Northern Laos cycling tour, culture & waterfalls

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We our committed to working with the most eco-friendly modes of transport possible. While this tour focuses on cycling & trekking aka people power, there are instances where we need to use transfers. In those situations, we have picked slow boats or van providers who share our ethos of repair over replace, proper disposal of oils & coolants, & employ local people. On all tours, especially on cycling & trekking, we encourage our guests to bring 2 refillable water bottles to reduce dependence on single use plastic bottles. We also choose food vendors who use banana leaves or other environmentally conscious packaging when it is possible. Guests choosing this tour are also contributing to our Pedal with Purpose scheme. Pedal with Purpose is a fundraising effort that supports local villages that we work with in our FairTrek program. See below for further information on both FairTrek & Pedal with Purpose.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

This tour supports the Pedal with Purpose scheme, part of our FairTrek program.

About FairTrek:
Tourism can be a powerful force for good – it creates jobs, breaks down barriers and stereotypes and stimulates social change. But if not properly managed, tourism can also leave detrimental impacts on the local destination’s natural and social ecosystems.

Making Laos a better place for people to live in – and to visit .

From hiring local Lao staff to using a local supply chain to promoting limited impact eco-tourism activities, we put Responsible Tourism into practice by adopting business practices molded around a triple bottom line: social, environmental and economic.
Fair Trek develops tourism activities in line with the principles defined by the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism:
• Minimize negative economic, environmental, and social impacts.

• Generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry.

• Involve local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chance.

• Make positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity.

• Provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.

• Be culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.

About the Pedal with Purpose scheme.

As part of our responsible travel and community initiative ‘FairTrek’, we are expanding fundraising programs and efforts to assist rural communities on the outskirts of Luang Prabang. FairTrek currently provides various types of support to villages throughout Laos, including construction of housing for the school teacher in Nong Khuay and developing community workshop initiatives in Long Lao Mai.

Community Workshop and Teacher’s House in Huay Fai Village
FairTrek are proud to launch the first Recycled Water Bottle Build in Laos!
The building and surrounding space will be an area with exhibitions of local crafts, as well as a place for tourists to participate in skills or handicraft lessons. On the far side of the building is a picnic area with a Strawberry Wall.
Roof weaving, black smithing, cookery and preserving, bamboo bow making, rattan ball making, and coconut leaf hat making are just some of the lessons or workshops villagers will use the space for. Families within the community are excited to share their skills with the tourists. Funds raised by teaching classes and demonstrations goes directly to the families.
This program empowers the community, particularly women, and creates opportunities for Micro businesses. There are over 80 families in the village. With this scheme, every household has the opportunity to benefit.
In addition to the community Recycled Water Bottle building, the village has asked us to construct a house for the school teacher. At present, from Monday to Friday the teacher lives with a host family, but it would be beneficial to construct a basic one room structure so the family is no longer burdened with host duties.
Plans for Huay Fai beyond the Recycled Water Bottle buildings include a social enterprise scheme for the production of sustainable high quality bamboo water bottles. The community workshop site will be used to train interested villagers to manufacture the bottles. Revenue generated from the sale of the bottles will be distributed to the families and the community fund for improvements to village infrastructure including health care. Funds are required for tools, training, and design work.

Huay Nok Water Supply Project
This project is an absolute necessity for the 468 people of Houay Nok. Due to the drying of their primary water source and continued problems with limescale, villagers are at present walking a considerable distance to collect their daily water. At present the water supply and the water tank in the centre of the village cannot provide enough safe clean water for the community. A plan has been put in place to utilise a secondary source 2km away from the village.
Construction of the concrete water tank that we must source material for and laying 2 km of plastic polypipe from the source are only the beginning. An ‘off the grid’ ram pump must be included to assist in the delivery of the water uphill and into the main tank in the village. Due to the lack of use of the existing standpipes, it will also be necessary to service the pipework from the tank to the standpipes.
During a recent inspection of the site and look at the developmental needs of the village, the Chief has given his support to the project and informed us that due to the urgency of the project the village would be very happy to provide all the resources at their disposal to help achieve the project goal.
The whole village are ready to help.
It was apparent at the inspection of the village that there is a great deal of potential for Houay Nok. Very easily, the village can increase its capacity and reinvent itself as a very convenient homestay village owing to its proximity to a great jungle trail that connects Houay Nok to Houay Fai and the Nam Khan River. Once on the Nam Khan, it is only a short kayak journey from Luang Prabang.
Currently this project is 50% complete. A new tank at the source has been made and a portion of the pipe has been laid.

Eye Tests and Glasses for the Elders of San Oudom
San Oudom is a community 35 km from Luang Prabang that has little access to health care. The village has an aging population and the one and a half hour trip to the city for medical checkups is arduous and uncomfortable.
FairTrek has found an optician who is willing to travel to the village and conduct eye tests on all community members over the age of 55. Additionally, he will distribute eye wear to people who would benefit. We are hoping to have the resources to offer financial assistance in the instance any serious eye conditions are diagnosed.

Climate

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