Adventure Week – Luang Prabang, Laos

WHY we need you in Laos

WHAT is involved in adventure week?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  PROJECT NAME: ADVENTURE WEEK 

LOCATION: LUANG PRABANG

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS) 

  ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE

  MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A

Overview

Embark on a week-long adventure, designed as an add-on to a volunteer project, the Laos adventure week is a great way to explore and have some fun after your volunteer program!

We start with a morning trip from our accommodation between 8:00 to 8:30 AM. Boarding a longtail boat, we’ll cruise along the majestic Mekong River, immersing ourselves in the picturesque scenes of rural life in Laos. Passing by local villages, fishermen, and children, we’ll soak in the beauty of daily riverside existence.

Our first destination is Ban Xang Hai, the famed Whisky Village, where we’ll witness the process of making Lao Lao, the beloved rice whiskey of the country, and indulge in local delicacies.

Continuing our leisurely boat ride, we’ll arrive at the Pak Ou Caves, ancient limestone caves housing Buddhist statues and idols. Our knowledgeable guide will share captivating legends and stories as we explore these sacred caves.

After the boat tour, we’ll head to the magnificent Kuang Si Waterfall, where you’ll have ample time to explore the three-tiered waterfall, hike nature reserve trails, take a refreshing swim in turquoise pools, and visit the bear rescue centre. On our way back to Luang Prabang, we’ll make a stop at Ban Na Uan Hmong village, offering you a chance to experience Hmong village life, meet the locals, and witness traditional embroidery crafts.

The next day, we’ll embark on a thrilling two-day trekking adventure, starting with transportation service picking you up between 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM. Heading south to the Xiengngern district, we’ll visit the Lao Loum, Khmu, and Hmong ethnic groups, each with their unique cultures and rich histories. During our trek, we’ll have a picnic lunch in the mountainous region and conclude the day with a homestay experience, sharing dinner and participating in a local Basi ceremony.

On the third day, we’ll return to Luang Prabang in the morning, giving you some free time to relax before attending the captivating Luang Prabang Stories Telling session in the evening. Accompanied by live music from a Lao Khaen, this storytelling event will unveil the fascinating tales and legends shaping Luang Prabang’s history.

Thursday is dedicated to exploring the rice farming traditions of Laos. At the Living Rice Farm, you’ll learn about rice cultivation, experience life as a farmer, and engage in various activities. Relax on the balcony of a traditional Lao rice house, surrounded by rice terraces and organic vegetable farms. We’ll enjoy a delightful Lao specialty lunch and end the day with a Mekong River Sunset Boat Cruise, witnessing the enchanting colours of the setting sun.

Finally, on Friday, we’ll embark on a kayaking adventure to Tad Sae waterfall, paddling along the Nam Khan River while enjoying the scenic views of Luang Prabang’s countryside.

Confronting some challenging rapids, we’ll reach the stunning Tad Sae Waterfall, where you can swim in the natural pools and revel in the breathtaking surroundings. Along the scenic Nam Khan River, we’ll have a delightful Lao local picnic lunch. After kayaking through more rapids, we’ll conclude our day trip in Ban Noon village and return to the city in the late afternoon.

Location

Luang Prabang is a picturesque city situated in the northern region of Laos, known for its well-preserved traditional architecture and serene Buddhist temples. Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Mai, and Wat Visoun are some of the most famous temples in the city, offering stunning examples of traditional Lao architecture. The lively night market, where visitors can sample local street food and browse through a wide range of local handicrafts, is also a must-visit attraction. Additionally, the city is a great base for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and visiting the Kuang Si waterfalls, making it a well-rounded destination for travellers seeking cultural, natural, and culinary experiences.

Food & Accommodation

The volunteer guesthouse is situated on the main road of the world heritage town of Luang Prabang and offers beautiful views from its third floor location. It is conveniently located within 3-5 minutes’ walking distance to the night market and the town centre. Rooms are single gender with up to 4 participants per room. There are occasional power outages that can affect the pump which allows the flow of water, so it is important to keep your bucket filled in your bathroom in case this happens. The bathroom facilities are shared with hot water showers and Western-style toilets. Bed linen is provided, but please bring your own towels. The rooms are equipped with fans, aircon and mosquito protection. Private and family rooms are also available for an extra fee, but you need to inform in advance, so we can arrange it.

3 meals are served on weekdays, and 2 meals on weekends. Our program offers a variety of traditional Laotian dishes for participants to enjoy. These local delicacies may be very different from the food that participants are used to at home, as there are very few Western-style dishes served. While vegetarian options are available, accommodating other dietary restrictions may be challenging. Participants are encouraged to inform the local team of their specific dietary needs, and the team will do their best to meet those requirements.


Standard
Projects


- Adventure Week

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $545
  • 2 Weeks - n/a
  • 3 Weeks - n/a
  • 1 Month - n/a
  • 2 Months - n/a
  • 3 Months - n/a
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

FAQ

Due to the length and active nature of this program and as there are lots of outdoor activities under the heat of the sun, a decent level of fitness is required. Other than that, a love for adventure and exploring is all thats needed!

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day & 2 p/day at weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Luang Prabang Airport (LPQ). You must arrive any time on Saturday or Sunday. If arriving on the Saturday, we charge US$50 for the extra night’s accommodation.

If arriving outside the pickup times, you can either make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this) or you can book a private transfer for US$50. Any extra nights are also $50 per night, including meals.

Monday

One day boat cruise to the Buddha Cave and Kuang Si waterfall.

The morning trip will leave our accommodation between 8:00 to 8:30. Go straight to the pier for the departure of the longtail boat trip and embark on the mighty Mekong. Enjoy the many views from the water, witness rural Laos, pass by local villages, fishermen, and children and soak up the scenes of daily life by the river

In the first little over an hour, the boat makes its first short stop at the Ban Xang Hai, also known as the Whisky Village. Here you see the process of making Lao Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, and taste the fresh local delights. Why not pick up a couple of bottles for later?

The boat will take you slowly along the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves. We arrive at a small boat landing rock where stairs lead you straight to the cave. These limestone caves have been places of worship for thousands of years, and Buddhist statues and idols have filled these natural caves. Hear legends and stories about the caves from your guide and explore the caves.

At 12:30 PM After the boat tour,  we are heading to the Kuang Si Waterfall and also during this trip will have a chance to visit the wildlife at the bear conservation centre.

At the second destination you will have time to explore the three layered Kuang Si Waterfall, walk the trails of the nature reserve and swim in the refreshing turquoise water pools and visit the bear rescue centre. Our way back into Luang Prabang we make a stop at Ban Na Uan hmong village where you have the chance to experience Hmong village life, meet some of the local people and see the makings of their traditional embroidery crafts. From here it is time to make our way into town, typically this is between 5:30pm – 6:00pm – drop off at our location.

After dinner, an orientation will take place that includes briefing on Laotian Customs, rules and expectations, health and safety and basic Language Lessons.

Tuesday

Two days Trekking visit a hill tribe village, and the Lunag Prabang stories Telling.

Your tour experience begins with a transportation service pick up from your accommodation between 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM, we head off our way Road 13th south to Xiengngern district.

Our Trekking will first visit the three ethnic groups: the Lao Loum, Khmu, and Hmong. The history and lives of each of these groups are rich and remarkably different from each other and from your own. You will have an opportunity to explore these local cultures there.

After a visit to the village of the Khmu people along the way for a picnic lunch on the top of the mountain, then resume the trek in the afternoon and head to the waterfall.

The time spent at the waterfalls is about 1-2 hours in each case. There is a main area with a park-like trail and a more natural area in the back, both of which are open for bathing. After the waterfall, we will return to our home stay with the family at 4::30-5:30 PM.

Dinner will be provided after joining the Lao local Basi ceremony with the family and enjoy the time with your family night.

Wednesday

Second day trip after 9:30-10:30 we are returning back to the town Lunch time at our accommodation and have half a day for some breaks before our Luang Prabang stories begin at 6:30-7:30PM.

The storytelling presents a selection of folk tales and legends which together tell the story of Luang Prabang.

The story is told in English with the live musical accompaniment of Lao Khaen- a handmade bamboo mouth organ.

Thursday

One Day Rice framing Living land and Mekong River Sunset Boat cruising

At 8:00 AM, we drive to Ban Phong Van about 5 km, among lush rice fields and overlooked by wooded hills and mountains to join in a Living Rice Farm where they grow organic vegetables, salads, herbs and rice and supply leading restaurants and hotels in Luang Prabang. Coming here you will be shown how rice is grown on the farm, experience the life of a farmer and try your hand at some of the activities. Or just view it all from the comfort of the traditional Lao rice house balcony, which is surrounded by rice terraces and organic vegetable farms.

All the family can join in and there are great photo opportunities. After experiencing the farm, we enjoy Lao specialty lunch in a separate area overlooking their rice fields. We taste typical Lao dishes.

The second trip begins at 4:30-6:30 PM by the Mekong River Sunset cruising, hangout on the boat with a drink and enjoy a beautiful view of Luang Prabang city and feast your eyes on the changing colours of Sunset over the Mekong River.

Friday

One day Kayaking to the Tad Sae waterfall and Lao picnic on Nam Khan River

Our trip begins at 9:00 AM driving on Road 13 south to Ban Xianlong village. From there, we started kayaking on the Nam Khan River for about 1 and half hours on the stream down to the Sae Waterfall. The Nam Khan river valley will provide us panoramic views of Luang Prabang countryside. We will enjoy challenging rapid currents for one hour until reaching Tad Sae Waterfall.

Each rainy season these falls erupt with life as the extra water from the mountains plunge over the flat rocks. The natural pools at the base of the waterfall are a must for a swim. We will have a break and swim for about one and half hours in Tad Sae.

Lunch time is provided as a Lao local Picnic along the beautiful scenery of Nam Khan River 12:30-1:30 PM.

And then after Lunch We will try more challenging rapid currents for 2 and half  hours before ending the day trip  Reaching Ban Noon village, then we go back to the city at 4:30-5:00 PM

*This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Explore the ancient city of Luang Prabang: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautiful blend of French colonial architecture, Buddhist temples, and traditional Laotian buildings. Walk along the Mekong River, visit the night market, and see the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls.

Learn about Laos’s history: Visit the COPE Visitor Centre in Vientiane to learn about the effects of the Vietnam War on Laos and the ongoing problem of unexploded ordnance. The National Museum in Luang Prabang is also a great place to learn about the country’s history and culture.

Take a boat ride on the Mekong River: The Mekong River runs through Laos and is a major source of transportation and commerce. Take a scenic boat ride to see the stunning landscape, visit small riverside villages, and experience the local way of life.

Trek through the Laotian countryside: Laos is known for its beautiful natural scenery and trekking is a great way to experience it. Explore the countryside, visit remote villages, and see stunning waterfalls and rice paddies.

Explore the Plain of Jars: The Plain of Jars is a unique archaeological site located in central Laos. It consists of thousands of large stone jars scattered across several sites. The jars date back to the Iron Age and their purpose is still a mystery. Exploring the Plain of Jars is an unforgettable experience and a must-see for history buffs.

Visit the Kong Lor Cave: The Kong Lor Cave is a spectacular limestone cave located in central Laos. It is over 7 kilometres long and includes a river that runs through it. Visitors can take a boat ride through the cave and witness stunning rock formations and underground waterfalls. This is a great activity for adventure seekers.

Relax in the 4000 Islands: The 4000 Islands, also known as Si Phan Don, is a picturesque archipelago located in the southern part of Laos. Visitors can relax on sandy beaches, swim in the Mekong River, and take boat rides to see the famous Irrawaddy dolphins. This is a great place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Attend a traditional Baci ceremony: The Baci ceremony is a traditional Lao ritual that is often performed for special occasions such as weddings or to welcome guests. The ceremony involves tying strings around a person’s wrist to symbolize good luck and prosperity. Visitors can participate in a Baci ceremony and learn about Lao culture and customs.

Experience the Night Markets: Laos is famous for its vibrant night markets, where visitors can find a variety of local food, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Some of the best night markets are located in Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Pakse. This is a great way to experience local culture and mingle with the friendly Lao people.

For information on holidays and any programs affected, please see the following link: LA – Holidays – All Programs

Laos is a country in Southeast Asia that is known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and unique culture. The country has been shaped by centuries of influences from neighbouring countries such as China, Vietnam, and Thailand, which is reflected in its diverse architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

Laos has a rich and diverse history shaped by various influences throughout the centuries. The Lan Xang kingdom emerged in the 14th century, ruling much of what is now Laos and parts of present-day Vietnam and Thailand. Laos came under French colonial rule in the 19th and early 20th centuries, gaining independence in 1954. The country faced conflict and turmoil in the decades that followed, including involvement in the Vietnam War and a communist takeover in 1975. Despite its challenges, Laos has emerged as a culturally rich country, blending traditional and modern influences, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in exploring Southeast Asian history and culture.

The climate of Laos is tropical, characterized by hot and humid conditions year-round, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season typically runs from May to October, with heavy rainfall and high humidity levels. The dry season, which runs from November to April, is generally cooler and less humid, with temperatures averaging around 25-30°C (77-86°F) during the day and dropping to around 15-20°C (59-68°F) at night.

However, it’s important to note that temperatures and climate can vary greatly depending on the specific region of Laos you are in. For example, areas in higher elevations, such as the northern provinces, can be cooler than lowland areas. It’s also important to note that during the months of March and April, the temperature can soar to around 40°C (104°F) in some parts of the country. Overall, travelers to Laos should be prepared for hot and humid weather, especially during the wet season, and should bring appropriate clothing and gear to stay comfortable in varying conditions.

The culture of Laos is a rich blend of diverse influences, including Buddhist, animist, and French colonial traditions. Buddhism plays a central role in daily life, and the country is home to many stunning temples and religious sites, such as the famous Pha That Luang stupa in Vientiane.

In addition to its religious traditions, Laos is known for its beautiful handicrafts, including silk textiles, silverwork, and woodcarvings. Visitors to Laos can explore local markets and villages to discover these traditional crafts, which are often made by skilled artisans using age-old techniques.

Laotian cuisine is also a highlight of the country’s culture, featuring a blend of spicy, sour, and sweet flavors. Popular dishes include laap (a minced meat salad), sticky rice, and papaya salad. Visitors can also try a range of delicious street food, such as khao jee (a type of sandwich made with baguette bread and various fillings) and noodle soups.

The Lao Loum, or lowland Lao, make up the majority of the population and are centered around the Mekong River valley. The Lao Theung, or upland Lao, live in the mountainous regions of the country, while the Lao Sung, or highland Lao, are found in the northern provinces near the border with China.

Despite differences in language and customs, the people of Laos share a deep sense of community and family values, with strong ties to their local villages and communities. Visitors can often participate in local festivals and celebrations, which are an important part of Lao culture and typically involve colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and delicious food.

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits. Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact. All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points. Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

See More

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Laos?