Laos is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination, and for good reason. With a culture deeply rooted in history and tradition, this serene, laid back country offers friendliness, charm and stunning beauty. Surrounded by untouched natural landscapes, Laos represents enchantment and enlightenment.
Among the overwhelming number of wonderful places to see in Laos are the following five destinations:
This historical city is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing. Nestled between mountains and surrounded by elaborate temples, Luang Prabang is a favorite tourist destination. Unspoiled by modernization, it’s a throwback to simpler times. You can explore the temples and once royal palaces while meeting fascinating, spirited people. Nearby attractions include: the Kuang Si Waterfall (which cascades down into cool, turquoise waters that double as swimming pools) and Pak Ou Caves (a respected holy site thousands of years old filled with Buddhist artifacts).
The Mekong River spills in various directions to form thousands of islands, an area known as Si Phan Don, which, translated, means 4000 islands. Located in Champasak, the islands are ideal for a relaxing getaway. The sheer number of them makes them phenomena worth seeing.
Your trip to Laos is not complete without a trip down the Mekong River, from where you can observe life along the banks. You can stop at some of the villages along the way, visit caves, observe craftwork and eat lunch while enjoying breathtaking views. The River is complete with waterfalls and is suitable for swimming.
Plain of Jars
This is one of the most intriguing landscapes in the world dating back to the Iron Age. It features hundreds of giant jar-shaped stones. Speculated to have once served as funeral urns, their true purpose remains a mystery to this day. It’s also a site of what is known as the Secret War, the time during Vietnam War when Laos was devastated by bombings, the effects of which are still apparent today.
Although tourism is on the rise, the sleepy, little capital of Vientiane remains tranquil with spectacular sunsets over the Mekong River. You can avail yourself of charming cafes by day or elegant lounges by night. The Little House Café, for example, doubles as a crafts store, allowing you to enjoy fine coffee while you peruse handcrafted silk and cotton fabrics. Whether you want to bowl, eat Italian, or explore the Laos National Museum, Vientiane offers a little bit of everything. It’is also home to Pha That Luang, the Laotian national symbol.