Responsible Travel UK (RT) runs a Trip for a Trip programme (T4T) – they have helped 5000 disadvantaged children to go on a fun day trip. These day trips are not only fun – they also show the children why tourists flock to their country in the hope children might see the benefit that tourism can bring to their local communities and local nature.

In conjunction with a local Tour operator, Tiger Trail Travel, a trip was organized for 25 students studying English and Computer studies in Luang Prabang at LEOT School. LEOT has operated a school since 2012 in Luang Prabang providing free lessons for disadvantaged students who are at least 16 years old.

The trip included three visits, the Lao Buffalo Dairy, Free the Bears (which is at Kuangsi Waterfalls) and Kuangsi Waterfalls, the no 1 tourist attraction in Luang Prabang.

Before departing, we had a briefing about the work Free The Bears does in Luang Prabang at their Rescue Centre in Luang Prabang.

Our first stop was the Lao Buffalo Dairy which is on the way to Kuangsi Waterfall.

In the heart of Laos, nestled amongst lush rice paddies and rolling hills, lies the one-and-only Laos Buffalo Dairy. This social enterprise is more than just a farm; it’s a melting pot of delicious handcrafted dairy products, cultural exploration, and ethical values. Founded by passionate individuals seeking a purpose beyond the ordinary, the dairy has woven together Lao tradition with Western cheesemaking expertise. Here, gentle water buffaloes are rented for local farmers providing them with an income while their milk is transformed into artisanal cheeses, yoghurts, and ice creams.

The Laos Buffalo Dairy aims to enhance the well-being and quality of life in rural areas, particularly through buffalo farming and childhood nutrition. To accomplish this, they work on improving local agriculture by implementing measures such as enhancing the genetic quality of livestock, providing vaccinations, offering proper animal care, veterinary assistance, and promoting nutrition programs.

Stepping onto the farm was like stepping into a different world. Students had a briefing about the dairy and the benefits it brings to local communities. They learnt about buffalos and farmers, and even tried their hand at milking a buffalo!

The arm also has rabbits, pigs and deer we were able to pat and learn more about.

We wish to thank Susie and the Dairy for a wonderful experience and the opportunity to learn more about this amazing project.

We continued onto Kuangsi Waterfall where we visited the Free the Bears. Free the Bears rescue centers provide a lifeline for bears in distress. These sanctuaries offer a safe haven, nursing injured bears back to health and providing spacious enclosures where they can climb, forage, and rediscover their natural instincts.

Tiger Trail Travel provided a packed lunch wrapped in a banana leaf for lunch which we enjoyed around the beautiful Kuangsi Waterfall.

The legend goes, that a wise old man, guided by whispers of the wind, sought water for his parched village. He dug deep into the earth, and from the gash sprang forth a torrent, cascading down in tiers of shimmering jade. A golden deer, drawn by the melody of the falling water, made its home beneath a rock at the falls’ crest.

The trip was an opportunity for the students to visit these attractions which many had not been to before, and learn about what they do. Many were inspired and wrote a story about their experiences.

Thanks to Trip for a Trip and Tiger Trail Travel for organizing this experience for LEOT students.

Click on the images below for other student experiences.