Discuss Buddhism and Lao culture with local monksLearn about the lasting impacts of war in LaosSupport initiatives to preserve traditional art INTROEnjoy an enriching day out in Vientiane, skipping the tourist sites and focusing on the community. Meet with Buddhist monks to better appreciate their role in society. Understand the struggles facing people with disabilities and see how wartime atrocities from 50 years ago still impact the Lao population.
Note: This half day tour starts in the morning at 08:30 or in the afternoon at 13:30. Step away from the tourist sites today. Gain a deeper understanding of life in Laos- the day-to-day challenges facing the people and the resilient nature with which they persevere. The first visit is to Wat Sok Pa Luang, an oasis of tranquillity located near Vientiane’s city centre. This temple is home to more than a dozen monks of all ages and backgrounds, many of whom live here due to their families’ financial struggles. After making a donation of fruit or other foods, sit down for a chat with the monks. Learn about their daily lives- the role they play in the community and also their personal stories of growing up in Laos. This is a fascinating way to connect with the Buddhist culture. Continue to Phaeng Mai Gallery and explore the traditional textiles of the Lao people. This shop specializes in high quality silk products and supports several families in the process, from the northern province of Luang Nam Tha and the southern provinces of Attapeu and Sekong. Another stop will be made at the Lao Disabled Women Development Centre, a not for profit organization advocating for the rights of disabled Lao women. Meet with some of the participants and be inspired by their drive to improve their lives. Learn more about the activities of the centre and how they promote vocational training as a way to be self-sufficient. The final visit of the day is to COPE. The American-Vietnam conflict has had a lasting effect on Laos due to the large number of unexploded ordinances (UXO) left behind. COPE provides rehabilitation services for those affected by landmines and other UXO. Their informative centre provides a greater understanding of the war’s impact on Laos both in the past and the present.Having gained a better understanding of Lao culture, the tour comes to a close.