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Overview

 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
  • Full day cooking class to learn the secrets of traditional Lao cooking
  • Active day long adventure exploring Luang Prabang and its surrounds

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.

Countries:

Starting Point:

Sydney

Grading:Adventure touring   

Addressing:


After months of planning and preparation the time has finally arrived! You will be departing Sydney mid morning on board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. Here you have a brief connection before your onward flight to Vientiane, the modern capital of Laos. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your World Youth Adventures guide and head straight to the hotel for check in. For the duration of your journey you will be allocated an English speaking guide and a private vehicle which will provide all your transportation. This will make it easier and more convenient to manage the various activities, programs and site visits you will be experiencing across the six days, along with giving you flexibility within the itinerary. Depending on your arrival time your guide will have a full trip briefing with the whole group either tonight or tomorrow morning. He will also conduct a short Laotion language lesson so you can familiarise yourself with some local phrases that you can use through out your journey. Overnight: Sailomyen Hostel, 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. 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. 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. Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast we travel 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 Free the Bear Rescue Centre, a conservation centre that rescues animals from the wildlife trade. We will meet the main keepers and have a behind the scenes tour of the complex, learning about the bears enrichment program and how the animals are rescued and nurtured. 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 start the day by walking through the morning market area. It’s an experience that will stimulate all your senses. We will buy some local snacks, try the grilled meats and smell all the amazing fresh herbs from the nearby villages. After a quick rest at one of many coffee shops in Luang Prabang we will be picked up by minivan to take us to our cooking class. We will be divided into smaller groups and learn how to make a few of the local delicacies. We will obviously enjoy the food we learned to cook. We get back to our guesthouse in the late afternoon. Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L,D

This tour around Luang Prabang combines mountain biking with an easygoing kayaking trip. It brings exactly the right refreshment into your tropical day in Luang Prabang and takes you to some of the best sites, including golden temples overlooking the city and Henri Mouhot’s grave. After a biking tour through the Nam Khan valley and diverse village visits, we take a break on the banks of the Nam Khan River. After lunch we take a refreshing plunge at Tad Sae Waterfall then we get our kayaks to paddle downriver on the Nam Khan back to Luang Prabang. Overnight: Sala Prabang, Luang Prabang

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the group has the option in taking part in the local Almsgiving. Almsgiving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being. It is a symbolic connection to the spiritual realm and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of the monk. Following this we will head to the morning market and head to the airport for our return flight to Vientiane. Depending on the flight schedule there may be time for some local sightseeing in Vientiane. Overnight: Sailomyen Hostel

Meals:  B,L,D

We depart Vientiane today at around lunch time on board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok giving us time to pack and have a relaxed breakfast. In Bangkok we will connect to our overnight flight back to Sydney also with Thai Airways, arriving in Sydney the following day.

Meals:  B

This morning we arrive back in Sydney at approximately 7:30am. Here your trip of a lifetime comes to an end. We hope you will take away many warm and lasting memories.

Meals:  Nil


Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Quality Education:  Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.

Reduced Inequalities:  To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

Sustainable Cities And Communities:  There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Life On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Partnerships For The Goals:  Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Learning outcomes for students

A World Youth Adventure is a unique learning experience. Students will gain an understanding of what it is like to be a true global citizen and how they can help encourage positive change.
Students travelling on the "Lindfield Learning Village: Laos Service Learnig Adventure" will come away with the following:
• Applied mathematics and science.
• An appreciation and tolerance of other cultures and a broader mind.
• The confidence to lead a group and make decisions, the skills of managing a project, setting and meeting objectives.
• The ability to face mental and physical challenges and an ability to adapt to new environments fostering resilience and independence.
• Environmental sustainability learning the process of making adobe bricks from materials all locally sourced (mud, sand, water and hay)
• The confidence to lead a group and make decisions, the skills of managing a project, setting and meeting objectives.
• Team work and collaboration with their fellow students and the local community
• Newfound appreciation of their place in the world and the opportunities they are afforded
• Insight into the local diet, cuisine and cooking practices providing an opportunity to increase confidence in the kitchen as well as consider their own diet, nutrition and eating habits.
• Students learn about the Mekong and its greater catchment and discuss the importance of this to local culture and way of life as well as the effects a changing climate may be having on this.
• Opportunity to see and learn about alternate systems of government.
All service journeys with World Youth Adventures are based on addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this community service trip, we are directly addressing the following goals:
SDG 4. Quality Education
SDG 10. Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11. Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 17. Partnerships for the goals
You can find out more about the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals here https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/


Inclusions

  • 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 2 nights dorm accommodation in boutique hostel
  • 7 nights in twin share hotel room
  • internal transportation in air-conditioned private vehicles
  • arrival & departure airport transfers
  • 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
  • Baci ceremony and project expenses

  • Visa
  • items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls etc
  • tips and gratuities for guides, drivers, etc
  • travel insurance (compulsory)

Accommodation


Grading

Adventure touring

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.


Customise your program

We can fully customise a School Travel Program to suit your students' learning objectives and budget. Whether you require a Service Learning program, physical challenge, cultural immersion or certain curriculum targets - talk to one of our educational travel experts about the elements you need in your itinerary. We pride ourselves on developing unique itineraries to meet the learning requirements for schools.

World Youth Adventures is a division of one of the world's leading adventure travel companies, World Expeditions. We can develop itineraries in any destination that is offered by World Expeditions, which is to every continent on earth.

Use our simple Expedition Design Form to contact us with your requirements and an educational travel expert will be in touch to assist.


Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning
Programs

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.

Testimonials


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.


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