Laos Workcamp

Vientiane (Naxaythong District) - Laos

Combine the best of Lao’s programs in this tailor made workcamp!

This two week program is an amazing way to experience Laos in full while giving back to its rural community…Your participants will have the opportunity to Increase their confidence, presentation skills, teamwork and more, all while giving back to Laos and its people through special activities that will fully engage them.

Culture
Learning
Leisure
Community Engagement
Physical Demand

Program Description

This cultural exchange will be a great opportunity to share cultures with Laos’s young people, broadening their minds and exposing them to parts of the world they know little about.

You will be arriving to Vientiane airport on Saturday, April 8th and leaving from there on Sunday, April 23rd. In-between two fully-packed weeks await you, inviting you to give back to the community, enjoy local sightseeing, dance lessons, and more! Check out the schedule…

Aims & Objectives

  • Improve the village children’s educational prospects and widen their cultural interactions
  • Give you invaluable and practical experience in teaching
  • Assist the local staff by providing an extra hand
  • Develop your teamwork and creativity skills through practical work
  • Help you get familiar with your local surroundings
  • Teach you helpful phrases in the local language
  • Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
  • Assist the locals with construction and renovation efforts in an organized team
  • Create cultural exchange opportunities through our efforts with the locals
  • Give you some practical experience in light renovation work

Schedule

Week 1

Sunday

  • Introduction and Orientation to the placement and week schedule
  • Introduction Laos Culture
  • Laos Do's and Don't
  • Walk around the surrounding area
  • Lao Language Classes
  • Lao cooking Classes

Monday

  • Introduction to Laos students / Laos Participants. (There is also the possibility to do this with Western students/participants)
  • Presentation about Hong Kong and Hong Kong culture towards Laos students.
  • Presentation about Laos towards Hong Kong Students
  • A visit to the project site, assessment onsite about the project for the upcoming 2 weeks.
  • Play sports (Volleybal/soccer) with local students, local staff and Western participants.

Tuesday

  • Tour around the agriculture center
  • Local agriculture practicum (vegetable planting, fish farming etc)
  • Make Flower offering and visit a local temple.
  • Intercultural Exchange with Western participants
  • Presentation about your country and culture

Wednesday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Thursday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Friday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Saturday

  • After breakfast leave for Vientiane
  • Visit Cope Center (watch Bombies video)
  • Visit Patuxai, Golden Pagoda and Wat Sisaket
  • Go to the riverside
  • Have Dinner at the riverside
  • Visit the Night market
  • Back to the center in Ban Nanyang

Week 2

Sunday

  • Visit a local temple and learn how to meditate from a monk.
  • Local Laos handicraft making (with Laos students)
  • Laos Dance lessons (with Laos students)
  • Practice for the goodbye performances

Monday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Tuesday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Wednesday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Thursday

  • Construction and Renovation (temple/ primary school)
  • Teaching + after school activities (primary school)
  • Play sports, Cultural exchange activities with Laos Students/Western participants/ local staff

Friday

  • Construction and Renovation (Primary school)
  • Teaching (Primary school)
  • Goodbye ceremony at the school (Performances)
  • BBQ during the evening

Saturday

  • Visit local families / families of the students and their houses.
  • Visit local NGO
  • Goodbye performances; dances, sports, music and other cultural performances that are typical for your country/culture
  • Goodbye Ceremony (Certificates, say goodbye to local staff and other participants)

***This schedule may change due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions***

   Note:   This schedule may change due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: No

Passport copy required: No

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

There are no further requirements for this program.

Additional Equipment

  • Optional: It’s a great idea to bring Cultural items of interest to share!
  • Modest clothing (covering the knees and shoulders) is required for school visits.

About Vientiane (Naxaythong District)

Ban Houakhoua Village is located in the Naxaythong District, located about 25 kilometers from Vientiane, the country’s capital. This location allows for the best of both worlds, its rural nature will give you a taste of Laos while still being close enough to the city!

Accommodation in Vientiane (Naxaythong District)

The accommodation is tucked away in the countryside of Laos, allowing you to get a true taste of Laotian sceneries. It has a sports area where you can play football or volleyball with other participants!

It is surrounded by rice fields and lakes, which you can take advantage of through activities such as swimming and boating.

Food arrangements

We offer a variety of Western and delicious Laotian dishes accompanied with a lot of fruit.

Facilities

Shops

You can find simple groceries and beverages sold in two local restaurants located next to the accommodation. There are also shops and a local market located 3 minutes and 10 minutes away respectively, by foot.

There is a lake-side makeshift restaurant just for us, where you can enjoy the evenings and order Western or Laotian food at reasonable prices.

Transportation

Vientiane is located about 25 kilometers away and it is very easy to reach via public transport from our center and back. Anything that you might need can be found there, with its numerous shopping malls, a cinema and local markets to explore! There are also bikes available for you to use to explore the area during the afternoons.

Money

The closest ATM machine can be found on the main road to Vientiane, approximately 5 kilometers from the accommodation. We advise all participants to bring some local currency with them for personal expenses, although you don’t need a lot of money when you stay with us, participants can exchange money or use the ATM at the airport when they arrive.

Activities & Events

Tuesday, Evenings

There is a BBQ night every Tuesday, which provides a perfect opportunity to relax and spend time with other participants on our lakeside restaurant!

Wednesday, Evenings

Cozy movie night at the accommodation

Thursday, Evenings

We will head to a local restaurant to enjoy one of Southeast Asia’s favorite activities – Karaoke! (or “sing a song”, as the locals like to call it)

Sights & Surroundings

Vientiane City

A laid-back, French-influenced city situated on the banks of the Mekong River and is located only 25 minutes away from our center. This ancient city, is different from any other capital city in Southeast Asia. With its authentic Laotian and French colonial style, it truly is ‘a pearl at the Mekong”.

Vang Vieng

A favorite go-to place for our participants during their weekends! The city is a major backpacker hub, made famous thanks to its nightlife and outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and kayaking.

Luang Prabang

Although a bit further afield it is still worth the journey for sure. It is one of the most beautiful towns in Southeast Asia thanks to its alluring mountainous landscapes and riverside location!

Quick Facts

Name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Population: 7 million

Capital: Vientiane

Language: Lao

Currency: Kip (LAK)

Time zone: ICT +7:00

Country Information

Once known as the ‘land of a million elephants’, Laos is the only landlocked country in Asia, bordered by Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It became a French protectorate in 1893 and finally became an independent country in 1953 with a constitutional monarchy. This monarchy however was shortly ended by a long civil war. Today Laos is a single-party socialist republic whilst remaining strongly influenced by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnam People’s Army. The Laotian people make up roughly 60% of the population whilst indigenous groups and hill tribes account for 40% of the Laotian population.

It is a country that has a lot to offer whether it’s the underground river caves, the white-water rapids and jungle zip lines for thrill seekers, the beautiful forests for trekkers and nature lovers or the wonderful cuisine for the foodies!

Climate

The average temperature in Laos is around 29°C although in the cooler months, temperatures can drop to around 15-20°C. It has a tropical monsoon climate with its rainy season spanning from May to October. The dry season can be subdivided into two categories: the cool, dry season spanning from November to February and then the hot, dry season which lasts from March up to April.

High season in Laos tends to be from November to March when the temperatures are more agreeable, note that prices rise accordingly during this period too! July and August can be quite wet with high humidity but the landscape becomes especially greener during this time. The low season months can be found from April to June and September to October. April and May are especially hot, this is when temperatures are most likely to reach 40°C, the months of September and October can be incredibly wet as well.

Culture

Like its neighbours Cambodia and Thailand, Theravada Buddhism is the dominant form of religion in Laos and has a significant influence in Laotian culture, playing a role in its language, art, literature and performing arts.

It is a country that has managed to retain its authenticity and traditions, more so than some of its neighbours which are becoming increasingly modernised and succumbing to western influences in many ways.

Gastronomy

The staple food in Laos is steamed sticky rice, which is thought to have originated in Laos. The Laotian people are thought of as the largest consumers of sticky rice in the world. Galangal (comparable to ginger), lemongrass, and padaek (fermented fish sauce) are all important ingredients in Lao cuisine.

Transportation

Most of the towns and cities in Laos are easy to discover by foot but taxis and tuk-tuks are available for those who prefer not to walk.

Songthaew

Often called “minivans”, songthaew means “two rows” in Thai. They are a kind of pickup truck with a roof with benches in the back. This is a very local and authentic way to travel short distances in Laos and the most economic way as well.

Plane

Lao Airlines offers domestic flights and will get you anywhere within 40 minutes including destinations that would take a 12 hour bus ride to reach. Downside? It is costly as the airline’s routes are near-monopolized. The popular Vientiane-Luan Prabange flight costs around 200 USD one-way.

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