Get Involved Laos Volunteer

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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
Trip code: 
ALO
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
18
Group size:
7–20

A unique experience of helping the remote villages of Laos at our Responsible Tourism projects

This is a unique opportunity to get involved with some of our Responsible Tourism projects in the Luang Prabang province of Northern Laos. Here, we will be involved in various projects on the banks of the Mekong and Ou Rivers. This really is the best time to see a part of Asia that very few visitors have access to and to see first-hand the children who benefit from your help. The trip, though heavily biased towards helping at our projects, also offers plenty of opportunity to see the spectacular scenery of this beautiful country with its ancient monuments and charming, laid back towns, Laos has many rewards in store for our trip. The scenery of paddy fields, rugged forested hills fringed by waterfalls and imposing limestone karst scenery lines all our routes

South East Asia is home to some incredible cuisine with colourful markets, and a mouth-watering and varied array at meal times. The delicious cuisine is a treasure of this fascinating region. The tourist industry is still very young in Laos, yet it will not be long before it becomes a mainstream package destination so get there before it all changes! In stark contrast to Laos, Bangkok, where we spend our final day is one of Asia's most vibrant and bustling cities with a heady mix of the ancient and the modern. There will be ample time to visit some of the sites including the Grand Palace and the floating market.

Highlights

A genuine opportunity to get your hands dirty on some educational project work

Five nights in the charming UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang

Laotian food, markets and stunning scenery

Bangkok: one of Asia's most vibrant cities

Key information

11 nights comfortable hotels and guesthouses

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive Luang Prbanag

    Start Luang Prabang and meet your leader, Andy McKee. The evening is free to relax, unwind and have your first taste of delicious Laos cuisine - maybe at the famous night market.

  • Day 2

    test

    We start our project work at the village of Vang Lei in a beautiful setting near where the Ou and Mekong Rivers converge. Following on from our implementation of a new water system last year, this year we help build a new classroom for the youngest pupils at the village school. We transfer about 45 minutes by road each day to and from the village heading back to our guest house in Luang Prabang both evenings.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    test

    After breakfast we head north for 3 hours to Nong Kiaw, a sleepy town nestled on the banks of the Ou river and our location for the next few days. Baraka has a few projects in and around Nong Kiaw and we stay at a comfortable hotel located on the banks of the river with stunning views.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    test

    Today we return to Luang Prabang with a stop off either at Vang Lei to see how work is progressing or one of our other projects.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Fly to Bangkok

    We leave our guest house late morning for our flight to Bangkok arriving late afternoon. Enough time for a dip in the roof top hotel pool with stunning views over Bangkok, before heading out for dinner in the nearby bustling world famous Khao San Road area.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    trip ends

    We have a full free day in Bangkok where you can sign up to some of the many day tours on offer or simply do your own thing wandering around this fascinating and hectic city. One of Bangkok's most iconic sites, the nearby Grand Palace is within walking distance, or you may want to visit the legendary floating markets, or book onto a cycle tour. There is plenty on offer! We transfer late this evening for our overnight flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and two dinners are included.

Laos offers a vast range of interesting local cuisine including many dishes you will surely have never previously experienced! Food is cheap in Laos and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere. To ensure good value and a variety of options we have left most of the meals for your choice and local cost.

Weather

In Laos the weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day between about 25ºC and 34ºC. It is a little cooler at nights and can even be slightly chilly from November to January when a light jacket is useful. Bangkok and the surrounding region are hot year round. November and December when this trip runs is dry season so you are unlikely to see much rain.

Is this trip for you?

On this itinerary, the main purpose is to get involved with our new Responsible Tourism projects. This is your chance to give something back to remote communities based in northern Laos. Please note there is a donation of £60 per person to be paid online via the project page for Laos. This will go direct to our charity partner Baraka Community Partnerships and be used to purchase materials needed for the project work (please remember to add gift aid if relevant).

Due to the nature of this laid back country it is difficult to say exactly what project work we will be involved in but it is likely that you will be required to engage in some sort of unskilled manual labour helping out at schools and remote communities. A willingness to 'muck in' and be flexible is important. Laos is a country laden with bureaucracy, corruption and an overly relaxed attitude so things may not always run according to plan!

For the most part of the trip we will be staying in comfortable hotels with good facilities and transportation will be by boat, bus and plane (to Bangkok).

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Guesthouses

Most of the accommodation on this trip is in good quality guest houses or hotels (mostly 3-star) and all have either fans or air conditioning. We will normally have twin rooms with private facilities

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2013
    Anonymous

    GET INVOLVED: LAOS VOLUNTEER

    An excellent holiday in an understated country with a fascinating history and culture. Go now while it's still unspoilt and reap the benefits of volunteering.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being read to by local schoolchildren in their own language - couldn't understand a word but it was so touching. Their teachers did a remarkable job with very few resources. Our visit to the COPE centre in Vientiane was a sombre and a poignant reminder of the after-effects of the Vietnam war

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Andy helped to make the experience enjoyable with lots of information along the way. We have been with him before and would go again

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take suitable gifts for the children you meet along the way eg. bubbles/balloons/balls. Get a haircut in Vientiane - a fraction of the price at home and just as good.Try the Beerlao!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We loved the volunteering element of this trip as you feel able to get somewhat under the skin of the place and quickly develop a rapport with your fellow travellers. We would choose this type of holiday again as we find it addictive.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    GET INVOLVED: LAOS VOLUNTEER

    An excellent way to combine a holiday in a beautiful country with some valuable charity work that makes a real difference to the local people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Giving the children at Vang Vieng elimentary school their first ever PE lesson. It was absolute mayhem! But also a very rewarding experience.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. The exodus employee clearly cared deeply about the charity aspect of the trip, and we also had a local guide who was able to give us insight into the culture of each place we visited (and also acted as a handy translator too!). So the two worked very well together.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go on this trip if you're looking for a relaxing holiday. Whilst none of it (even the manual labour at the village) was particularly exhausting, there was a fair amount of travelling from place to place throughout the trip, which meant being constantly on the go and a few early starts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Whilst the indirect flights included in the trip were perfectly fine (no delays and a good airline), they did add a fair amount of travelling time to the holiday. With hindsight I probably would have preferred to book my own flights separately and pay a bit extra to have direct flights. But I suppose that's just personal preference. All in all, a great holiday and definitely the sort of trip I would book again.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 020 8772 3936