Walk on the wild side in Laos, a tiny country with a big heart. The landscapes are incredible and range from emerald-green rice paddies and lush tea plantations to forested mountains and tumbling waterfalls. Explore atmospheric cities, discover the country’s rich cultural heritage and get your pulse racing with outdoor adventures galore.
Things to do in Laos
Vientiane, the vibrant capital city, is a launchpad to Laos. Handsome colonial buildings recall the city’s past as a French stronghold. Enjoy leisurely strolls along the banks of the Mekong River, shop at bustling street markets and order croissants and café au lait from chic cafes.
Get in touch with your spiritual side in Luang Prabang. Set at the junction of the Mekong and Khan Rivers, the UNESCO-listed city will enchant you with its gilded temples and beautiful French villas. Watch saffron-robed monks walk through the streets for the morning “alms” ritual and visit the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong monastery. Buildings in the historic French quarter are reimagined as trendy cafes and fine-dining bistros.
Adventure awaits in Vang Vieng, the outdoor capital of Laos. Explore subterranean river caves, speed along jungle ziplines and tackle mud-splattered mountain bike trails. There are sheer rock walls to scale and scenic waterways where you can kayak and white-water raft. Soothe tired muscles with massages at a riverside spa.
Learn to prepare classic Laos dishes in a hands-on cooking class. Put your own twist on favourites like “laap” meat salad tossed with fresh herbs, “khao piak sen” rice noodles cooked in a fragrant meat broth and “muu haeng” sun-dried pork served with a spicy dipping sauce.
The waterfalls in Laos are some of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia. Tat Kuang Si is an easy day trip from Luang Prabang and features a series of cascades and turquoise pools. Pair your trip with a tour of the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, where you can see rescued Asiatic moon bears.
Getting around Laos
Buses are a fast and affordable way to travel between major cities in Laos, while air-conditioned VIP buses are a more comfortable option. Boats connect settlements along the Mekong River and taxis and tuk-tuks are the best way to get around cities. Wattay International Airport in Vientiane is the main gateway to Laos.