To help you decide on which Luang Prabang Tours and Day Trips to go on, we have put together a list of our personal favorites. This list will provide you with off the beaten track, local and authentic experiences!
1. Luang Prabang Rice Farming Experience
Not on many people’s list (yet), but one that you will definitely look back on with great pleasure is this rice farming experience. The Living Land Lao company offers you a rare glimpse into the lives of traditional rice farmers in Luang Prabang. You will experience what it is like to plough the land, plant rice, harvest and eventually cook up a traditional meal! Don’t worry, you do not have to do it alone, Rudolph (the friendly buffalo) is always ready to lend a “hand”.
Set in a beautiful farmland about 20 mins from town, it is peaceful and serene yet bustling with life as all sorts of plants and animals interact in a thriving ecosystem. Besides farming, you will also get to see a host of other traditional crafts such as blacksmithing, bird traps and musical instruments.
There is even a zen-like lotus lake, and an organic garden with more than 30 types of vegetables and fruits!
2. A Monk’s Life in Luang Prabang: Experience alms giving and meditation with a monk
Rise and shine as early as 5.30 to get to this incredible experience!
During the Alms Giving Experience (also known as Tak Bat) you get to participate in this holy Buddhist procession with a local host. You get to learn the ins and outs of this procession after which you will line up together with all other devotees giving out food to the monks walking past. But that is only the start!
You have breakfast at a Lao morning market together with the locals and get the inside tour of Wat Mai, an impressive temple which is one of Luang Prabang’s largest and most richly decorated temples.
After breakfast it is time to learn the art of meditation from a senior monk himself! You can ask any questions you might have about meditation and buddhism as well as have a real inside look at the temple and activities they do there. During this day you truly get to experience this UNESCO town from the inside.
3. The Unseen Laos: A journey into the heart of Kamu communities
If you want to experience how the average Laotian go about their daily lives, you cannot miss this Unseen Laos experience!
Only 30 minutes outside of the city you can soak in the countryside atmosphere. You will participate in the daily Lao activities. From rice husking with a traditional mortar to working on the farm and collecting vegetables and hunting crabs in the streams. You will have lunch with the family and they will even teach you how to set up a mouse trap! The exact activities depend on your liking and the season. But we can say for sure, this is a Luang Prabang Daytrip you do not want to miss!
4. Weaving with village seamstress
Weaving is one of Lao’s most traditional skills that is practised by Lao women, and almost all Lao women can weave. There is still a widely held belief in the villages that the better at weaving a lady is, the better a wife she would make!
When you visit Laos, you will definitely see a lot of these “tourist”scarfs. However, not many people actually get to make one themselves! To really appreciate the art of the Lao scarf, we suggest you experience Weaving with a village seamstress. After this day, you will have a different view on these scarfs! You will have a great gift (including a story) to take back home and you will even be better marriage material 😉
5. Kuang Si Waterfall
Kuang Si Falls is another “must-see” attraction in Luang Prabang. The falls are truly spectacular and the biggest waterfall in Luang Prabang.
The Kuang Si Waterfall consists of a tiered group of turquoise pools set amongst the dense Laotian jungle. The bottom of the falls are made up of an array of shallow pools, each one overflowing into the one below it. Sometimes ropes hang over the pools and you can swing like a monkey from one bery basin into the next.
The main attraction is a 200-foot cascade that looks like it has swallowed the earth. If you walk beyond the beaten track you can also find some more isolated pools that are wonderful to take a dip in! It takes you around 45 minutes from Chiang Mai to get here, but it is definitely worth it! It is number 1 on our Luang Prabang tours and day trips for a reason!
6. Street Food Tour
During this street food tour you get to visit both street food stalls and local restaurants while walking through the streets of Luang Prabang. The host will take you to food wonders that you would not have been able to find by yourself! You try many Laos signature dishes; from Khaonom Krok to Orlam to Khao Soi! Curious to know what these dishes are? Have a look at the description!
If you eat food, this tour is a must in Luang Prabang. 😉
6. Lao Wine Making
The last thing on our Luang Prabang tours and day trips is Lao wine making. If you like a drink and you like to be happy you want do this!
In this course, you will learn how to make you own Lao wine, also known as ‘Lao Hai. It is a sweet rice wine produced by the Khmu hill-tribe for Pimai Lao (Lao New Year) and other festivals. Traditionally, it’s drunk communally through thin, hollow river reeds (which you also get to make). As the wine is drunk, water is added to maintain an even balance of water and alcohol.
It is a lot of fun making the wine, but our favorite part of this experience is enjoying the laid back and happy atmosphere of the host! They say this is the happiest drink in Laos, and we totally agree! If you want to leave Luang Prabang relaxed and happy finish your trip with this wonderful experience!