This morning, awaken early and begin your day joining in a local tradition of giving alms to the monks. As the sun slowly rises, you will give food and offerings to the saffron-clad monks that make their way slowly and silently through the streets.
Today, along with your private guide, you will discover the main sights of Luang Prabang and get an insider’s view of the religion and culture of Laos. Stroll through winding streets to That Makmo, also known as the Watermelon Stupa! Explore Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang’s best-known and most visited monastery. Meet Hans Georg Berger, a photographer and writer whose exhibit of ‘The Floating Buddha’ is on display at Wat Khill. Hans will take you on a private tour of the temple and museum to get a glimpse into the life of the royal family. Round out the morning with visits to the National Museum and a local textile mill.
After lunch, board a boat and meet your private guide for a ride on the Mekong River, observing life on the sleepy riverbanks. See children playing at the water’s edge, women washing their clothes, and men fishing for the larger catch that live deep on the riverbed. Stop along the way at the ‘lao whisky village’ to observe how sticky rice is distilled to become the famous ‘lao lao’ liquor.
Visit the Pak Ou Caves, cut into the limestone cliff and full of Buddha statues of all styles, sizes and ages. Now a popular pilgrimage site, the caves were discovered in the 16th century and are believed to have been a centre for spirit worship. Return to Luang Prabang by boat enjoying a selection of typical Lao snacks along the way.
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao Breakfast / Lunch