Laos Famous Places to Visit

Laos is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Vientiane, the laid-back capital, is the site of That Luang, a reliquary reportedly housing the Buddha’s breastbone, plus the Patuxai war memorial and Talat Sao (Morning Market), a shopping complex jammed with food, clothes and craft stalls

Luang Prabang
Set at the confluence of two rivers, and beneath the temple topped Phousi mountain, Luang Prabang is a eclectic mix of traditional Lao wooden houses and French Colonial architecture.  Golden-roofed wats, decorated with mosaics and murals, sit under the gaze of wrap-around balconies and shuttered windows. All of this is set against a backdrop of lush flora and rugged mountains.

Luang Nam Tha
an alternative to the long and cramped boat journey between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha has become increasingly popular as a starting point for hill tribe treks, especially those into the Luang Nam Tha NP.

Located in the heart of northern Laos and is one of the most accessible of the far northern provinces. The rugged mountainous landscape is awash with waterfalls, caves and local markets.  Populated by 23 ethnic groups that include the Khmu, Hmong and lowland Lao, each with their own languages, cultural heritage and lifestyles.

Compared to the hectic, bustling capitals in other Southeast Asian countries, Vientiane’s relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town it is. After you’ve finished the temples and sights of the city, the best thing to do here is find a nice spot on the riverside and relax with a cold Beer Lao whilst watching the sun set over the Mekong.

Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is an area of incredible natural beauty with limestone karst formations rising from lusg green rice paddies. Caving, kayaking, cycling , tubing and trekking are popular activities around Vang Vieng. The town lies three hours north of Vientiane on the banks of the Nam Song River and makes a relaxing stop on the overland journey to Luang Prabang.

Phonsavan is the capital of Xieng Khouang province and is primarily known as the gateway to the Plain of Jars.  The Plain of Jars combines ancient and contemporary history with insights into Phuan, Hmong, Khmu and Tai Dam culture. Nature encounters are easily accessible off the beaten track.

Wat Phou
The holiest temple in southern Laos, a Khmer sanctuary constructed on the slopes of Pasak Mountain. The temples are built in tiers up the hillside, each featuring barays, pavilions and sacred ponds. Be rewarded with magnificent views from the upper terraces across the Mekong and beyond.

Bolaven Plateau
The Plateau is best known for its diversity of minority groups,impressive waterfalls and the exceptional coffee grown here.  Tat Lo Waterfall is a popular spot to relax for a day or two, as there are some inviting swimming pools in the area.

Si Phan Don (4000 Islands)
As the Mekong approaches the Cambodian border, it widens during the wet season. In the dry season the water recedes creating thousands of small islands. the larger islands of Don Khong and Don Khon offer an insight into southern Lao life and are good base for walking and biking, while nearby are the impressive Phapeng Falls.