Get ready for an in-depth look at the daily life of Luang Prabang’s three most prominent ethnic cultures: the H’mong, Khmu and Lao Loum. Start your journey at the home of a local H’mong family, one of many H’mong residents in Luang Prabang. Here, sit down with the family and your guide for a chat and learn about how resettlement efforts for ethnic communities like the H’mong changed the rhythm of their daily lives. Afterwards, follow the lead of your host as he walks you through the intricacies of traditional flute making, one of the H’mong community’s most treasured traditional instruments. The traditional art of flute-making is quickly disappearing in modern Laos, but your host is both a flute enthusiast and one of the most respected flute players in the city. Listen to how the flute is played before rolling up your sleeves to make your own!
After the workshop, head out by tuk-tuk toward a local temple in central Luang Prabang. As the home of three dozen ancient temples, Luang Prabang’s most pious Buddhist locals gather in temples like this one to make merit nearly every day. Spend your time here interacting with the monks and novices, and learn a bit about how Buddhism plays an important role in Laotian life. Then, head to the banks of the mighty Mekong River and travel onward to Ban Xienmene village. This sleepy rural community is home to the Khmu and Lao Loum minority groups, and remains a testament to traditional ethnic lifestyles in Laos. Chat with a local family before learning to make Laos Sa Mou or River Weed salad for a family lunch before heading back to central Luang Prabang for a city highlights excursion.
Wander the city alongside your guide and visit some of Luang Prabang’s most famous temples, including the arrestingly ornate Wat Xieng Thong and the magnificent Royal Palace. Then, head to the craft-making village of Ock Pop Tok to see how Laos textiles and handicrafts are made sustainably and responsibly here. Wrap up your journey with a visit to Big Brother Mouse, an organization devoted to promoting literacy in children and young adults. This is a perfect chance to strike up a conversation with a young local learning English before heading back to your hotel.