Indochina travel packages are allowing people to learn more about South East Asia. Thailand’s tourist industry has been well established for years and Vietnam’s travel industry offers a great deal. While Laos is lagging behind and its tourist infrastructure is still developing this small country of little over 7 million people has much to recommend it. If you book a Laos tour package there are some things that will almost certainly be included:
• Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site in its own right. Although it is not the modern-day capital of the country, it is the number one attraction. It sits where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers meet in the north of Laos. This ancient capital is full of temples with hosts of orange-robed monks everywhere. The traditional wooden houses as well as French colonial architecture make the city a real mix.
• Pak Ou Caves to the north of Luang Prabang on the Mekong contain hundreds of Buddhas put there over many centuries. None are thrown away because it is bad luck though some are in a poor state of repair.
• Kuang Si Falls south of the city has different levels, each with their own pools. It is likely to be busy but the views are worth it.
• The Great Stupa, That Luang, in Vientiane is the national symbol. It appears from the outside like a fortress yet within there are two temples with the gold leaf stupa standing at a height of 45 metres.
• Wat Sisaket in Vientiane is known for its many rows of seated Buddhas; thousands of Buddha images in total.
Those that have limited time in Laos may not have the chance to see more of the country than Luang Prabang and Vientiane but there is much more to the country, both its natural attractions and its people as well as other landmarks from former times:
• Vang Vieng used to be just a stopping off point between the two cities and later developed as an outdoor activity centre because of the opportunity it provides for trekking and hiking, mountain biking, caving and kayaking.
• Tad Fane Waterfall compares favourably with any waterfall in the whole of South East Asia. It is close to the Bolaven Plateau which itself is very scenic.
• Bokeo in the north west is a rural area that offers both scenery as well as the chance to learn more about the people.
• Si Phan Don on the Mekong; 400 islands offering a great chance to relax.
• Pakse is Laos’ third city. Wat Phou nearby is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is similar in style and quality as Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It sits on a hillside looking down over the Mekong River.
• The Plain of Jars appears to be an ancient burial site. There are clusters of jars throughout the plain. It was an area that suffered bombing during the Vietnam War and there are still unexploded bombs around so a guide is necessary; that will always be part of a Laos holiday booked with a good Laos tour operator.
• That Ing Hang Stupa in Savannaket in Central Laos was carved in the 16th Century, just 9 metres high and well worth seeing.
Laos travel packages can be designed to meet the needs of clients. Some have broad interests while others may wish to concentrate on history, culture or religion. Laos offers a great experience whether visited individually or combined with the other countries in Indochina. There is a good deal to see which certainly means there is a strong case for further visits in the future.