Visit the Orchid Farm in Vientiane and go for an orchid trek in nearby Phou Khao Kway Protected area.
What to experience ?
You will start the tour in the early morning to reach the edge of Phou Khao Kway protected area, where some villagers will be waiting to lead you through the jungle and show you the best places for wild orchid spotting. Phou Khao Kway still hosts 50% of all orchids species found in Laos.
Your trek will pass through deep jungle, near amazing waterfalls such as Tad Xay and Pha Xay, and you will lunch close to a river with your local guide. An expert in floral recognition, along the way he will give you details on orchids in Laos and the work done by the University to preserve them at the Orchid Farm located in Vientiane. He will explain to you the consequences of an eventual extinction of the species.
He will also be very keen to show you other plants and explain their role in daily life: cooking ingredients, medicinal plants, resin, wild fruit, and vegetables.
If you’re lucky you might even be able to spot some small wildlife and listen to birdsong. Should you want to stay longer, homestay in the village and/or camping can be organised on request, and your hosts will explain more about their lifestyle.
Once back in the capital, you can visit the Orchid Farm, developed as a collection for conservation, where you will discover more species.
How does it help ?
Orchids are a treasure of Laos and a great symbol to promote conservation to local people and to foreigners.
The project aims to improve local well-being, as well as to increase local incomes, and offers a tool for environmental and cultural awareness as well as orchid preservation and conservation by involving several stakeholders both in the public and private sectors. The Lao government warmly encourages ecotourism, which is why the orchid trek was established. It is a method of improving local villager’s well-being, as well as a way for the Forestry authority to find more funds to preserve natural resources. The Orchid Farm raises awareness about nature conservation among locals, expatriates, and tourists in Vientiane.
The trek has been launched in partnership with the park authorities, the Botanical department of the National University of Laos, and the villagers with the objective of curbing illegal wild-orchid harvesting and poaching activities. This new activity is a sustainable income and contributes to the creation of small businesses in the village: guides for trekking, food providers, and homestay. Part of the money from the trek goes to a local village development fund. Villager participation in park management and development gives the villagers a new vision of conservation and sustainability.
59/ 642 Ban Chonmany, Chanthabouly district, Vientiane capital
Tel: +856 (0)21 560 444
Orchids Farm: Vientiane.