Here’s what’s provided on your tour and what you can do to prepare.
You can expect on all our tours :
- You may leave your luggage and valuables in our care during any one of our tours. We will keep it safe while you are gone and it is available immediately upon your return.
- We send you out with friendly, English-speaking local Lao guides knowledgeable about local Laos culture, history, and customs.
- We provide water and delicious vegetarian or non-vegetarian food prepared by our White Elephant Adventures team from produce purchased fresh at the morning markets.
- We set out in small groups with lots of guide support as our norm thus providing the best experience and support for our customers and less impact on the villages we visit.
- We carry basic First Aid on all our tours to care for the unexpected and are on call at all times in case of emergency.
- On all our overnight excursions we provide sleeping bags, mosquito nets (where necessary), and bedding.
- A voucher for a discount on food at Utopia, Luang Prabang’s beautiful bar and restaurant, is given to all our customers in gratitude for joining us on our tours.
- We send you out with quality kayaks, mountain bikes, and safety equipment to help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. We have life-jackets sized for kids and adults. Helmets are provided for kayaking and biking. Dry bags are provided to keep your valuables safe when kayaking.
- Our goal is to provide exceptional care and comfort for our customers, yet not lessen the immersion experience by surrounding you in to many foreign conveniences. In other words, we make sure to provide you with food delicious by most anyone’s standards, but make available with plenty of encouragement every opportunity to dine on local food sampled by only the most adventurous of travelers.
- You’re stepping into a world that is remarkably different from your own in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. We invite you to take full advantage of your time with our guides by engaging our guides with any and all of your questions and curiosities along your tour.
- We understand it’s part of the adventure learning to navigate the local cultural customs. Our guides will gladly explain details from the simplest of manners such as how to eat a traditional sticky rice dinner to the intricacies of participating in a Baci ceremony.
Planning for a home-stay with White Elephant Adventures? Here’s what you need to know:
For a biking, trekking, and/or kayaking homestay you need only bring a small to medium size day-pack. Pack a change of upper and lower clothing for each day, basic toiletries, a hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, camera with charged and backup batteries, and wear decent trekking shoes. It’s a good idea to bring a pair of sandals to wear at the village in case your shoes are wet from the hike. If it rains, bring a raincoat. Part of the beauty of Laos is it’s rain-drenched jungle. Come prepared for the elements so you can enjoy and dive into a lush, green jungle adventure experience.
We will provide you with compact sleeping bags that are light and we keep mosquito nets ready for you at every village. So that the guides can carry additional bottled water, supplies, and food, we ask that you carry the provided sleeping bag and two bottles of water at the onset of the tour. Also, keep in mind that we strive to give you both a comfortable trip but also a very authentic experience of Lao village life. In the Hmong and Khmu villages the living conditions are simple. Be sure to take some backup batteries as they do not have electricity for a quick charge. You are bound to take hundreds of pictures as we visit these remarkable villages and the beautiful countryside.
Last but not least, bring your sense of adventure and curiosity. Our guides are happy to translate so that you can talk to people in the village. The people at the villages are as equally interested in you as you are in them. If anything you see interests you, be sure to ask if you can try it: learn how to shoot the a bamboo crossbow, how to grind grain at the Hmong village, how the Shamans predict and heal, what the kids study at school, what holidays they celebrate, how they marry, and so much more. Your curiosity and willingness to explore along with our excellent guides will make this an incredible experience to always remember.
For an overview of annual Luang Prabang weather statistics, click the following picture link. This will help you plan what to bring and wear in every season.
We are often asked…
We are often asked if the Lao Loum, Hmong, and Khmu people in the villages welcome our visits. Most of the people we visit are exposed to foreigners and their culture through recent exposure to television and contact with tourists in Laos’ larger cities. Most Laotians do not extensively travel their own country let alone travel to countries outside of Laos. For us to visit them is the world coming to them in a way that they could not otherwise experience. They are equally curious about us as we are about them.
So long as we maintain respect for the people and a sensitivity to the desires of the villagers, then they continue to enjoy our visits. White Elephant Adventures regularly elicits feedback not only from our customers to continually improve our tours, but we also seek feedback from the people we visit. We adjust and improve our tours to villages throughout Louangprabang according to the desires of both our fellow travelers and the locals we visit.