the top of Mount Phousi for great city and countryside views before descending to the night market.
After your petanque and market exploration experience Lao BBQ (sindat).  A charcoal burner is placed on your table along with baskets of meat and vegetables.

Luang Prabang: Petanque & BBQ
   
     

  See Luang Prabang through an expert's eyes, exploring the city with a specialist on Lao architecture.  Learn how the cities buildings have evolved over time, influenced by various historical and cultural factors.  Gain a deeper appreciation for Laos by understanding its heritage and customs during this informative walking tour.  Start with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre before continuing to Ock Pop Tok for an insight into weaving
Luang Prabang: Traditional arts
   
     

  See Luang Prabang the local way - by bike.  Pedal around the UNESCO world Heritage Site for the morning, stoping to visit temples or chat with locals.  The city's flat, quiet streets are ideal for cycling.  Start with a ride to the former Royal Palace (now a National Museum), then continue to the Wat Mai temple and the watermelon shaped Wat Visoun.  Cycle through quiet side streets passing wooden houses & lush gardens and then along the shores of the Nam Khan River.  The last stop is the city's most revered temple - Wat Xieng Thong.
Luang Prabang: Bike exploration
   
     

  Fusing Buddhist and animist beliefs, the Baci ceremony is one of the most revered traditions in Laos.  Join locals at a beautiful heritage house for a private Baci Ceremony.  Receive blessings of good luck and good will in this memorable cultural encounter.
As the sun sets trays of flowers & offerings are laid out.  Join locals to touch the tray while chanting Buddhist mantras.  The chants are calling for good luck & good health.  Receive your cotton bracelet, knotted by locals.

Luang Prabang: Baci Ceremony
   
     
  Experience the life of the Lao people with an immersive visit to an organic farm.  Connect with the land and the people while working in the rice paddies and vegetable gardens.  Learn about traditional farming techniques and the efforts being made to promote organic farming throughout Laos.
Walk through the vegetable gardens, witness farm activities and then join the farmers in the rice paddies - help them plough, plant, harvest or thresh rice.  Gain a deeper appreciation for the Lao farmers through this hands on morning.

Luang Prabang: Living Land
   
     

  Early morning pick up for a dawn visit to watch the monks collecting alms in the old streets of central Luang Prabang.  This humbling daily ritual is a beautiful and powerful symbol of Buddhism.
Continue to the Waterfall for a short walk to your private picnic spot overlooking the natural turquoise pools.  Sample freshly squeezed juice, fruit, yoghurt, museli, muffins bread & pastries.  Free time for more exploration or a visit to the Bear sanctuary or a swim follows before your return to Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: Waterfall picnic
   
     

  Find mindfulness and reconnect with nature  with an early access to Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens. 
Enjoy a morning yoga and meditation class in the heart of nature with instructor Michelle Luehman, followed by a healthy breakfast by the lotus pond and walk around the garden with a guide.  Travel by boat to and from the garden.

Luang Prabang: Mindfulness morning
   

                      


   

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