Laos Vegan Tour

14 Day Vegan Tour in Laos

Tempting temples, totally tasty tofu laap and bamboo basket sticky rice, the enchanting amber glows of a Mekong sunset and the canvas of colors of rural Lao life, the land of people of the heart, welcome to Laos – the gem of Indochina!

What's included?

Vegan Meals

39 Vegan meals
(14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners)

Accommodation

13 Nights Accommodations
(a combination of heritage hotels, traditional Lao cottages, riverside eco-lodge, colonial-era bed & breakfast, and hillside cabins)

Tour Transport

  • Private Air-Conditioned Mini-Bus
  • Trains
  • Songthaew
  • Boats
  • Tuk-tuks
  • High-speed Electric Train (on last day of the tour)

Also Included

  • Daily Local Cultural Lessons & Introductions to the different ethnic groups of Laos
  • Daily Local Language Lessons
  • Live Traditional Music and Folk Dances
  • Vegan Cooking Class (traditional Lao meal)
  • Vegan Cooking Class (Lao salads)
  • Traditional Noodle Making Class
  • Vegan Meals with Local Families
  • Participation in Local Ceremonies as Guests of Local Communities
  • Local Veggie and Spice Market Exploration
  • Program Helping with the Local Women’s Development Organization
  • Volunteer in Wildlife Conservation & Protection Program
  • All Local Guide Fees
  • All Site Entry Fees
  • Guests of Local Grassroots Educational Programs and Projects
  • Guests of Local Village and Communities
  • Visit Local Temples & Temple-Architecture Lessons
  • Introduction to Theravada Buddhism in Laos
  • Introduction to Buddhist Ceremonies and Rituals in Laos

Even More Included

  • River Exploration Trips by Boat
  • Explore the Phou Hin Poun National Bio-diversity Conservation Area
  • Explore the countryside of Xieng Khouang and the Megalithic Plain of Jars
  • Limestone Cave Explorations
  • Heritage Walk in Luang Prabang
  • Guided Hikes in the Countryside Farmlands and Forests of Laos
  • National Park Fees
  • Donations to Local Community & Women’s Development Programs
  • Donations to Youth Education Programs
  • Donations to Local Animal Rescue
  • Complimentary Refill Water bottle and Unlimited Drinking Water
  • Complimentary Juices, Hard Drinks, and Beers on “Dinner & Drinks” nights
  • Vegan Welcome Package (with local vegan snacks) and Tote Bag
  • Community Carbon Offsets to Offset 100% Group’s Carbon Emissions from Flight
  • Airport Pick Up*
  • …and all other activities, entertainment, and entry fees as per the itinerary.


* Airport pickup is provided if you arrive a day or two earlier than the tour date and staying at the group hotel. If you would be arriving earlier, or staying elsewhere, please arrange for your own airport pickup, and please meet us on Day 1 at our hotel.

What’s NOT included?

International airfare, personal travel insurance, visa fee to Laos, gratuities/tips, laundry, and other items of a personal nature.

Tour Dates & Pricing

Laos Vegan Tour 2024

$3,695 (USD)

Laos Vegan Tour 2025

$3,695 (USD)

All Vegan Travel Asia by VegVoyages Adventures runs on a twin share basis. If you are a single traveler, we will pair you up with another single traveler of the same gender. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, upon making a booking, please select “yes” for Single Supplement and the cost shown below will be added to your total adventure cost.

$690 for 14 days: Laos Vegan Adventure

Vegan Travel Asia by VegVoyages invites you to join us on a personal journey into the heart of Laos. From Southeast Asia’s most laidback capital and megalithic archaeological sites, to tropical jungle villages and local homes. From grassroots community projects and the mysterious plains of Xieng Khouang, to the limestone caves of Phou Hin Poun and the charming ancient Mekong riverside capital of Luang Prabang. From the country’s most important animal rescue program to elephant conservationists on the frontline to protect and bring back the nation’s wild pachyderm population, we follow the mighty Mekong River, its tributaries and its stunning surrounding mountains by land (and some by boat) on this 14-day epic vegan adventure that brings the mysteries of Laos to life.

The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Laos is pinched between 5 different countries with the mighty Annamite Mountains and Vietnam on the east, and the even mightier Mekong River and Thailand on the west. Spread out over mountainous terrain, thick forests, and paddy- filled plains, Laos is home to just over 7 million people representing 49 different ethnic groups and 240 sub-ethnic groups who speak 82+ languages. The historical diversity of Laos is remarkable.

It is said, that Lao people are traditionally people of the heart and that the heart is both a source of intelligence and emotion. Because of this, ideas, feelings, and moods are oYen seen as voices from the heart. This is reflected in everyday Lao sayings, which you will be learning in your daily language lessons, describing emotion that include the word “jai” (or “heart”) in them – which is a genuine sign of the spirit of Lao cultures and people. When President Obama made his historic visit in 2016, he took note of this cultural aspect in his speech saying “And in all of you here today — and especially the young people of Laos — we see the diversity that is the strength of this nation. You have Lao and Khmu and Hmong, and a tapestry of proud ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. So, you are truly a people of the heart, and I thank you for welcoming me with such generosity, your nam jai.”

And though Laos has an ancient history, it also has a history of years of occupation by one country or another, on one level or another, including the Thais, Vietnamese, Burmese, and early Chinese marauders. These invaders were followed by the French who would occupy the country between 1893 to 1954 before it was plunged into a civil war encouraged (and could be said instigated) by many outside influences (USA chief among them) dictating their fate from 1954 to 1975. What followed would be over two decades of difficult years of rebuilding. Ever since the country opened up to outsiders in the early 1990s, development has been on its way in its few cities, but the country’s cultures and heritage are still very much alive and evident in its villages and scattered urban centers, and thankfully many people still embrace their local traditions and community-based way of life as people of the heart.

Join us on our vegan adventure in Laos, an adventure in every sense, as we journey by road, boat, foot, train, and songthaew (traditional local pick-up-like transport) on country roads, along ancient rivers, out into fields, and up into the mountains where we’ll learn about life in Laos as guests of our friends and their families, local social workers, chefs, educators, students, and activists.

Itinerary

Get day to day insight of the tour.

DAY 1 VIENTIANE

Sabaidee (greetings)! Welcome to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and to the most charming and laid-back capital in all of Southeast Asia – Viang Chan! You may be asking – I thought we were in Vientiane, not Viang Chan (as the locals say). Yes, that is correct too, but that is how the French spelt and said it, and – due to history, is how it is pronounced and spelt by much of the outside world. Luckily, you’re in Laos, and the Lao people are very adapting and forgiving no matter which way you say or spell it. Viang Chan is – believe it or not, by far the biggest and most bustling city in Laos – which, with its welcoming laid-back pace, pleasantly says something. The history of Vientiane dates back well over 1,000 years. Many believe it was first an early Khmer Hindu settlement before Lao settlers, attracted by the fertile soil of the region, arrived in the area. Whoever is responsible for its original founding, one thing is for certain – Vientiane has a long and rich history full of golden years, conquests, takeovers, and desertions. As one of the early Lao city-states dating back to the 11th century, Vientiane became the capital of the famous Lan Xang Kingdom (considered as the first united Lao state) in the 1560’s. Almost 150 years later, when the Lan Xang Kingdom split, a separate Viang Chan Kingdom was formed. The Siamese (Thais) conquered it in 1779 and forced it to become a vassal state. Its history didn’t end there and in 1827-28 the city, outside of a few temples, was destroyed by the Thais forcing the entire population into exile. Vientiane would lie in ruins until it passed on into the hands of the French in the 1890’s, becoming the capital of the French “protectorate” in 1899. We’ll begin our story here today – in the capital of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, in historic Viang Chan where we’ll meet at 3:00 pm for our Orientation Meeting before setting out into the streets of this ancient capital making our way to the banks of the Mekong River to catch sunset. After enjoy refreshing local drinks and snacks while the colors of the day turn to night over the mighty meandering Mekong, we’ll settle down at one of our favorite vegan eateries in the capital for dinner where we’ll enjoy the vegan versions of some of the city’s tastiest local delicacies.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Detailed Orientation Meeting where you will get to know your fellow travelers and adventure leaders as we discuss the adventure ahead.
  • Introduction to the History, Cultures, and Diversity of Laos.
  • Lao Language lesson.
  • Enjoy local drinks and vegan snacks while taking in sunset over the Mekong River.
  • Special vegan fusion feast for dinner representing the different ethnic groups
  • that call the capital their home.


Vegan Meals Included: Snacks, Sunset Drinks, and Dinner.

DAY 2 VIENTIANE

Laos has unfortunately witnessed more than its share of violence and tragedies. This is true not just in its ancient history, but also (and arguably with more dire consequences), in its more recent history. The war in Vietnam, and the subsequent civil war that followed, caused and is still causing untold misery for many Lao. With that in mind, we’ll spend our morning as guests of the Cooperative Orthopedic and Prosthetic Enterprise, or COPE, at the National Rehabilitation Centre. After visiting COPE, we’ll make our way to a local community Buddhist center where we’ll learn about Lao Buddhist Temple Architecture and Symbolism and the reasons and whys to acquaint you with Lao Buddhist temple architecture found throughout the country. As we were out-and-about in Laos, outside of the striking countryside and ever-present paddy fields, one of the most common sites you’ll see in Laos are its Buddhist temples, a definitive sign of how important Buddhism is in the daily lives of the Lao people. Originating in Sri Lanka & India, Theravada Buddhism is the oldest form of Buddhism practiced today and is the dominant religion in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos & Burma. So today, we’ll have our introduction to Lao Theravada Buddhism, and learn about the important role Theravada currently has and historically has had in Laos. To understand Lao Loum culture, it is important to understand the principles of Theravada, and its practice and history in Laos. In addition, we’ll also learn about the traditional design and symbolism behind Lao Theravada monasteries and temples. After lunch at a local vegan eatery, we’ll head out to learn more about the capital’s, as well as the country’s, rich, colorful, fascinating, enduring, and often at times tragic, as we take in the history and charm of Viang Chan’s old streets, architecture, and places of worship. Before the sun sets over the Mekong, we’ll make our back to our boutique hotel where you’ll have time to freshen up with a dip in the pool before we meet in the early evening. As the moon rises over Viang Chan, we’ll join our friend and her family at their home where we’ll take part in a traditional local ceremony and enjoy local folk music, dance and a yummy home-cooked vegan Lao dinner of their family’s favorite recipes!

Highlights of the Day:

  • Breakfast vegan buffet feast made especially for us at one of our longtime Vientiane vegetarian favorites!
  • Guests of COPE center for an introduction to the important work they are doing.
  • Lao Buddhist Temple Architecture and Symbolism Introduction – like with most houses of worship, there’s a room, reason, and why for everything and Theravada Buddhist temples are no different. Learn the reasons and whys to acquaint you with Lao Buddhist temples found throughout the country.
  • Introduction to Theravada Buddhism as it is practiced in Laos, including its history and roots in the country, at local community Buddhist temple. During the introduction we’ll also have an intro to Vipassana Meditation – whose roots date back to the Buddha and whose modern influence helped to inspire the Mindfulness movement of today.
  • Historical walk of the colonial-era boulevards & key ancient temples of old Viang Chan!
  • Join our friend and her family at their home for a special evening of local folk music, dance, a traditional Lao Baci ceremony, and a home-cooked vegan dinner of their family’s favorite recipes.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks.

DAY 3 VIENTIANE

Starting with a delicious local fusion breakfast specially veganized for us, we’ll visit two of Vientiane, and can be said Laos’s, most famous landmarks. As we travel across the country, two common words you’ll hear and see on signs are “wat” and “tat” (or “that”). “Wat” means monastery (which we learned about yesterday), and “tat” means “stupa”. So this morning we’ll visit the country’s most famous stupa that adores its currency and national emblem, the beautiful That Luang. Built in 1566, legend has it that That Luang’s history dates back much further (some say as far back as the 3rd century BC). With its golden spire rising almost 148 feet from the ground and its auspicious beginnings, it is considered the most sacred Buddhist monument in Laos and is a national symbol of Lao identity. From That Luang, we’ll head for a glimpse of Lao’s very own Arc de Triomphe, Patuxai. “Patu” means “gateway or door” and “Xai” is from the Sanskrit word “Jaya” meaning “Victory” – so “Victory Gate”. Built in the 1960’s, Patuxai was dedicated to the people of Laos who died fighting for independence. Ironically, much of the cement used to build Patuxai was paid for by the USA who donated it to make a new airport (some say to expand the runway) – which is how it got its nickname: the ‘vertical runway’. From Patuxai, we’ll make our way just outside the city where we’ll be guests of a very special grassroots organization known as the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Center as guests of the staff, teachers, and students. Here, they’ll introduce us to the extraordinary work they are doing to help Lao women with disabilities across the country, many from remote rural areas. Join in special programs they have planned for us, as well as assist them in their daily language lessons (they’ll teach us Lao, we’ll teach them English). Before heading back to downtown Vientiane, we’ll visit a unique park along the Mekong, then freshen up and settle down for dinner in old Viang Chan for dinner.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special vegan breakfast made especially for us.
  • Visit the most famous landmark in Laos – the beautiful That Luang, considered the most sacred Buddhist monument in Laos and is a national symbol of Lao identity.
  • Visit Lao’s very own Arc de Triomphe, Patuxai. “Patu” means “gateway or door” and “Xai” is from the Sanskrit word “Jaya” meaning “Victory” – so “Victory Gate”.
  • Guests of the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Center where women with disabilities are taught skills so they can become self-sufficient. As guests of the center’s staff and students, we’ll learn about the different skills the women are taught, including making eco-friendly handmade paper from the leaves of local plants and trees, which they will also teach us how to make.
  • Visit funky Xieng Khuan as it is known, home to Buddhist and Hindu sculptures made in the 1950s by a local guru that make up an eccentric, but peaceful garden.
  • Special vegan dinner of delectable Indian delicacies. Why Indian food? Because, Indian cultural influences in the region date back to ancient times when Hinduism arrived in Southeast Asia brought by early Indian traders, merchants, and monks, among others. Some of Southeast Asia’s largest kingdoms (Srivijaya, Majapahit, Champa, and Khmer to name a few) were local Hindu Kingdoms whose system of government, language, scripts, and other cultural aspects had heavy Indian influences.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks.

DAY 4 PHOU HIN POUN

After three days in the laid-back capital, we’ll depart for the even more laid-back Lao countryside. Heading south along the country’s main highway, we’ll head “inland” towards the limestone karsts and jagged mountains of the Annamite Mountain Range going towards Vietnam. Be ready for some truly stunning scenery today as we proceed to our home for the next three days in the National Biodiversity Conservation Area of Phou Hin Poun. A protected semi-evergreen forest studded with limestone karsts, incredible caves, steep slopes, and cliffs, the Phou Hin Poun is home to a variety of wildlife including gibbons, macaques, elephants, bears, reptiles, birds, and over 43 species of bats. While looking at a map, street sign, or signboard in Laos, you’ll often notice the word “ban”. Ban, sometimes spelled “baan” (which is how it is meant to be pronounced) or “muban” (ban is the abbreviated form of muban, which is sometimes spelled “muu-baan” among other transliterations), is the Lao word for village. Arriving in the late afternoon, surrounded by impressive limestone cliff views – we’ll take a deep breath, and enjoy life in the Lao countryside. For the next 3 days, we’ll explore this stunning and serene national biodiversity conservation area. As the colors of the day turn to the night, we’ll meet for dinner and drinks and stunning views of limestone karsts that make up the horizon.

Highlights of the Day:

  • A scenic drive into the heart of the Phou Hin Poun Biodiversity Conservation Area.
  • Hike amongst the limestone karsts to get an idea on the terrain that makes up this protected semi-evergreen forest area studded with karsts and incredible caves.
  • Traditional Lao vegan dinner of direct from the farm to the table fresh veggies accompanied by local Lao drinks.


Vegan Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 5 PHOU HIN POUN

Today we’ll be on the river most of the morning and early afternoon, as we set out to visit the spectacular Kong Lor Cave. Spectacular is putting it lightly, as the Kong Lor Cave is 7 1⁄2 kilometers long, at points 100 meters high and up to 90 meters wide. We’ll explore this incredible cave by boat as we travel from one side to another stopping along the way to explore the stalactite and stalagmite gardens of its interior. After exploring the cave and its surroundings – we’ll return to our cabins for a late lunch of local delicacies. In the early afternoon, we’ll head out on a hike into the surrounding forest. Returning to our homes, as the colors of the day turn to night, we’ll meet for tonight’s cultural culinary experience and learn to make lovely Lao noodles – that we’ll be enjoying for dinner.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special traditional veganized Lao breakfast overlooking the karts.
  • Explore Kong Lor Cave as we travel through this seven and a half kilometers long cavern filled with stalactite and stalagmites…not on foot – but by boat!
  • Afternoon hike into the surrounding forests.
  • Lao noodle-making class! Noodles play an important role in Lao cuisine, whether it’s noodle soup or fried noodles – noodles, are a very popular (and tasty) dish in Laos – which we’ll be enjoying for dinner and learning how to make tonight.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 6 PHOU HIN POUN

Today we’ll be spend more time on the Hinboun River, one of the Mekong’s many important tributaries, as we set out on kayaks for the day taking in gorgeous scenery of majestic limestone cliffs, thick jungles, small community farms plots, local Lao Loum villages, and paddy fields along the river’s banks. In the afternoon, we’ll return to our cabins where you’ll have a chance to rest, relax, and freshen up after kayaking. Just before the sun sets over the karsts, we’ll meet in the garden and join in a local game of petanque (similar to bocce ball). You’ll see it being played everywhere in the towns in Laos, now it’s time to learn how it’s done. As the day comes to an end, and – it is customary in any local game of petanque to enjoy a cold Beer Lao or fresh lime juice, as the sun sets over the limestone cliffs on the horizon. After a good game of mak boon (petanque), we’ll settle down around the campfire for our introduction to the Hmong communities of Laos presentation and a delicious Lao vegan dinner. Tomorrow we’ll be heading up into the hill-country, the traditional home of the Hmong people of Laos.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special traditional Lao breakfast overlooking the river, veganized for us.
  • Navigate and explore by kayak the blue waters of the Hinboun River where thick jungles meet limestone cliffs, sandy shores, lively local villages, and stunning scenery.
  • Learn and join in a popular local game of petanque (similar to bocce ball).
  • Campfire Q&A and Introduction to Hmong Culture Program. We’ll settle down for refreshing drinks and tasty vegan snacks under the stars with our good friend for your “Everything You Wanted to Know About Hmong Culture Q&A Session”.
  • Special vegan dinner of regional delicacies accompanied by local drinks.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks.

DAY 7 THE PLAIN OF JARS

Leaving the Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area, we set out on one of the most scenic drives in Laos winding our way towards Phonsavan, the capital of Xieng Khouang Province. This scenic route offers stunning views of lush peaks, verdant valleys, and ethnic minority hill tribe villages that cling to the mountaintops. Xieng Khouang was for many centuries, its own small kingdom, but due to its size, it was often a vassal state to its larger neighbors. In more recent history, during the war time in the ’60s and ’70s, – the province has the tragic distinction of being one of the most bombed areas in all of Laos, forcing the majority of the surviving population to flee to the hills and hide in caves. Remnants of this devastation are evident throughout the area from bomb craters to arsenal scraps. For the next two days, we’ll be guests of our friends and their families learning about the rich, and tragic, history of Xieng Khouang and the mysterious Plain of Jars.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Special traditional local breakfast overlooking the river of delicious veganized dishes, made especially for us.
  • Scenically stunning drive up into the picturesque and epic mountains of Laos to the plateau plains surrounding Phonsavan.
  • Introduction to the history of the Plain of Jars and their significance, from a local’s point of view.
  • Join our good friend around the campfire for an introduction to local Lao Drinking Etiquette – tasting, of course, some of the country’s fine Lao-Lao (local rice wine; for those that don’t drink alcohol, we have a substitute).


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 8 THE PLAIN OF JARS

Xieng Khouang, home to the mysterious Plain of Jars, literally has thousands of large stone-carved “jars” dotting the countryside. The Plain of Jars is actually a series of sites, an estimated 160 sites in all, spread across the rolling hills and countryside of Xieng Khouang. At each site lies large stone-carved jars, some numbering in their hundreds, ranging in size between 3 to 10 feet with the largest estimated to weigh 14 tones. No one knows for sure, but most scientists agree that the mysterious “jars” were used by a now unknown Mon-Khmer race around 2,000-2,500+ years ago. It is theorized that the “jars” were used as funeral urns or to store food – but no one is certain. Lao legend has it that the area was once ruled by a race of giants and that, after being victorious in battle, the king of the giants used the “jars” to brew Lao Lao (local rice wine) for his victory celebrations. Perhaps we’ll never know for sure what these mysterious jars were actually used for – but this mystery makes the Plain of Jars all that more fascinating. Today, we’ll also join our friend’s family at their home, and learn about local Hmong customs, traditions, and way of life. Returning to our cabins, we’ll have time to freshen up and relax before meeting around the fire in the evening for dinner with our friend and his family for delicious Xieng Khouang style dishes.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Explore the mysterious Plain of Jars as we learn about their history and take in their scenic, and times haunting beauty.
  • Hike through the countryside of Xieng Khouang with a longtime resident of the area who will introduce us to the region’s history, struggles, and efforts to rebuild the area that was relatively recently, almost completely wiped out.
  • Join a local family at their home for a tasty feast of home-cooked Hmong dishes all made especially vegan just for us.
  • Learn about Hmong culture, village structure, and homes as guests of a local family.
  • Fireside dinner with our friend and his family Xieng Khouang style.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 9 ELEPHANT RESCUE, PROTECTION & CONSERVATION PROGRAM – SAYABOURY

In the morning, we’ll head out on one of the most scenic drives in the country, heading west to Sayaboury province where we’ll spend the next two days learning about the plight of the elephants of Laos. Elephants have historically been associated with Laos. What historians consider as the first united Lao state – the Lan Xang Kingdom (full name was Lan Xang Hom Khao) – that ruled the region for three and a half centuries, literally translates as “million elephants and white parasol”, which suggested the might of the kingdom and its rulers with their almost “divine” connection to Buddhism and their army of innumerable “war elephants”. In ancient times, “war elephants” were much more than the pachyderm version of a cavalry division of horses, they were a division of heavy mobile assault weapons – the ancient equivalent of having tanks. And as non-vegan and of course unsupportive of the idea of war elephants we are, this does imply that Laos was “rich” in wild elephants from which these “war elephants” were “sourced”. So, what happened to the elephants in the “land of a million elephants”? It is estimated that now less than 800 elephants left in Laos, with less than half of them in the wild. Over the following couple days, we will learn about the plight of the elephants of Laos, their historic struggle and their hope for a better future with the team who is on the frontline to save them. Arriving at our bamboo bungalows lodge nestled at the edge of the forest and a nearby river, we’ll be introduced to the plight of the pachyderms and their world in Laos. We’ll also learn about the common and uncommon injuries elephants brought to the rescue have and their respective treatments, in addition to learning about “a day in the life” of elephants, their often playful characters, and how they socialize and strengthen their ties in the herd. As the stars begin to light the night’s sky, we’ll freshen up back at the lodge before sitting down for a tasty local dinner specially veganized just for us and some refreshing local drinks.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Traditional local breakfast specially veganized just for us.
  • Scenic drive through the picturesque and stunning roads in Laos as we head west along some truly epic mountain tops.
  • Boat journey into the tropical forest to our lakeside bungalow’s home for the next day, surrounded by jungle.
  • Introduction to the plight of the pachyderms and their world in Laos.
  • Enjoy tasty local dinner of delicious local dishes.


Vegan Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 10 ELEPHANT RESCUE, PROTECTION & CONSERVATION PROGRAM – SAYABOURY

Waking up to the sounds of the forest, after breakfast we’ll head out on a hike into the forest to catch up with the herd who are going about their daily routine. From a respectful distance, we’ll observe and learn about the different members of the herd, how they got here, what they have recovered from and their position within the family. As they move, so will we, as we learn more about their different behaviors, personal dynamics, and socialization skills as the elephants go about, well, being elephants as they should. After lunch back at basecamp, we’ll freshen up and catch our breath before meeting up with the elephant vet team to learn about the different treatments the elephants need, and then we’ll head back out to catch the elephants’ for their afternoon meetup at the local watering hole – where we’ll observe from a respectful distance their daily bathing and socialization rituals down by the lakeside. As the chorus of creatures in the forest come to life with the setting sun, we’ll come back to basecamp and our bamboo and wood bungalows, where you’ll have time to freshen up before meeting for refreshing drinks and a tasty local dinner specially veganized for us.

Highlights of the Day:

  • Traditional local breakfast specially veganized for us.
  • Hike into the forest to follow the herd as they go about their daily routine. From a respectful distance, we’ll observe and learn about the different members of the herd, how they got here, what they have recovered from and their position within the family. As they move, we learn more about their different behaviors, personal dynamics, and socialization skills as the elephants go about, well, being elephants as they should.
  • Meet with the elephant vet team to learn about the different treatments the elephants need and what are the more common ailments they came with and have.
  • Afternoon hike into the forest to observe from a respec|ul distance the elephants’ during their afternoon meetup at the local watering hole – for their daily bathing and socialization rituals down by the lakeside.
  • Refreshing local drinks and tasty local dinner overlooking the tropical forest.


Vegan Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 11 LUANG PRABANG

After a morning hike into the forest and breakfast, we’ll set back out on the road as we journey north to the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. The history of the area dates back thousands of years, though its reputation as a city dates backs to around 698 AD. Its history is rich and diverse and Luang Prabang has played host to the royal capital and residences of Lao kings for centuries, including the original capital of the powerful Lan Xang Kingdom. After Lan Xang split in the early 1700s, the city became the capital of an independent Luang Prabang Kingdom. Eventually, it became the royal residence of Laos under French rule, and finally, for a brief stint after independence, the King of Luang Prabang became the head of state of the Kingdom of Laos before the revolution ended the 600-year-old monarchy in 1975. In addition to its regal past, Luang Prabang is also known as the religious heart of Laos, which is evident in the many temples found throughout this enchanting town where Lao and French colonial fusion architecture can be seen in its finest forms. What also makes the town so alluring is the fusion of French colonial and traditional Lao architecture found along its streets, making it a very pleasant town to wander around in. On arrival, we’ll be guests of students, staff, and teachers at the Children’s Cultural Center, a non-profit grassroots organization that teaches local children a variety of arts and cultural subjects to help deter them from drugs and alcohol. Then we’ll stroll through the winding lanes and narrow streets of Luang Prabang orientating you to the old town which is centered around a peninsula framed by the Mekong and Khan Rivers. We’ll also visit one of the ancient capital’s most sacred temples – Wat Xieng Thong. Built in 1559, the monastery is one of the country’s most important historical temple complexes and up until 1975, it was the temple in which the Lao kings’ coronations took place.  After the walk, we’ll head to our home for the next 3 days, a charming colonial-era villa overlooking the Khan River. In the early evening, we’ll meet up for our colorful (and mouthwatering) cultural culinary experience where under the guidance of a very talented chef, we’ll learn how to make a variety of special vegan dishes indigenous to the old capital.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Traditional local breakfast specially veganized for us.
  • Scenic drive through the picturesque mountains of Laos to the enchanting historical UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang.
  • Guests of the Children’s Cultural Center, a non-profit grassroots organization that teaches local children a variety of local arts and cultural subjects.
  • Special tasty vegan European-Asian fusion lunch.
  • Visit one of the ancient capital’s most sacred temples – Wat Xieng Thong. Built-in 1559, the temple was where the Lao kings’ coronation ceremonies took place up until 1975.
  • Cultural culinary experience – a unique hands-on cooking class where we’ll learn to make some of the finest local recipes from Luang Prabang at a delightful farmhouse on the outskirts of town.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

DAY 12 LUANG PRABANG

Today we’ll join the incredible team at Free The Bears at their new Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary established to provide a hospital and sanctuary home for rescued wildlife in the country. The sanctuary is located fourteen kilometers outside Luang Prabang in a stunning mountain valley beside the rural village of Ban Nong Tok. This is a multi-species sanctuary, provides a safe home to rescued sun bears, moon bears and other endangered and vulnerable species including red pandas and macaques. The sanctuary is not open to the general public so you will be getting very special access. The sanctuary, which is a continuation of the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center, started by our friends at Free the Bears in collaboration with the Laos Department of Forestry in 2003. Since this time they’ve had record rescues of bears, most of which are orphaned cubs. More than 100 bears have been rescued in Laos. They’ve built six bear houses at the new sanctuary and are planning for more in preparation for additional rescues, growing cubs and bile farm closures. This frontline rescue sanctuary also offers a safe haven for many other endangered rescued wildlife species including macaques, leopard cats, tortoises, birds, civets, and even endangered red pandas intercepted after being smuggled from China into Laos. A wildlife hospital, cub nursery, quarantine house and pangolarium (for rescued pangolins and reptiles) were also completed onsite in 2019. In 2019, the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary had their first release of rehabilitated wildlife to the protected forests. The sanctuary provides valuable training, employment opportunities and alternative livelihoods to government officials, local villagers and youth, who are destined to become Lao’s future wildlife warriors. Over the next two days we’ll be joining the extraordinary team at Free the Bears helping them out wherever we can both at their Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary and at their original Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center. Some of the tasks we’ll be involved in include food preparation and distribution which provides sensory enrichment, assisting rescuers/keepers in maintaining the forest enclosures and bear dens, creating/repairing bear hammocks, and other valuable improvement to the center. As the sun sets of Luang Prabang, we’ll arrive back in the charming old capital where you’ll have the evening free to explore on your own and take in the UNESCO World Heritage city at your own pace – whether it is exploring the town’s narrow- winding lanes or visiting its colorful night bazaar, or simply relaxing in one of the city’s cozy café.

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special vegan breakfast thematic to the history of Luang Prabang.
  • Guests of the extraordinary team at Free the Bears where we’ll spend the day helping out at their Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary and learning about the plight of the wildlife in Laos and the active conservation efforts being made to protect them.
  • Special vegan picnic lunch of local Luang Prabang recipes out at the sanctuary.


Vegan Meals Included: Breakfast, and Lunch.

DAY 13 LUANG PRABANG

Today we’ll spend our time in and around nature starting with the morning and early afternoon as guests again of the Free the Bears Rescue Center where we’ll help out and learn about the plight of the Asiatic black bears at their original, Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center. Established to provide a home for Asiatic black bears that have been rescued from poachers and traffickers, many of the bears you’ll see today originally arrived at the center in seriously poor conditions. These beautiful bears once roamed the jungles of most of Southeast Asia, however, due to exploitation, deforestation, human encroachment, and hunting, their populations in the wild are now seriously threatened. Here we’ll learn about the center and their very lovely guests – the Asiatic black bears – and their fight for survival. For lunch, we’ll head to the base of the stunning Kuang Si Falls where we’ll have a picnic and time for a swim in their crystal-clear turquoise pools. Returning back to old Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, you’ll have time to relax and freshen up before we meet for our last night in Laos together and our farewell dinner party!

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special vegan breakfast themaGc to the history of Luang Prabang.
  • Visit the local veggies and fruit market.
  • Guests of Free the Bears Rescue Center where we’ll spend the morning and early afternoon helping out at the center and learning about the beautiful Asiatic Bears, or moon bears’ struggle for survival.
  • Special vegan picnic of traditional Luang Prabang dishes at the base of the striking Kuang Si Falls.
  • Festive Farewell Dinner Party of tasty local Lao vegan fusion dishes, snacks, refreshing drinks, and local music at an extraordinary café in Luang Prabang with a mission. Here the staffs are youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and all profits go to support the Peuan Mit Street Children Project. The café helps youth start a new life… and they also cook up some darn good food too! The friendly, hardworking team have prepared a special vegan feast for our dinner!


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

DAY 14 LUANG PRABANG to VIENTIANE

After our vegan breakfast, we’ll take a morning stroll along the ancient capital’s enchanting lanes. The morning light is the perfect sight to see old Luang Prabang in, so will make a short hike to atop Phousi Hill at the center of town where – after climbing to the top, we will take in the breathtaking views of the historical city, its surrounding valley and of course, the Mekong River. After taking in some great views, we will make our way to the beautiful old Royal Palace. At the simple, yet palatial grounds of the palace, we’ll learn about the town’s rich history, from its heyday as a royal capital to its time as a French colonial outpost and its role during the Lao people’s war of liberation. Then, we’ll settle down back at our bed & breakfast for a special vegan feast for lunch, before heading out to the train station. Boarding the electric train, we’ll make our way south on a stunning railway journey. Saying goodbye to Luang Prabang, our scenic train journey brings us back to Vientiane. Your adventure ends on arrival in Vientiane. If your flight is on the same day, please arrange to have it in the late evening in case of any delay. Thank you for choosing Laos and thank you for traveling with Vegan Travel Asia by VegVoyages! Khawp Chai Lai Lai (Thank you very much).!

Highlights of the Day: 

  • Special vegan breakfast thematic to the history of Luang Prabang.
  • Morning heritage hike to the top of Phousi Hill for great views of the historical town, its surrounding valley, and of course, the Mekong River.
  • Visit the old Royal Palace. At the simple, yet palatial grounds of the palace, we’ll learn about the town’s rich history.
  • Special vegan fusion lunch of tasty regionally influenced dishes.
  • Travel back to VienGane by electric train on a spectacular railway journey.


Vegan Meals
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner & Drinks

pack up your bags for the new adventures!