The only landlocked nation in South East Asia, and probably the most laid back nations too. While other countries have vibrant growing cities, the capital Vientiane remains rather sleepy. There’s a kaleidoscope of ethnicities here too, many living off the land, not much different to their ancestors. With an abundance of forests, mountains and wildlife, Laos is the perfect place for adventure seekers and nature lovers. The picturesque town of Luang Prabang remains the favourite drawcard of Laos and while many other parts of the country remain ‘optional’ Luang Prabang is a must!
- March 13, 2018
With French style boulevards lined with bougainvillea, frangipani and tamarind trees, the capital city of Vientiane is becoming noted for its fusion of old and new, French and Lao. Established by the Mekong River near the border of Thailand, the old city streets are being transformed into something special with revitalised old French villas now home to fancy restaurants, bakeries, cafes and boutique hotels.
While not a great deal to do here, the COPE Visitor Centre is the source of artificial limbs and walking aids. Odd, you might think for a highlight but it also shines the light on the 'secret war' when Laos was bombed more than any other country in history. In 9 years the US dropped 270 million cluster bombs on Laos. 40 years later undetonated bombs still continue to kill and maim. Wander through the tree lined boulevards and enjoy a coffee in one of the cafes. Explore the many wats and stupas around the city.
- March 13, 2018
The jewel of Laos. Many a traveller falls in love with this laid-back riverside town and wish they'd stayed longer. What was once the royal capital of Laos until 1975, the tranquil riverside town is the favourite spot to take time out and relax. Being 300 metres above sea level it’s cooler and hence was a French retreat when Laos was part of French Indochina. The French left behind some beautifully designed houses and mansions that have been restored into boutique hotels. Saffron clad Buddhist monks, a vibrant night market and fancy restaurants add to the unique appeal of this resort town. Beyond the town are waterfalls and rivers to explore, mountains to trek or cycle. There’s an international airport so getting in and out is easy.
Visiting the Kuang Si Falls is high up on the list of things to see. Walk through the jungle to see the dramatic high falls and take a swim at the base of the falls. The Night Market is a fun place to buy handicrafts and souvenirs. Try your bartering skills here.