Our ultimate explorer adventure. Explore the magnificent Mekong River by kayak over 3 days at a leisurely pace, staying at a remote river-side village where you’ll see how these self sustaining villagers without any means of land transport or communication happily exist living off the rainforest and the river.
Whether coming from Luang Prabang or Chiang Khong/Huay Xai you’ll arrive at Ban Lad Khammune about midday where you’ll meet your guide and host family. You can then spend some time exploring the village, have a swim, trek up to the Tadtom waterfall, play Pétanque, learn how to throw a fishing net, visit the temple, talk and play with the children at the school, or just chill out with a beer in the sun.
After dinner you will be welcomed with a traditional Laos Baci (bicee) ceremony, a national custom, complete with the local village “band”. Baci is a spiritual ritual to celebrate important events and occasions, like births and marriages, and welcoming strangers. This ancient ceremony is a very humbling and authentic experience, as the village elders line up to tie a cotton thread around your wrist to wish you good luck and safe travels.
You may then be entertained by the school dance troupe with graceful, traditional Laos dances, who may ask you to join them.
They have initiated this cultural entertainment and are not paid to perform. If they pass the tip box, a 100 Bt or US$3 donation is sufficient.
As a general rule should they ever ask, do not give money to villagers. Ask your guide if in doubt, he’s there to help.
Following the entertainment it’s time to hit the beach for a few drinks around the fire under a clear night sky, that is just exploding with stars.
If you’re lucky enough to have Xangnoi (pronounced Sarngnoy) as your guide he’ll probably have his guitar with him and if you want can spend the night on the beach swapping yarns, and listening to the music.
On the second day following breakfast you’ll be briefed by your guide on the day’s plan along with how to use the kayaking equipment and safety procedures, and your bags will be loaded aboard the support boat.
A few more clicks downstream you’ll arrive at our beach camp-site nestled between the river and the rainforest.
Before dinner you’ll be able to clean-up in a clear mountain stream, that runs down out of the mountains into the Mekong, then chill-out with a beer.
That night dinner will be served under the stars on the beach.
The next morning is an early departure for Luang Prabang. We’ll stop off at Pak Ou Caves home of over 1,000 Buddha images (entry fee is included in the tour price).
Off downstream again we’ll stop for lunch at a temple on an island called Wat Don Koun, before arriving at Ban Donmai port late afternoon, where a tuk-tuk will whisk you back to Luang Prabang and drop you off outside the central Post Office at the crossroads in Chao Fa Ngum Road opposite the Azerai Hotel.
This fabulous 60km kayaking trip from Ban Lad Khammune to Luang Prabang is a trip of a lifetime, don’t miss it. It won’t last long, as many dams are planned and this magnificent river wilderness will soon be inundated.