Photo: Get away from the crowds and learn about village life on a homestay.

Trekking and village homestays

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Luang Prabang is slowly catching up with the rest of the modern world but venture outside of the town centre and it doesn’t take long before you’re immersed in rural Laos. A trek or homestay is a good way to get away from other tourists, to delight in nature and learn about village life. It can be enjoyable — so long as travellers have realistic expectations of the experience.





Luang Prabang is the largest town in northern Laos. While charmingly behind the times in many ways, the town is developing and that development is spreading. Trips will always begin with a drive. A one- or two-day “trek” simply get travellers moving under their own steam in the outskirts of town. Options include a combination of walking, kayaking or cycling with cultural or natural highlights such as one of the waterfalls, Pak Ou Caves or a craft village. Expect pretty scenery of rice paddies and hills, quiet riverways and country roads, while ticking a few of Luang Prabang’s must-sees off the list. Even a one-day trip can leave participants feeling fulfilled — but off-the-beaten-track stuff this is not.

Marvellous mists. Photo taken in or around Trekking and village homestays, Luang Prabang, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Marvellous mists. Photo: Cindy Fan

In this region, the ethnic villages (those that do not belong to the ethnic Lao majority) are Khmu and Hmong. Village visits are an opportunity to learn about the many cultural differences between Lao, Khmu and Hmong, like how they build their houses, what they eat, make, grow and worship. These villages are accustomed to foreigners and may not actually be that far from town, but it does not make the village life less authentic. In fact, it may come as a surprise how rustic, remote-feeling and rudimentary the infrastructure is despite its proximity. A lot of the experience will depend on how good the guide is and how willing travellers are to engage. Perhaps he’ll teach you how to fish, how to eat sticky rice and undoubtedly, how to drink lao-Lao whiskey. For the average punter experiencing Laos for the first time, this will be fun, eye-opening and ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Popular attractions in Luang Prabang

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Luang Prabang.



What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Luang Prabang.
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 Read up on where to eat on Luang Prabang.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Luang Prabang.
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See below for more sights and activities in Luang Prabang that are listed on Travelfish.org.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Luang Prabang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Laos.


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