Laos Photography Workshop
Join us for a 12-day adventure in Luang Prabang and Northern Laos!
This 12-day photo trip will give you the opportunity to discover Luang Prabang and the most photogenic regions of northern-Laos, as well as various indigenous peoples in remote mountainous areas. Luang Prabang will reveal all its beauty and architectural heritage, both traditional and colonial, as well as the embodiment of tranquillity in the surrounding rural areas. This trip will give you the opportunity to photograph the city during the incredible Festival of Light, during which families and monks re-decorate the city, creating countless, breath-taking photographic opportunities at every turn. In addition to Luang Prabang, we also take an intimate look at the daily lives of the various ethnic groups dotted throughout Laos’ remote interior, cruise on the mighty Mekong, and photograph crystalline blue waterfalls dotted throughout the jungle.
Highlights of the Tour
- UNESCO site of Luang Prabang
- Lantern Festival
- Fire Boat Festival
- Kuang Si Watefall
- Local life: markets, villages, workplaces and other daily activities
- Ethnic minorities in their villages
Oct 23 – Nov 3, 2023
USD $3,500 (single supplement $500)
Small group: 3-6 Participants.
We believe in quality, personalised tuition, and so our host-to-guest ratio is always 1:6 or better.
Very comfortable 3-star hotel in Luang Prabang. Basic 3-star in Nong Khiaw.
Easy (2/5). Very little walking, almost none uphill. Hot and humid weather.
See more photos taken during the workshop >>
We also offer private guided photo tours >>
Local life ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Architecture ★ ★ ★
Landscapes ★ ★ ★
Dream a Little…
Here’s what we’ll see on our 12-Day Laos Workshop
Day 1: Arrival in Luang Prabang
On day one you’ll arrive in Luang Prabang, a charming town in the mountains in the north of Laos. You’ll be transferred to your hotel with time to recharge before the adventure begins the next morning.
Day 2: Luang Prabang Monasteries and Pak Ou Cave
The first morning will be spent exploring the quaint town of Luang Prabang, focusing on the most architecturally stunning monasteries. We’ll stroll between these ancient gems before enjoying lunch in town. In the afternoon, we’ll board a longboat and wind our way through the hills to Pak Ou Cave. As we cruise back to town along the sleepy Mekong, we’ll have the chance to call in on riverside villages where we might the chance to interact with a variety of local people.
Day 3: Kuang Si Waterfalls and Evening Lanterns
After an early breakfast, we’ll drive to into the mountains to the magical Kuang Si Waterfalls. Here, we’ll have the chance to experiment with long exposure in the cascading falls, fed by natural springs above, as well as enjoy the rainforest scenery. You’ll also have the chance to swim in the crystalline waters before we return to town for lunch.
We’ll head back out in the afternoon, calling in at a local monastery where we’ll witness Buddhist monks making their final preparations for the incredible festival of Lai Heua Fai, or “Festival of Light”, starting the next day.
Day 4:Tak Bat and The Festival of Light
We’ll head out just after sunrise to see the incredible Tak Bat, or morning alms collection. Today is one of the holiest on the Lao calendar, and so we’ll witness crowds of local people offering gifts to the Buddhist novices as they walk by in procession. This is a very popular photographic event, but dont’ worry: We’ll be far from the town, away from the other tourists. After breakfast in the hotel, we’ll travel to a local pottery village where we’ll have the chance to photograph traditional craftspeople.
In the late afternoon, we’ll head out to another area of town to enjoy the Festival of Light. Here we’ll have the chance to photograph Buddhist monks and other local people lighting paper lanterns, staying for the evening to enjoy the sunset, blue hour, and even into the hours of darkness, with new, beautiful photographic opportunities presenting themselves as the light continually changes.
Day 5:Mahout Experience and Image Review/Sunset
After an optional Tak Bat in the morning, close to the hotel, we’ll head to a beautiful environment where we’ll have the chance to photograph a local mahout bathing his elephant. We’ll return to town for lunch, after which we’ll sit down and review the images we have captured thus far. This is a great opportunity to get feedback from your workshop host and other participants, as well as enjoy a demonstration in post-production. We’ll round off the day with a sunset from a jetty on the Mekong River.
Day 6: Streets of Luang Prabang and Boun Heua Fai
The morning will be spent wandering the streets of Luang Prabang, with a focus placed on street photography. We’ll call in at a market, at monasteries, and also some areas of town where charming French-colonial architecture can be used as a backdrop. In the late afternoon, we’ll witness the amazing Boun Heua Fai, or “Festival of the Fire Boat”. Local people can be seen carrying enormous paper boats through the centre of town to the banks of the Mekong River, before floating them downstream. It is also very common to see glowing paper lanterns being cast towards the night sky. We’ll shoot the remainder of the festival by the light of the full moon.
Day 7:Hmong Village and transfer to Nong Khiaw
After breakfast we’ll drive an hour into the mountains to visit a remote Hmong village, where we can interact with this curious ethnic group. We’ll have with us a Hmong speaker to help us to communicate with the locals, opening up intimate photo opportunities not otherwise possible. After a light lunch of sticky rice in the village, we’ll begin our transfer to Nong Khiaw (3hrs drive), our base for adventuring among the tribal areas for the next few days…
Day 8: Remote Mountain Villages
We’ll start our morning with a bit of adventure, climbing into the back of a truck and driving higher into the mountains to visit villages of the Hmong and Lahu ethnic groups. We’ll spend the day exploring these curious villages, interacting with the people living in the mountains. We’ll stay the night in simple Hmong accommodation, a dormitory with only basic facilities. The photo opportunities are well worth any small amount of discomfort.*
*For those who think this might be a little too on the adventurous side, we can arrange for you to stay behind in Nong Khiaw.
Day 9: Villages and Nong Khiaw
Today, we will spend our last morning in the village after our night with a local family. We might have further opportunities to see further activities in the village or pefhaps out in the rice fields. Later in the day we’ll head back to Nong Khiaw where in the later afternoon, after a well-earned power nap, we’ll go on a cruise on the Mekong River to see fishermen and other activities on the river banks.
Day 10: Nong Khiaw – Luang Prabang
In the morning, before heading back to Luang Prabang, we will go to take pictures of the quant ethnic market of Nong Khiaw. After lunch, we’ll review our images together and enjoy the sunset by Luang Prabang pier.
Day 11: Luang Prabang
Our final day of adventuring will be spent practicing street photography in the city of Luang Prabang, visiting local markets, and witnessing other daily life activities as we soak in the serenity of the city streets one last time. The evening will be spent enjoying a Farewell Dinner a local restaurant.
Day 12: Departure
Enjoy one final breakfast and say farewell to new friends before departing Luang Prabang!
Inclusions and Exclusions
Accommodation (comfortable 3-star boutique hotel in Luang Prabang, basic accommodation in rural areas).
Private transport during photography excursions.
Daily breakfast at the hotel, Farewell Dinner, and other meals/drinks as specified.
Guiding/Tuition from a Western professional photographer.
Round-trip pick-up and drop-off at Luang Prabang International Airport.
Airfare to and from Luang Prabang, Laos.
Meals, drinks and snacks beyond those specified.
Alcoholic beverages beyond one with specified meals.
Medical & Travel Insurance.
Who Our Tours are Designed For
Our adventures are perfect for anyone who loves travel and photography, whatever your level of experience with a camera – the most important thing is enthusiasm. Our tours are specifically designed for photographers and aim to unlock opportunities that wouldn't be open to the casual visitor, all while ensuring that we shoot in the best light, away from the crowds.
Refine your Vision
Mastering photography is a wonderful, lifelong journey; the objective of our tours is to help you become a better photographer, day by day, so that you not only capture wonderful images of your trip, but that you take away a wealth of new skills that will serve you well for all of your photographic endeavours yet to come. With our expert guidance, you’ll quickly become more familiar with your equipment and refine your vision for incredible imagery without feeling swamped by technical details. You’ll learn how to read light, how to frame a scene, and how to inject the element of story into all of your captures.
Meaningful Interactions with Local People
Expect the Unexpected
Our itineraries are fun and flexible, and flow naturally - each of our photography adventures is unique, with spontaneous encounters and varying light conditions creating different opportunities at every turn.
Small Group Experience
The largest tours we run are for groups of six. With one experienced professional photographer as tour leader, this ensures that each of our participants will get plenty of individual, hands-on time with the instructor. It also means that we can travel in a less conspicuous manner, blending into our environment and not overwhelming local people during spontaneous encounters.
We are committed to responsible travel in every country we visit, ensuring that all of our tours are respectful of and give back to the communities we visit. We have taken steps to ensure our tours cause as little environmental impact as possible, and continually strive for new ways to leave fewer lasting footprints in all of our host countries. We use local drivers on all of our excursions, and we take care to educate our tour participants of the ethics of travel photography. We advocate for responsible volunteering and tourism. The participants that join our tours come away not only with some amazing memories and photos, but also with a better understanding of how they can make a positive impact in their future trips.