Laos has plenty to see and do with its smiley locals, full of flavours food, Buddhist temples and stunning landscape. Plus, the accommodation and transportation is available at the very affordable prices.
For any travellers visiting Southeast Asia it is well worth stopping in Laos. It is easily entered using a land crossing with one of its neighbours, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
A great place to start the Laos family tour is in the capital city, Vientiane which makes a perfect base for a day or two. This landlocked country has plenty of local hospitality and beauty to appreciate. The local accommodation can range from pure luxury to really cheap. A high-end stay is possible in places like Vientiane’s chic Dhavara Boutique Hotel to the historic Satri House in Luang Prabang.
Here are a few of the best things to do in Laos:
Luang Prabang is one destination that must be visited on the Laos holiday to really appreciate the local Lao urban structures and traditional architecture. It is an official UNESCO World Heritage site and among the best preserved ancient cities in South East Asia.
Beyond the ancient city, there are plenty of other things to see including the magnificent caves and waterfalls. One of the finest waterfalls is Kuang Si Falls, which is about 25 km away from the centre of the city and easily reached by hiring a motorbike for the day. After spending a few hours at the falls, it is worth exploring further to reach the Pak Ou Caves (also known locally as the Buddha Caves). Elsewhere, there are other natural attractions like the local Tad Thong Waterfall which is about 6 km from the city, and includes a local nature trail that loops through the jungle and takes approx 40-45 minutes to complete.
Vientiane is the largest city and the national capital of Laos and a very friendly and interesting place to visit for the tourist on the Laos tours. One of the first places to visit on arrival in Vientiane is the magnificent sight of the Golden Stupa which is the largest such attraction in the country. Plus, it is quite different to the typical temples and stupas seen in neighbouring countries like Thailand.
Other things to see include the beautiful pagodas with a popular choice including Ho Pra Keo and Pha That Luang which can give perfect backdrops for the photo opportunities.
Also, Vientiane is the location of the COPE Visitor Centre that helps to highlight the amazing work carried and increase awareness of the disabled in the country. This centre is free to enter and watch emotion-churning documentaries and stories.
A visit to the Lao National Museum is certain to appeal to the tourists interested in local history and past wars. This is a great place to spend one or two hours to learn about the 20th century wars and the rise of the Lao Communist Party.
Pakse is a great base for travel with its easy access to plenty of historical sights and activities. It is well-located in the Champasak province and home to many ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese people. Plus, the local food is delicious and spicy and well worth a try on the Laos tour packages.
Attractions within a short distance of Pakse include Don Kho and Ban Saphai which are villages famous and appreciated for their weaving. Travel distance is approx 15 km from town and a great place to visit on the Mekong River that makes it possible to see first-hand how the locals produce silk and cotton products.
Elsewhere is the picturesque Tad Fane Waterfall which is a must-see natural sight for those travellers in the local area. This waterfall spills into a deep gorge 200 m below. It is permitted to go swimming in the waters that surround this waterfall. Bolaven Plateau is a further place to explore in the area.
Bokeo Nature Reserve
The Bokeo Nature Reserve is a perfect destination for the travellers interested in nature and the local wildlife. This reserve was created in an attempt to protect rare and threatened species like the black-cheeked gibbon. This magnificent animal was once thought to the extinct until rediscovered in 1997.
One of the finest ways to get to see the natural environment of the gibbons is to sign up for a tour with the Gibbon Experience Project which includes treks into the local and lush tropical forest. This conservation project has built a series of rope bridges and tree houses throughout the jungle to give a fascinating way to see nature in this part of South East Asia.
Si Phan Don
Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) is part of the Mekong River and makes up a riverine archipelago with plenty of the islands flooded when the river is high. It is located in the Champasak Province and makes a great destination for the travellers on the Laos customized tour that want a little time to themselves to relax and chill out. Si Phan Don is extremely friendly, laid back and sleepy, and appreciated for its all-but-deserted islands that offer stunning landscape and vary in size. This region is perfect for the tourists in search of some adventure travel. Plus, it may even be possible to see local and intriguing wildlife, including the Irrawaddy dolphin.
The cost to stay here is very affordable. For instance, a single room in a guesthouse can cost in the region of $2-$3, while food and drink shouldn’t cost more than an extra $4 per day.
There are plenty of opportunities to hire a boat or motorbike for the day and explore the islands. A great attraction to see is the spectacular waterfalls as well as the local markets.
The Mekong River flows through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos to create the longest river in South East Asia. The river stretches nearly 4,350 km and is a major natural landmark for culture, fishing and farming in the surrounding countries. It enjoys great biodiversity and only follows the Amazon River in this regard. A boat trip from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang offers a great way to see and enjoy the natural beauty of this river.