6 exciting places to visit in Laos

Laos is an undeniably exciting destination for those who are passionate about nature and staying active. The Lao National Tourism Administration has worked with the government to improve the country’s National Ecotourism Strategy. This means promoting the importance of ecological conservation as well as awareness for different ethnic groups. From remote jungles, to bustling cities, there are plenty of wonderful locations in Laos that should be visited.

Sunrise along the Mekong River, the border between Laos and Thailand

- © Nakornthai / Shutterstock

Paksong

Paksong is a city located on the Bolaven Plateau and its main industry is the exportation of coffee. It is therefore not surprising that there are multiple coffee farms that you can tour. Additionally, the town of Paksong became a more popular destination after the Forest Reserve was declared a National Protected Area from logging and coffee farming. Those who love adventuring and learning more about the geography should definitely not pass on the chance to visit. The Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area spans around 1,100 square km and is covered in evergreen forest. We suggest going with a guide to discover the luscious bamboo, waterfalls, and array of wildlife

Waterfall near Paksong

- © Jean-Philippe BABU / Shutterstock

Vientiane

Being the capital of Laos as well as the country’s largest city, Vientiane is an exciting destination for travellers. It boasts many temples and Buddhist monuments to visit, including Pha That Luang which is a gold-covered Buddist stupa that has been a national cultural monument since the 3rd century ACE. Aside from visiting the temples and monuments, there is also the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum. The architecture of the building itself is to be admired as it is marked by a massive bronze statue of Kaysone, a prominent leader of Indochina. A unique activity that you may not have thought of would be visiting the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. It has a superb visitor centre with entertaining exhibits that explain prosthetics and how they are used today.

The streets of Vientiane

- © Tortoon / Shutterstock

Vang Vieng

This town is located north of the capital, Vientiane, and has recently become a lively destination. Many adventurers are drawn to the area because there are an assortment of activities such as high-ropes courses, rafting, and hiking. If you are looking for a quick hike through some beautiful nature you should go to the Kaeng Nyui Waterfall, just make sure not to go during the dry season. Another exciting activity is a trip to the Blue lagoon and Phu Kham Cave. There you can swing ropes and enjoy swimming in the lovely pool of the lagoon. It can be fun to make a day trip out of it by packing lunch with you.

Vang Vieng

- © Worakit Sirijinda / Shutterstock

Luang Prabang

This well-known city located in the north of Laos comprises many villages which make up the UNESCO Town of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. For anyone that wants to stay active, we recommend going to Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang’s sacred hill. Climbing up the 300 stairs might be a workout but we guarantee the views at the top are unbeatable, especially at sunset. We also recommend making the 25 km trip outside of the city to visit the Pak Ou Caves. Entering from the Mekong River, you will be able to explore this Buddhist site that has been drawing locals for thousands of years. A third activity that you will not regret is making the trek to the Kuang Si Falls. After traversing all of the well-marked walkways, you will arrive at a series of dazzling, turquoise pools that are accessible for swimming. Lastly, don’t forget to try the popular dish, O-Lam, which is a delicious kind of soup.

Luang Prabang

- © R7 Photo / Shutterstock

Huay Xai, Bokeo Province

Visitors are drawn to the Province of Bokeo to tour the Bokeo Nature Reserve. We recommend this destination because you will be able to immerse yourself in the landscape of the area and partake in some dynamic activities. This protected area helps to look after the black cheeked gibbon population living there. The terrain is composed of various mountains covered in rare plants and deciduous trees. At the reserve, you can take part in the Gibbon Experience as well as the Waterfall Gibbon Experience. These two tourism-based conservation projects permit one to explore deep into the rain forest and have a chance to observe the Gibbons in their viewing huts.

Huay Xai, Bokeo Province

- © Anna Ewa Bieniek / Shutterstock

Si Phan Don Islands

The islands located between Laos and Cambodia are somewhat of a natural wonder because Laos is basically landlocked. These islets situated on the Mekong River will permit you to experience island life away from the ocean. During the 1800s, the area was colonised by the French. There are a number of historic relics remaining from the French Colonial period that can be interesting to visit to learn more about the period. There are numerous beaches throughout the islands but we recommend going to Xai Kong Nyai because the beach is nicer than some of the others. The area is also more lively as there are boats available for rent and different kinds of restaurants. Finally, don’t miss paying a visit to the Wat Khon Tai Buddhist temple which is one of the best parts about visiting the island.

© Anna Ewa Bieniek / Shutterstock
by Editorial Team
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