Laos is the garden of Indochina. With seemingly endless mountains, covered in lush vegetation, Laos is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors. It’s much less developed than Thailand or Vietnam, so a visit here can really give you a sense of how the region used to be. People here cling onto their heritage, and you’ll get to experience this when you visit.
Laos’ history spans back over a thousand years, so it’s hard to do it justice. Over centuries, it has become a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. From ancient Hmong people to modern Chinese expats, several different civilisations have influenced Laos’ growth; a visit here is a great opportunity to discover all of this.
To learn a little more about Lao traditions, head to the Old Quarter in Luang Prabang. One of Indochina’s most beautiful towns. You’ll discover many examples of interesting, old architecture (an inticing blend of French & Chinese styles), as well as famous temples such as Wat Xieng Thong. Despite being one of Laos’ major centres, Luang Prabang is tiny and is best discovered on foot, with a leisurely stroll through town. You’ll find markets selling local crafts, and a museum or two that will tell you about local history.
Luang Prabang doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the natural world either. Just outside of town you have the incredibly photogenic Kuang Si Falls and Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens. Both of these areas will take your breath away, but for very different reasons. Be sure to pack your swimwear for your visit to Kuang Si, there’s some incredible spots to take a dip.
Laos is a classically ‘outdoorsy’ destination, with trekking opportunities aplenty & white water rafting a particular highlight of any stay in Vang Vieng. However, for real adventure lovers, we offer an incredibly unique, multi-day, kayaking trip in the remote north where each night you’ll experience a different homestays and guest lodges to get an insight into local life.
The capital, Vientiane, is the closest Laos comes to having an urban area. But when compared to its urbane cousins in neighbouring countries, Vientiane feels more like a laid-back town. Which is a truly fitting comparison for Laos in general. We feel Vientiane, with it’s Lao-French architecture, cute cafes & lesser known landmarks, is all too often passed by, and well worth a day or two.
Despite being landlocked, Laos still provides beach lovers with a place to unwind. Once you’re done exploring the gorgeous north and lesser known central region around Thakhek, head to Champasak in the deep south for some R&R and to explore the staggeringly beautiful ‘4000 islands’ area.
A trip to Laos is trip through time, and is one of the most laid back experiences to be had anywhere in Asia. The locals are proud of their history and have preserved it carefully. Where other places sometimes view their saffron-robed monks and ancient temples as tourist attractions, they are a key part of the Lao culture and lifestyle.
The country may seem like it’s a little behind its modern neighbours, but this is precisely what gives Laos its charm. It’s the ideal choice for a slower paced trip with both culture and a little adventure.
Plan your trip to Laos today.