Laos

While some landscapes in Laos mirror those of its neighbors in Southeast Asia, the authenticity and tranquility of Laos’s culture and inhabitants capture the hearts of travelers. Buddhism permeates every facet of life in Laos, evident in glorious temples, sacred traditions and a peaceful ambiance.

“The untouched nature of Laos is what makes the country so special. Laos is a dream of a place where daily life moves slowly and peacefully.”—Dianna Upton, Consultant

Highlights

See and do:

  • Participate in The Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony with hundreds of monks at sunrise in Luang Prabang
  • Marvel at the mysterious Plain of Jars, its fields scattered with thousands of ancient stone cylinders
  • Sip coffee at a plantation in the remote Boloven Plateau
  • Witness pink freshwater dolphins frolic in the Mekong River

Pairs well with:

  • Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar – all fantastic additions to a Laos itinerary

The ancient royal capital of Luang Prabang, now a UNESCO World Heritage City, and the modern capital of Vientiane are both enticing reasons to visit Laos. French Colonial architecture blends with Buddhist temples and a thriving monk community in Luang Prabang, while Vientiane touts the glittering stupa and national symbol That Luang, along with lively night markets and the notable Victory Gate, a monument that bears striking resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris but is dedicated to the Lao who fought for independence.

Active adventures like cycling, tubing, caving and trekking attract travelers to explore more remote regions in Laos and encounter caves and waterfalls near Luang Prabang or the many villages and unexplored corners elsewhere in the country. In the south, the Bolaven Plateau boasts an ancient Khmer temple complex predating Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, while the northeast intrigues visitors at the mysterious Plain of Jars, a collection of fields scattered with 2,000-year-old jars carved from sandstone and granite whose purpose and history is unknown.

Accommodations in Laos are quaint, and in many cases, quite charming. This is not a destination of ultra-luxe, opulent resorts but rather eco-lodges, enchanting inns and boutique hotels brimming with character.

Trip Inspirations

Ancient Temples + Cultural Encounters

9 Days in Cambodia + Laos

Embark on a 9-day journey through Cambodia and Laos, featuring historic ruins, glistening temples, meaningful cultural encounters and peaceful countryside beauty. Tour these two fascinating Southeast Asian countries by foot, boat, cyclo, electric car, yacht and more to see each destination from a truly unique angle!

View Full Trip Inspiration

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