Kamu Lodge Laos
The Tented Camp Adventure (families welcome)
As we were planning our tour through Laos with our children, we took on the quest to arrange each single night in a truly special place. Sure you may agree, in the end of the day, the place you sleep in is just as important as the experiences and adventures that a modern family of explorers encounters during the days in Laos.
I’m an experienced camper and boy scout,
needless to say I like the idea of staying in a tent in the Lao jungles. It was sounding just as appealing to me as it was daunting for my family.
Kamu Lodge is located in the midst of the jungle on the banks of the Mekong River in a remote area of Laos. But staying at Kamu Lodge is only half the adventure, as each stay at Kamu Lodge actually starts with a wonderful Mekong River cruise that includes a visit to the holy caves of Pak Ou. Here we could explore Buddhist history and traditions with our guide who showed us some of the remarkable details of the statues and the long history of the caves.
After following the Mekong upstream passing local villages, lush green mountains as well as astonishing rock formations in the Mekong, we were met on a sandbank, welcomed with a sign saying “This is Kamu Lodge”, not yet knowing what to expect. We could not yet see how we would spend the night but instead were first invited to have a refreshing drink, overlooking the small valley of light green illuminated rice paddies.
At Kamu Lodge it’s all about the experience and while we were walked to our (truly cool) expedition tents, our kids were taken care of with other activities and could follow the local crowd to attend some fun activities while we nestled in for the night.
The afternoon invited us to hang out and go exploring with our local guide. There is a lot of learning involved through the tour that we could take part in. Our kids had plenty of questions about the local life, schooling and daily work. We went for a short walk from Kamu Lodge, visiting the local community. Interaction with the Kamu people in the village is a really fun component, and we were able to learn how to make rice wine, the local ‘lao hai’ as well as making some local food. We went fishing, learning how to hold and throw a Lao fishing net. At the end of the day we enjoyed a calm sunset on the sandy banks of the Mekong.
Needless to say, evening came too quick, and the family would have been up for more adventures…well certainly the kids. The evening invites visitors for a candlelit dinner and relaxed atmosphere over the rice paddies with local food.
While talking to the local resident manager of Kamu Lodge, we learnt more about Kamu Lodge’s involvement with the local community, namely the jobs they provide for locals and the sourcing of local building material, training and educational support they constantly provide. It’s good to know that the cooperation with such a business leans on the pillars of sustainable tourism, which I personally have a high regard for. In the spirit of creating a sustainable environment for both visitors and the community, solar panels fixed to the rooftops keep the fans and lights running…well, almost all night.
In the evening we retired to our private tent and enjoyed the sounds of nature, and really only this and nothing else. While drifting asleep with the memories of the day we had achieved two things. Most importantly we had given our kids a great day and secondly were accepted in the world of ex-campers, we just became ‘GLAMPERS’ (clearly the deluxe version of campers)!
Info to keep in mind: KAMU LODGE:
HAVE TO BOOK BEFORE! Ask a specialist tour operator
Make sure you understand where the boat leaves
Bring some crackers and special snacks if you fancy
Bring small money for tips and village stuff you can buy (e.g. bamboo spoons)
Bring a flashlight (headlamp) for the walks at night
Yes you may charge your phone, but only a short time
Booking Kamu Lodge through an agent may give you discounts
The 2 day 1 night is fine, but if you have time and bring books,…DO THE 3 DAY STAY! DON’T BRING GIFTS OR CANDIES for the local kids
PLEASE LEAVE your cellphone
BRING your camera