Is this for me?
YES if you are:
- A lover of beauty, travel and photography, keen to learn about new photography opportunities, tips and tricks and be guided to spectacular locations to create long-lasting images while enjoying the company of like-minded people
- Looking for a small group (maximum of 10) where everyone is given individual attention, guidance and tuition.
Where will we go?
This holiday is in and around Luang Prabang in Laos, a UNESCO world heritage site and arguably one of the most beautiful spots in South-East Asia.
Luang Prabang sits at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers and is considered by many travel writers as being the heart of Laotian culture. This picturesque town is home to no less than 33 Wats (temples) and rituals such as the morning alms giving Buddhist monk procession, its night markets, river sunsets and sunrises and nearby spectacular waterfalls mean that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to photography opportunities.
One of the most beautiful spots in the vicinity of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterfall. This is the biggest in the area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular turquoise pools before flowing downstream. We will be spending the best part of a day here after a boat trip on the Mekong River. Needless to say there will be quite a few photographic opportunities here.
We will be staying in a hotel that overlooks Nam Khan River and is within walking distance of all local eateries, and the famous Night Market, a symphony of colour, sounds and appetising aromas of street food. We will treat you to dinner like a local here to sample authentic delicacies one fine warm evening!
When are we going?
Our 5-day photography holiday takes place in Luang Prabang between 16th – 20th May 2018.
- Single occupancy accommodation with breakfast for 4 nights in a lovely traditional hotel in central Luang Prabang
- Transfers to and from hotel / airport
- Day trip to Kuang Si Waterfalls, Pak Ou caves and surrounding villages
- All transport as required while on the tour
- Group and individual photography instruction, reviews and feedback by Matt and Andreea of Light and Imagination UK.
What’s not included?
- International and internal travel to get to and from Luang Prabang
- Travel Visas (if required)
- Meals or drinks other than specified
- Shopping and personal extras
- Travel and medical insurance (required)
What can I expect in terms of photography tuition?
Each day, Matt and Andreea, experienced UK photographers and founders of Light and Imagination, will be offering individual and group advice tailored to the needs of the group (which will be assessed during pre-trip consultations and on Day 1 of the tour).
We will run short workshops or 1:1 sessions to teach you various techniques and how to use certain equipment. These will be brief and mostly on-location, so we make the most of our time in Luang Prabang – they will also be relevant to the photographic opportunities presented to us on the day.
We will offer as much or as little tuition and advice as you want so the tour caters for all levels of experience. All workshops, tips and tricks or feedback sessions are of course entirely optional – it’s not a boot camp! We will always be available to help you with your shots and camera through the day on all days except any free time as stated in the itinerary. You can just ask Matt and Andreea for help on an ad-hoc basis or schedule individual sessions that provide more focussed opportunities to review your work or receive advice on anything you’re struggling with.
What can I expect on the ground?
With a fantastic location overlooking Nam Khan River and just a few steps away from the busy crowds making sure peace a quiet are enjoyed as well, our hotel is close to everything within walking distance. Featuring elegant, simple and traditional Lao decor and furniture, we have all the modern mod-cons too, with en-suite non-smoking guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and free Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the hotel. The rooms are fitted with hardwood flooring, air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a minibar and electric kettle.
Our price is based on single room occupancy therefore there will be no single supplement to be paid on top of the advertised tour price. The advertised price also includes all local taxes and fees, so again, no extras or hidden costs!
Included in the tour price is breakfast at the hotel, as well as informal street food dinner at the night market on Day 2. Other meals are not included in the price but we will be dining together (if you wish!) for the majority of the tour. We are spoiled for choice in this location, with a variety of local and international dishes available, as well as traditional and modern Lao cuisine. Our hotel is within walking distance of the main street in Luang Prabang and the Night Market as well as both the Nam Khan and the Mekong river, which abound in places to eat and drink.
Physical activity level:
There will be some walking involved as well as stairs to climb at a couple of locations. However getting about in between locations will be done via air-conditioned cars, boat or traditional ‘tuk-tuk’s. As there are two photographers on the trip, we have the flexibility of splitting the group if necessary (see daily itinerary options where applicable), so we can tailor the level of physical activity as needed. If you have any mobility or health concerns please do speak to us to ensure you will be able to safely enjoy the trip.
Laos enjoys great weather throughout the year, with May being towards the end of the dry season, making it a good month to visit as temperatures are high (average 29°C), there isn’t a lot of rain and the crowds are possibly thinner than earlier in the year. Expect hot weather so make sure you bring adequate clothing, footwear and sun protection.
What to bring:
Photographic equipment: Camera(s), Batteries, Chargers, Travel adaptors (suitable for Laos), Lenses, Tripod, Filters, Flashes (if you have them and want to use them), Memory Cards, Laptop for back up and editing, ideally with Lightroom installed if you wish to receive any Lightroom editing tuition or feedback during the trip. A sturdy camera bag, preferably a rucksack and not a trolley case for the days we are out and about.
Medication and essentials: Please ensure you bring any medication you require, plus we recommend having a small personal medical kit containing essentials.
Clothing and footwear: Pack suitable clothes for a hot, possibly rainy, summer day. As we may be walking a lot, comfortable walking shoes are a must, as are rainproof clothes (and covers for your equipment) but also sun protection.
Once you decide to book your trip, we will provide a consultation to facilitate planning and packing!
Light and Imagination Photography Holidays
Booking Terms and Conditions
- Our contract
All bookings are made with Light and Imagination. By booking a trip with us you are deemed to have agreed to these Booking Conditions (which constitutes the entire agreement between you and us) and your booking will be accepted by us on this basis. The services to be provided are those referred to in your booking confirmation invoice.
Dates, itineraries and prices are valid from publishing time until the end of the booking period for each individual holiday.
- Deposit requirement
You are required to pay a deposit of a percentage of your trip as indicated on the website and on your invoice per person per trip. Your booking is not confirmed until that deposit payment is made. If your booking is made within 60 days of the departure date then the full amount is payable at the time of booking.
- Acceptance of booking and final payments
If we accept your booking we will issue a confirmation invoice. A contract will exist between us from the date we receive payment into our bank account or within 7 days of departure the contract will exist when we accept your payment. Please refer to your booking confirmation invoice for details regarding final payments. Payment of the balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. If this balance is not paid on or before the due date we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled.
- Your details
In order for us to confirm your travel arrangements you must provide all requested details with the balance of the trip price. Necessary details include full name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, passport number, passport issue and expiry date and any pre-existing medical conditions you have which may affect your ability to complete your travel arrangements. We also require you to complete and forward a Self-Assessment form. Your booking cannot be confirmed without provision of these details.
- Cancellation by the traveller
If you cancel some or all portions of your booking cancellation fees will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:
- 14 days after booking we will return your deposit minus any bank charges we have had to pay.
- between 14 days after booking and 90 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% of the deposit paid.
- less than 90 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% of all monies paid by you in connection with the booking.
You are strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance at the time of booking which will cover cancellation fees. If you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.
- Cancellation by Light and Imagination
We may cancel a trip at any time up to 90 days before departure, subject to clause 13. We may cancel a trip at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your trip, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or alternatively receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights.
The price of your trip includes:
– all accommodation as listed in the Itinerary for your chosen trip
– all transport listed in the Itinerary for your chosen trip
– entrance fees and meals as listed in the Itinerary for your chosen trip
For other inclusions please refer to the specific itinerary.
The price of your trip does not include:
– international or internal flights unless specified in the Itinerary for your chosen trip airport
– taxes and excess baggage charges unless specified
– meals other than those specified in the Itinerary for your chosen trip
– visa and passport fees
– travel insurance
– optional activities and all personal expenses
– tips for local staff
For other exclusions please refer to the specific itinerary.
All prices are quoted in GBP
- Age & Health requirements
Minimum General Policy: The minimum age for children is 12. All travellers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care. Please note we cannot guarantee triple or joining rooms for families;
Maximum General Policy: We have no upper age limit, though we remind you that our trips can be physically demanding and a Self-Assessment Health form is required for all passengers.
We are able to provide details on mandatory health requirements; however, we are not medical experts. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain proper and detailed medical advice at least two months prior to travel for the latest health requirements, recommendations for your destination and any costs. Where you do not seek advice and either are not allowed to enter any country, or suffer personal injury or death as a result, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage that you suffer nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements.
- Small groups
Our trips are guaranteed to depart once the minimum number of travellers has been reached (usually 5 – please refer to specific holiday for details). The maximum number of travellers per holiday is 10. When confirming your booking after payment of a deposit is received, we will confirm the cut-off date when we can inform you that the holiday is definitely going ahead (this is when the minimum number of bookings has been reached), no later than 90 days before scheduled departure date. We reserve the right to cancel the holiday if the minimum group number has not been reached – in which case clause 7 will apply. Check your specific holiday details for more information.
- Passport and visas
You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries in which you will visit during your trip. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond the duration of the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits and certificates for your trip. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.
- Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all Light and Imagination travellers and should be taken out at the time of booking. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must provide proof of your travel insurance on or before the first day of your trip; you will not be able to join the trip without it.
You appreciate and acknowledge that the nature of this type of travel requires considerable flexibility and you should allow for alternatives. The itinerary provided for each trip is representative of the types of activities contemplated but it is understood that the route, schedules, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to alteration without prior notice due to local circumstances or events.
- Change of itinerary
While we endeavour to operate all trips as described, we reserve the right to change the trip itinerary. Please refer to our website before departure for the most recent updates to your itinerary.
Before departure: If we make a major change we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible, if there is time to do so before departure. The definition of a major change is deemed to be a change affecting at least one day in five of the itinerary.
After departure: We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or events outside of our control. In such emergency circumstances the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itinerary such as visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional GBP500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
- Authority on tour
Our group trips are run by a tour leader. The decision of the tour leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any person participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a tour leader, or interfere with the wellbeing or mobility of the group, the tour leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with responsible travel guidelines.
- Acceptance of risk
You acknowledge that the nature of the trip is adventurous and participation involves a degree of personal risk. You will be visiting places where the political, cultural and geographical attributes may present dangers and physical challenges greater than those present in your daily lives.
We use information from government foreign departments and reports from our own contacts in assessing whether the itinerary should operate. However, it is also your own responsibility to acquaint yourself with all possible relevant travel information and the nature of your itinerary. You acknowledge that your decision to travel is made in light of consideration of this information and you accept that you are aware of the personal risks attendant upon such travel.
- Limitation of liability
We contract with a network of companies, government agencies and individuals to assist in the running of our trips as agent for these third parties. We are not responsible for the acts and omissions of these third parties.
To the fullest extent permitted by law:
- liability for any loss, death, injury or damage which you may suffer (directly or indirectly) in connection with or arising out of your participation in a trip, or any breach of the Booking Conditions, is excluded.
• you release us and our officers, employees, agents and representatives from any liability and expressly waive any claims you may have against us arising out of or in connection with your participation in a trip.
• any condition or warranty which would otherwise be implied by law into these Booking Conditions (Implied Warranty), is excluded.
To the extent an Implied Warranty cannot be excluded, our liability in respect of the Implied Warranty is limited to (in our absolute discretion): (i) the provision of a similar trip to an equivalent value; or (ii) a refund of the total amount received by us from you in connection with your booking.
Any claim by you is excluded to the extent that it is for indirect or consequential loss, loss of profits or economic loss, however it arises, or for indirect, special, punitive or exemplary damages.
- Optional activities
Optional activities not included in the trip price do not form part of the trip or this contract. You accept that any assistance given by your tour leader or local representative in arranging optional activities does not render us liable for them in any way. The contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and the activity provider.
- Claims & complaints
If you have a complaint about your trip please inform your tour leader at the time in order that they can attempt to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is not reached through these means then any further complaint should be put in writing to us within 30 days of the end of the tour.
In the event that any term or condition contained in these Booking Conditions is unenforceable or void by operation of law or as being against public policy or for any other reason, then such term or condition shall be deemed to be severed from this contract or amended accordingly only to such extent necessary to allow all remaining terms and conditions to survive and continue as binding.
Any personal information that we collect about you may be used for any purpose associated with the operation of a trip or to send you marketing material in relation to our events and special offers. The information may be disclosed to our agents, service providers or other suppliers to enable us to operate the trip.
- Applicable law
The laws of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland govern these Booking Conditions to the fullest extent allowable. Any disputes in connection with a trip or these Booking Conditions must be initiated in the courts of UK.
- Registered address
Light and Imagination is a UK Limited Company registered with the Companies House on 7th April 2016, registration number 10111271 operating from offices at 82 High Street Whitstable, KENT, CT5 1AZ.
Here at Light and Imagination we take our obligations seriously and always consider the impact of our business. As such we have responsible travel policy. You can find a copy of it here. Please click the button below to view or download a copy of our policy.
Thanks, Matt and Andreea.
Day 1: Luang Prabang
For those continuing their trip with us from Siem Reap (see Cambodia trip), we will fly into Luang Prabang airport and be transferred to the hotel. For those joining us in Luang Prabang, you will be collected from the airport or meet us at the hotel after lunchtime (if you are already in Laos). Once you are settled in your room and had a chance to unpack, we host an introduction meeting in the afternoon. We recognise that the group will be at different levels and skills. On this afternoon we can discuss what level you are at with your Photography. This will enable us to work out how much / what type of support you will need to make the most from this trip.
In the evening we will take a stroll through the beautiful centre of Luang Prabang and then stop to get dinner in one of the many outdoor places available by the Mekong River, which means we can watch the sun go down! This will give us an opportunity to get to know each other a little and talk about the rest of the trip.
Day 2: Wat Xieng Thong, Mount Phousi / Bamboo Bridge and the Night Market
In the morning, we will have breakfast together and then head to Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most renowned Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang. A symbol of great historic importance, this magnificent masterpiece is characteristic of the Luang Prabang style and features an elaborate tree of life mosaic, intricately carved walls, rare Buddhist deities and a 12-metre high funeral carriage. Also known as the ‘Golden Tree Monastery’, Wat Xieng Thong acts as a gateway to Luang Prabang as it is strategically situated close to where the Mekong joins the Nam Khan River.
We will break for lunch and then meet up again in the afternoon when we will have two options: climb up the stairs on Mount Phousi, home to more temples and rising 150m above the ground, affording panoramic views over Luang Prabang and the two rivers; or walk around Luang Prabang enriching your street photography portfolio and visiting some other sites such as the bamboo bridge over Nam Khan river etc. With two professional photographers there to guide you and be on point for any photographic advice you might need, we can run both these options in parallel if there is interest.
In the evening we will reconvene at the Night Market where we can taste delicious street food and have a go at night photography and capturing the amazing colours and sites of this established Luang Prabang evening pastime.
Day 3: Alms Giving Ritual, Kuang Si Waterfalls and Butterfly Park
It’s an early start for everyone today, but all worth it! Luang Prabang is the perfect place to see one of the most sacred Lao traditions, the Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony. Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to all the side streets. Despite being a highly revered ritual for locals, visitors are encouraged to be involved as long as a level of respect is maintained throughout. We will advise you beforehand of dos and don’ts as well as give you tips for best photographic captures, while maintaining decorum throughout.
After breakfast we will be traveling by private transport (included in your price) to one of the most beautiful spots in the vicinity of Luang Prabang, Kuang Si Waterfall. This is the biggest in the area with three tiers leading to a 50-metre drop into spectacular turquoise pools before flowing downstream. Needless to say there are a few photographic opportunities here including photographing the waterfalls and surrounding stunning natural setting. Bring your swimming costume if so inclined, as the pools are perfect for a dip! While here we will also be visiting the nearby Kuang Si Butterfly Park, admiring and photographing butterflies and plants typical to this beautiful region. We will return to Luang Prabang then it’s free time to enjoy a lazy evening by the river watching the sun go down.
Day 4: Mekong River and Pak Ou Caves
Today we will be taking another trip a little further away from Luang Prabang, about 20 miles north of the town. Following a scenic and comfortable boat ride along the Mekong, we will explore the fascinating mountain-top Pak Ou Caves, one of the most treasured religious symbols of the region, where over the years thousands of statues of Buddha have been deposited.
Throughout the day Matt and Andreea will guide you through photo opportunities available and offer as much tuition, support and feedback as you need.
Day 5: Luang Prabang
Depending on everyone’s onward travel plans, we have a few options for our last day.
In the morning after breakfast you have the opportunity to have feedback and review sessions with Matt and Andreea – these can be organised either as individual or group sessions. The aim will be to look at photographs taken during the trip and review these, giving tips for further editing / improvement for the future as desired. Of course, this is entirely optional and you can choose to spend the morning exploring some more of Luang Prabang or just chilling before your onward journey.
Alternatively, we can also organise a trip to nearby rice fields, this will be extra but one of the two photographers will come along and photography advice and feedback will be provided as needed. As there are 2 trainers available, we can always split the group depending on everyone’s preference. This is something we can decide the night before.