There is a village in Laos where pottery production has long been a way of life. Lao kings once relied on this community for quality pottery products. Today, the techniques used are still largely traditional, the results: hand-made and time-tested. While there are now fewer families actively practicing the techniques of their ancestors, the village is open to visitors and you can be a part of honouring and preserving this heritage. This is a window into village life in Laos – see potters in action and enjoy an engaging session of getting your own hands on the clay and creating something. Did we mention you’ll also be treated to delicious fresh Laos food? Easily accessible from Luang Prabang, this village offers a laid-back, truly Laos experience that will have you feeling like family. Ask us about including this on your Laos holiday itinerary.

Just off Vietnam’s central coast from the charming town of Hoi An, researchers from the Cham Island Marine Protected Area (MPA) have successfully released 800 baby turtles into the ocean after relocating 900 sea turtle eggs from the Con Dao Islands, as part of a conservation project reviving hopes for the future of turtles here. “Turtles often return to the beach where they were born to lay their own eggs when they reach maturity about 30 years later. The baby turtles we released from Cham Island will likely return to spawn the next generation,” said a local conservation researcher. The green turtle is very sensitive to human activities and pollution. “We had to clean the beach for the turtles to lay their eggs at night. They leave if they find rubbish on beach,” one volunteer recalled. 
Since Cham Island’s recognition as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2009, local people have learned much about environmental protection and many more are now making a living in tourism services, adding more motivation to keep the island clean and green. “The successful story of turtle conservation on the Cham Islands is a magnificent example of education on environmental protection.” said Bui Thi Thu Hien, an IUCN expert. Cham Island is easily accessible from Hoi An, and is just one of many destinations in the area that can make your visit something truly special. Contact Haivenu for details.

Kampot, located on Cambodia’s coastline not far from the border with Vietnam, is perhaps best known for its prized peppercorns, whose memorable flavours are attributed to the unique soil and microclimate of Kampot Province. While Kampot is barely a footnote on most tourism itineraries of Cambodia, this laidback small town has something more than pepper going for it – a vibrant local arts scene embodied by female entrepreneur Khun Gechsoun, aka Soon, who has made a name for herself with original woodcuts and prints, even while offering woodcarving workshops, training disadvantaged women, and running the atmospheric KAMA Café. This is local culture: traditional, inventive, modern and unique. We can take you there

Travel in Laos is an expedition of tasting, smelling and perceiving, with all senses – best accompanied with openness to the unexpected. Morning streets are enlivened with markets hawking vegetables, hungry customers making their way to steaming street kitchens, and gaggles of children cycling to school. Only in a few of the busiest destinations has tourism transformed the local daily rhythms. As a result, travel here remains a pleasurable pathway of individual discovery. We encourage travellers to take time to appreciate the calmness and friendliness of Lao people. Take a look at our sample Laos itineraries, drop us a note to let us know where you’d like to go, and we can create a tour allowing you the space to discover Laos on your own terms.

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