Two Day Itinerary: Awk Phansa and The Festival of Lights

Country: Laos

2 Days

05 Nov 17       Luang Prabang: Awk Phansa Festival

This evening you will be picked up at your hotel by your guide and driver and taken into town. The festival of Awk Phansa marks the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent, Khao Phansaa, which commences at the full moon in July.  Khao Phansaa is considered to be a particularly auspicious time for Lao men to enter into monkhood. The three-month period of Buddhist Lent is falls during the wet season and during this time most monks will remain at one monastery and not travel long distances. To celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent, monks will decorate the temple grounds with handmade paper lanterns, lights and candles.

Traditionally, Lao people will also light candles and lanterns outside their homes and business after sunset this evening. Tonight, along with your guide you will join in the quiet spirit of the festival by visiting some of the charmingly decorated temples and joining locals for the stupa candlelight procession. While exploring, stop to have dinner at Coconut Garden and dine on some delicious Lao cuisine. Return to your hotel in the evening.

Meals Included:  Dinner

06 Nov 17    Luang Prabang:  Fire Boat Procession and Khatongs  

This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and head out of town to Pong Vanh Village. You will spend in the morning with the local family learning how to make a Khatong. Khatongs are traditionally made out of banana-leaves and decorated with flowers, candles and incense. While you make your own Khatong, learn about your host family and their cultural traditions for the festival. After you have completed your personalized Khatong, you will have the opportunity to dine on a home-cooked Lao meal with your host family.

Return to you hotel for a free afternoon to spend at your leisure. In the evening, you will be picked up your hotel and dropped off near the main street. You will walk along the main road, which is closed off for evening’s procession. You will go Café Ban Vat Sene and settle in at a table overlooking the main street. Enjoy your dinner as the fire boat procession makes its way past you towards Wat Xieng Thong.

Once you have finished dinner you will walk down to the Mekong River to meet your private boat for the evening.  Once you get out on the water your guide will instruct you how to make a proper blessing and then you will carefully release your Khatong into the Mekong River. Enjoy some wine or beer as you watch the hundreds of twinkling Khatongs being released to drift down the Mekong River. Once you return to land, your driver will meet you and and you to your hotel.

Meals Included:  Lunch and Dinner

This special festival touring is designed to be combined with any larger itinerary package.  The price for this touring will vary depending on the number of travelers.  You can find more information about this festival on our blog.

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