Trip Length: 14 Days
Rescue Asiatic black bears from the wildlife trade | Meditate with monks in a monastery | Teach English to local children & work on sustainable agriculture | Explore the rugged mountainous landscape | Immerse yourself in the village of Sop Chem
Trip Commencement: Group arrives in Luang Prabang. After a warm welcome and orientation from your local guides, the evening is free to explore the Night Market and get to know your fellow volunteers!
Wake up early to take part in the world famous Alms Ceremony, a Buddhist tradition of waking up before dawn to provide monks with fresh food for the day. After breakfast, take part in the ultimate cultural orientation by discussing Buddhist culture and practices with local monks! Monks will then teach us about the ancient practice of meditation and lead us in a brief exercise. Later that morning we’ll tour the UXO Museum for a sobering look at the history and lingering effects of the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War) on the people of Laos.
After lunch, we’ll head to the Tat Kuang Sii National Park to behold one of Laos’ greatest natural wonders – a 200-foot cascading waterfall feeding a series of smaller falls and turquoise blue pools. We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the falls and relaxing in it’s pools.
Spend a full-day learning about wildlife conservation efforts in Laos and working hard to develop facilities for the Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary, a 60-acre sanctuary that will ultimately house more than 150 Asiatic Black Bears, along with macaques, leopard cats and other animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Asia.
After breakfast it’s a 3.5 hour van and 1.5 hour long-tail boat cruise to our main destination, Sop Chem – a rustic, riverside village surrounded by limestone cliffs and dense jungle, and our home for the next week! We’ll spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring the village and learning more about our project initiatives here.
Start early each morning with a locally prepared, delicious breakfast. After breakfast, we will begin education and permaculture projects around 9:00 AM. You will work hard until lunchtime, when you will break to have a filling lunch and relax for a couple hours before returning to the project site for the rest of the afternoon. In the late afternoon, we will wrap up volunteer work for the day and then head out on a variety of cultural and adventure activities, like fishing with locals, brewing rice wine, playing sports with local children, taking part in traditional ceremonies, exploring nearby caves and waterfalls, learning to make local handicrafts, or just relaxing and watching village life unfold.
On the final night in Sop Chem, locals will hold a traditional Baci Ceremony for us – wishing us good fortune and safe travels on all future journeys. This is an incredibly meaningful and special tradition to take part in.
After breakfast we’ll begin our long-tail boat journey down the Nam Ou River towards the town of Nongkiaw, where we’ll trek through tropical jungle and bamboo forest on our way to the one of the most stunning viewpoints in Laos!
Enjoy a laid back morning of herbal steam baths and Lao massage. After lunch, we’ll drive back to Luang Prabang for one final night of celebration and reflection on an amazing trip!
Trip End: All good things must come to an end. Soak up your last few hours in SE Asia before flying home OR add-on our Southeast Asia packages to experience 2 countries and up to 4 unique programs on one unforgettable journey!
*This is a sample itinerary which is subject to change.
- All accommodations within Laos, which have access to basic amenities and security
- All group transportation within Laos
- All meals throughout your trip (country specific exceptions)
- All of your epic adventure and cultural immersion activities
- Funding for volunteer projects
- Drinking water 24/7
What’s Not Included
- Flights to and from Laos and all associated air taxes, ticket fees, and any country entry and exit taxes.
- Medical and travelers insurance
- Passport and visa (specific to your citizenship)
- Vaccinations (specific to host country)
Learn how to Extend Your Trip
Extend your time in SE Asia with 7 days in Thailand supporting elephant conservation!
Elephant Experience Add-on
Trip Length: 7 days, Cost: $1495
After volunteering in Laos, head to Thailand to spend a full-week interacting with Asian elephants in a variety of ways. You will trek with elephants in the jungle, play with baby elephants, tour an ethical elephant sanctuary, visit an elephant nursery, and even support an elephant hospital! Most importantly, by traveling with GIVE, you’ll give local experts the resources they need to promote Asian elephant welfare and conservation.
Earn Academic Credit Abroad: Deepen your understanding of the country you’re visiting and the projects you’re supporting by taking GIVE’s accredited course! Learn More Here.