KIS JeJu Laos Service Learning Adventure 2019

KIS JeJu Laos Service Learning Adventure 2019

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the Ban Houayon community to construct dormitory residences for High School students
  • Marval at the stupas, pagodas and golden temples in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang
  • Picnic and swim at Kuang Sii waterfalls
  • Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
  • The beautiful sunset views of Luang Prabang and the Mekong River from Mount Phousi
  • City tour of Vientiane

Trip Summary

Laos is known for its fascinating ancient history and thriving Buddhist culture, and is one of the least developed nations in the world. We arrive in the capital of Vientiane, and continue our journey to the World Heritage listed Luang Prabang. Here we learn about the rich Buddhist culture, visit both natural and historical sites and enjoy the laid back atmosphere as the Mekong River drifts by. Just 40 minutes by long boat up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang is the village of Ban Houayon. This farming subsistence community is made up of a mixture of Lao Loum and Hmong minorities - all of whom live in poor conditions. We will help the local High School community to build a dormitory residence that will enable 40 students from surrounding villages to stay in the village during the school week and avoid the long walks to and from school each day. The current dormitory residences are very basic and uncomfortable. We guarantee that your contribution will create a lasting change for the students of this Laotian school.

Suitability

Our service learning adventures can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of health and fitness. For the community project part of your trip you will not require a certain level of strength or physical ability, just an enthusiastic and positive attitude. A project manager will direct and distribute the workloads among participants on a daily basis. There is no pressure to exert yourself physically beyond your limits during the project but you should be prepared to give 6-8 hours of physical labour each day.

Sample Itinerary

We depart Incheon at 6:00pm and arrive in Vientiane at 9:50pm Sabaidee! Welcome to Vientiane, Laos. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your World Youth Adventures representative in the arrivals hall. Since the group arrives into Vientiane later in the evening, you will drive first to a restaurant for a quick light meal and then to the hotel. Overnight: Vientiane Golden Sun Hotel, Vientiane

Meals:  D

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we take a private transfer to the airport for the short flight departing at 9:10am and arriving in Luang Prabang at 10:00am. On arrival, you will be welcomed by your World Youth Adventures guide and driver and transferred by private vehicle to check in at the Sala Prabang. You will have the trip briefing at the Sala Prabang. Luang Prabang is a World Heritage Town and the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Lane Xang. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its beautiful temples. Today we take a city tour starting with a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to observe valuable artifacts and traditional clothing and implements from each of the 20 ethnic minority groups which inhabit the Luang Prabang area. We enjoy a tour of the city's oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. We’ll visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we visit The National Museum at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture throughout the ages and we climb up to Phousi hill to see the sunset and also panoramic of Luang Prabang. From there, we transfer to have dinner at local restaurant. Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at our hotel, we walk down to the pier to access the Mekong River. The group is to be at the pier by 8:30am, where we board a traditional Laotian long boat called a Song Thaew (the entire group can ride on one long boat) and cruise upstream for approximately 40 minutes to reach Ban Houayon village. It is here where we spend the next three days assisting in the build of an adobe based construction that will be the dormitory for students from surrounding villages. Currently the students stay in very basic bamboo huts with no electricity or running water. The new dormitories will have a significant impact on the living standards of these students, making their home environment during the week much more conducive and complimentary to study and learning. When we arrive in the village on the first day we will take a tour of the village and the project site where we will get an introduction to the building process and our work objectives. We’ll be divided into working groups that rotate at the various working stations as the day progresses. We have a fruit break mid morning and a two hour lunch break. Families from the village will host lunch. You will be split into groups of three students and assigned a family for the time you are working in the village. The homes where the meals will be taken are within close proximity of each other. This is a unique and wonderful immersion opportunity and we encourage students to embrace the experience, show gratitude for the meals prepared and try to communicate with their hosts, learning some Lao phrases and teaching some English or Korean phrases. In your backpack on service days pack: > Water Bottle/s full with water (filtered water will be available for you to top up your water throughout the day in the village) > Wet weather jacket > Sun hat > Sun screen > Sun glasses > sturdy work gloves Wear old clothes, joggers/runners or walking boots that you are happy to get dirty. You are working with mud and so we guarantee that your clothes and shoes will be covered in mud. Please dress conservatively - long shorts or pants and a t-shirt covering your shoulders, otherwise you may offend the community if you are dressed inappropriately. On the last date, late in the afternoon the community will conduct a Baci Ceremony to show thanks for your help and to give blessing for a healthy life. We return to the work site again in the afternoon stopping at 4:30pm to ensure we are in the long boats no later than 5pm, arriving in Luang Prabang by 5:40pm. Dinner is taken each night at the night markets (at students expense). Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L

Following breakfast we travel 1 hour south of the town to the famous and picturesque Kuang Si waterfall. Once we arrive, we enjoy a short walk through the beautiful forest to Kuang Si Waterfall and pass the Asian Bear Rescue Centre, a conservation centre that rescues animals from the wildlife trade. The turquoise colour of the water with a backdrop of white limestone cliffs gives the waterfall a magical appearance. We hope to enjoy a swim in the beautiful natural pools, walk around the falls, climb up to the top of the falls and take a picnic lunch in front of the falls. On return, you stop to visit local villages of Lao ethnic groups. Visit Ban Thapane (Kamu), Ban Ou (Lao loum) and Ban Na Ouane (Hmong) villages. You will learn more about the lifestyle of these people. En route to Luang Prabang we stop to visit the Living Crafts Centre “Ock Pop Tok” a place where you can meet weavers and learn about textiles, while helping keep these local traditions alive. Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L,D

We wake early to participate in the Alms Giving Ceremony on the streets of Luang Prabang, an awe-inspiring sight. Hundreds of monks from the 35 temples of Luang Prabang walk in silence, meditating as they collect their daily alms from devotees. This is the Buddhist practice of making merit, a symbiotic relationship between the monks and alms givers. Tell your guide a day in advance if you wish to make an offering so that they can prepare some food for you to hand over to the monks. Here are a few things to keep in mind to respect the ritual - > If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance to observe the ritual in silence. > Remove your shoes during the ceremony. Dress conservatively. Cover your shoulders, chest, and legs. > Do not make eye contact with the monks or touch them. Bow your head to show respect to the monks. > Be silent and keep your phone on silent. We return to the hotel for breakfast, or the group may decide to join the locals for a bowl of delicious noodle soup after the alms giving ritual. After breakfast we head to the morning markets, to see the local people showcase their products such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea, vegetables and hill tribe weaving. After lunch we take a private group transfer to the airport to take the flight to Vientiane. Our connecting flight to South Korea is not until late in the evening and so we take 2-3 hour tour of Vientiane. We explore the hidden charm of Vientiane with various historic sites including Vat Phra Keo - one of the most impressive and interesting temples in Vientiane. It houses many Lao treasures such as a gilded throne, Khmer Buddhist stone tablets, wooden carvings, bronze frog drums and palm-leaf manuscripts. We also visit Vat Sisaket; Pha That Louang - the most important Laotian religious site and Patuxay - the most prominent landmark in the city which offers an excellent panoramic view of the city. We return to the airport for the flight departing at 10:50pm.

Meals:  B,L

This morning we arrive in Incheon at 5:45am

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 6 nights in twin share hotel room
  • internal transportation in air-conditioned private vehicles
  • arrival & departure airport transfers
  • western English speaking guide and local English speaking guide
  • group medical kit
  • all entrance fees and permits as per the itinerary
  • private boat trip on the Mekong River to and from Ban Pal Lueng
  • domestic flights between Vientiane and Luang Prabang return
  • Baci ceremony and project expenses

What's Not Included

  • international air tickets from South Korea to Laos and airport departure taxes and fees
  • Visa
  • items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls etc
  • tips and gratuities for guides, drivers, etc
  • travel insurance (compulsory)

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Laos
Starting Point:Vientiane International Airport. From 20 Students
Activities:Service Learning
Adventure Touring
Grade:Adventure touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5553