Shangri Lao

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More an experience than simply a lodge, the Shangri Lao Classic Explorer Camp is an elephant trekking mecca. No other camp like this exists in South East Asia, as you are more likely to find this level of tented luxury in Africa’s best game parks. These tents are only available for those on the ‘Shangri Lao’ overnight excursion.

Set on the banks of the Nam Khan River, 8 miles north of Luang Prabang, your ‘home’ is a luxurious tent, complete with 4-poster bed, 19th century style furniture, permanent hardwood floor and an authentic bathroom which includes a bathtub or whirlpool.

In fact there are two camps, offering different but equally impressive views of the river and either the village of Ban Xieng Lom or across the Huay Khot Valley. Close by is the camp’s restaurant, serving both a western and Lao a la carte menu and there is also a sun terrace, spa pool & even a Jacuzzi, quite remarkable considering you are in the middle of the jungle!

But this is all about sharing the premises with the local elephants, and throughout your stay interact with them, be it, learning about conservation efforts, joining the fun at bath-time in the river, mahout training, or just observing. It’s all about the experience with the elephants in their natural environment, with a little bit of luxury on the side. The experience can be as hands on as you please and there are a number of additional treks and village visits that you can make with the camps resident guides when not with the elephants. There is an educational trail to follow in the pristine forest, and local forestry experts have identified a number of rare plant species. The camp’s owners make considerable conservation efforts for which they should be congratulated, and they also provide much needed employment to the local people who are involved with the camp in a variety of roles. Every person who stays will allow 1 square metre of reforestation. This ties in perfectly with Shangri Lao’s philosophy “An earthly paradise harmoniously shared between man & nature”.

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