Where To Go On Holiday In Laos
Life in Laos centres around the magnificent Mekong River which defines the countries border with Thailand before flowing south through the country towards Cambodia. Though the river can at times turn into rapids and waterfalls, one of the best ways to explore a vast array of the country is via a slow boat. At the south of the river where the waterfalls are present (known as the Four Thousand Islands) there’s plenty for the holiday maker to enjoy. Here a stopover on the quiet island of Muang Khong is highly recommended where you can hire a scooter to explore the island and take time to enjoy its natural beauty. Onward travel to Cambodia is made accessible due to its proximity to the border.
No trip to Laos would be complete without a visit to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Luang Prabang holds a unique charm, with golden-roofed temples, traditional wooden houses and the temple-topped Mount Phousi setting the backdrop to the city. In terms of attractions, must-see sights include the awe-inspiring Wat Xieng Thong temple, the Vat Xieng Toung monastery and the ancient royal palace of Haw Kham. Here you can also observe the traditional Alms Ceremony in which monks collect alms of rice from villagers at dusk and visit the incredible Pak Ou caves complete with over four thousand Buddha statues.
The capital Vientiane is the place to go to see a plethora of temples, most notably the majestic Wat That Luang temple which is the most important temple in the country and the national symbol of Laos. The best way to explore the city is via tuk-tuk or Jumbo (a larger version of the tuk-tuk) and you can enjoy attractions such as the Patuxai (Victory Gate), the Wat Si Saket temple (which is the oldest standing in Vientiane), and the nearby Wat Xieng Khuan Park which boasts a sizeable array of giant Buddha and Hindu deity statues. For the adventurous white water rafting, kayaking and kick boxing are all possible too!
From Vientiane tag on a stay in Vang Vieng and indulge in some famous tubing along the Nam Song River which is paved with bars along the route making for the perfect break and chance to sip a cold beer as you cascade downstream, set to a backdrop of staggering hills.
To get completely off the beaten track and avoid the hustle and bustle a stay in Luang Namtha in the North of the country is a must. Here you can indulge in trekking, a herbal sauna, and cycling all amidst the tranquil surroundings of this quiet city. From here many enter into the surrounding hill-tribe villages to discover a way of life largely untouched by modern life.