ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Luang Prabang - Cycling – Trekking - Khmu Village – Ban Long Lao
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide and inspect your rental bike. Then cycle south out of Luang Prabang for about 20 kilometers until you reach the village of the start of your trekking point. Here you will leave your bike behind and start a five-hour trek across rice paddies and rocky hills until you reach a Khmu village. Wander around and chat with some locals!
The Khmu, are an ethnic-minority group in Laos and typically live in upland areas that are far from the conveniences of modern cities. Many are subsistence farmers who grow just enough sticky rice, the staple grain of Laos, to feed their families.
After a quick lunch, continue trekking to the village of Ban Long Lao, your home for the night. In the evening the villagers will treat you to a Baci ceremony, a traditional animist blessing. After dinner, sleep in the home of a local family. The accommodation is basic, with no hot water or western-style bathrooms.
Day 2: Ban Long Lao – Conservation Area – Kuang Si Waterfalls
After breakfast at the village headman’s house, spend some time exploring the village and chatting with the kids. You will then trek through the Nam Et National Biodiversity Conservation Area for about approximately four hours. The conservation area is important because it contains pristine forests and endangered animals like the clouded leopard and tigers.
At last, reach the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls, which cascade over calcified rock cliffs toward a series of turquoise pools. The water has a blue-green tint because of its high mineral content. Enjoy a well-earned swim in one of the pools before breaking for lunch.
The journey continues with a trek down the hill to visit the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. The centre is run by a dedicated team that look after the Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears) that were illegally captured from the wild as young cubs and destined for use in the traditional medicine trade. You’ll also visit a market in Tad Pan Village where you can shop for a few souvenirs or essentials before returning to Luang Prabang.
Please note: The Kuang Si Waterfall runs low during the February-to-May dry season, and swimming is not always possible.