Lao Textile Retreat
6th to 16th November 2020
10 day small group textile tour
Luang Prabang/Nong Khiaw
$3450 per person twin share
Join us on this fantastic 10 day tour, jammed pack with lots and lots of hands on activities and workshops. From natural dyes, to silk and cotton weaving, traditional embroidery, bamboo weaving, batik and paper making you'll come home relaxed and inspired by the beauty of World Heritage Luang Prabang. You'll get to experience village life when we spend 2 days in a traditional Tai Lue cotton weaving village learning about how they create their beautiful and unique cotton textiles - from picking cotton to spinning, dyeing and weaving this is a fantastic opportunity to experience village life. This tour has been designed to fit in with Singapore Airlines flights into Laos from Australia.
Day 1 Narelle will collect you from the airport when you arrive. Tonight we will get together to toast to the next 10 days of textiles and all things Lao. We will get our first look at the nightly craft markets and the plethora of beautiful textiles and craft on offer.
Day 2 Our day starts at dawn when our local guide will take you to experience the sacred alms giving ritual that takes place every morning and sees hundreds of orange robed monks pass silently through town collecting alms from the locals. You will also take a walk through the fascinating morning market where the locals go to get their fresh produce each day. After breakfast we will take a tour of Luang Prabangs sites including the oldest temple - Wat Visoun and the most beautiful temple of Wat XiengTong adorned in beautiful mosaics and stencilling. This afternoon we leave the town behind and head out to some of the weaving villages on the outskirts of town, where theres lots of opportunity to buy from the local weavers and cooperatives see how they weave their beautiful Lao silks. We'll stop in to a bamboo weaving community and a mulberry paper making workshop where we will get to craft a photo frame and learn about the paper making process.
Days 3 & 4 Over these 2 days you will get to try your hand at a variety of textile crafts. You will take a class in natural dyes where you collect your dye stuffs from the local garden and prepare the dye pots and spend an afternoon with a master weaver learning how to weave on a traditional silk floor loom. You will also try your hand at traditional Hmong batik and bamboo weaving.
Day 5 Today is all about culture and embroidery. We start our day with a tour of the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre where we learn about the ethnic minority cultures and textiles of Laos and take a fun class in Hmong cross stitch embroidery. This afternoon we take a class in traditional Hmong reverse appliqué.
Days 6 This morning we travel outside of town to an organic family farm where we join master noodle maker Khongsi, as she soaks, grinds, steams, ferments, pounds, rice transforming it into a traditional dish, Khao Poon. Khao Poon, a traditional Lao fermented rice noodle, always eaten fresh on the day it is made. After enjoying the khao poon lunch we travel onto Kuangsi Falls. The falls at this time of year are in full flow - depending on the water levels you may be able to take a dip before we head back to town.
Day 7 Today is totally free for you to soak in the atmosphere of beautiful Luang Prabang, relax or explore the shops and markets scattered through the town. If you are looking for more hands on classes theres opportunity to take a different embroidery class, or try your hand at Katu backstrap weaving, paper jewellery making or perhaps immerse yourself in the Lao cuisine by taking a cooking class.
Days 8 & 9 Today we leave Luang Prabang behind and drive into the mountains to the area around Nong Khiaw town, (around 3 hours north of Luang Prabang). We make our way to a small traditional Tai Lue weaving village where we spend our time learning about how they create their unique cotton textiles. You will get to pick and process your cotton, learn about the dye process and try your hand at a traditional cotton floor loom. We spend the night in the village in a traditional weavers home, learning about the culture of the Tai Lue people. We return back to Luang Prabang late in the afternoon of Day 9 day and get together to toast the end of our adventure.
Day 10 Your tour ends this morning after breakfast. Check out time is 12 noon.
Starts: Luang Prabang
Finishes: Luang Prabang
Dates: 6th - 16th November 2020
Departs: Minimum of 6
Cost: TWIN SHARE: $3,450 AUD per person
+ single room supplement $420
Inclusions: 8 nights hotel accommodation; 1 night homestay; daily breakfast; 6 lunches; 1 dinner; private guided city tour; all classes and workshops detailed in itinerary; arrival transfer; information pack.