Guide for Luang Prabang

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Jul 7th, 2006, 09:31 AM
  #1
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Guide for Luang Prabang

Has anyone hired a driver and guide out of Luang Prabang for visiting hilltribes that they would recommend? I'm wondering who and how to contact, and how much they would charge for a day. Thanks!
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Jul 7th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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I hired a driver in LP. I made no arrangements ahead of time. It was easy to find a driver and he was very inexpensive. (I don't have a price, I'd have to check my journal.) Sorry, I don't have any contact info. You really don't need a guide.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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Where outside of Luang Prabang did you go? Are there some hilltribes that are "must see" or well-known for a particular craft? I want to check out local life in Laos outside of Luang Prabang but don't really know where to go from there.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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You can visit tribal villages either by boat or with a driver. The two most popular trips are the boat ride to the caves which stops at two rather commercial (ie selling things like whiskey or weavings) but interesting villages and the car or van trip to the waterfalls where you can stop at villages that don't see many tourists at all.
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Jul 7th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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ccc
 
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We hired a driver named Phong in LP who took us to a Hmong village about an hour and a half out of town. This was definitely not a stop on the tourist circuit. My children really enjoyed being local celebrities and being invited into a family's house to share some pineapple. On the same trip we visited the caves. I can't remember how much it cost but it was very reasonable in the whole scheme of things. I think I still have his card which has a phone number (but no email) if you are interested.
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Jul 10th, 2006, 11:42 AM
  #6
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ccc, it sounds like your daytrip is something I'd be interested in: not a long drive from LP, but away from other tourists and not a village for "shopping". I'd love to get your info for Phong if you've got it. Was he someone you hired ahead of arrival or found while you were in LP? Thanks!
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Jul 10th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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We tried to hire Phong when we arrived but he was already busy. He hooked us up with another driver who didn't speak very good English. Although it was a pleasant drive with non-touristy stops along the way, I think we would have been better off with Phong. It's probably best to call him before you get there. I recommend visiting the caves by boat - it is an absolutely beautiful ride and there's interesting river life to observe along the way. You do stop at the whiskey and weaving villages - we found them worthwhile and they were not really all that touristy. Be sure to observe the whisky-making process although if you do, you may have second thoughts about sampling it (we passed). "Mr. Thongdy" was our boat driver and we had his big boat all to ourselves - to contact him your best bet is to go to the spot along the river where all the boats are and ask around. Figure on around $25 each for the drive to the caves and the boat ride.
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Jul 10th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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I'm going to be travelling on my own. Are there boats that just pack on tourists and take them to the caves and back ("shuttles")? Or will I need to hire a boat for just myself?
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Jul 10th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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There are boats that have tourist groups - maybe you could inquire at your hotel or at one of the many travel agencies on the main road in LP. Its all pretty much the same type of boat though. You will get a better deal going direct to the boat owner I think. Maybe you could consider hooking up with another lone traveler in LP and going together?
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Jul 10th, 2006, 06:34 PM
  #10
ccc
 
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We found Phong when we got there on the recommendation of somebody we met at our hotel. His number is 856 20 5670 194.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 09:00 AM
  #11
 
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Went to LP last Feb.... I am NOT terribly adventurous so we had a guide going into LP.......and I can't recall the agency.....

HOWEVER, you didn't really need one a head of time... you can get there, and book your trips right from LP.. there are loads of agencies... The Hill Tribes are colorful but NOT a must see..... they are very used to tourists ..... however, you are all the way out there, so WHY NOT go....?

The caves were lovely.... There isn't a whole lot to do in LP in terms of sight seeing .... BUT IT IS A FANTASTIC PLACE... good luck
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