Gay Travel Laos: Journey Beyond Luang Prabang to Visit an Eco-Lodge on the Mekong
Three nights in Luang Prabang and plus a leisurely boat trip to enjoy a comfortable eco-lodge on Mekong River! You can also continue upstream for a second night, and end your trip in Chiang Rai by combining this Beyond Luang Prabang package with our Way Beyond Luang Prabang tour. Purple Dragon pioneered LGBT travel to Laos
Where We Shine: With Purple Dragon you'll never be herded around on a bus with 40 strangers. We use only LGBT- friendly hotels, so couples never suffer embarrassing moments. Your tour is private and you have the undivided attention of our guides, all of whom speak excellent English. Our guests often tell us that the highlight of their holiday was the charming company of our trained guides and their friendly introduction to Lao life and culture.
Club Sanook Members can take an instant discount when you combine our Luang Prabang and Vientiane packages. For details click on the icon below and join the club!
Do You Kamu?
Whether you have been to Luang Prabang before and want to experience this magical town again in more depth, or just want to do and see more than most people who visit here, Beyond Luang Prabang has been created for those who want to combine history and nature. Begin with a three-day exploration of Luang Prabang town with a private Purple Dragon Guide. Then, a two-hour boat trip to an eco-lodge on the Mekong for an environmental adventure in a pristine forest. Accommodations at Kamu Lodge are in sturdy safari-style bungalows with a veranda and attached bathroom enclosed by a high stone wall. Meals are included. You will be completely surrounded by rural life and unspoiled natural beauty. Since it is your vacation you can be as lazy as you like, spend some quality time with yourself for yoga and meditation. You can also learn about rice growing, or explore nearby Kamu village. You do not have to be gay to enjoy our Beyond Luang Prabang holiday. Many of our mainstream guests travel with Purple Dragon because they know they will get something better from a gay company.
Day One: A Mini-Hike on Phousi Mountain
We meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel. Your guide will greet you there in later and take you on a leisurely walking tour of this remarkable town. He will customize the itinerary based on your personal interests. However, we recommend beginning your day with a climb up the Naga (river serpent) Stairway up Phousi Mountain to Wat Paa Huak (your guide may be able to arrange for a key from the Abbot to view the spectacular murals) and Wat Thammothayalan, an active monastery with a lovely view of the Nam Khan River. As you wander around town you'll discover prime examples of 19th century French colonial villas and Lao-style homes. We will gladly recommend restaurants to enjoy during your visit. Luang Prabang offers a selection of outstanding Lao, French, and international cuisine. If you like, your guide will join you for an easy-going introduction to Luang Prabang's nightlife.
Day Two: Feed Monks and Window Shop
Rise early if you can. You will not want to miss the early morning spectacle of hundreds of temple monks that silently parade single-file around the city collecting food offerings from townspeople. Unless you are tempted by the smell of freshly baked bread along the streets, return to your hotel for a hearty breakfast. Afterwards your guide will take you to see more of the town's ancient lanes. Among the places we recommend visiting are Wat Xieng Thong, one of LP's most venerated temple complexes dating from 1560. Later, take a break from temple-viewing on Sisavangvong Road, lined with open-air cafes, scrumptious bakeries, busy Internet cafes, and shops selling fabrics, silver and ceramics. If school is in session you might enjoy visiting the students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.
After lunch we can arrange for you to visit a temple project where young monks are being trained in the fast-disappearing traditional Lao painting and sculpture, or a private school where young blind men are trained in the art of traditional massage, or even the former Royal Palace, now a museum.
Day Three: A Psychedelic Waterfall
This is a lazy day. You spend as much of the day as you like at the spectacular Khuang Sii Waterfall not far from the city. It is one of the most scenic spots near Luang Prabang and a favorite place for local folks to relax. Water comes tumbling down stairway of giant stones high above. The minerals in the rocks give the water an eerie color. If you want to make a day of it you can arrange for a picnic lunch with your hotel, or ask your guide to take care of that for you. If you prefer you can take an early exit and spend the rest of the day shopping or taking in the local art galleries.
Day Four: Kamu Lodge and its Lazy Pleasures
Depart early this morning for a two and a half hour boat trip on the Mekong to Kamu Lodge, a remote eco-resort along the banks of the Mekong River. Along the way you stop at Tham Ting Cave. Over the decades, local people have left Buddha images here. You can see thousand of them by the light of candles. Afterwards, continue upstream through some of the most spectacular natural scenery you may ever see. Arrive in time for lunch. You will enjoy the Lao cooking provided during your stay, including many local specialties made with local organic fruits and vegetables. In the afternoon you will be presented with a number of possible activities if you want to stay busy.
If you have never see rice growing close up, you may want to join the local people as they work with their crop to see how it is done or try your hand at gold panning in the Mekong January to June only). Unless it has rained, you can join the lodge's staff on jungle walks to search for medicinal plants. If you have good boots and strong legs you can trek through the forest to visit remote waterfalls. Perhaps the most interesting thing to do is visit the villages of friendly local ethnic minority people.
Day Five: A Lazy Cruise Down the Mekong
After an early breakfast you return to Luang Prabang by boat, unless you have arranged in advance to stay longer. The downstream trip is slightly faster. Your guide meets you on arrival and sees you to the airport for your onward flight. If your flight is later in the day, we can arrange for the driver and guide to remain with you and mind your luggage until it is time to depart. You will have a chance to see a bit more, enjoy a leisurely lunch or do a bit of shopping.
There are direct flights from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Vientiane, where you can connect to Hanoi or Saigon.
Also: A Two-Night Itinerary That Ends in Chiang Rai, ThailandWe also offer an overnight Way Beyond Luang Prabang trip between Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand) and Luang Prabang, or vice versa. You can combine these two itineraries by adding an extra night either upstream or downstream.
Stay Longer? Of Course You Can!
Most people who visit Luang Prabang do not want to leave! There is much more to see and plenty to do here, although a longer stay should be arranged in advance since hotels are usually fully booked. How about a cooking class or an elephant trek to a nearby village? We have plenty of options to choose from. And do not miss the opportunity to visit Vientiane.
Prices and Hotels
Prices depend on you choice of hotel and when you want to travel.
We offer a number of different hotels in Luang Prabang, ranging from three to five stars. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We only use hotels that are gay-owned, gay-managed or gay-friendly. We inspect most hotels at least once a year.
To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please email us.
Please reserve 9-12 months ahead if you want to be assured of a room in your preferred hotel. Alternative accommodation may also be available.
Custom vacations are our specialty. If this travel package is not exactly what you are looking for, we may be able to modify it to make it a perfect fit.