This morning you have the option of getting up early to grasp the opportunity to observe the local monks collecting alms. The rising sun brings with it long lines of orange-robed monks who walk barefoot around the city collecting offerings made by locals and should be seen at least once in a lifetime.
After returning to the hotel for breakfast, your guide will pick you up in a private car and whisk you out into the countryside, taking you on an hour-long drive through beautiful landscapes, small villages and rice paddies. You will make a brief stop at one of the villages to get a quick glimpse into the lives of locals before coming to rest at the famous Kuang Si Waterfalls.
An elegant three-tier waterfall, the main fall of Kuang Si is approximately 60 meters high and there are several turquoise blue pools in which to bathe or swim (note: please observe local customs and dress appropriately). If you’re in the mood for some gentle exercise, there’s the chance to scale the track up to the top of the falls which provide spectacular views of the surrounding area.
Once you’ve had your fill of the natural beauty around the falls you will next have the opportunity to visit the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center located near the falls. The center is home to around a dozen sun bears that were rescued from the grasps of poachers. The center attempts to rehabilitate the bears and raise awareness of the plight the endangered species face.
After visiting the rescue center you will enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch next to the Kuang Si Waterfalls before undertaking the hour-long drive back to Luang Prabang.
In the afternoon you will ride on to Traditional Art & Ethnology Center (TAEC), which is a non-profit museum dedicated to the preservation of the arts and lifestyles of Laos’ many hill tribes. The center is a wonderful place to learn about Laos and see many of the defining characteristics of the indigenous tribes around the country. (Please note: TAEC is closed on Mondays. If your day falls on a Monday your guide will happily make other suggestions for your afternoon.)Next you will have the chance to climb the stairs to the crest of Mount Phousi, to watch the spectacular sun set over the picturesque city, rivers and hills that surround you as you soak up the spiritual essence of laid-back Laos.
After descending the 150-meter-high mount in the twilight you will be transferred back to your hotel, making a stop on the way at a hill tribe evening market for a spot of shopping. The nightly market is one of the highlights of any visit to Luang Prabang and features an abundance of locally produced craft items for sale. Many villagers come down from the surrounding hills to sell their hand-made produce and fabrics.
You will then have the unique opportunity to experience one of Laos’ oldest traditions - Baci.
Baci is an important ceremony in Lao culture and is performed at various events and key occasions, such as birth, marriage, entering the monkhood and before/after making a journey. And so, before you leave Luang Prabang the following morning, you will take part in a Baci ceremony, which involves tying a string around the wrist which should then be worn until it falls off of its own accord.