Laos, formerly known as 'Lan Xang' or land of a Million Elephants, was once part of the Khmer empire, which dominated a great part of Southeast Asia (including Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and southern Vietnam) from the 9th to the 15th century. By the end of the 18th century, most of Laos was under Siamese (Thai) domination, and existed as the three rival kingdoms of Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Champasak. The French eventually declared it a protectorate in 1893, and Laos became part of French Indochina until its independence in 1954. Two decades later, it was named the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR, or Laos).
Laos exudes a unique colonial charm and unlike neighbouring Thailand, it still hasn't been explored by the tourism industry. Luang Prabang, located on the banks of Mekong river, displays an outstanding fusion between traditional Lao and French architecture, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Quiet and peaceful cobblestone streets are lined with colourful, roofed terraces, 2-story wooden buildings, and 500-year old Buddhist temples. A bustling night market with dozens of vendors sitting on the middle of the street or on sidewalk stalls display intricate silk weavings and other colourful textiles. Nearby, delicious street fare composed of barbecue meat, rice wrapped in banana leaves, papaya salad, and more is available for 1-3 USD a meal.
Laos is an incredibly safe country and its people are warm, humble, and eager to show tourists their beautiful country; 70% of Laos is covered by mountains. In the north, lush forests, verdant hills, and jungle-covered valleys are the norm. The 1,754 km-long Mekong river, which traverses the entire country from North to South, demarcates the border with Thailand and is a major route for transportation, mostly on traditional wooden longboats carrying passengers to different riverside towns and villages. Given its ample opportunities for outdoor recreation afforded by its easy access to the mountains and waterways, Laos has been coined the adventure capital of Southeast Asia.
For more info on Luang Prabang please visit: http://tourismluangprabang.org/about-luang-prabang/unesco-world-heritage/
Having fallen in love not only with its landscapes and cities, but also the Laotian people, we decided to organise all-inclusive adventure and yoga retreats in Laos, which combine guided activities like trekking through waterfalls, kayaking, hiking to rural villages, and daily yoga. We also take traditional cooking and silk weaving classes, historical city tours, river cruises, and explore nearby caves, local temples and night markets. In addition to 5 full days in Luang Prabang, we will be spend another 5 days in Nong Khiaw, a village located on the Nam Ou river, where kayaking adventures and daily yoga lessons on a riverside terrace await. In Nong Kiaw we will climb steep limestone cliffs for expansive views of the Nam Ou river valley. The highlight will be an exciting, guided trek through 100 waterfalls deep in the jungle. All our Laos trips will be hosted by URQU staff. We are confident you will fall in love with Laos as much as we have!
Spaces are limited in our December, 2019 trips so don't miss out!
Adventure + Yoga Retreat in Northern Laos
Luang Prabang/Nong Khiaw, Laos
December 7-17, 2019 (11 days/10 nights) | Maximum 8 persons | Price: 1,650 USD pp (airfare excluded)
Booking requires a 500 USD deposit* - balance due 60 days before arrival
Come join us for 10 full days of outdoor adventures like waterfall treks, kayaking, and yoga lessons in the scenic village of Nong Khiaw by the Nam Ou river. Additional activities include a private tour of beautiful 500-year old Buddhist temples in the French colonial city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO Heritage site, a sunset cruise on the famous Mekong river, a longboat excursion to a limestone cave adorned with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, an exclusive visit to a rural Hmong village, a traditional silk weaving class, a cooking course, and much more! All our trips are led by URQU staff. Participants will stay in 3-star riverside hotels in single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. Transportation, airport transfers, tours, activities, and all meals are included. Perfect for solo travellers. Fly in/out of Luang Prabang, Laos.
Yoga classes will be provided by Julie Moksim, Founder of Luang Prabang Yoga http://luangprabangyoga.org
December 7: Arrival in Luang Prabang, check-in, and welcome dinner
December 8: All-day historical city tour of Luang Prabang, dinner and shopping at the night market
December 9: Morning transfer to Nong Kwiah, check-in, evening yoga
December 10: Hike to Nong Kwiaw View Point (2 hours), traditional Laos cuisine cooking class, evening yoga, group dinner
December 11: Morning yoga class and day trip to rural Hmong Village, evening yoga, group dinner
December 12: 100 Waterfalls trek (2 hours driving + 4 hour guided trek), evening yoga, group dinner
December 13: 1.5-hr boat ride to Muang Ngoi village and guided kayaking excursion on the Nam Ou river (3-4 hours), group dinner
December 14: Noon transfer to Luang Prabang, evening yoga
December 15: Longboat river excursion to Pak Ou caves (2 hours) and lunch/trekking/swimming in Kuang Si waterfalls (3 hours), evening yoga class
December 16: Half-day silk weaving class with lunch at Ock Pop Tok workshop or mountain bike ride through rural villages, sunset cruise on the Mekong River, farewell dinner
December 17: Departure Luang Prabang
What is included:
1. All accommodations in single-occupancy double rooms in 3-star hotels with private balcony and bathroom
2. All meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner (except dinner on free evening)
3. All guided activities, yoga classes, and tours
4 All local transportation and airport transfers
6. All entrance fees to locals monuments, museums, and temples
7. Kayaking equipment (excluding hiking gear)
What is excluded:
1. International to/from Luang Prabang, Laos
2. VISA on arrival (35-42 USD depending on nationality)
3. Travel Insurance
4. Alcoholic drinks, one dinner on your free evening, and personal expenses
Disclaimer: All our outdoor activities are suited for beginners but require a modest level of fitness.
* If for some reason you need to cancel your trip and there is a waiting list, you will receive your full deposit back minus banking/Paypal costs.