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Slow down and experience humble village life on this overnight homestay experience in Ban Saleuan, a charming local riverside community where time slows down and where the Laotian saying “bpai sa sa” (go slowly) is an actual way of life. Wake up to the sound of rooster crows at dawn and immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of local life as you observe the villagers working their rice fields, tending to their water buffalos, weaving baskets, repairing fishing nets, and going about their daily chores. Join in village activities and experience being a part of this amazing community, whether it be fishing, learning to cook or having a game of soccer with the local kids. Take the time to soak up the simplicity and charms of village life, with the warm and friendly nature of the villagers to make you feel right at home.
This guided tour departs from the city of Luang Prabang where an English-speaking tour guide, a boat captain and a traditional Lao slow boat will be waiting to take you on a journey to discover life on the Mekong. On this hour-long scenic cruise downriver, relax and take in the sights and sounds of life on the Mekong. Feast your eyes on vibrant green forests and striking mountainous landscapes as you cruise past Laos’ abundant natural surroundings, and get glimpses of quaint local Lao villages and watch as fishermen bring in their daily catch. The boat will then dock in Ban Sing where your journey continues on land to the renowned Kuang Si Waterfalls and Butterfly Park. The Kuang Si Waterfalls are the largest and most breath-taking of Luang Prabang’s waterfalls, boasting an impressive three-tiers of falls with strikingly beautiful turquoise pools. Have a swim in the mineral-rich waters or follow the nature trail leading you to the top of the falls, where you’ll get to admire the view of mountains in the horizon. Not far from the entrance of the falls is the Butterfly Park, one of Luang Prabang’s top eco-attractions. Wander through their landscaped rock gardens and admire the beauty and grace of indigenous Laos butterflies. Explore at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful natural oases here in this little pocket of Laos. After your morning explorations, we head back to the boat and cross the river to Ban Saleuan, your homestay village. Your homestay host on this tour will be Ms. Phai, a San Baleuan local and a long-time friend of Bounmi’s. Enjoy an authentic Lao village lunch prepared by Ms. Phai before your afternoon activities.
After lunch, you can choose to work off the calories with a trek to Ban Saleuan Caves. The 1-hour trek leads you through rice fields behind the village and into the jungles before reaching the caves, and involves a rather steep but manageable climb up to the cave entrance. The local kids are great guides to have along for some added fun and laughter! If you don’t feel like trekking, you can also choose to hang back, relax, and take in more of village life. As evening approaches, you’ll have a local dinner with your host family and guide before settling in for the night.
Day 2 starts early with a delicious village breakfast at 8AM. After a leisurely start to the morning, we’ll depart from Ban Saleuan to Ban Channeua, a riverside village that has been manufacturing pottery for more than 400 years. Unfortunately, this unique craftsmanship and way of life is slowly fading, with only a few families left in Ban Chan who still practice these ancient pottery-making techniques. A new pottery house was recently opened by a young local family, in hope of preserving the history and traditional way of life in their village. Together with their skilled pottery makers, you’ll get a chance to create your own masterpiece.
Next, we head to Wat Longkhoun and Tham Sak Kalin. Visit the beautifully ornate Wat Longkhoun that holds religious, cultural, and spiritual significance in Laos and served as a sanctuary for those seeking meditation and rejuvenation. A short stroll along a dirt road leads you to Wat Tham Sak Kalin temple, a bright and colourful temple with paintings and depictions of Buddha’s life in the internal walls. The highlight of Tham Sak Kalin are the sacred Sak Kalin caves, where kings of Lao used as a retreat for meditation and cleansing. Embark on a small adventure exploring the different caverns, from various rock formations to Buddha statues decorating the cave floor, with local kids as your guides!
After the day’s explorations, you’ll hop back aboard the slow boat and enjoy a short cruise journey back to Luang Prabang.
Bounmi works with a select number of exceptional locals to provide you with a variety of authentic Luang Prabang tour experiences. We develop close relationships with the people we work with and are excited to be able to expand on the types of authentic local experiences we offer to visitors. We are fortunate to have forged deep friendships with the local villagers in Ban Saleuan that allows us to bring visitors into their homes to experience a natural, authentic, and untouched way of life.
A LOCAL HOMESTAY EXPERIENCE
WHAT TO EXPECT
DEPART LUANG PRABANG
Meet your English-speaking local guide and boat captain at the docks. Depart Luang Prabang and enjoy the 1-hour cruise on the Mekong river to Ban Sing.
ARRIVE BAN SING + VISIT KUANG SI WATERFALLS & OTHER SIGHTS
DEPART BAN SING TO BAN SALEUAN
ARRIVE BAN SALEUAN + LUNCH
Arrive in Ban Saleuan and head up for a delicious local lunch prepared for you by Ms. Phai, your homestay host.homestay host.
DINNER + SLEEP
DEPART BAN SALEUAN
DARRIVE BAN CHANNEUA (POTTERY VILLAGE)
1030 – 1130
DEPART BAN CHEANNEUA
ARRIVE WAT LONGKHOUN + THAM SAK KALIN
DEPART LUANG PRABANG
ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG
MORE ABOUT THIS VILLAGE HOMESTAY
Choice of Activities (Day 1)
What’s Included/Not Included
What To Bring
Things To Consider
Departure Times & Meeting Points