You get up as the sun rises to join the daily morning almsgiving, the most sacred tradition in Laos. In the early morning, more than 200 Buddhist monks depart from temples for the old quarter of Luang Prabang to receive alms from devotees. The monks meditate while moving lightly on their bare feet. The Buddhists prepared offerings such as sticky rice, fruit (mainly bananas), sweets, and some other food and put them in the monk’s bowl.
Next, you will visit the temporary morning market, where the locals exchange their daily catch for rice, vegetables, fish, or chicken. It is the best chance to experience the flavor of local life.
After breakfast, you ride the boat up the Mekong, enjoying the lush green forests and landscape. You can stop at a few villages to admire the breathtaking limestone karst scenery. Then, you disembark to visit the mysterious caves of Pak Ou, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. After visiting, you hop on the car and continue the transfer to Nong Khiaw, a small town along the lazy Nam Ou River.
Check into the hotel and relax.
Recommended activity: In the late afternoon, hike up to Nong Khiaw viewpoint to enjoy the panoramic view of the town and the nearby area. The hike up will take more than 1.5 hours; hence, start no later than 4 PM to make sure you can admire the sunset at the top.
Overnight in Nong Khiaw.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Luang Prabang temporary morning market