Laos is a small country in Southeast Asia, neighbour to popular destinations like Thailand and Vietnam. The country boasts of a pristine natural climate and also houses rich ethnic diversity. From exploring its traditional villages to learning about the rural culture and lifestyle to discovering some of South-East Asia’s most spectacular waterfalls, Laos is an exciting ecotourism destination. The country is officially a Buddhist nation, where people speak Lao with little to zero English speaking ability. Nevertheless, the people are friendly and always ready to greet you with a wide smile and welcome you to their beautiful nation.
Capital Vientiane presents a delightful combination of French architecture and Buddhist temples. While in the city, don’t forget to stroll around the historic old quarter, visit its temples and go shopping in the silk shops. The gold-covered Pha That Luang, outshines (literally!) every other monument in the city and is one of Laos’s most iconic landmarks. It is a Buddhist stupa that can be dated back to the 3rd century and is said to house the breastbone of Buddha himself. The Patuxai war memorial arch and the colourful Wat Si Muang are other major attractions of the city. Xieng Khuan, popularly known as the Buddha Park, lies 25 km from the capital and contains over 200 statues of Buddha and a few Hindu deities.
Laos’s former royal capital, the ancient city of Luang Prabang is packed with Buddhist and French structures. The 16th-century Buddhist temple Wat Xieng Thong, features impressive architecture and elaborate designs. The 100m tall Mount Phu Si with the That Chomsi stupa on top is a popular climbing spot and is bounded by the Mekong River on one side and the city’s old town on the other. It serves as a great observation platform too, offering splendid views of the town and magical sunsets. Vang Vieng, located between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, is where you can experience Laos’ most stunning landscapes of limestone mountains, caves, and paddy fields. It is the adventure capital of the country and offers amazing rock climbing, hiking, caving, cycling, kayaking, tubing and swimming.
Northern Laos is popular for its rich vegetation and riverside villages. Nam Ha National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna along with various ethnic groups and is popular for trekking tours. The riverside Nong Khiaw village is popular for its great food, boating and kayaking.
The Phu Hin Bun National Park, in Southern Laos, is famous for the karst limestone cave of Tham Kong Lor which can be explored by a memorable boat trip. The beautiful Mekong river archipelago of Si Phan Don, which means four thousand islands, offers multiple activities like trekking, kayaking and cycling. It won’t take much time to understand why this place is known as the land of lotus-eaters as the islands are covered with beautiful white lotuses.
Laos today resembles how southeast Asia was, a couple of centuries ago. Through the years, the natural and historical wealth of this landlocked nation have remained untouched. So travelling here is no less than a time-travelling journey that presents a very unique and extraordinary experience.
Capital Vientiane presents a delightful combination of French architecture and Buddhist temples