Get up before the sun rises and head by TukTuk to the peninsula of Lunag Prabang to witness and attend the alms giving. At approximately six o’clock in the morning, long lines of monks and novices stroll the streets of the town center to collect their daily food subsistence from local worshippers. This ancient ritual is locally known as “tak bat”. Hundreds of monks, all dressed in their bright orange ropes walk by to collect their alms, which allows for amazing picture opportunities. Your guide will ensure that some alms can be handed over by you as well. Continue afterwards with a visit to the open‐air food market that is held daily in the streets nearby the former Royal Palace. Observe how the freshest ingredients are displayed and collected before returning to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, explore Luang Prabang. Start with a visit to the National Museum, which used to be the former Royal Palace. Inside the complex of the museum you will see the “Prabang”, or the sacred golden statue, giving its name to the town. Continue to Vat Mai, the former royal temple, which is Luang Prabang’s largest and most decorated temple. Not far stands Vat Sene, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in town, with its red walls and golden bas‐reliefs. The nearby Heritage House is a perfect example of Luang Prabang’s traditional building style and is made of wood and stands on poles. Admire the complicated architecture style and learn why many houses in Laos, but also in neighboring countries were often build on poles. Visit afterwards the TAEC, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre. The center depicts Laos‘ rich ethnic diversity with themed rotating exhibits. It is hosted in the former French colonial mansion of a judge. Continue to Vat Xieng Thong, one of the most emblematic temples in Laos. It is located at the top of the peninsula, where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet. If time allows, visit also Vat Visoun and Vat Aham. Both are historically important pagoda’s based on what they represent.
In the afternoon, join a traditional Hmong ceremony. Life is seen as a continuous circle of birth and rebirth, and the Hmong believe that there are two worlds which are physical and spiritual that coexists side by side. We believe in many types of spirits including ancestral spirits, house spirits and spirits in the natural world. (More information can be found down below!)
At the end of the tour, climb Mount Phousi in time for an incredible sunset view of the town and its surroundings. After sunset, climb down the stairs and find yourself in the middle of the local hill‐tribe night market, which every night lightens up the central part of town.
In the evening join the Garavek story telling program. It has its aim is to promote and preserve the local traditional stories – myths, legends, and folktales. Starting their performances at 5PM daily, a selection of traditional Lao stories is presented in an intimate twenty‐five seat theatre. The stories are told in English, by a Lao storyteller, with the live musical accompaniment of the khene, which is a traditional Laotian musical instrument made out of bamboo. Learn about the origins, according to folklore, of local landmarks such as Mount Phou Si, the Mekong and the Nam Khan River, as well as learning the stories behind legendary Laotian characters such as Xieng Mieng, the archetypal trickster, and Fa Ngum, the first king of Lan Xang. After the performance, return to the hotel for a free evening.