Laos

 

Student Travel in Laos

Explore Laos with No Barriers Youth Programming

No Barriers Youth offers a variety of experiences that immerse travelers in the people and culture of Laos. Study Buddhism, tour the many temples and historical sites throughout the country, and:

  • Fly into Luang Prabang and study river ecosystems as you travel by boat up the Mekong River
  • Explore the surrounding hillsides and agricultural communities who just recently gained access to electricity
  • Help rural villages build schools, out buildings, and additional infrastructure
  • Participate in homestays while you provide educational support to the local residents

Do all this and more while you soak up the color and beauty of the karst landscape that surround you throughout your adventure in Laos.

What to Know Before Taking Educational Trips to Laos

Laos is quickly reaching out from it’s modest history to gain a foothold as one of the most intriguing destinations in SE Asia. As water flows from the surrounding mountainsides the mighty Mekong River acts as the heart and lifeblood of the people and communities that line its banks.

From the capital of Vientiane to the river oasis of Luang Prabang, Laos is filled with ancient Buddhist temples, remote rural villages, and a stunning natural environment. Centrally located between Thailand and Vietnam, Laos provides a unique stop during any student travel journey to the region.

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Choose Your Adventure for Teen Travel in Laos

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Service Learning and Adventure in Luang Prabang

Day 1: Welcome to Laos!
  • Evening: Arrive to the Luang Prabang Airport and meet your Expedition Leaders. After settling you’re your accommodation for the evening, participate in the No Barriers Opening Ceremony with your group. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang 
Day 2: Participate in Language Exchange in Luang Prabang  
  • Morning: Prepare materials for a language exchange with local students at Big Brother Mouse- an NGO dedicated to connecting tourists with locals to exchange language and culture. 
  • Afternoon: Tour Luang Prabang and visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center and the UXO Office run by the United Nations. 
  • Evening: Shopping at the Luang Prabang Night Market and dinner at a local restaurant. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang  
Days 3-4: Village Life and Service 
  • Morning: Head up to a Khmu Village and start working on a service initiative driven by the needs of local community members. 
  • Afternoon: Continue working on your service-learning project. Spend time getting to know the community members and the history of their people. 
  • Evening: Debrief your day with your program leaders in a group discussion. Participate in cultural activities that will bring you closer to the community members in the village. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang or Village Homestay 
Day 5: Visit Kuang Sri Waterfall and Buffalo Farm 
  • Morning: Head to the Kuang Sri Waterfalls- one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Laos! Hike up the cascading falls and swim in the beautiful spring waters. 
  • Afternoon: Visit a heart-warming social enterprise: the Luang Prabang Buffalo Farm. See how this small organization is transforming the farming model in Laos. Try local buffalo cheese and other products produced by the buffalo milk. 
  • Evening: Enjoy a traditional Laos massage and then have dinner at a local restaurant in town. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang 
Day 6: Give Morning Alms and Kayak 
  • Morning: Wake up early and participate in a daily ritual of many Laotians- giving alms to local monks.  Afterwards, check out the Luang Prabang morning market and marvel at the local items being sold – many that come from farmers deep in the surrounding jungle. 
  • Afternoon: Spend the afternoon kayaking on the beautiful Nam Khan River. Pass by local villages, look for wildlife, and enjoy your final days in the beautiful mountains of Northern Laos. 
  • Evening: Participate in the No Barriers Closing Ceremony 
  • Accommodation: Luang Prabang Hotel 
Day 7: La Kone, Laos! 
  • Morning: Head to the airport for your flight home. 

Mountain Service and Adventure in Indochina

Day 1: Welcome to Laos!
  • Evening: Arrive to the Luang Prabang Airport and meet your Expedition Leaders. After settling you’re your accommodation for the evening, participate in the No Barriers Opening Ceremony with your group. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang 
Day 2: Participate in Language Exchange in Luang Prabang  
  • Morning: Prepare materials for a language exchange with local students at Big Brother Mouse- an NGO dedicated to connecting tourists with locals to exchange language and culture. 
  • Afternoon: Tour Luang Prabang and visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center and the UXO Office run by the United Nations. 
  • Evening: Shopping at the Luang Prabang Night Market and dinner at a local restaurant. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang  
Days 3-6: Village Life and Service 
  • Morning: Drive to the stunning community of Nong Khiaw, where you will spend the next three days. Get to know your community hosts before starting work on a service initiative driven by the needs of local community members. Each day will follow a similar schedule of service in the morning and afternoon and evening activities with the community. 
  • Afternoon: Continue working on your service-learning project. Spend time getting to know the community members and the history of their people. 
  • Evening: Debrief your day with your expedition leaders in a group discussion. Participate in cultural activities that will bring you closer to the community members in the village. On the final evening in the village, you will participate in a traditional Laotian community ceremony that will close out your time in Nong Khiaw 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang or Village Homestay 
Day 7: Boat Cruising and Kayaking 
  • Morning: Wake up in the morning and say goodye to your host families. Board a boat to Muang Ngoi. 
  • Afternoon: Arriving in Muang Ngoi, participate in an exciting kayaking adventure on the Nam Ou River. Spend the remainder of the afternoon hiking to view point that looks out over the endless mountains of the region. 
  • Evening: Debrief from your time in the village and participate in leadership activities with your expedition leaders. 
  • Accommodation: Bungalow Guesthouse, Nong Khiaw Laos 
Day 8: The Land of a Million Elephants  
  • Morning: Wake up in the morning and drive to Manda Lao Elephant Conservation Center. 
  • Afternoon: Participate in elephant conservation activities. Get to know these gentle giants, feed them bananas, and trek alongside them through their jungle home. Manda Lao Elephant Conservation Center is a non-riding program that focuses on conservation and sustainability for the threatened species. With the assistance of your ‘mahout’ you will learn how you can further contribute to the Asian elephant and their well-being. 
  • Evening: Arriving back to Luang Prabang, participate in the No Barriers Closing Ceremony and reflection with group and expedition leaders 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Luang Prabang 
Day 9: La Kone, Laos! 
  • Morning: Head to the airport for your flight home. La Kone, Laos! 

Bolaven Plateau Adventure

Day 1: Welcome to Laos!
  • Afternoon: Arrive to Ubon Ratchathani Airport (UBP) in Thailand and meet your program leaders and cross the border to Laos. 
  • Evening: Have an orientation with your group members and program leaders. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Pakse 
Day 2: UNESCO World Heritage Ste Wat Phou Champasak  
  • Morning: Wake up and enjoy your first breakfast in Laos. Board a long-tail boat and cruise to the town of Chapassak. 
  • Afternoon: Explore Wat Phou- a Khmer Hindu temple complex that is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Learn more about the Hindu history of this region of the cultural influences of French Indochina. 
  • Evening: Walk to the top of the mountain in town for incredible views of the region. Enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant in Pakse. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Pakse 
Day 3: Hike to Waterfalls in the Bolaven Plateau 
  • Morning: Venture to the Bolaven Plateau and hike to see beautiful views and waterfalls. 
  • Afternoon: Continue your day of trekking. Stop along the way to go swimming in the cool, clear water and marvel at the cascading waterfalls. 
  • Evening: Enjoy a traditional Lao massage before dinner at a local restaurant in Pakse. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Pakse 
Day 4: Four Thousand Islands 
  • Morning: Visit the Pakse Morning Market and see observe local life and commerce. Marvel at the local goods being sold, much of what is being sold comes from farmers and villagers in the surrounding plateau. 
  • Afternoon: Take a boat ride down the mighty Mekong River through the Four Thousand Islands. Arrive to Don Khon. 
  • Evening: Engage in activities with Program Leaders at the guesthouse. Chat about the experience so far and learn a bit more about the second half of the expedition. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Don Khon 
Day 5: Biking and Dolphin Watching 
  • Morning: Hop on bicycles and explore the island of Don Khon. Meet locals along the way. 
  • Afternoon: Climb aboard a long tail boat and search for endangered Irrawaddy dolphins! Amongst the last remaining freshwater dolphins in the water, the Irrawaddy dolphins are commonly seen in the 4,000 islands area of the Mekong River. 
  • Evening: Arrive back to the guesthouse. After a long day of exploration, debrief and then participate in activities with group members and expedition leaders 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Don Khon 
Day 6: Kayaking and Return to Pakse 
  • Morning: Wake up early and participate in an exciting kayaking journey throughout the area of Si Phan Don. Explore the gorgeous scenery and learn a bit more about the Mekong River basin, the importance of the river to the millions of people in Southeast Asia, and the future of conservation efforts.  
  • Afternoon: Head back to Pakse. 
  • Evening: Participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Pakse 
Day 7: La Kone, Laos! 
  • Morning: Head back across the border to Ubon Ratchathani and board your flight back home to the United States. 

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader