A LOCAL HOMESTAY & MORE

VILLAGE HOSPITALITY, KUANG SI ACTIVITIES, TRADITIONAL LAO POTTERY & THE MEKONG

Bounmi Noi

17m Custom Fishing Boat

6 Guests

Tour Capacity

2D/1N

Local Homestay & More

A LOCAL HOMESTAY & MORE

Slow down and experience humble village life on this overnight homestay experience in Ban Saleuan, a charming local riverside community where time slows down and where the Laotian saying “bpai sa sa” (go slowly) is an actual way of life.

Wake up to the sound of rooster crows at dawn and immerse yourself in the daily rhythms of local life as you observe the villagers working their rice fields, tending to their water buffalos, weaving baskets, repairing fishing nets, and going about their daily chores. Join in village activities and experience being a part of this amazing community, whether it be fishing, learning to cook or having a game of soccer with the local kids. Take the time to soak up the simplicity and charms of village life, with the warm and friendly nature of the villagers to make you feel right at home.

This guided tour departs from the city of Luang Prabang where an English-speaking tour guide, a boat captain and a traditional Lao slow boat will be waiting to take you on a journey to discover life on the Mekong. On this hour-long scenic cruise downriver, relax and take in the sights and sounds of life on the Mekong. Feast your eyes on vibrant green forests and striking mountainous landscapes as you cruise past Laos’ abundant natural surroundings, and get glimpses of quaint local Lao villages and watch as fishermen bring in their daily catch. The boat will then dock in Ban Sing where your journey continues on land to the renowned Kuang Si Waterfalls and Butterfly Park. The Kuang Si Waterfalls are the largest and most breath-taking of Luang Prabang’s waterfalls, boasting an impressive three-tiers of falls with strikingly beautiful turquoise pools. Have a swim in the mineral-rich waters or follow the nature trail leading you to the top of the falls, where you’ll get to admire the view of mountains in the horizon. Not far from the entrance of the falls is the Butterfly Park, one of Luang Prabang’s top eco-attractions. Wander through their landscaped rock gardens and admire the beauty and grace of indigenous Laos butterflies. Explore at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful natural oases here in this little pocket of Laos. After your morning explorations, we head back to the boat and cross the river to Ban Saleuan, your homestay village. Your homestay host on this tour will be Ms. Phai, a San Baleuan local and a long-time friend of Bounmi’s. Enjoy an authentic Lao village lunch prepared by Ms. Phai before your afternoon activities.

After lunch, you can choose to work off the calories with a trek to Ban Saleuan Caves. The 1-hour trek leads you through rice fields behind the village and into the jungles before reaching the caves, and involves a rather steep but manageable climb up to the cave entrance. The local kids are great guides to have along for some added fun and laughter! If you don’t feel like trekking, you can also choose to hang back, relax, and take in more of village life. As evening approaches, you’ll have a local dinner with your host family and guide before settling in for the night.

Day 2 starts early with a delicious village breakfast at 8AM. After a leisurely start to the morning, we’ll depart from Ban Saleuan to Ban Channeua, a riverside village that has been manufacturing pottery for more than 400 years. Unfortunately, this unique craftsmanship and way of life is slowly fading, with only a few families left in Ban Chan who still practice these ancient pottery-making techniques. A new pottery house was recently opened by a young local family, in hope of preserving the history and traditional way of life in their village. Together with their skilled pottery makers, you’ll get a chance to create your own masterpiece.

Next, we head to Wat Longkhoun and Tham Sak Kalin. Visit the beautifully ornate Wat Longkhoun that holds religious, cultural, and spiritual significance in Laos and served as a sanctuary for those seeking meditation and rejuvenation. A short stroll along a dirt road leads you to Wat Tham Sak Kalin temple, a bright and colourful temple with paintings and depictions of Buddha’s life in the internal walls. The highlight of Tham Sak Kalin are the sacred Sak Kalin caves, where kings of Lao used as a retreat for meditation and cleansing. Embark on a small adventure exploring the different caverns, from various rock formations to Buddha statues decorating the cave floor, with local kids as your guides!

After the day’s explorations, you’ll hop back aboard the slow boat and enjoy a short cruise journey back to Luang Prabang.

Bounmi works with a select number of exceptional locals to provide you with a variety of authentic Luang Prabang tour experiences. We develop close relationships with the people we work with and are excited to be able to expand on the types of authentic local experiences we offer to visitors. We are fortunate to have forged deep friendships with the local villagers in Ban Saleuan that allows us to bring visitors into their homes to experience a natural, authentic, and untouched way of life.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Kuang Si Tour Attractions & Activities (Day 1)

Via land, on the way from Ban Sing to Kuang Si Waterfalls, there lies a number of interesting attractions that are worth paying a little visit to. We’ve highlighted a few of them here, do let us know which attractions/activities you’d like to have on your tour.

Lao Buffalo Dairy Farm

Located 7km from Kuang Si Waterfalls, you’ll come across Lao’s first Buffalo Dairy Farm. This new socially-responsible enterprise is located in Ban Muang Khay and they are pioneering a brand-new industry in Laos – sustainable cheese. Run by a group of expatriates who now call Luang Prabang home, they started a commercial dairy and production facility to produce yoghurt, cheese, and ice cream for local and overseas consumption – staples that were part of their diet that was hard to find in Laos.

Kuang Si Butterfly Park

The Kuang Si Butterfly Park is one of Luang Prabang’s top eco-attractions. Located near the entrance of the Kuang Si Waterfalls, the Butterfly Park aims to raise awareness about the vulnerability of Laos’ ecosystem and educate visitors about the value of preservation of local nature and wildlife. Visitors are encouraged to wander through their landscaped rock gardens, have a swim in a limestone pool, or take a guided tour to learn about the many varieties of butterflies and tropical plants that are on display.

Tad Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre

Tad Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre is an animal rescue sanctuary located right by the entrance of the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Also known as “Free the Bears sanctuary”, it provides a home to over 50 Asiatic Black Bears who were rescued from poachers who intended to sell them to bile-harvesting farms beyond Laos’ borders. Each of the large enclosures have viewing platforms where you can watch the bears as they eat, snooze and fool around. It is worth nothing that this sanctuary does not receive any money from the park entrance fees, thus any support in the way of donations or merchandise purchase is welcome to help them maintain the rescue centre.

Kuang Si Waterfalls (Tad Kuang Si)

The largest and most breath-taking of Luang Prabang’s waterfalls, Tad Kuang Si boasts an impressive three tiers of falls, culminating in a sensational 50-meter cascade down into a series of mineral-rich turquoise pools. Pathways lead you through the forest towards a charming wooden bridge where you’ll be able to admire the falls in all their splendour. For the adventurous, a trail to the side of the falls leads you to the very top where you’ll find a beautiful pool with the view of the mountains beyond it. The water in Kuang Si’s shallow pools remains cool throughout the year and is a popular swimming spot for locals and tourists alike – especially in summer when you need an escape from the scorching heat!

Traditional Lao Pottery Making (Day2)

Lao Pottery House is located in Ban Channuea, 5 km. downriver from Luang Prabang. This small village has been manufacturing pottery for over 400 years and provides a convenient and authentic look into village life in Laos.

In ancient times, pottery pots were used for purposes such as fermenting fish along with storing water and rice alcohol. Today, a large variety of beautifully handcrafted terra cotta pots, planters, lanterns, tiles and more are made using the same techniques passed down through centuries.

The Crew

Licensed English-Speaking Tour Guide

Our guides have been carefully chosen for their professionalism, cultural knowledge, and fun characters!

Ban Baleuan Homestay– Ms. Phai

Ms. Phai has been a long-time friend of Bounmi’s and we absolutely love her! With a warm, friendly, and helpful nature, she will be the fantastic host of your homestay at Ban Saleuan. She whips up delicious Lao dishes in her modest kitchen for visitors. Whilst she may not speak English, she will most certainly show you the warmest hospitality while you are guests in her home – a universal gesture which transcends a common language.

Professional Boat Captain

Bounmi’s captain’s are local experts on the river and safety conscious.

Departure Times & Meeting Points

Departure Time

Departure time is flexible and can be arranged for the hours between 0830AM and 0930AM.

Meeting the Boat

We offer transfers to and from the boat and will pick you up directly at your hotel. Within city limits.

If you would like to make your own way to the boat, the confirmation of dock will be provided at the time of your booking.

If staying within walking distance of the Mekong, we ask that you meet us on the Mekong. We will provide the location to the most convenient dock in relation to your hotel.

What’s Included/Not Included

Included

Transportation to and from the boat (hotel pick-up). Within city limits.

English-speaking tour guide.

Village & lodging fees in Ban Saleuan.

Homestay amenities (clean bedding, mosquito net, toilet paper, hand soap)

Meals (Day 1 – lunch + dinner, Day 2 – breakfast)

Land transportation between Ban Sing and Kuang Si waterfalls.

Traditional pottery-making workshop & lunch in Ban Channeua.

Chilled beer Lao, non-alcoholic beverages & water. (On-board)

Traditional Lao snacks. (On-board)

On-board music system.

Not Included

Entrance fees for Kuang Si attractions & activities.

Personal insurance.

Crew gratuities.

What To Bring

What to Bring

Suitable footwear and clothing for the appropriate seasons. Mornings and evenings can be cool during the winter months.

Personal overnight sundries.

Towel & swimming gear.

Ear plugs if necessary (for the roosters).

Sun protection and bug spray.

Please ensure you are dressed appropriately and respectfully if wishing to visit any temples along the way.

Ladies should have their shoulders and knees covered. Men should also have their shoulders covered but knee shorts are acceptable.

Things To Consider

Homestay Info

Village life starts early in the morning and there are roosters in the village so do bring ear plugs if you want a more restful sleep.

The homestay house is simple and basic in true village fashion. Amenities and facilities will be basic.

Visiting Local Sites of Interest

When visiting local villages and temples along the Mekong river, do be aware that oftentimes there are no paved pathways and you’re usually met with uneven ground and stairways. We ask each of our guests to please be aware of your own fitness level and to take this into consideration on your tour.

If visiting Butterfly Park during the winter months, afternoons are usually better for seeing the butterflies. As the mornings are cooler, it gives the butterflies time to warm up.

Responsible Tourism

We kindly ask our guests not to hand out money to children in the villages they visit. Should you wish to support any of the villages or temples that you come across, please let us know and we’ll be happy to advise on how to do that responsibly.

Cultural Considerations

Please ensure you are dressed appropriately and respectfully for entering any religious site in Laos. Villages have their own local temples, so kindly take note of this if you wish to pay them a visit.

Ladies should have their shoulders and knees covered. Men should also have their shoulders covered but knee shorts are acceptable.

It is polite to remove your shoes before entering any temple or local Lao home. Note: Your feet should never be used for pointing, especially in the direction of a monk or novice. It is also impolite to step over or through people sitting down.

When at temple and in the presence of a monk and/or elder, one should consider their body and head position, in relation too the monk(s) or elder(s) in the room. One should not stand directly above or pass over top another person’s head, especially a monk and/or elder. In general, it is best not to touch another persons head if you don’t know them. Children included.

Seasons & Temperatures

Dry season is between Nov – Apr with average temperatures of 27°C. Rainy season is between May – Oct with average temperatures of 32°C.

Prices

Price per Adult
Price per Adolescent
Price per Child
  • Prices are in US Dollars.
  • Prices are per person.
  • Free – Infants 3 years and under.

A LOCAL HOMESTAY & MORE

WHAT TO EXPECT

DAY1
 DEPART LUANG PRABANG

Meet your English-speaking local guide and boat captain at the docks. Depart Luang Prabang and enjoy the 1-hour cruise on the Mekong river to Ban Sing.

ARRIVE BAN SING + VISIT KUANG SI WATERFALLS & OTHER SIGHTS

Once you arrive in the village of Ban Sing, land transportation will be ready to take you to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. On your way to the main attraction, you’ll also have the option to explore other interesting pockets of Luang Prabang such as visiting the Kuang Si Butterfly Park, tour Lao’s very first Buffalo Dairy Farm (entrance fees not included in tour package price), and visiting a Bear Rescue Centre. Go at your own pace and explore these attractions in any order you wish.

 DEPART BAN SING TO BAN SALEUAN

Depart Ban Sing and cross the river to the village of Ban Saleuan where you’ll be staying for your homestay.

 ARRIVE BAN SALEUAN + LUNCH

Arrive in Ban Saleuan and head up for a delicious local lunch prepared for you by Ms. Phai, your homestay host.homestay host.

 AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES

Live like a local. Explore the village of Ban Saleuan and try out different activities such as fishing, playing with the village kids, cooking, village chores, or trek to nearby local caves with the kids as your guides! Do as much or little as you want and just take it easy, relax, and enjoy local village life.

 DINNER + SLEEP

When you’re hungry, sit down to a local dinner with your host family and guide before settling in for the evening.

DAY2
 VILLAGE BREAKFAST

After a restful night’s sleep, wake up to a local village breakfast and get ready for the day’s adventures ahead.

DEPART BAN SALEUAN

It’s time to say goodbye to your host family and Ban Saleuan village as you head off to explore other characteristic Laotian villages/attractions.

ARRIVE BAN CHANNEUA (POTTERY VILLAGE)

Arrive in Ban Channeua, a riverside village that has been manufacturing pottery for more than 400 years.

POTTERY MAKING EXPERIENCE

Before this hands-on experience, you’ll get a chance to meet the Lamphet family, proud owners of Lao Pottery House. You’ll be introduced to ancient pottery-making techniques used in the Ban Channuea village before getting your hands dirty creating your own pottery masterpiece!

 DEPART BAN CHEANNEUA

Depart the pottery village to head on to our next destination.

 ARRIVE WAT LONGKHOUN + THAM SAK KALIN

Visit these beautiful and historic temples on the Mekong’s shores. Wat Longkhoun and Wat Tham Sak Kalin are places of historical, cultural, and religious significance that were of great importance to the royal family of Laos. Apart from the temples, you’ll also be able to explore the sacred Sak Kalin caves, where kings of Laos would retreat for meditation and cleansing.

 DEPART LUANG PRABANG

Depart the local village and head back to Luang Prabang.

ARRIVE LUANG PRABANG

The tour is now ended as you land back on the shores of Luang Prabang. Transportation will be ready to take you back to your hotel.

A LOCAL HOMESTAY & MORE WITH BOUNMI