trip
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
3
Introductory
Activities
Accommodation
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days$1990USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: FB7

Trip highlights


  • Travel with award winning animal photographer ALEX CEARNS
  • ***$500 per person donation to Free the Bears
  • Behind the scenes access working at Free the Bears sanctuaries
  • Spend time in the jewel of Asia, Luang Prabang
  • Visit the stunning Kuang Xi Falls in the Kuang Xi National Park

This fantastic journey gives you the unique opportunity to get behind the scenes with the bears, helping out with the daily running of Free the Bears sanctuaries in Laos. We will have a chance to go behind the scenes at the sanctuary and see first hand the incredible work being done by Free The Bears, not to mention get up close and personal with the very bears we are helping support and directly contribute to their well being. Acclaimed award winning animal photographer ALEX CEARNS will be joining the journey to help teach you how to get the most out of your animal photography.

Of all the Indo-China countries, Laos is one of the few places that still remains delightfully authentic, where development is still at arms length and where the pace of life moves as slowly as the Mekong River that passes through these lands.

We visit the ancient city of Luang Prabang with its colourful pre-French colonisation architecture and home to many UNESCO sites such as the Wat Xieng Thong temple, as well as donating our time to help out with the day to day running of the Bear rehabilitation centre.

This is a very unique opportunity to be involved with this wonderful organisations, striving to enrich the lives of the bears. $500 of the trip cost will be donated to Free the Bears.


Upon arrival in Luang Prabang you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the duration of your stay in Laos. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to relax and enjoy the surroundings until we get together this afternoon for a trip briefing with your guide and enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight- Luang Prabang View Hotel- Superior Room

Meals:  D

Over the next 3 days we will enjoy a full breakfast at our hotel before we head to the new Free the Bears Luang Prabang Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary was opened in 2017 and provides a home to not only rescued bears but also for other rescued and endangered wildlife including macaques, leopard cats, tortoises, birds, civets, and even red pandas intercepted after being smuggled from China into Laos. With a record 10 bear rescues in Laos in 2017 and then 13 in 2018 (more than 70 bear rescues in Laos), Free the Bears are building bear houses as quickly as they can. Construction of a cub nursery, quarantine house and additional bear enclosures are already underway. In 2019 they have already completed the third Bear House and a Wildlife Hospital, with plans for an additional 2 bear houses, a carnivore enclosure and a holding house for pangolins and reptiles prior to release. Whilst at the sanctuary we will be introduced to the bears and provide some background information about the ongoing work being done by Free the Bears in Laos, before joining the bears enrichment program and helping with the upkeep of the sanctuary. During our time here we will also have an opportunity to photograph the bears and other wildlife from a behind the scenes perspective. Each afternoon we will travel back to Luang Prabang. Overnight- Luang Prabang View Hotel- Superior Room

Meals:  B,L

Today we take a break from our volunteering at the sanctuaries and explore the stunning UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. We travel by local tuk tuk and walking. Luang Prabang is the incredibly well-preserved ancient capital of the Lao Kingdom, a religious and imperial capital of the past. Wedged between the Mekong and Khan rivers, it has been nominated as a World Heritage site and is famous for its many Wats (temples) - 32 of the 66 that were built before French colonisation still stand. All of them are well kept and in use, with numerous monks in residence. Today we will explore the National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Xiengthong and the Living Crafts centre to meet the weavers and learn about textiles before making our way to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about the various minority communities. We will finish the day with an optional climb of the 328 steps to Phousi Hill to enjoy the stunning views. Tonight we will enjoy a group dinner and can visit the Luang Prabang Night Market. Overnight- Luang Prabang View Hotel- Superior Room

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we drive South to the Free the Bears Sanctuary at the stunning Kuang Xi National Park, home to the famous Kuang Xi Waterfalls. After meeting with the team and bears we will join the bear enrichment program over the next two days. We return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon. Overnight- Luang Prabang View Hotel- Superior Room

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, we make our way to the Free the Bears Sanctuary again but today we will also enjoy a walk around the waterfalls and a swim in the stunning natural pools. Today is our last day at the Sanctuary, after our days work we will say goodbye to the team and return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon before heading to our farewell dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a traditional Lao dance show. Overnight- Luang Prabang View Hotel- Superior Room

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we have breakfast at the hotel and then enjoy some free time until it is time to transfer to the airport for our flight back home.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • $500 donation to the Free the Bears
  • photography guidance and expertise provided by Alex Cearns
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Free The Bears representative at the sanctuary visits
  • Expert local bilingual guide
  • Medical kit
  • Good Hotels on a twin share basis
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary

  • Visas and visa fees
  • Meals & beverages not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Personal expenses such as bar, telephone and laundry bills
  • Tips and gratuities
  • International flights ex Australia including airline tax and fuel surcharges

About Your Leader

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER ALEX CEARNS is one of Australia's most awarded and widely published pet, animal and wildlife portrait photographers. Her natural animal handling skills, outstanding images and substantial contribution to improving the lives of rescued animals and endangered wildlife has earned her the reputation as one of Australia’s best and most trusted animal photographers. She photographs around 1300 animals per year. Alex is a dynamic keynote speaker and workshop facilitator with engaging humour and a warm personality. Her thriving business Houndstooth Studio is a leader in the specialised niche market of premium domestic and commercial pet and animal photography.

“We are proud that our images help make a difference to the lives and welfare of rescued animals. The right image viewed by the right person can mean a dog is re-homed, a donation is made, or that media will run with a story that increases awareness or raises public concern for a cause that directly affects the welfare of the animal.” Alex Cearns


Departure dates


Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$1990USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Free the Bears Laos with Alex Cearns trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Videos

Photographer Alex Cearns meets ChamPa the Moon Bear

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips