Planning Your Trip

TRAVELING TO LUANG PRABANG

By Air

SCOOT is now flying a circular route between Singapore, Luang Prabang and Vientiane three times a week. 

Air Asia flights between Bangkok and Luang Prabang are now making air travel more affordable to Luang Prabang! Connect with Air Asia to Bangkok and then to Luang Prabang.

Lao Airlines – Lao Airlines flies between Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Siem Reap. Flights to Vientiane are also available from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Da Nang, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kunming, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Singapore. From Vientiane you can get a connecting flight to Luang Prabang.

Bangkok Airways – Bangkok Airways has connecting flights between Bangkok and Luang Prabang.

Vietnam Airlines – Vietnam Airlines has connecting flights between Hanoi and Luang Prabang

By Boat

From the northern border with Thailand, several boat options are avaialbe including a slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (2 days with overnight in Pak Beng) or the speedboat (7 hours). For a more comfortable trip, opt for the Luang Say Riverboat, departing from Huang Xai to Luang Prabang and takes 2 days with an overnight at the Luang Say Lodge in Pak Beng. The price of the Luang Say Riverboat trip includes meals and overnight accommodation in Pak Beng.

By Bus or Minivan

Buses are available from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, but expect a long and uncomfortable ride as roads are unsealed part of the way. If you’re coming from Vientiane, overnight and day buses are also available (approximately 10 hours) and the view is spectacular.

TRAVELING TO NONG KHIAW

From Luang Prabang

By Minibus – Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road from Luang Prabang. Nong Khiaw is approximately 150km from Luang Prabang and minibuses run regularly between the two. Minibus tickets can be purchased from various travel agencies in Luang Prabang. Minibuses depart Luang Prabang at 9:00, 11:00 and 13:00. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.

We recommend that you arrive in Luang Prabang before the retreat date so that you can arrange your transportation with a travel agency the day before you leave for Nong Khiaw.

From the North

If you are traveling either from Northern Thailand or Northern Laos, you can travel to Nong Khiaw either by public or VIP buses. Depending on the route, you may have to stop in Pak Mong and hire a tuk-tuk to take you the rest of the way to Nong Khiaw.

If you are traveling by road and river from Vietnam, regular buses run from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. From there, you can connect by bus to Mueng Khua in Laos. From Mueng Khua to Nong Khiaw is a lovely 6-hour boat ride.

When planning your trip, please be sure to arrive in time for the introductions and opening ceremony on the first day.

 

RETURNING TO LUANG PRABANG FROM NONG KHIAW

Private minibus transfer back to Luang Prabang will be arranged with the resort. If you are traveling on from Nong Khiaw to another destination, we can advise you on the best way to arrange your onward travel.

VISA

Visa on arrival is available for most passports for a period of 30 days. Be sure to have at least 2 passport photographs with you when you arrive. Passport holders of ASEAN countries do not require a visa to enter Laos on a short-term basis. You are responsible for determining your own visa requirements. Laos authorities also require all passports to have at least 4 empty pages left and a validity of at least 6 months from the date of arrival. 

ABOUT NONG KHIAW

Nong Khiaw is a sleepy village, nestled in the highlands of Northern Laos. Located approximately 150 km from Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road and river. Travel by road to Nong Khiaw from Luang Prabang takes approximately 3 hours, although many travelers opt for the longer, 6-hour boat ride as the views along the river are spectacular (check with travel agencies in town for availability and pricing of boat travel and this has been affected by the recent building of dams along the Nam Ou River).

Life in Nong Khiaw takes place primarily along the banks of the Nam Ou River. A main street and bridge run through the center of town, connecting the two sides. From Nong Khiaw, day trips to Hmong villages, rock climbing, and visits to caves and waterfalls can be arranged, but the village is best experienced at leisure.

Ultimately, Nong Khiaw’s draw is its impressive landscape. The Nam Ou River is flanked on both sides by rolling hills and stone massifs. The river cuts through the mountains, opening spectacular views into the distance. It’s a destination not to be missed.

THE RESORT

The retreats are held at a premier bungalow resort that is situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou River, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rainforest and karst limestone mountains of Nong Khiaw. The resort offers 10 spacious clean & comfortable detached bungalows, mixing traditional Lao style with all the modern conveniences you can expect from a home away from your home. The custom-built yoga shala sits directly on the banks of the Nam Ou River, harnessing the energy of life. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We do not provide transportation from Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw. Participants are advised to arrive in Luang Prabang at least one day before the retreat starts and to arrange transportation with an agency in town to travel to Nong Khiaw the following morning. If you prefer private transportation and pick-up from the airport, you can contact the resort directly and one can be arranged for an approximate charge of US$80. 

When you arrive in Luang Prabang, you will find lots of travel agencies on the main street. Any of them can arrange for transportation to Nong Khiaw. You will want to book yourself on the FIRST minivan to depart Luang Prabang for Nong Khiaw on the morning of the retreat. The agency will pick you up from your hotel in Luang Prabang and drop you off in Nong Khiaw across the street from the resort where the retreat takes place.

Spaces are limited on the retreat and we would like to offer these limited spaces to students who can participate entirely in the retreat. If you can participate only for a portion of the dates, you can check in with us a week before the retreat starts. If there are still spots available, we may consider your partial participation. However, in general we do not encourage this as we prefer the whole group to start and end together.  

If you have have a partner that you are traveling with, there is an option to have them stay at the resort with you. Please inquire with us via e-mail. 

Yes we get a lot of beginners, and occasionally people who have never done yoga before. The general level on the retreat is always mixed, ranging from novices to advanced practitioners and teachers. The group sizes are small (no larger than 15 people) and our teachers are highly trained to manage the range of experience of all the participants

Yes, we can cater to all kinds of dietary requirements and allergies. If you have a severe peanut allergy or celiac disease however, we cannot guarantee that there won’t be some small level of cross-contamination. 

There is no babysitter at the resort and unless you come with someone else who can take care of your children, we do not recommend attending. Furthermore, we cannot offer additional bungalows to non-participating guests, which means that your family must stay in one bungalow and additional charges may apply for extra beds. Please also consider that other participants may be looking for a quiet and introspective experience and that your children will be your responsibility in our efforts to maintain this environment.

Yes, you can stay extra nights at the resort before or after the retreat. The booking must be made directly with the resort. You can contact them for rates and availability at reservations@mandala-ou.com. Let them know that you are joining the retreat so that they can do their best to book you into the same room that you will be staying in during the retreat (depending on room availability).

We do not offer retreats outside of the dates that are specified on our website. Occasionally we may be able to do a custom retreat, but this will require a minimum of 10 participants. Please inquire directly via e-mail.

Yes, off course it is! We welcome everyone of all levels of experience and fitness. Please inquire directly by e-mail. We can advise you as to which retreats may be better suited to your needs.