Laos is a small country stuck in the middle of Southeast Asia, perhaps overlooked due to its neighbor countries. It doesn’t have the size of China nor the popularity of Thailand. Maybe it doesn’t even have the excitement of Cambodia and Vietnam or the exotism of Myanmar. However, believe us, here are the Top 5 Reasons why you would be crazy to not visit this beautiful country and you will find many more during your trip!
Typical landscape you can find in Laos
1. Marvellous Nature
For sure one of the main reasons to visit this country is to marvel at its nature, explore mountains and its little villages, travel on its rivers or simply swim in them, explore the countryside and chill at gorgeous waterfalls.
You can travel along the Mekong by boat or visit the Kuang Si waterfalls near Luang Prabang. Regarding mountain areas, great villages to use as base to explore are Muong Ngoi and Nong Khiaw. Besides the mountains to trek, there is a special vibe in those places: relaxed environment that follows the river’s movement and cheap bungalows with hammocks on the balcony. Here you can fuel your readings or philosophical reflections (and perhaps taking a naps too!).
If trekking is your thing, a good base as well is Luang Namtha in the far north, near the border with China, with the advantage of being able to experience different ethnic communities and their cultures.
River that passes through Muong Ngoi and Nong Khiaw.
Another great place in terms of nature is the area around Thakhek and Ban Nahim, with lots of caves to explore and even a famous climbing spot. Even if not 100% natural, don’t miss Laos vast amount of coffee plantations in the south, on the Plateau Bolaven!
A cave waiting for you, a perfect place to cool down from Asian tropical climate.
2. Architectural Gems
Of course, being a Buddhist country, Laos is not only a natural wonder but has lots of architectural gems. The beautiful temples in Luang Prabang are a must see. Besides the capital, Vientiane, the whole country maintains a tradition of cute wooden houses that are wonderful to visit. Try some homestay in a village to get the full experience of living with a local family and experiencing their everyday life.
3. Smiling People & Street Life
Here is the other highlight of your Laotian trip: the population has a very simple and humble life. Especially in the south you will be greeted by countless smiles.
Also, as in other Asian country, it’s always interesting to pay attention to the street life happening all around you…
Street manicure in Vientiane.
4. Laos Secret War – Viengxai
We cannot forget the past conflicts the country suffered, especially the American secret bombings during the Vietnam War that damaged both Laos and Cambodia. An interesting place to visit related to this dark historical period is Viengxai. Here thousands of people were hiding in a complex system of caves and tunnels, basically an underground city, built to survive the bomb and napalm attacks.
Last but not least, Laos is the perfect place for some quietness and relaxation. For instance the 4000 islands in the south are filled with places with cheap accommodation and a chilling environment. You will probably want to stay for a while…
View from a bungalow in the Don Det island, just a couple of meters from the mighty Mekong.
Hope we gave you enough reasons to explore this beautiful country! Check the Camboticket website: there are all the ways to go from Phnom Penh to Don Det (in 4000 islands), Pakse and Vientiane, and from Siem Reap to Don Det, Don Khon (also in 4000 islands) or Pakse.
After reaching Stung Treng from Phnom Penh by bus and then to Pakse in a mini van, we finally got to Vientiane on Sunday morning, after more than a day of travel. We dropped off our stuff in the hostel (Garden backpackers, pretty recommended), and then decided to hire motorbikes to see the city. Read on for our Laos travel story… ____Read more
As good backpackers that we are, we didn’t really plan this trip to get from Cambodia to Laos by bus to the minutest details. The only thing we knew was that we had a flight ticket on the 23rd July from Vientiane in Laos to Bangkok in Thailand. How to get there? We had no clue whatsoever. But it’s part of the adventure, right?
The journey between Cambodia and Laos is NOT straightforward. In addition to the difficulty in logistics, there is acute shortage of pointed and updated information about traveling from Cambodia to Laos by bus. This is why I’m sharing this with you, hoping someone will find it useful.Read more