Laos is the garden of Indochina. With seemingly endless mountains, covered in lush vegetation, it’s a true 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 unique way of life.

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  • History and Culture

    Laos’ history spans back over a thousand years. Over centuries, different cultures and ethnicities, from ancient Hmong people to modern Chinese expats, have influenced Laos’ growth.

    A trip to Laos is trip through time. It’s 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.

  • Nature and wildlife

    Laos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the natural world. Just outside of Luang Prabang, 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.

    The country is home to a number of wonderful native animals, including the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin – which you’d be very lucky to spot on a boat trip along the Mekong River. You can also see elusive Black Crested Gibbons from your own treehouse in the Bokeo Nature Reserve, and head out to the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area on safari to find the magnificent Indochinese tiger.

  • Food and drink

    Hawker stalls, noodle shops and night markets are among the best places to eat in Laos, but you’ll also find a good selection of affordable, authentic restaurants.

    One of the main staple foods you’ll find on every Laotian menu is Laap meat salad. But you should also make sure to try Kaipen (fried seaweed) with a traditional dipping sauce, Khao poon spicy noodle soup and a good portion of sticky rice to go with everything. In Laos, food is enjoyed communally – so order a bit of everything and share it around.

  • Adventure and experiences

    Laos is a classically ‘outdoorsy’ destination, with trekking opportunities aplenty and 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.

    To learn a little more about Lao traditions, head to the Old Quarter in Luang Prabang. It’s one of Indochina’s most beautiful towns. You’ll discover many examples of interesting, old architecture (an enticing blend of French and Chinese styles), as well as famous temples such as Wat Xieng Thong.

    Despite being Laos’s most famous destination, Luang Prabang is tiny and 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.

    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.

    Laos’ capital, with its Lao-French architecture, cute cafes and little known landmarks, is 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.

    Plan your trip to Laos today.

Flag of Laos
  • Capital city: Vientiane
  • Language: Lao
  • Currency: Lao Kip
  • Time Difference: UTC + 7
  • Flight Time: 14h indirect via Bangkok from London Heathrow
  • Visa: Visa Needed, can be done on arrival for a fee
  • Peak Season: November to March

Did you know?

The US dropped over 2 million tons of bombs across Laos during the Vietnam War, and around 30% of them didn’t explode. This has led to major problems for farmers right up to the present day.

Laos Climate Guide

Luang Prabang