Updated April 19th, 2018.
A Community-based Tourism (CBT) Initiative:
The Eco Bungalows are the result of the partnership between Tiger Trail Travel and World Volunteer, an international volunteer organization. Having seen an opportunity in Ban Nong Khuay and Ban Long Lao Mai, the groups came together to help these communities benefit from tourism to their villages.
Designed to create a supplemental income for the people of the village – 100% of your accommodation fee when you stay at the Eco Bungalow is circulated back to the community as a form of income for maintaining and working on the Bungalow.
Day 1: Half Day Trek & Eco Bungalow Stay
(HALF-DAY TREK TO A LOCAL VILLAGE BEFORE SPENDING THE NIGHT IN AN ECO-BUNGALOW OR HOMESTAY – LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED)
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Luang Prabang and then you will enjoy a 35-minute drive through the countryside to the starting point of our trek. Upon arrival at Ban Phonexay, you’ll begin the four-hour trek to the Khmu and Hmong village of Nong Khuay. The trek takes you deep into the jungle, over streams, through bamboo forests and up steep hills that offer magnificent views of the Laotian countryside. You will enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.
When you reach Ban Nong Khuay, your tour guide will show you to your Eco Bungalow. If time permits, you’ll take part in a 30- minute trek to Tom Douk Cave. Your guide will tell you more about this hidden cavern as you explore its dark terrain.
Back in the village, settle into your Eco Bungalow, explore the village and get to know your hosts – learn a few words of their language, try your hand at cooking traditional meals or share some pictures you’ve taken of your trip in Laos on your digital camera. Enjoy an authentic dinner in the village.
The Nong Khuay Eco-Bungalow:
This boutique clay lodge consists of two private rooms, each accommodating one or two people (a total of four people can stay in this Eco Bungalow at any time).
Each room has:
• 1 double-size bed
• Western-style bathroom
• Indoor bathroom with hot water
A homestay can be an alternative option if the client wishes. Or, if there are more than 4 people, homestays are available.
Day 2: Eco-Bungalow Stay, Lake Visit & Half Day Trek
(BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED)
The morning begins with breakfast with your hosts. Nong Khuay, the name of the village, translates as “Buffalo Lake”. You can hike to this famous lake after eating. (Note: The lake visit only occurs during the rainy season, July – December). Then, head out on the trail again to the Hmong village of Long Lao Mai. It’s a four-hour hike but you’ll be able to stop along the way for lunch and soak in the stunning natural scenery around you.
At Ban Long Lao Mai, your guide will show your second Eco Bungalow, your private lodge for the night. Next, you’ll take a tour of the community where you’ll meet some of your neighbours. A few of the villagers sell beautiful hand-made bracelets and other handicrafts to earn supplemental income that supports their main livelihood as subsistence farmers. The handicrafts make unique and meaningful souvenirs!
Dinner is served in the sala outside under the stars – or you may share a meal with villagers in their home. After a traditional Hmong meal, unwind in the Eco Bungalow. Then, you can enjoy a well-deserved rest following the last few days of trekking.
The Long Lao Mai Eco-Bungalow:
Each of the two private rooms at this boutique clay lodge accommodates up to four people (meaning a total eight people can stay in this Eco-Bungalow at any one time).
Each room has:
• King size bed
• Loft with 2 single mattresses
• Western-style bathroom
• Enclosed outdoor shower with hot water
If one private room is booked, the other room may be booked used by other clients. A homestay can be an alternative option if the client wishes.
Day 3: Experience Village Life
Spend some time looking around the village after breakfast. Help the locals in their daily activities like cooking or farming, or learn how to weave from villagers who are masters of the craft.
After saying goodbye to the villagers, you’ll be transferred back to Luang Prabang.
Price of the Experience:
The price depends on how many people are in your group:
- 1 person (private tour) = $317 USD
- 2 people = $192 USD (sharing one eco-bungalow)
- 3-4 people = $165 USD (sharing two eco-bungalows)