One of the highlights of my previous visit to Laos was completing an Elephant Mahout course - that is, how to ride the elephant solo, commanding it and looking after it. It was an incredible experience, and one I wanted my mum and sister to experience too, especially as we're all animal lovers. We were kitted out in a mahout uniform before spending the day riding the elephants (sans seating), feeding them bananas, learning commands in Lao, and finishing with a bath in the river - which had to be the highlight of the whole experience.
Elephants are such beautiful and graceful animals, and it was such privilege to be up, close and personal with them! It made for a very memorable day, full of laughs and us being in total awe of these incredible animals. I highly, highly recommend jumping at the chance of doing anything similar if the opportunity arises.
Also, a big shout out to our elephant guide for some of the photos!
next: more from Luang Prabang and then it's on to Hanoi, Vietnam!