Culture Week

Vientiane (Naxaythong District) - Laos

Culture Week

Vientiane (Naxaythong District) - Laos

Only 540€ per week!

Get a taste of the real Laos through hikes, culture lessons, city outings and more!

Bond with other participants from all over the world, immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of Laos, explore its scrumptious food, friendly people, unique traditions, and more! Get a unique experience in Laos, the often overlooked treasure of Southeast Asia, through visits to off-the-beaten path places, Vientiane’s highlights, temples, and hikes through wilderness caves.

Community Engagement
Physical Demand


Acconsiento al trattamiento de los datos personales sobre la base de la politica de Privacidad de AFSAI diponible en la pagina:

Program Description

The Culture Week will kick off with an introduction to Laos customs, do’s and dont’s and Laotian language classes. Further in the week, you can try your hand at local agriculture practices, meditation classes with a local monk, Laotian cooking classes, hikes through caves, mountains, lush nature and more! We’ll also enjoy a delicious and authentic riverside dinner overlooking the Thailand across the Mekong!

And of course, we couldn’t miss the chance to show you the ins and outs of the capital city, one which is quite different to other cities in Southeast Asia. We will visit the ever-amazing Golden Pagoda, find our way through the maze that is Laotian markets, learn about the country’s turmoiled past, how it still affects Laotian life to date at the COPE Center as well as experiencing the country’s fight for Independence at Victory Monument.

Aims & Objectives

  • Give you an understanding of Laotian customs, language, and history
  • Help you settle into the local lifestyle for a longer stay



  • Breakfast
  • Introduction meeting
  • Laotian language classes, Laotian do’s and don’ts and Laotian culture lessons
  • Tour around the compound and local area
  • Lunch
  • Vegetable planting
  • Dinner


  • Breakfast
  • Visit the local village
  • Lunch
  • Make flower offerings for the local temple
  • Laotian cooking classes
  • Dinner
  • Barbeque at the accommodation


  • Breakfast
  • Depart for Vientiane
  • Visit Cope Center and UXO exhibition
  • Lunch
  • Visit the morning market
  • Visit Victory Monument
  • Visit Patuxai, Golden Pagoda, Wat Sisaket Buddhist temples
  • Dinner at the riverside
  • NIght market and free time
  • Back to Naxaythong
  • Movie night at the accommodation


  • Breakfast
  • Hike and picnic overlooking the city of Vientiane
  • Meditation lessons
  • Dinner
  • Karaoke night at a local restaurant


  • Breakfast
  • Visit your future placement to get acquainted with the next week’s program
  • Lunch
  • Free time
  • Dinner

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: On Signup

Resume copy required: On Signup

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

  • Document(s) must be submitted 2 weeks prior to arrival date
  • Good fitness required for the half day hike included in the program

Additional Equipment

  • Long pants recommended for the hike, to protect from jungle insects
  • Modest clothing – ladies are requested to cover their shoulders and legs when visiting temples


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!

About the Accommodation

The accommodation is tucked away in the countryside of Laos, allowing you to get a true taste of Laotian sceneries. It is surrounded by rice fields and lakes and has a modern Lao restaurant at the  property entrance. Rooms are single gender with up to 6 participants per room. There are no hot water showers currently, but hot water for a bucket shower is available upon request. There are occasional power outages that can affect the pump which allows the flow of water, so it is important to keep your bucket filled in your bathroom in case this happens. There is no Wifi on the campus and we therefore recommend all participants purchase a local SIM card for internet access.

Food Arrangements

We offer a variety of local Laotian dishes. Participants may find that the cuisine is quite different from what they are used to at home, as there are very few western dishes served. Local dishes can sometimes be adapted to accommodate vegetarians, but can be a bit challenging with other dietary restrictions. Please inform the local team of your specific needs and they will do their best. However, please consider that it may not be possible to meet those personal tastes or guidelines everyday to your satisfaction. In instances like this we do suggest, bringing some of your own items to supplement the food being served.



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 also a pharmacy and local clinic located less than 5 kilometers away.

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.


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. It is important to note that the local transport stops running early, so you should check with the local team to ensure that you are returning early enough to catch it, as private transport can be quite pricey by local standards.


We advise all participants to bring some local currency with them for personal expenses, or use the ATM at the airport when they arrive. The closest ATM machine can be found on the main road to Vientiane, approximately 5 kilometers from the accommodation. Money can also be exchanged in Vientiane.

Activities & Events

These optional activities can be enjoyed by all participants of all programs staying at this location:

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 (or if preferred stay in our location) 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!


From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Sayaboury

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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