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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Laos

The Orchid Trek in Phou Khao Khouay National Park

On this peaceful day trip, guests really enjoy trekking through Phou Khao Khouay National Park to see orchids in their natural environment….

By Bertrand Laville
Expert guide to orchids and forest plants

The Orchid Trek Phou Khao Khouay National Park, Laos

On this peaceful day trip, guests really enjoy trekking through Phou Khao Khouay National Park to see orchids in their natural environment. For me, the highlight of the tour is the panoramic forest view from Pha Say at the start of the trail, which looks over a 40-metre-high gorge and thick jungle. Swimming in Tad Say waterfall is also popular with guests and the perfect way to cool down after our walk.

The Orchid Trek was born 10 years ago after I unexpectedly met some locals from Ban Hatkhay Village. We now work together in a fair-trade agreement; I bring in the customers and about 15 people from the village act as trekking guides and protect the area against illegal orchid collection. Part of our income is donated to park rangers that we collaborate with for this conservation work and to reintroduce orchids that have been taken.

Phou Khao Khouay National Park is very rich in a variety of orchids and other plants, notably the Dipterocarpus family of hard-wood trees with flowering medicinal plants. The trek follows well-maintained paths through bamboo and semi-deciduous forest and lasts about four to five hours. This includes breaks, a picnic and swim at the waterfall. We can adapt the trekking difficulty to accommodate our guests.

As we walk, two guides and an orchid expert will teach you about medicinal plants and you’ll see a variety of orchids – in some places all the rocks are covered with them. Guests love to relax at the waterfall and swim in a natural pool while guides prepare a tasty picnic. This includes a mix of vegetables, herby omelette, meat, fish laap, ginger and kafir lime leaves and sticky rice from the village.

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Alfred & Bertrand Laville

Bertrand Laville hails from France, where he studied horticulture and trained as a landscaper. He moved to Laos in 2003 and learned about orchids with two Dutch botanists. Bertrand now runs Vientiane Orchidees, which organises trekking tours, and works on various orchid identification projects for the government and private companies.
Bertrand Laville, orchid trek Laos

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Laos. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guide who can hone your pétanque skills while playing with the locals, the conservationist who can take you trekking with Asian elephants and the monks who can school you in the craft of Makbeng and Pasaat Pheung making.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656