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LAOS

GEOGRAPHY

Elephant Conservation Centre

The Elephant Conservation Center hosts Laos’ first hospital dedicated to elephant victims of logging accidents and affected by diseases. It is managed by a team of elephant specialists that have been working towards the protection of elephants in Laos, running welfare, vetcare, breeding and mahouts training programmes.

Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars is a group of fields containing thousands of stone jars cut out from rock thousands of years ago. The jars were made during the iron age and are believed to be about 2,000 years old being the oldest traces of civilization in Laos. They come in varying sizes up to three meters high, weighing up to several tons. Most of them were sculpted from sandstone rock and are spread out over several sites.

Living Land Farm

A working community farm. Students will have the opportunity to participate in seasonal farm activities such as identifying viable rice seeds, ploughing with a buffalo, hand planting, weeding and harvesting rice and threshing rice seed. Students may be picking vegatables from the organic garden or catching fish to cook for your all natural, organic lunch where there will be a variety of local rice products for you to sample.

The Kuang Si Waterfall

The Kuang Si Waterfall cannot be missed!. The waterfall falls in spectacular pools with bright turquoise water. The lower pools are perfect for swimming in and the bridge at the base of the main 60metre waterfall offers the perfect photo opportunity.

Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre

Tat Kuang Si care for victims of the illegal wildlife trade and work closely with the Lao authorities to strengthen wildlife protection legislation and enforcement. Asiatic black bears are an endangered species targeted by illegal hunters for use in the traditional medicine trade, restaurant trade or as exotic pets. The centre part of the Tat Kuang Si Park houses more than 20 rescued bears, and they enjoy large forested enclosures, cool fresh water streams fed by the nearby waterfall, and enrichment items to keep them fully occupied.

Tham None Cave and Kayaking Tour

The students first visit is to the ethnic Khmu village of Viengsamay where after an introduction to the basics of kayaking we shall set off down the beautiful Nam Song river. After we continue traveling downstream to Tham None (Sleeping cave), which is one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng and served as a rescue shelter for the villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to a family of bats and the ‘Magic Stone’ of Vang Vieng. The final leg of the journey is a gentle paddle which will return us to Vang Vieng just in time to catch the sunset.

Mekong River Cruise

Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Students will stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. They will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced.

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