Start the day with a visit to the heritage information centre, Heuan Chan, a former residence of Lao royal families, followed by a visit to Vat Siphouthabat and Luang Prabang’s National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace, where a collection of personal artefacts of the former Laotian Royal Family is on display. Nearby Wat Mai displays a five-tiered roof that epitomizes the graceful Luang Prabang architectural style. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant in town before heading to visit Wat Xieng Thong – often said to be Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temple. Journey to Kuang Si Falls and enjoy a refreshing dip in the cool turquoise pools. Make a quick stop at the nearby Bear Rescue Centre where they conserve the black bears in the northern part of Laos. Embark on a riverboat trip along the mighty Mekong to visit the famous and sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves, stopping along the way at Xanghai village where locals produce Lao rice wine. If time and energy permit, climb the 350 steps of Phou Sii Hill, standing in the centre of this small city to enjoy its commanding views at sunset view.
Cruise downriver to the other side of the Mekong and arrive at the quiet village of Ban Chan, famously known for its clay pottery. In years gone by, the kings of Laos praised this village for their pottery making skills and it became the major way of life for its residents. Today, however, pottery-making is a disappearing trade. Upon arrival at the village, meet with a local family who has created a pottery house in cooperation with the Luang Prabang Tourism Department and is striving to preserve the pottery-making history and tradition of Ban Chan. Through pottery, share in the culture, history and food of the village while learning and helping to keep this unique craft alive and support the local community. Go behind the scenes to have a look at these ancient techniques and get a hands-on opportunity to work with clay, guided by the skilled pottery-makers of the village. Join in a traditional Lao lunch cooked by the local family and using ingredients from local sources; if the season is right, some might even come from the family’s very own organic garden.