Like most other reviewers, we stayed here just one night, traveling up the Mekong, visiting the Pak Ou caves en route. There were ten of us on the private boat from Luang Prabang, and we were accompanied by a very pleasant Laotian guide from Kamu Lodge.
We arrived before lunch and were met at the waterside by staff who carried our bags if we wished. Since the river was very low (April), there were a good number of steps up to the Lodge, with the lower ones being very sandy. We had a small greeting from the assembled staff and were then led to our rooms.
These are spacious and reasonably comfortable "safari" tents, with stone foundations and attached bathroom facilities. Lots of mosquito nets which seemed to do their job. Two single beds with plenty of covers that were comfortable. Lighting was overhead, and either on or off. I was glad I brought my headlamp for late night reading, although a flashlight was provided in each room. I never managed to get any hot (or warm) water, although my husband got the shower temperature up to warm by the time he had finished. One bar of soap provided.
Lunch was a good selection of of Lao food, and beer and wine was available if required. The afternoon was given over to the various activities that Kamu advertises. I was feeling unwell, so didn't participate, but got full reports from my traveling companions. It was evidently all a little disappointing, although the fishing and gold panning were fun to do. The area covered by Kamu Lodge is quite small, obviously very close to the Mekong, and surrounded by rice paddies and then forest.
Everyone enjoyed the visit to the local village, from which the staff are trained, and there were various handicrafts for sale. I missed out on dinner as well, which was at the village. Guests could enjoy a drink beforehand in the Lodge bar area, but the general consensus was that the food was pretty average, and perhaps the food that the villagers normally ate was a little more exciting and spicy.
Breakfast was either Asian or Western, with tea and coffee available. When I asked for another glass of orange juice I was told it was "all gone". A strange incident occurred when we were all packing up and getting ready to leave. Our Vietnamese friends were on the little terrace in front of their room and being watched by two of the maids. Then one of the young women walked on to the terrace and started talking with the other maid who was on the ground, picking at some vines. It was as if there were no guests in the area.
All in all, a little disappointing. My husband and friends agreed that one night was certainly more than enough. Perhaps if there were more open space to hike and stroll it would be more appealing. Having said that, the owners are apparently giving the local village employment and other opportunities. If you have never stayed in safari tent in a remote environment before this would be a good experience, if a pricey one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sitting along the Mekong River, Kamu Lodge offers the unique opportunity to experience slow travel with accommodation in our spacious "African Safari" tents, each with a private balcony and thatched roofs. Our tents provide all necessary comforts and great river views. Using only solar power energy at the lodge, rooms have lights, fans and each has an en-suite private bathroom with shower facilities. The experience includes boat transfers to and from Luang Prabang. Step back in time visiting and getting to know the people from the neighboring Kamu Ethnic Minority Village. Activities include the chance to learn traditional crafts from the Kamu people of net fishing, gold panning and to learn with a "hands on" opportunity of rice planting and harvesting. We also offer traditional massages that complement the experience. Enjoy al fresco dining at the lodge's rustic restaurant in the middle of the rice fields. We serve Lao specialties, offering lunch, dinner and breakfast included in the package. There is also a well-stocked bar, offering a delicious selection of drinks and refreshments. Kamu Lodge is in Yoi Hai Village, a 2.5-hour boat ride from Luang Prabang, tour includes a stop at the revered Pak Ou Caves. The 2 day 1 night package departs Luang Prabang daily at 9.00am, returning the following day before 4pm ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kamu Hotel Luang Prabang