Major Tourist Attractions: Pha That Luang, Vat Phou, Si Phan Don, Bolaven Plateau, Wat Xieng Thong
Officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), this landlocked country has been a popular backpacker destination for decades, but lately it has shifted its tourism focus to welcome a broader range of travelers.
Even though it is still one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, Laos weighs its heavy riches with its multitude of temples, lush jungles, turquoise blue waterfalls, and beautiful culture and rituals. Eco-tourism thrives in Laos, as well as its popular outdoor adventure sports like kayaking, caving, trekking, and biking, among others.
A laid-back atmosphere dominates every inch of the country, especially in the small sleepy town of Luang Prabang, which today is an UNESCO World Heritage Site full of colorful markets, beautiful monasteries, and traditional Laotian architecture. In fact, this is considered to be one of Asia’s most beautiful towns.
If you visit the capital, Vientiane, you’ll still feel like you’re in a big town rather than a hub city; and if you jump to Vang Vieng, you’ll understand the true meaning of Lao PDR – Lao, Please Don’t Rush. This country is all about giving big experiences in a laidback and somewhat “cozy” environment.
Laos is not just about nature and adventure; there is a great deal of history that includes its colorful traditional past, the French colonization, and even the dark times of the Vietnam War.
To get the most out of your visit, here are a few highlights you shouldn’t miss in Laos:
- Relax in Luang Prabang and watch the monk’s silent procession as they collect alms at dawn.
- Go river tubing in Vang Vieng – it is not as crazy as it used to be but still worth it.
- Visit the mysterious Plain of Jars where you’ll see hundred of ancient jars scattered all around the landscape.
- Go dolphin watching in the Four-thousand Islands.
- Marvel at the thousands of Buddha statues in Pak Ou Caves.
- Swim in the beautiful and refreshing Kuang Si Waterfalls.
- See the old French colonial architecture and numerous Buddhist wats and stupas in Vientiane.
- Trek along the hills and visit hill tribes.
- Cruise along the Mekong River.
- See the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong Temple, one of Laos’ most important and impressive temples.
- Eat sticky rice, Pho, and the traditional Laap or Tam Maal Hung.
Address: Rue Bartholonie,
Phone: 856 21 267 000