Back to Basics: Traditional Lao life

Plant rice, craft knives & make bird traps

$80.00 per guest


  • Experience the real process of making knives from scrap metal from start to finish
  • Enjoy learning from a master blacksmith
  • Choose any type of knife you want, as long as you have a picture, your host will be able to make it if it's not too complex
  • Visit a blacksmith village where most villagers are blacksmiths, a village which almost no tourists visit except for this experience.
  • Get to know a local Laotian family and see how they live.
  • Bring home a knife you can truly call your own
  • Experience real farming life like a farmer, from selecting seeds to sowing, ploughing, transplanting, harvesting, threshing and cooking!
  • Enjoy the picturesque countryside on a real rice farm cooperative
  • Have a hearty local meal with organic ingredients
  • Check out the organic farm, little zen lake on the farm
  • Have a taste of other village activities like milling flour, crushing sugarcane, bamboo weaving, all on the same farm
  • Learn making various traditional birdtraps from a local farmer and see how Laotians used to live

Inclusive of:

  • Entire Experience and all tools, instruction and raw materials you need
  • An English speaking facilitator
  • Pickup & Dropoff service by tuktuk from your hotel
  • Your own self-made Knife to bring home
  • All safety equipment including goggles and gloves
  • Basic Lunch of sticky rice and various types of traditional local dipping sauces (Premium lunch available as add-on)

Not Inclusive of:

  • Additional items in the add-ons section
  • Dinner & Breakfast
4.8 Out of 5
5 Reviews
Tokky C Laos
11 Jan, 2018

I booked the Back to Basics: Traditional Lao Life with Backstreet Academy. Had a lot of fun! Spent the morning with Livi...

Kit L Nepal
9 Sep, 2017

AMAZING. Just simply Amazing!!! The entire package really brings you to see so many of the basic and cornerstone aspects...

$US 80.00 per guest
10 hours
1 - 5 guest
Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to booking start time.

More About This Experience

Have you ever wondered what life was like in Laos before the advent of technology? Experience traditional Lao life by going back to the basics! In this hands-on Backstreet Academy special, we bring you to the rice fields where the lifeblood of the Lao people begins. Try the 14 stages of planting rice, right from the selecting of grain, plowing the land with a buffalo, all the way to harvesting and of course the best part of it: eating them! Enjoy rice made in a variety of innovative ways paired with the essential Jeow Bong - a chilli made with buffalo skin, giving it a very fragrant smoky flavour that goes exceptionally well with sticky rice. Set inside a real farm, you will get breathtaking views of endless rice fields, majestic limestone cliffs in the distance, as well as check out the organic garden where many herbs are grown! After farming, we will head to a bird traps workshop with a Hmong hunter. Bird traps were invented hundreds of years ago by Hmong people, because at that time people live very high up on the mountain where there are lots of birds. They created these as a tool for hunting and also keep the birds from eating the few crops that could be grown high up in the mountains. In this course you'll be able to choose 1 out of 3 types of traps to learn and the instructor will guide you through each step on how to make them! To cap your day off , we bring you for a grand black smithing experience where you can make your own knives, under the guidance of a master blacksmith. Try building a fire with a hand-held wind machine, hammer the blade into submission, sharpen it before finally slotting it into a bamboo handle to proudly call your own, exactly the same way Lao people did it hundreds of years ago. Itinerary: 8 am Pickup at your hotel to the rice farm 12pm Leave rice farm for lunch at a local noodle soup shop (Lunch is included within the price) 1pm Leave for bird traps crafting 3pm Head for knife making and back to your hotel around 6:30pm or 7pm

Additional Information:

  • Pick up will be via a tuktuk
  • Master Blacksmith will be handling the dangerous parts of the process, and anything that you do not feel comfortable doing the master blacksmith will assist you.
  • You can bring home the knife you made
  • The default knife does not come with any cover. You can purchase an add-on if you would like a cover
  • The default handle is made of bamboo. You are able to customize the handle by purchasing additional add-ons
  • When in the fields you will be in mud (you may choose not to participate in this particular segment)
  • Bring a raincoat or umbrella if it's rainy season (May to Oct)
  • Wear shorts and flip flop for rice farming
  • Wear long clothes, covered shoes and sunglasses for knife making
  • Bring towels, There will be toilets for a change of clothes at the rice farm
  • Bring your own bottled water

Upcoming availability

Monday, July 22
Tuesday, July 23
Thursday, July 25

Your Local Host

Living Land and Phan

Phan and Living land teams up to offer an experience of traditional Lao life. Stalwarts of tradition and culture, they have been doing what they do since they were young, learning from their fathers and grandfather...

More about the host

5 reviews from people who took this experience

Tokky C Laos
11 Jan, 2018

I booked the Back to Basics: Traditional Lao Life with Backstreet Academy. Had a lot of fun! Spent the morning with Living Land and learnt the 13 steps of rice production from Chi Lee who is a brilliant guide. After that, I learnt to make my own knife with Master Phan before heading out to fish with his sons. It was a unique and interesting experience for me. Truly unforgettable. And my translator Vanh was fabulous too! Thank you!

Kit L Nepal
9 Sep, 2017

AMAZING. Just simply Amazing!!! The entire package really brings you to see so many of the basic and cornerstone aspects of Lao life. How stick rice is farmed in 15 stages, how people make knives, how local fishermen fish in the river. And not just see! It's a totally hands-on experience where you actually go through the entire process! I made a knife from just scrap metal! HOW COOL IS THAT. Don't miss this. If you have time for only one thing, make it this.

Huilin Tok Laos
13 Aug, 2017

I had a lot of fun on this trip! Living land is a beautiful place and our guide Chin Lee (pardon the spelling) was fabulous. He made the journey of the rice grain so enjoyable and funny. We got the chance try out every step of the way! Learning to make a knife was hard work with Master Phan. But he was patient and keen to teach. Special kudos to my guide Vanh. A good-spirited young man who did an excellent job with the translation.

Eddie Bauer India
20 Sep, 2015

Great Experience. Had lots of fun in the rice fields, making knives and then fishing in the river. Very different experience from anything else in the world. Magical.

US$ 80.00 per guest
5 Reviews