Two characteristics of the country - Laos is landlocked and it is, to a fairly large degree, isolated from the rest of the world. Both these factors have ensured that its cooking remain true to its original roots. It is always being freshly prepared and not being preserved.
Day 1: Arrival in Vientiane (D)
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in and tour briefing. If time permits we’ll take an orientation walk around the colonial quarter and the riverfront tourist area. Enjoy dinner at a Laotian restaurant.
Day 2: Vientiane – Cooking class (B/D)
Today we’ll be exploring some of the highlights of Vientiane. First, visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple in the city, and home to thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Next, visit Wat Phra Kaew, the former royal temple that housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image, and Phra That Luang, which represents a lotus bud and is used as a symbol of the Lao nation. We will also visit Patousay, Vientiane’s very own Arc of Triumph. Get the feel of true local life with a visit to Talad Sao, the Central Market of Vientiane.
In the afternoon, you will take a short transfer to Lam Pai-Bay Tong. This is a rustic restaurant/cookery school down a quiet side street close to the Mekong River. The experienced Head Chef, Chandra, will begin the cooking class at 16:00. Over the next three hours you will learn how to create seven local dishes using traditional ingredients and techniques. There is no need to take notes because you will be given your own recipe book to take home, enabling you to recreate your favorites and remember your time in Laos for years to come. At around 19:00 it will be time to relax and enjoy the feast, which you have created together. Local desserts will also be offered, although you will probably not make them yourself, as the savory dishes tend to be most popular. Tea, coffee and local herbal cocktails (non-alcoholic) are included. There is also a fully stocked bar if you wish to order anything else (not included).
Day 3: Vientiane – Luang Prabang (B)
We transfer to the airport for a short morning flight to Luang Prabang. Meet up with our local guide at Luang Prabang airport and visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, conquer Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a beautiful sunset view. Later we explore the iridescent Night Market and admire a lovely selection of handicrafts.
Day 4: Luang Prabang (B)
Early rise to take the fantastic opportunity to watch or participate in the unique daily morning ritual, where hundreds of saffron-clad monks walk in procession collecting offerings of sticky rice from devout residents along the roadside. With interest, you can visit the Morning Market to learn about local produces and trading practice.
This morning we tour the city’s oldest temple Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping down to the ground. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. We also visit Ban Phanom village of skilled hand-weaving women. Return to town and visit the Royal Museum which houses beautiful objects from the very first kings of Pha Ngum dynasty till the last sovereign.
Day 5: Luang Prabang (B)
After breakfast we’ll visit some villages of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay, Ban Ou and Ban Thapene. Continue to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where there’s a chance to cool off in the turquoise pools or to walk along the forest trails. One our way back to town, call at Ban Xangkhong to see jute paper production.
Day 6: Cooking class (B/L)
After breakfast at hotel, you’ll transfer to Tamarind’s Lakeside Cooking School where you’ll cook Lao food and learn about the habits and customs at the heart of Lao cuisine. Fresh ingredients are at the heart of Lao cuisine, with some intriguing and unfamiliar flavors. You start with a visit to the major food market; explain what the foods are and what they are used for. Later, you transfer back to the school to learn how to cook special dishes of Laos such as Mok Pa, Laap, somes deserts. Enjoy your meals.
Day 7: Departure from Luang Prabang (B)
Transfer to the airport for your departure journey
- Accommodation of the class quoted
- Land transfer by AC vehicle
- Local English-speaking guide
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- Government tax and service charge
- Supply of bottled water & tissues on car on touring days
- Visa arrangement
- Any flight does not mentioned and international tax
- Travel insurance
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Hotel/Room upgrade
- Festivity surcharge & festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
- Tip, drinks, personal expenses and others