Chilled out Luang Prabang kayaking
Luang Prabang is the chilled out cultural mecca of Laos, but around it lies countryside of extraordinary beauty. Through this runs the broad Mekong River, flowing all the way from Tibet, and essential to much of South-East Asia. Combine the two, and you have a fantastic way to explore rural Laos - quietly, without making much of an impact, as you paddle your kayak through tropical jungle to the riverbank village where you’ll stay overnight with a local family.
What to expect when kayaking in Laos...
The trip begins with a leisurely riverboat ride up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to Ban Lan Khammune (‘Ban’ is means ‘village’), so you won’t be paddling against any currents - probably sensible, given that you’ll need some energy reserved for meeting Lan Khammune’s lively bunch of youngsters, usually waiting and eager to greet you as you step onto the riverbank.
Having shared a traditional home-cooked lunch with your hosts, spend the rest of the day exploring the village, with its sweetly decorated temple, thriving little school, and sociable community. An evening of dinner, rice wine and storytelling rounds off day one, ensuring a good sleep before kayaking back downstream the next day.
In the morning, your new friends will give you breakfast before seeing you off in the sturdy kayaks, sliding onto the broad Mekong for a nine mile paddle through a scenic landscape of limestone crags and lush forest. It’s a peaceful, relaxed morning trip, with a full safety briefing and an experienced local guide, whose other livelihood as a fisherman has given him comprehensive knowledge of the area.
Our fisherman is especially good at picking out nice spots for picnics - ideal for lunch, which you’ll enjoy on the riverbank, before a final paddle to the landing site, where you’ll exchange your kayak for a seat in a private river boat for the short trip back to Luang Prabang, and a well-earned restful afternoon.
Location: near Luang Prabang, central Laos
Duration: two days
Accommodation: Lan Khammune village homestay
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'although Laos has extensive dam initiatives, which create power that is sold across South-East Asia, the waterways still make for excellent kayaking territorry, and the countryside around Luang Prabang is perfect for light adventure and fresh air'
Important to note...
Although the kayaking trip is on tranquil downstream waters, and accompanied by a support boat, a reasonable level of fitness is required to make the most of it. If you want to bring gifts for the kids, school equipment is always welcome.