White Elephant Adventures
White Elephant Adventures
4.5
Eco Tours • Hiking & Camping Tours • Kayaking & Canoeing • Day Trips
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About
White Elephant Adventures is a team of Laotians, and Canadians enthusiastic about organizing adventurous and educational hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking tours in the UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang. We'll take you trekking through dense Laos jungle, swimming at crystal-blue waterfalls, whitewater kayaking down tributaries of the Mekong, and exploring remote ethnic Hmong and Khmu hill-tribes on unforgettable homestays. At White Elephant Adventures we are passionate about making sure each visitor's experiences are authentic and uncrowded and that the impact of these journeys on the local people and their environment is not only low, but positive through our community support initiative. We offer professionally guided single or multi-day adventures available for small groups of two to ten people. Larger groups are possible with prior arrangement. We also facilitate school expedition groups and community volunteer projects.
Luang Prabang, Laos

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
490 reviews
Excellent
384
Very good
67
Average
21
Poor
12
Terrible
6

Miss M
3 contributions
Mar 2019
I had a (too) short solo stay in Luang Prabang and I was looking for a day trip that would get me out on the water, but not on an impersonal packed tour boat. When Alex at WEA suggested a kayak trip, I was all in. The next morning myself and two girls who were travelling together were greeted by our lovely guide Aroun, who took great care of us for the rest of the day, periodically stopping at small river beaches we could swim/cool off in and dispersing tasty fresh food and water to keep our energy up. Aroun was a little shy with his English, which was perfectly adequate for all of us, but he answered all my curious questions about farming practices along the river and his Khmu culture as we kayaked along the peaceful Nam Ou River towards the the Pak Ou Cave where it meets the Mekong. The scenery there is stunning. At the river junction, the water gets a bit more turbulent but I never felt unsafe for a moment. What I did feel, at seeing and hearing the longboat tours with their blaring speakers and loud motors at the bottom of the cave, was how happy I was to be in a small group on two kayaks. The cave was quite impressive, and, if you play with the people selling you stuff on the steps going up, you can have a lot of fun. After being carried lovingly by the Mighty Mekong for a while, we were back on land at the so-called Whiskey Village, which was for me less about the scorpions in the whiskey bottles and more about the talents of the textile weavers we encountered. It was nearly impossible to choose among all the beautiful pieces, and their prices were better than at the town market. In sum, this was the highlight of my visa run to Laos, and I would highly recommend it :)
Written January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear TheLittleEastHobo, Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent kayaking trip with us. It sounds like you really did have a blissful day out, indeed, the scenery along the Nam Ou is stunning and due to the geography of limestone karst and jungle banks it limits development so allows guests to immerse themselves in nature and see river life up close, such as the fishermen tending to their nets or locals bathing or washing their clothes on the rocks. Its great to hear this was the highlight of your trip; I hope you get to make it back again and perhaps even try one of our famous overnight treks. Thank you for recommending White Elephant Adventures. Best wishes from Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written February 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Salim H
7 contributions
Feb 2020
We did the 3D/2N village trek as a 2D/1N option as we are experienced hikers. Alex helped guide that planning via email prior to our arrival in Luang Prabang and did a great job with that. Our guide Song was wonderful; knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. The homestay in the village was really authentic; it truly felt like we got a glimpse into a village family's life. For people looking for an authentic experience and a window into rural Lao life, combined with a beauful trek, I would highly recommend Alex, Song, and their team.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear 507salimh, Thank you for taking the time to write a review here and for the kind words. I'm pleased to see you had a wonderful experience and appreciated the authenticity of the villages, and Song's skills. Thank you for recommending White Elephant Adventures, and I hope you have an awesome onward journey from Luang Prabang. All the best, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written March 2, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Libra_Leia
6 contributions
Jan 2020 • Friends
To anyone considering this trek, i would urge you to go for it!
Alex who booked the tour for us was so well informed and honest, giving us a very good first impression and answering all our questions before we set off on the 3 day trek.
Our guide, Vone, was truly wonderful, so friendly and kind and full of knowledge about the various people groups living in the villages we passed through. He also showed us what wild fruits and plants we could eat abd explained the medicinal uses of many other plants, which i found fascinating.
The 2 homestays were both very cosy and comfortable, with delicious vegetarian food served for both lunch and dinner to suit or dietary requirements.
The landscape was truly beautiful and the trekking itself was mostly along quiet forest trails which made me feel very far away from the modern world and very at peace.
In summary, i would use White Elephant Adventures again in a heartbeat, and i hope you have just as amazing a time with them!
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear LibraLeia, Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent 3 day trek with White Elephant Adventures and for the kind words. It's great to hear you had an amazing time and learnt lots about the varying cultures and medicinal plants along the trail from Vone. I'm pleased you appreciated our flexibility regarding food, by having our own dedicated cook we don't just buy a vegetarian options such as a boring baguette or cheap noodles at an unvetted roadside stall, though the guide cooks in the evenings for the overnight tours using local produce. Indeed, the area of our 3 day trek has some very beautiful scenery, with mountain scenery and a good amount of primary jungle, not just teak plantations and farmland common which is common with many operators. This scenery and location as you noted really does help one re-connect with nature and reflect on things giving a sense of peace. Thank you for choosing us and also for the recommendation. I hope you have a great onward journey from Luang Prabang and get to make it back to beautiful Laos again one day. Best wishes, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written February 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Luke M
5 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Had a great day at the full day Kayaking tour along Ou and Mekong river stopping at Pak Ou caves and whiskey village along the route. Our guide was extremely friendly and had very good English and provided us with lots of interesting information about the route Laos and Laos people/various tribes. Would highly recommend to someone who enjoys Kayaking and learning a bit about Laos people.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear lukeG3886QG, Thank you for taking the time to write a review here. I'm pleased to hear you had a great day out kayaking to the Pak Ou Caves and that you learnt lots of cultural information from the guide. Indeed, we have some of the best guides in town who are super knowledgeable and friendly. Thank you for recommending White Elephant Adventures, and I hope you have a great rest of your stay in Laos. All the best, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written February 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pennyworth
Truro, UK53 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Perfect day kayaking with the two of us and our lovely English speaking guide Song. We started at 8.15 to go in a tuk tuk to collect the kayaks then drove 1 hour uphill which made for a leisurely downstream paddle. Rivers, small rapids, swims limestone cliffs with echos. A stop at the Buddha river cave for an ok lunch ( only adequate but free!) then joining the Mekong and its traffic . Stopping at the “whisky “ village for a free tasting and on to see 80 stalls selling scarves.. apparel at better prices than the night market in LP. Returning in the tuktuk to our hotel for around 4.30. At 450 Kipp (£40pp) a great day out.
Written February 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear catherinewT9787RT, Thank you for taking the time to write a review here. I am pleased you perfect day out kayaking with our guide Song recently. Hopefully you were't seeing double after the free whisky tasting but indeed there are numerous handicraft stalls to browse at the Whisky village for anyone looking for a bargain souvenir. I hope you have a geta onward journey from Luang Prabang. Best wishes, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written February 26, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

guidogeorge
1 contribution
Feb 2020
Had a great two-day trek with Song, not too physically demanding. Really enjoyed communicating with locals and staying in the largest, rural village that I've ever visited. I was able to join a mother and her young daughter on this trek, which saved me some cash too!
Written June 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear guidogeorge, Thank you for taking the time to write a review here. I'm pleased you had a great trek with Song and took the opportunity to engage with the locals. It's also good to hear you found it not too demanding, often people worry if they would cope, but most of our treks are designed for the majority of people with reasonable fitness, including young kids as you noted too. I hope you had a wonderful onward journey from Luang Prabang. Best wishes, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written June 9, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ingrid T
Oslo, Norway30 contributions
Mar 2020
I signed up for the 3D/2N trek based on all the wonderful reviews, and I can say for sure: they are all true. I had such a great time hiking in the jungle, entering remote villages where local people lived. The group consisted of 6 people, which was a perfect size. We had two guides who did everything they possible could to make us happy. They took time to get to know each and every one of us and new all of our names by the time the 1 hour drive to the start point was over. They climbed trees to provide us with fruit on the way, they thought us about plants and greens in the forrest and not to mention all the knowledge they shared about the country, the villages we visited and the culture of the people. They spoke English and French fluently, which made the conversations very easy. The food was simple but good. It’s important to remember that you hike in very remote areas and you can only eat what the villages can provide, so don’t expect a huge selection. However, the food was great. I am celiac, and they made sure I got food I could eat.

We hiked about 10km per day which was a very manageable distance, but its not all easy. Make sure you know your own body strength and endurance.

I could write a long story about all of this, but the only thing needed to be said is that this is a great company to use if you want to go trekking in Luang Prabang! Great, people and an amazing experience!
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Ingrid h, Thank you for the wonderful review and kind words. I am so pleased you had such an amazing adventure and appreciated the friendliness and quality of our guides. I can honestly say that everyone on our team at White Elephant Adventures genuinely cares about our guest's experiences and I am sure they will be motivated and proud when they read this review. Indeed, the large majority of our tours are suitable for all the family from kids of 5 years (sometimes younger) to the young at heart of 76 years (sometimes older), so for anyone that has any hesitation, by all means just send us an mail to discuss further and we will reply in total honesty about the trails and our opinion. Thank you for recommending us and I hope you have a great stay in Luang Prabang. Best wishes, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written March 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Designatedroamer
London, UK76 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
My partner and I booked onto the tour last minute (the the night before by walking into the office on the main street at around 7pm). I had initially planned on pre booking a 1 day Trek and Kayak tour to Tad Sae rather than to Pak Ou (we had already been to pak ou) but fell ill and so joined this existing tour instead after walking in and hearing the scenery on the pak ou route was more scenic overall (more mountains) and being warned the tad se waterfalls were dry at the time.

The next day we assembled for the tour at the White Elephant office at 8.15 and met the other 5 tourists and 2 guides. We walked a short distance to the truck with the kayaks pre-loaded, and made our way over to the launch site (45 min drive).

After getting a short kayak instruction and getting our life jackets and helmets, we were on the Ou River. The water was low and there were a couple of mini rapids. My partner and I are not particularly in shape, he has never kayaked and I have a good amount of experience with canoes but more limited with kayaks. The rest of the group seemed more experienced / fit than us, but the guides were really attentive and stayed behind and helped us out when we got stuck on a rock, and then showed us a route requiring less skill. After exiting the Ou we went on to the Mekong, stopped at Pak Ou caves for lunch and sightseeing, and the a short kayak down the Mekong to the whisky village where we disembarked.

The day as a whole was quite a workout for us (maybe 4 h on the river), and the mini rapids were challenging for our steering ability, but even with our level nothing along the route felt too advanced or worrying, but rather fun. It was in fact very relaxing with gorgeous mountain scenery and a chance to see river life (e.g. people washing clothes as we kayaked nearby).

Overall we were very glad to have gone on the tour. Even though we had passed that part of the Mekong on slow boat already and had seen the caves, it was a totally different experience on kayak. The guides were friendly skilled and attentive. I was glad that we had some experience on canoes, but am confident that even those with even less experience would have been well catered for by the experienced and adaptable staff and would have throughly enjoyed.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Designatedroamer, Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review about your recent kayaking trip with us. Its great to hear you had a wonderful day and felt safe throughout in the presence of our experienced guides. The P15 is a lovely paddle downstream through beautiful scenery where you can still see the local people go about some of their daily activities. As you noted, we have a high guide to guest ratio, so if anyone is less confident on the water it is often possible for them to sit with one of the guides. I hope you have a wonderful onward journey from Luang Prabang. All the best from Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written January 14, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Allen M
Brevard, NC14 contributions
Dec 2019
We did the three day/two night remote hill tribe trek with our two adult daughters. Besides the four of us, there were two other couples that became good friends by the end of the trip. For the eight of us, there were two wonderful guides that spoke great english (and French) that not only took great care of us but were very entertaining and informative. From them, and our interactions with the people in the two villages, we learned a lot about life in Laos. A lucky absolute highlight for us was in our second village where the village chief's daughter was getting married. The locals fully invited us to celebrate with them and we danced and partied until our tired legs could take no more. Highly, highly recommend this trip and this company.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear 677allenm, Thank you for taking the time to write a review here about your recent 3 day trek with us. It's always great to hear when our treks are the highlight of people's Southeast Asia trip, something that we are actually hearing more and more often, and in someways this is also sad to hear as it must mean other companies are not following sustainable ways... I'm pleased you appreciated our guides and found them to be entertaining and informative, and that you were able to enjoy a wedding party. We never know what will be happing in a village until we arrive so indeed this was great luck indeed.Thank you for recommending White Elephant Adventures and I hope you have a wonderful onward journey from Luang Prabang. All the best, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written January 31, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katja G
Venlo, The Netherlands5 contributions
Feb 2020
Perfect arranged kayaking tour on the Nam Ou and Mekong River incl. transfer from LB to the start poging, delicious lunch, 2 friendly and helpful guids, surrounded by beautiful nature and of course a visit to the Pak Ou cave. I can recommend this activity!
PS - you can do it even you never die kayaking before!
Written June 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear 27913080, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Its wonderful to hear you had a great day out kayaking with us and found the lunch delicious. We are the only adventure tour company here to have our own dedicated cook so we're glad it shows. As you noted, the tour is suitable for beginners, as we have double seater sit on top kayaks which are sturdy, and comfortable with the fabric seats inside (the only tour company here to have so). I hope you had a safe onward journey from Luang Prabang and get to return again one day. Best wishes, Alex and the whole WEA team!
Written June 11, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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White Elephant Adventures - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)