Laos has become one of the world’s up-and-coming destinations. Landlocked and mountainous, Laos has been the forgotten country in Southeast Asia for decades. However, travellers have recently rediscovered Laos and have been exploring the country. Here are five things to consider seeing and doing during your next trip to Laos.
The former royal capital of Laos, Luang Pranbang is one of the largest tourist destinations in the country. The location of many temples and monasteries, Luang Prabang was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outside of Vientiane, there are more accommodations and restaurants here than in any other city in Laos.
2. Dinner along the Mekong
The Mekong River is arguably the heart of the country. Along the river in Vientiane, you will find several makeshift restaurants along the river serving freshly caught river fish (and cold beer). You can also find restaurants serving toasted river weed, which despite its name is actually delicious.
Restaurants on the Mekong. Photo by A. Bouch.
3. The Plain of Jars
Located in the Xieng Khouang plateau, the Plain of Jars is a collection of giant stone jar-shaped objects that date back to the Iron Age. There are thousands of jars across 90 different sites. Most of the jars are large enough to hold an entire person. Archaeologists are not sure what the exact purpose of the jars was, and theories range from food storage to use in ancient burial rites.
Plain of Jars – Xieng Khouang, Laos. Photo by Teamwork.
4. Si Phan Don (“The 4,000 Islands”)
Located on the Mekong River in the southeastern part of the country near Cambodia, the Si Phan Don are another promising natural attraction. Despite the name, there are only a few islands which can be considered destinations for travellers – Don Det and Don Khon are the main islands, and Don Khong is another. Beyond seeing the largest waterfalls on the Mekong, the primary activity here is relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
The relaxing atmosphere of Si Phan Don. Photo by J. Antrobus.
5.Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang – also known as the “Great Stupa” or “Golden Temple” – is the center of Laotian Buddhism and often considered the national symbol of Laos. Located in the capital of Vientiane, the temple dates back as far as the third century AD, when it was erected as a Hindu temple. Rebuilt several times in the wake of foreign invasions, the temple has remained a symbol of Laotian culture and pride for centuries.
G Adventures runs a number of small group tours to Laos encompassing a wide range of departure dates, and Travel Styles to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you Laos as you’ve never seen it — check out our trips to Laos here.