From grain to plate: the life story of rice largely remains a mystery to the general public. Numerous species and labour-intensity plus a growing interest in rice cultivation resulted in the creation of half a day Luang Prabang exploration of rice.
When talking about Laos, one automatically will raise its deeply-rooted agricultural culture. With more than 80% of the population making their daily living from farming and fishing, for many years, rice remains the most cultivated source of income. Depending on the land, the precipitation and the land quality, rice farmers in this land-locked country can grow up to three harvests per year. This too depends largely on the quality of the rice grain, be it sticky or tacky. A popular saying says that ‘rice is life’ and nowhere better than in Laos makes this perfect sense. A short drive outside Luang Prabang, we now can show you the ins and outs of rice cultivation – ranging from watching the seeds entering the paddy to a more hands-on experience by getting into a paddy field and become a temporary rice farmer yourself.Our driver for the morning will pick you up from your hotel in Luang Prabang where you may join other ‘rice enthusiasts’ before heading out into the rural landscape of charming Laos. The ride is a short one and you may see the abundance of green already from a distance (season depending). Our half day takes place all around a local farm, specializing for generations in the art of rice farming and cultivation. A local English-speaking guide will welcome you and will be your host for the morning. The processes from seed until it reaches your plate in a cooked or fried version is said to take 14 different levels and all these are explained and showed during this 3, 5 hour.The farm and the community living on and around this fertile part of Luang Prabang have made it their livelihood to cherish and protect this means of honest, Laotian form of labour. In simple yet clear steps, your host takes you from one stage to the other: from planting to harvesting, quality control, sieving and packing it. In the end, nothing gladdens the mood when you see buffalos ploughing through the land to prepare the planting. All income of this tour is returned back into the community, giving this experience a very much sustainable stamp of approval.Other farming activities may pass the revue such as weaving and gardening, all in line with local Laotian traditions. At the end of the morning, we will bring you back to your hotel in Luang Prabang just before a lunch. Time for some rice?