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

Travel Blog

Preparing to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

After planning my most recent African adventure, I realized that my necessary preparation was quite different than previous trips. Instead of a typical safari experience where I could relax in a vehicle and watch wildlife, I would be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro! Having never climbed a mountain before (or even been to much of an elevation), Read more…

Otherworldly and Unexpected: Kota’s Trip to the Seychelles

I can’t recall the last time I visited a country for the first time – perhaps it was Australia back in 2011. So when the opportunity came up for me to scout the Seychelles for work, I was eager with anticipation to discover and learn something new. What met me half way across the world Read more…

Furs for Life: Singita’s Leopard Conservation

South Africa’s Kruger National Park and the surrounding private game reserves, like the Sabi Sand and Timbavati, are well-known for incredible game viewing of leopards, lions, cheetah, elephant, rhino and other “must see” safari wildlife. Known as a Big Five safari destination, photographers flock here in the hopes of witnessing dramatic chases, epic showdowns between Read more…