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Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos

Tours
Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos
DATES

29 June 2019 - 06 July 2019


RATES
from NZD$2850 per person
Single rate from NZD$3450

Hover over rates for other currencies.

*Rates are per person based on Twin Share or Single Room.
*Prices are subject to change until paid in full.
*This Hosted Retreat departs with a minimum of 6 guests. If numbers fall below 6 guests, we will offer the Retreat at a reconfigured rate.
*A 'Willing to Share' may be possible on this tour. Please enquire. 
*International Airfares are not included. Please ask for a Quote.
*Please ask about pre-or-post Tour extensions.


Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos
Yoga, Culture & Cuisine in Laos

YOGA, CULTURE & CUISINE - LAOS

 

Leave everyday life behind, relax & recharge. This retreat in UNESCO Heritage Luang Prabang, Laos, is a perfect combination of a Yoga Sanctuary & Cultural Experience. This incredible combination of a spiritual and cultural destination, and a gorgeous resort, offers an exceptional yoga retreat that is restorative for the body, mind and soul. Immersing yourself in an environment where you can truly restore and rebalance is no longer an indulgence, but an investment in yourself.

Kiridara Hotel is in the peaceful rural outskirts of Luang Prabang, nestled on a hill overlooking the mountains. This is the perfect tranquil setting for a Yoga, Culture & Cuisine holiday.

Laos is neighboured by Burma, China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong River is the country’s major river and one of the largest in the region, nourishing Laos’ mostly jungle and mountainous terrain.

The relaxed grandeur of Luang Prabang is captivating. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, strolling down the cobblestone streets, it is not difficult to see why: colonial buildings share quaint lanes with Buddhist temples and traditional Lao wooden homes.

The perfect, tranquil setting for a yoga holiday, enjoy daily yoga classes and meditation sessions and immerse in a sublime cultural experience. You will explore UNESCO Luang Prabang and sip cocktails on the Mekong River. You learn the nuances of Laotian Cooking and witness one of the most revered traditions in Laos, the Baci Ceremony. Ride on boats on the Mekong, wander night markets filled with local food, meet talented Artisans and soak up the surroundings of countryside villages. Be pampered in a fabulous spa, savour amazing Laos cuisine and relax poolside before drinking an evening Asian cocktail on a deck with mountain views...

This retreat is designed for all levels of experience – including beginners who want to take up yoga or experience the joys of meditation for the first time. It is an escape that will leave you feeling fully rejuvenated, recharged and renewed.

Tour Overview
Duration
7 Nights - JUNE 2019
Start Point
Luang Prabang, Laos
Finish Point
Luang Prabang, Laos
Tour Style
Escorted Retreat
Accommodation
Boutique 4* Accommodation
Meals
As per itinerary
Transport
Private air-con van. Bikes. Boats.
Max Group Size
Min 6, Max 10 guests
Tour Inclusions
  • Arrival & departure transfers *if on recommended flights.
  • x 7 nights Boutique accommodation at Kiridara Hotel in a Twin or Single room
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Welcome Cocktail & Dinner
  • Farewell Cocktail & Farewell Dinner 
  • Laos Foodie Evening & BBQ Dinner
  • Laotian Cooking Class + Dinner
  • Baci Ceremony & Dinner
  • Lunch at Tamarind Restaurant
  • Picnic Lunch at Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Living Land Farm Rice Experience
  • Lunch at Living Land Farm
  • Pak Ou Caves
  • Visit to Ok Pok Weaving Centre
  • Other meals as stated
  • All entrances to all sites as per itinerary
  • x5 Morning Group Yoga Classes
  • x1 Optional Morning Yoga Class (departure day)
  • Lao Buddhist Mediation Session with Michelle Leuhman
  • x1 60 minute Spa session at The Spa
  • Yoga mats provided
  • The Wats of Luang Prabang
  • Monk blessing
  • Morning Alms
  • Morning of Artisans visits 
  • Hosted by Jemma Wilson: owner of Mai Journeys 
  • National English Speaking Guide(s)
  • Private air-conditioned vehicles for transfers
  • All transfers as per itinerary
  • Private van, Tuk Tuk & Vespa tours
Tour Highlights
  • Daily Yoga sessions 
  • A Laos Buddhist Meditation session led by Michelle Leuhman
  • Local Artisans & boutique stores
  • A Monk Blessing in a countryside Temple
  • Walks through local villages 
  • Wats of Luang Prabang
  • Alms at sunrise
  • Sunset boat ride
  • Pak Ou Caves
  • Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Foodie Tour in Luang Prabang 
  • Laos Cooking Class
  • Amazing Food
  • Fabulous accommodations

Tour Itinerary

Open all
Day 1 - ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG - Welcome Cocktail & Dinner
View

Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos!
You are met at airport & transferred to the hotel. Check in and take time to relax in your gorgeous surroundings.

Your accommodation for the next 7 nights is the gorgeous Kiridara Hotel.  Located on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offering panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to Luang Prabang city center. It also boasts the best spa in the neighbourhood and an infinity pool that looks out to the hills.

This afternoon, CJ will take us through a soft Yoga class. This class is intended to just stretch our bodies and iron out any creaks we may have after a long flight.

We will meet early evening on The Deck for an Asaian inspired Cocktail & to meet everyone before our 'Welcome Dinner'. Dinner will be a set menu of Laotian cuisine at the hotels' restaurant - 'Chefs Table'.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (Welcome Cocktail & Welcome Dinner)

Day 2 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Temples & Food Corner
View


This morning we have our first morning Yoga class led by CJ.

Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery.

This morning we take a half-day walking tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. We start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum housing precious artefacts that belonged to the Royal Family. We then drive or enjoy a leisurely walk to explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including: Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Its' unusually shaped stupa is designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”; Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty; the gorgeous Wat Mai with its detailed golden reliefs depicting scenes from village life; and Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 17th century.  We end the tour by climbing (if you wish!!) up to the top of Mount Phousi to admire the panoramic views across the Mekong and Khan rivers as well as the mountain range.

We will stop for lunch at Tamarind before returning to the hotel. Time for rest and relaxation.

At about 5pm we depart the hotel to spend the evening exploring Luang Prabang’s local food scene by first visiting Luang Prabang’s famous night market. We will explore the small side streets where vendors offer incredible food buffets and different local snacks. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells while our guide explains the various ingredients and cooking methods used in Lao cuisine. After looking and sampling (optional), we continue to a well-known local restaurant for traditional sindad BBQ where dinner is grilled right at the table. Our guide will recommend some of the restaurant’s specialities and help with the ordering. After dinner, we return to our hotel.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / L / D - Street Foods & BBQ)

Day 3 - LUANG PRABANG - Spiritual Experience, Monks & Massage
View


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ.


We will meet our guide after breakfast and enjoy a short transfer from the hotel to the boat pier in town, where a boat awaits to bring us across the Mekong. Once we reach the shore, we climb the 60 or so stairs to reach the temple of Wat Kok Phap, which is located in the middle of the forest, along the mighty Mekong River. Meet with some of the monks and stroll around this beautiful temple complex while we get introduced to the different artifacts and buildings. Hand over an offering to the monks, which may be food, monk’s robes or a cash donation (depending on what is needed at the time of your visit). After vsiting the temple, we head back to Luang Prabang, with the possibility to make a stop by boat at a local village. *Please dress appropriately for visits to religious sights - shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

We return to hotel and relax.
Enjoy your 60 minute massage at The Spa.

Early evening will be out first Yoga Nidra session led by CJ.

Evening is then free. We will have an Optional evening out. First up is Cocktails at 52 Cocktails & Tapas, then dinner at Tangor.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B)

Day 4 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Artisans & Baci
View


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ. 

Quaint Luang Prabang is filled with charming boutiques. This morning we enjoy a guided half-day shopping trip to some of the town’s most unique shops including antiques in an impressive old French mansion filled with silver betel nut pots; Akha-style bracelets and Hmong necklaces or a riverfront shop with treasures gathered from abroad like Hong Kong tea tins, Chinese retro alarm clocks, Mao revolutionary crockery and Burmese Buddhist statuary; home décor including hand-woven silks by local weavers and indigenous Lao wood handcrafted by master carvers and turners; handcrafted jewellery using a variety of semi-precious stones and silver; handicrafts made from silk and other natural products including packaged spices. We will visit the likes of: Me Te Sai, Naga Creations, Caruso Lao, Pavilion de Jade & Ban Phanom Village. 

This evening we embark on a fabulous experience. Baci ceremonies are an integral part of Lao culture, held to celebrate a special event like a marriage, homecoming, or departure. It is based on an ancient belief that the Baci ceremony re-aligns the kwan (or soul) which watches over and the body and its 32 organs. At the ceremony, a village elder will wrap a white cotton thread around your wrist while chanting an invocation to strengthen the power of the blessing. In Laos, white is the colour of peace, good fortune and warmth. Enjoy this authentic experience in a local family’s home and feel refreshed and enlightened by taking part in this ancient practice.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / D)

Day 5 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Waterfalls, Mediation & Sunset Cruise
View


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ. 

We spend half the day exploring one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with electric turquoise waters. We depart on a 1hr drive south of Luang Prabang a with quick stop at the vibrant Phousi Market.

We will also stop at the nearby Ock Pop Tock Weaving Centre, a social enterprise working primarily in the field of textiles, handicrafts and design. Set in lush tropical gardens and located on the banks of the Mekong, the Living Crafts Centre at Ock Pop Tock is the perfect place to learn more about the incredible world of Lao textiles and handicrafts. Created as a way to allow visitors to observe the impressive skills that go into Lao textiles, the Centre brings the concept of “East Meets West” alive. We will meet the Master Weavers and see silk weaving on your very own on a 30-minute tour. You will learn about Laos textiles from the silkworm to the finished product. You will see how natural dyes are made and be introduced to the most popular weaving techniques in Laos. You can the wander through the weaving room and watch the experts at work. 

We continue on to the waterfalls, and take a leisurely hike through the natural park past the Asian Bear Rescue Center. Swimming in the refreshing waters is possible, although sometimes the water temperature can be cool. 

We will have lunch at Carpe Diem Restaurant. 

After lunch, we will continue to the village of Muang Khai and meet Michelle Leuhman at the temple grounds. Michelle is an expert in Lao Buddhism; but her true profession is leading Meditation Sessions, providing insight into Lao Buddhist practice. She is the only female, the only foreigner and the only non-ordained individual (Lao or Foreigner), recognised by the Council of Eight, (the Buddhist High Council) to teach meditation in Lao.

First, we will be guided through the monastery grounds and a traditional 19th century temple before passing through a hidden doorway to enter a secluded private garden. Perfectly located for a facilitated meditation session. The meditation session, which will last about an hour, takes place in or around a private historic meditation sala, which nestles quietly in front of the Mekong River, beside hibiscus and champa trees intermingled with wild ginger plants. Time is given for discussion before the meditation session and silent reflection afterwards. Seating pillows will be provided and heights will be well adjusted for each individual needs.

After achieving total relaxation, you may wish to place a traditional Lao-style alter offering at the temple.  A short walk through a local village then takes us to the natural boat pier. A customary boat will gently take us back to Luang Prabang, where we can enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the Mekong River back to town. We then transfer to our hotel by van.

NOTES: It is recommended to wear proper walking attire if you want to hike up to the top of the waterfall and light clothing for the meditation session. To enter the temple, your arms down to the elbow and your legs down to your knees should be covered. A sarong or wrap is enough coverage. 

Your evening is free. Anyone that wants to could head to Utopia for cocktails on the river. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / L)

Day 6 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Living Land Rice Experience, Laotian Cooking Class
View


Early morning Yoga session with CJ.

We spend an enjoyable half day on a community-based rice farm situated in the idyllic countryside, surrounded by mountains and rice paddies. The Living Land Company an entirely organic farm, is a Community Enterprise, run by a local team and for the benefit of Lao people. They grow organic vegetables, salad greens, herbs and rice and supply leading restaurants and hotels in Luang Prabang. We will experience the life of a farmer by trying our hand at some farm activities ie platning rice! Alternatively, watch life on the farm unfold from the comfort of a traditional Lao rice house balcony surrounded by rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. During the experience, you will also have the opportunity to learn about bamboo weaving, blacksmith work, and sugar cane processing. After, tour the organic garden and learn how natural herbs are used in traditional medicine.

We will have lunch at the Living Land restaurant.

We take the boat further down the Mekong to the pottery village of Ban Chan. Here we can see craftsmen at work throwing pots, not on wheels, but by hand. This is not a tourist village. It is a small community trying to make a living primarily by making pottery for the hotels across the river.

We return to the hotel for rest and relaxation.

Evening Cooking Class: depart approx 5pm. Due to its landlocked location and relatively low economic status, Lao cuisine is centered on fresh ingredients with almost no processed foods. We spend an enjoyable evening learning about some of the fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors of Lao food. We transfer to Tamarind Restaurant and meet a local culinary expert who will accompany us on a 20min drive to the village of Ban Na Ded where the class is held. Learn which fresh ingredients are used in the dishes and get acquainted with some intriguing and unfamiliar flavors. Create your own varieties of jeow (spicy Lao dipping sauce), mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf), lemongrass stuffed chicken, gaeng pet (spicy curry), minced fish or the popular papaya salad. We then enjoy our creations for dinner.

Later we return to our hotel. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / D - Cooking Class)

Day 7 - LUANG PRABANG - Alms Giving, Pak Ou Caves, Farewell Dinner
View

Ealry morning: departure approx 05.30am..
The morning alms round (called “Tak Bat” in Lao) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and dates back generations. For those that wush to, we wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light, truly a spiritual occasion! (If you wish to make an offering, please inform our guide a day in advance so that a gift of alms can be prepared.) After the almsgiving, we watch the town come to life during a visit to the bustling morning market before returning to our hotel for breakfast. 

At about 8.30am, we will depart for the famed Pak Ou Caves. We enjoy a half-day river cruise to the Caves on aoard a long-tail boat. We cruise past scenes of typical Laotian villages barely visible behind thick foliage, wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles and floats marking the location of nets and fish traps.

Located next to the mighty Mekong and opposite the mouth of the Mekong and the Ou rivers, we explore the two limestone grottoes which house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images which range from mere centimetres up to 2m (7ft) in height.

Return to Luang Prabang by cruise with a stop en route at the village of Ban Muang Keo and observe local weavers and whisky distillers honouring their timeworn traditional crafts. WE sould be back at the hotel by 1pm.

The afternoon is free for rest and relaxation. 

CJ will hold a final Yoga Nidra session early evening. 

This evening we can meet on The Deck for a Cocktail before heading out for our farewell dinner. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / Farewell Cocktail / Farewell Dinner)

Day 8 - Departure - Yoga
View

Today is departure day.

CJ will hold an optional early morning Yoga session in preparation for our flight home. 

Transfer to the airport. Depart.

About this tour

Kindara Hotel, Luang Prabang: Charming Kiridara Luang Prabang sits on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offering panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to Luang Prabang city center and the airport. Contemporary-styled rooms and suites sit among lush courtyards and expansive views. It boasts one of the best spas in the neighbourhood - tucked away in the dense teak forest, creating an immediate sense of serenity and bliss for guests. There are 3 treatment rooms, 1 steam room and plush massage beds. The infinity pool that looks out to the hills is to die for, and the surrounding deck is a perfect place for a sunset Cocktail. Set in a historically rich neighbourhood yet just minutes away from the city, Kiridara is the perfect getaway for travellers seeking privacy and exceptional service in a luxurious setting. 

Vinyasa Yoga: In Vinyasa yoga movement is synchronised to the breath. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the fluid way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath is a vital component because movement from one pose to the next follows an inhale or an exhale. Vinyasa is literally translated from Sanskrit to mean “connection.” The term vinyasa also refers to a specific series of movements that are frequently done between each pose in a series. This is a variation of the Sun Salutations.

Practicalities

Seasons: Laos generally has a two-season weather pattern. The weather patterns are influenced by the wet and dry seasonal winds of Southeast Asia, which create two distinct seasons - dry and wet (also known as Green Season because of the vibrant colour the rains bring). For tranquil, crowd-free travel we travel outside of the peak, dry season months of November to March; but you may need to consider your tolerance of temperatures and humidity - often high by Western standards.

Green Season (May - October) - May and June bring moisture laden air from the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand, bringing greenery back to the region´s countryside. Don't be concerned by the season's showers; the rains form a predictable pattern - clear, sunny mornings and a 60% chance of showers in the mid to late afternoon-and bring green into the countryside. The humidity and temperatures drop to a low around October when the weather can feel almost Mediterranean. The early months of the wet season (May to July) remain very hot and rainfall is often short lived, whilst in the latter months (late July until September) the rains become more constant and can be heavy at times.

We will hit temperatures up to late 20's, early 30's.

The facts

Currency: The currency in Laos is the Laos Kip.
However, US dollars are widely used and most prices will be in US$. When receiving change from a dollar, the cents will be returned to you in local currency. Note that even slightly torn US dollar bills will not be accepted. Credit Cards are accepted in most good hotels and restaurants. ATMs are common in Luang Prabang. 

Tipping:  Staff and Guides appreciate that tipping varies greatly between cultures and countries.

Visas:  Citizens of most countries can apply for a visa before travel or get one on arrival in Laos.

Visa On Arrival Cambodia - You can obtain a Visa on arrival at your port of entry. Fill in the arrival documents which you will receive in on the plane or at the border and provide one passport-size photograph. The fee is currently US$30 paid in cash and is valid for 30 days. You can extend the visa once you are here if necessary. Please note that you will need a blank page in your passport for the visa as well as at least 6 months validity on your passport. At peak arrival times there may be waiting time for the visa on arrival to be processed. **This CAN change...

Not Included:

  • International Airfares - *PLEASE ASK FOR A QUOTE
  • Transfers unless stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Phone calls
  • Visas
  • Laundry unless stated
  • Tips 
  • Excess baggage
  • Travel insurance - *PLEASE ASK FOR A QUOTE
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specifically described. 
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be offered
Travel advice / FCO

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the FCO does not advise against travel to any of the places visited on this tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns. You should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.

DATES

29 June 2019 - 06 July 2019


RATES
from NZD$2850 per person
Single rate from NZD$3450

Hover over rates for other currencies.

*Rates are per person based on Twin Share or Single Room.
*Prices are subject to change until paid in full.
*This Hosted Retreat departs with a minimum of 6 guests. If numbers fall below 6 guests, we will offer the Retreat at a reconfigured rate.
*A 'Willing to Share' may be possible on this tour. Please enquire. 
*International Airfares are not included. Please ask for a Quote.
*Please ask about pre-or-post Tour extensions.


Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG - Welcome Cocktail & Dinner

Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos!
You are met at airport & transferred to the hotel. Check in and take time to relax in your gorgeous surroundings.

Your accommodation for the next 7 nights is the gorgeous Kiridara Hotel.  Located on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offering panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to Luang Prabang city center. It also boasts the best spa in the neighbourhood and an infinity pool that looks out to the hills.

This afternoon, CJ will take us through a soft Yoga class. This class is intended to just stretch our bodies and iron out any creaks we may have after a long flight.

We will meet early evening on The Deck for an Asaian inspired Cocktail & to meet everyone before our 'Welcome Dinner'. Dinner will be a set menu of Laotian cuisine at the hotels' restaurant - 'Chefs Table'.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (Welcome Cocktail & Welcome Dinner)

Day 2 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Temples & Food Corner


This morning we have our first morning Yoga class led by CJ.

Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery.

This morning we take a half-day walking tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. We start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum housing precious artefacts that belonged to the Royal Family. We then drive or enjoy a leisurely walk to explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including: Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Its' unusually shaped stupa is designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”; Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty; the gorgeous Wat Mai with its detailed golden reliefs depicting scenes from village life; and Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 17th century.  We end the tour by climbing (if you wish!!) up to the top of Mount Phousi to admire the panoramic views across the Mekong and Khan rivers as well as the mountain range.

We will stop for lunch at Tamarind before returning to the hotel. Time for rest and relaxation.

At about 5pm we depart the hotel to spend the evening exploring Luang Prabang’s local food scene by first visiting Luang Prabang’s famous night market. We will explore the small side streets where vendors offer incredible food buffets and different local snacks. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells while our guide explains the various ingredients and cooking methods used in Lao cuisine. After looking and sampling (optional), we continue to a well-known local restaurant for traditional sindad BBQ where dinner is grilled right at the table. Our guide will recommend some of the restaurant’s specialities and help with the ordering. After dinner, we return to our hotel.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / L / D - Street Foods & BBQ)

Day 3 - LUANG PRABANG - Spiritual Experience, Monks & Massage


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ.


We will meet our guide after breakfast and enjoy a short transfer from the hotel to the boat pier in town, where a boat awaits to bring us across the Mekong. Once we reach the shore, we climb the 60 or so stairs to reach the temple of Wat Kok Phap, which is located in the middle of the forest, along the mighty Mekong River. Meet with some of the monks and stroll around this beautiful temple complex while we get introduced to the different artifacts and buildings. Hand over an offering to the monks, which may be food, monk’s robes or a cash donation (depending on what is needed at the time of your visit). After vsiting the temple, we head back to Luang Prabang, with the possibility to make a stop by boat at a local village. *Please dress appropriately for visits to religious sights - shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

We return to hotel and relax.
Enjoy your 60 minute massage at The Spa.

Early evening will be out first Yoga Nidra session led by CJ.

Evening is then free. We will have an Optional evening out. First up is Cocktails at 52 Cocktails & Tapas, then dinner at Tangor.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B)

Day 4 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Artisans & Baci


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ. 

Quaint Luang Prabang is filled with charming boutiques. This morning we enjoy a guided half-day shopping trip to some of the town’s most unique shops including antiques in an impressive old French mansion filled with silver betel nut pots; Akha-style bracelets and Hmong necklaces or a riverfront shop with treasures gathered from abroad like Hong Kong tea tins, Chinese retro alarm clocks, Mao revolutionary crockery and Burmese Buddhist statuary; home décor including hand-woven silks by local weavers and indigenous Lao wood handcrafted by master carvers and turners; handcrafted jewellery using a variety of semi-precious stones and silver; handicrafts made from silk and other natural products including packaged spices. We will visit the likes of: Me Te Sai, Naga Creations, Caruso Lao, Pavilion de Jade & Ban Phanom Village. 

This evening we embark on a fabulous experience. Baci ceremonies are an integral part of Lao culture, held to celebrate a special event like a marriage, homecoming, or departure. It is based on an ancient belief that the Baci ceremony re-aligns the kwan (or soul) which watches over and the body and its 32 organs. At the ceremony, a village elder will wrap a white cotton thread around your wrist while chanting an invocation to strengthen the power of the blessing. In Laos, white is the colour of peace, good fortune and warmth. Enjoy this authentic experience in a local family’s home and feel refreshed and enlightened by taking part in this ancient practice.

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / D)

Day 5 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Waterfalls, Mediation & Sunset Cruise


Early morning Yoga class led by CJ. 

We spend half the day exploring one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with electric turquoise waters. We depart on a 1hr drive south of Luang Prabang a with quick stop at the vibrant Phousi Market.

We will also stop at the nearby Ock Pop Tock Weaving Centre, a social enterprise working primarily in the field of textiles, handicrafts and design. Set in lush tropical gardens and located on the banks of the Mekong, the Living Crafts Centre at Ock Pop Tock is the perfect place to learn more about the incredible world of Lao textiles and handicrafts. Created as a way to allow visitors to observe the impressive skills that go into Lao textiles, the Centre brings the concept of “East Meets West” alive. We will meet the Master Weavers and see silk weaving on your very own on a 30-minute tour. You will learn about Laos textiles from the silkworm to the finished product. You will see how natural dyes are made and be introduced to the most popular weaving techniques in Laos. You can the wander through the weaving room and watch the experts at work. 

We continue on to the waterfalls, and take a leisurely hike through the natural park past the Asian Bear Rescue Center. Swimming in the refreshing waters is possible, although sometimes the water temperature can be cool. 

We will have lunch at Carpe Diem Restaurant. 

After lunch, we will continue to the village of Muang Khai and meet Michelle Leuhman at the temple grounds. Michelle is an expert in Lao Buddhism; but her true profession is leading Meditation Sessions, providing insight into Lao Buddhist practice. She is the only female, the only foreigner and the only non-ordained individual (Lao or Foreigner), recognised by the Council of Eight, (the Buddhist High Council) to teach meditation in Lao.

First, we will be guided through the monastery grounds and a traditional 19th century temple before passing through a hidden doorway to enter a secluded private garden. Perfectly located for a facilitated meditation session. The meditation session, which will last about an hour, takes place in or around a private historic meditation sala, which nestles quietly in front of the Mekong River, beside hibiscus and champa trees intermingled with wild ginger plants. Time is given for discussion before the meditation session and silent reflection afterwards. Seating pillows will be provided and heights will be well adjusted for each individual needs.

After achieving total relaxation, you may wish to place a traditional Lao-style alter offering at the temple.  A short walk through a local village then takes us to the natural boat pier. A customary boat will gently take us back to Luang Prabang, where we can enjoy a breathtaking sunset over the Mekong River back to town. We then transfer to our hotel by van.

NOTES: It is recommended to wear proper walking attire if you want to hike up to the top of the waterfall and light clothing for the meditation session. To enter the temple, your arms down to the elbow and your legs down to your knees should be covered. A sarong or wrap is enough coverage. 

Your evening is free. Anyone that wants to could head to Utopia for cocktails on the river. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / L)

Day 6 - LUANG PRABANG - Yoga, Living Land Rice Experience, Laotian Cooking Class


Early morning Yoga session with CJ.

We spend an enjoyable half day on a community-based rice farm situated in the idyllic countryside, surrounded by mountains and rice paddies. The Living Land Company an entirely organic farm, is a Community Enterprise, run by a local team and for the benefit of Lao people. They grow organic vegetables, salad greens, herbs and rice and supply leading restaurants and hotels in Luang Prabang. We will experience the life of a farmer by trying our hand at some farm activities ie platning rice! Alternatively, watch life on the farm unfold from the comfort of a traditional Lao rice house balcony surrounded by rice terraces and an organic vegetable farm. During the experience, you will also have the opportunity to learn about bamboo weaving, blacksmith work, and sugar cane processing. After, tour the organic garden and learn how natural herbs are used in traditional medicine.

We will have lunch at the Living Land restaurant.

We take the boat further down the Mekong to the pottery village of Ban Chan. Here we can see craftsmen at work throwing pots, not on wheels, but by hand. This is not a tourist village. It is a small community trying to make a living primarily by making pottery for the hotels across the river.

We return to the hotel for rest and relaxation.

Evening Cooking Class: depart approx 5pm. Due to its landlocked location and relatively low economic status, Lao cuisine is centered on fresh ingredients with almost no processed foods. We spend an enjoyable evening learning about some of the fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors of Lao food. We transfer to Tamarind Restaurant and meet a local culinary expert who will accompany us on a 20min drive to the village of Ban Na Ded where the class is held. Learn which fresh ingredients are used in the dishes and get acquainted with some intriguing and unfamiliar flavors. Create your own varieties of jeow (spicy Lao dipping sauce), mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf), lemongrass stuffed chicken, gaeng pet (spicy curry), minced fish or the popular papaya salad. We then enjoy our creations for dinner.

Later we return to our hotel. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / D - Cooking Class)

Day 7 - LUANG PRABANG - Alms Giving, Pak Ou Caves, Farewell Dinner

Ealry morning: departure approx 05.30am..
The morning alms round (called “Tak Bat” in Lao) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and dates back generations. For those that wush to, we wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks in the early morning light, truly a spiritual occasion! (If you wish to make an offering, please inform our guide a day in advance so that a gift of alms can be prepared.) After the almsgiving, we watch the town come to life during a visit to the bustling morning market before returning to our hotel for breakfast. 

At about 8.30am, we will depart for the famed Pak Ou Caves. We enjoy a half-day river cruise to the Caves on aoard a long-tail boat. We cruise past scenes of typical Laotian villages barely visible behind thick foliage, wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles and floats marking the location of nets and fish traps.

Located next to the mighty Mekong and opposite the mouth of the Mekong and the Ou rivers, we explore the two limestone grottoes which house approximately 4,000 sacred Buddhist statues and images which range from mere centimetres up to 2m (7ft) in height.

Return to Luang Prabang by cruise with a stop en route at the village of Ban Muang Keo and observe local weavers and whisky distillers honouring their timeworn traditional crafts. WE sould be back at the hotel by 1pm.

The afternoon is free for rest and relaxation. 

CJ will hold a final Yoga Nidra session early evening. 

This evening we can meet on The Deck for a Cocktail before heading out for our farewell dinner. 

Overnight Kiridara Hotel. (B / Farewell Cocktail / Farewell Dinner)

Day 8 - Departure - Yoga

Today is departure day.

CJ will hold an optional early morning Yoga session in preparation for our flight home. 

Transfer to the airport. Depart.

About this tour

Kindara Hotel, Luang Prabang: Charming Kiridara Luang Prabang sits on a hillside and surrounded by native teak forests, offering panoramic views of Mount Phou Si, with easy access to Luang Prabang city center and the airport. Contemporary-styled rooms and suites sit among lush courtyards and expansive views. It boasts one of the best spas in the neighbourhood - tucked away in the dense teak forest, creating an immediate sense of serenity and bliss for guests. There are 3 treatment rooms, 1 steam room and plush massage beds. The infinity pool that looks out to the hills is to die for, and the surrounding deck is a perfect place for a sunset Cocktail. Set in a historically rich neighbourhood yet just minutes away from the city, Kiridara is the perfect getaway for travellers seeking privacy and exceptional service in a luxurious setting. 

Vinyasa Yoga: In Vinyasa yoga movement is synchronised to the breath. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the fluid way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath is a vital component because movement from one pose to the next follows an inhale or an exhale. Vinyasa is literally translated from Sanskrit to mean “connection.” The term vinyasa also refers to a specific series of movements that are frequently done between each pose in a series. This is a variation of the Sun Salutations.

Practicalities

Seasons: Laos generally has a two-season weather pattern. The weather patterns are influenced by the wet and dry seasonal winds of Southeast Asia, which create two distinct seasons - dry and wet (also known as Green Season because of the vibrant colour the rains bring). For tranquil, crowd-free travel we travel outside of the peak, dry season months of November to March; but you may need to consider your tolerance of temperatures and humidity - often high by Western standards.

Green Season (May - October) - May and June bring moisture laden air from the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand, bringing greenery back to the region´s countryside. Don't be concerned by the season's showers; the rains form a predictable pattern - clear, sunny mornings and a 60% chance of showers in the mid to late afternoon-and bring green into the countryside. The humidity and temperatures drop to a low around October when the weather can feel almost Mediterranean. The early months of the wet season (May to July) remain very hot and rainfall is often short lived, whilst in the latter months (late July until September) the rains become more constant and can be heavy at times.

We will hit temperatures up to late 20's, early 30's.

The facts

Currency: The currency in Laos is the Laos Kip.
However, US dollars are widely used and most prices will be in US$. When receiving change from a dollar, the cents will be returned to you in local currency. Note that even slightly torn US dollar bills will not be accepted. Credit Cards are accepted in most good hotels and restaurants. ATMs are common in Luang Prabang. 

Tipping:  Staff and Guides appreciate that tipping varies greatly between cultures and countries.

Visas:  Citizens of most countries can apply for a visa before travel or get one on arrival in Laos.

Visa On Arrival Cambodia - You can obtain a Visa on arrival at your port of entry. Fill in the arrival documents which you will receive in on the plane or at the border and provide one passport-size photograph. The fee is currently US$30 paid in cash and is valid for 30 days. You can extend the visa once you are here if necessary. Please note that you will need a blank page in your passport for the visa as well as at least 6 months validity on your passport. At peak arrival times there may be waiting time for the visa on arrival to be processed. **This CAN change...

Not Included:

  • International Airfares - *PLEASE ASK FOR A QUOTE
  • Transfers unless stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Phone calls
  • Visas
  • Laundry unless stated
  • Tips 
  • Excess baggage
  • Travel insurance - *PLEASE ASK FOR A QUOTE
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specifically described. 
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be offered
Travel advice / FCO

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the FCO does not advise against travel to any of the places visited on this tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns. You should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.