Laos is a country that is often overlooked, but still has the ability to make a lasting impression. From the culinary and cultural explorations and jungle hiking adventures to river cave expeditions and relaxing luxury escapes, a Laos customised tour is easily tailor-made to match the needs of all kinds of travellers.
See the best of Laos
A Laos family tour is easily packed out with plenty of top attractions that can incorporate history, culture, adventure, and fun into a well-planned itinerary. Many first-time visitors will start with a tour itinerary that includes the major highlights in the north of the country, such as Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane, which is easy to navigate within 7-days. But for the travellers that like to get off-the-beaten-track, the tour itinerary should include destinations in the south like Khong Island and Pakse, or even combine the Laos holiday with neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Let's take a look at a few of the must-visit spots in Laos:
Luang Prabang is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site that has great tranquillity and charm. The city is set about 700 metres above sea level and near the Khan and Mekong rivers to make the quite striking scenery consisting of waterfalls, sacred caves, colourful flowers, and lush-green mountains.
This city has plenty of stunning temples in the local area, including the striking Wat Xieng Thong with its glass coloured mosaics and painted figurines. A further great temple is Wat Paphaimisaiyaram which is particularly quiet and makes it a lot easier to watch the monks go about their daily activities.
Also, Luang Prabang has the alms-giving ceremony every morning with the golden-robed monks walking the streets to collect their daily food offerings.
Beyond the cultural aspects of the city, there are a variety of adventure activities to experience in the local Luang Prabang area. Whether it is mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, cave exploring, or riding elephants, it is easy to sign up with a Laos travel agent for one of the daring excursions or explorations in and around the city.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, but is still able to maintain the peaceful charm of a provincial town. Located near the Mekong River, the city has tree-lined boulevards, elegant French mansions, and a captivating ambiance that is perfect for all kinds of travellers.
There are many things to see and do in Vientiane including a visit to Buddha Park to appreciate the unique collection of sculptures that relate to Hindu and Buddhist iconography, mythology, and philosophy. Later in the evening when the sun sets, the local night market is the place to be with its wide-ranging goods to buy as gifts or souvenirs for family or friends at home. Plus, the market has many different food stalls selling delicious and fresh treats.
Vang Vieng is well located between Luang Prabang and Vientiane and surrounding by lush-green countryside that is nestled by the Nam Song River. This beautiful city is perfect for the nature-lovers and spiritualists and appreciated for its natural beauty, cave systems, and waterfalls. A unique way to see the local countryside is to book a hot air balloon ride.
One of the best cave systems to explore is the Elephant Cave (Tham Xang) which is said to date back to the 11th century. Other fun adventures include the canoeing and kayaking tours to really appreciate the rivers and lush landscapes up close.
After a long day of physical activity, there are plenty of high-quality massage parlours in Vang Vieng to fully relax on the Laos holiday.
Phonsavan is located in the north-east of the country and a great place to visit for tourists interested in seeing the main attraction in the Xieng Khouang province which is the Plain of Jars. This historic site has 1000's of stone jars that are spread far and wide across grassy plain and rolling hills. Also, the jars range in size from the small standing at 70 cm to the very sizeable that weigh in the region of 6 tonnes. The reason for the jars to appear across the landscape is still unknown.
Most tourists visiting the Plain of Jars will hire a bicycle or motorcycle and navigate the region on an independent tour. However, there are certain areas that depend on having a tour guide, such as the War Spoon Village. Plus, touring the region with an English-speaking guide makes it easier to learn more about the local culture and history.
Pakse in the south of Laos has the fertile and flat landscapes with tropical palms that are unlike the mountainous north. This city has a laid back atmosphere and located near the confluence of the Don and Mekong rivers. Also, it has several lavish temples, including golden Big Buddha temple which has spectacular surroundings.
Staying in Pakse gives easy access to parts of the Bolaven Plateau to enjoy trips that explore a few of the intriguing and diverse minority villages, as well as the plantations and dramatic waterfalls.
Also, a local Laos tour operator can help to organise the trip to the The 4,000 Islands (or Si Phan Don) which is a riverine archipelago and gives the tourist a perfect opportunity to appreciate the traditional way of life.
One of the best islands to visit in the region is Khong Island, which has the lush vegetation, serene monasteries, and lovely fishing villages. This island has plenty of nature attractions such as the Li Phi waterfalls, as well as the Irrawaddy dolphins that are rare and may be seen on the south coast if you are lucky.
The island has two major villages which consist of Muang Saen on the western shore and Muang Khong on the eastern shore. The lifestyle is quite relaxed and slow paced and the best way to explore the countryside is on a bicycle. A stay on the island is certain to appeal to travellers on the Laos holiday looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.