Laos is one of the least visited countries in Southeast Asia yet it regales visitors with its natural beauty and opportunities for relaxation and get back to nature where nature-loving tourists can spend nights in close proximity to elephants and watch them eat or bathe (the name of the ancient Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang stood for “Land of the Million Elephants” after all!)
Much of Laos, whose total area is roughly equivalent to that of Great Britain, has been dedicated to ecotourism. This makes sense, since three quarters of the country consists of mountains, high plains, jungles, forests, rivers and waterfalls. Combined with its nostalgia-inducing French colonial heritage and rich array of cultural treasures, Laos’s spectacular natural beauty attracts ever-increasing numbers of romantic and active holidaymakers.
So here at AsiaTrips we have compiled 10 reasons to why you should visit Laos!
1. Take a charming Cruise from Huay Xai – Pakbeng
Huay Xai is the gateway to Northern Laos from Chiang Rai, Thailand. Cruise downstream from Huay Xai to Pakbeng on the Mekong River and get a magnificent scenery of the rural life along the untouched river banks of Mekong River. Along the way you can visit a number of ethnic tribal villages going about in their daily life activities.
2. The Pak Ou Caves
One of the most respected holy sites in Laos, the Pak Ou Caves have a history dating back thousands of years. Packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons, the caves- which are a shrine to the river spirit and Lord Buddha, are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River.
3. Spectacular nature trip to Kuang Si Waterfalls
Take a trip to the natural wonder of Luang Prabang, the Kuang Si Waterfall. This many cascading steps waterfall offer a serene place for relaxation. The multi-tiered pools are filled with crystalline clear fresh water where you can swim in the midst of high green trees.
4. Nong Khiaw bomb cave shelter
Nong Khiaw was in fact the most bombed village during the Vietnam War and the caves were used by villagers to escape from the frequent American bombing during the Vietnam War, also the provincial government of the region operated out of these caves at the time.
5. Plain of Jars
The most mysterious of ancient sights in the world that you don’t even know exists! Around 2500 jars dating back to 500BC – 200AD litter the remote plains in Phonsavan, Laos. To this day no one knows how they were build, by who and for what reason.
6. Night Safari in Nam Et National Park
A boat-based tour deep into the jungles of Laos. Enjoy nighttime wildlife-spotlighting in long-tail boats that drift down the Nam Nern River looking for wild and endangered animals. Relax around a campfire, enjoy a BBQ dinner, go bird watching and then spend the night in an ecolodge within the national park, this is truly a unique and exciting adventure.
7. Kor Lor Cave
Arguably of the country’s most magnificent cave which is over 7km long and includes a spectacular cavern over 100m high, as well as a breathtaking stalagmite gallery which makes you believe you have entered a whole new world, it is one the true highlights of Laos.
8. Sunset at Mount Phousi
Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, this spot offers a great view over Luang Prabang, and a great place to watch the sunset. At the top you’ll also find a charming temple which can be seen from the distance.
9. Don Khone
Explore this island by foot or bicycle, tracing the route of an old abandoned railway and admiring some of the old French Colonial buildings, and the beautiful Liphi Waterfall.
10. Wat Si Saket
It is the oldest temple in Vientiane that is still in its original form. The Wat Si Saket was built in 1820 near the Royal Palace in the center of town by King Anouvong, the last King of Vientiane. It is one of the very few temples that survived the destruction that came with the Siamese armies, that looted and burnt the city in 1827.
If you would like more information about any of the above activities or tours visit www.asiatrips.travel.