Last updated: November 2018
Discover the wonderful and relaxing (but above all relaxed!) country of Southeast Asia, a very quiet and green place not yet corroded by our obsessive and sick lifestyle rhythms.
Set between Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and China, if you have time, you can combine the visit of Laos with the exploration of one of the neighboring countries … but remember not to be in a hurry!
Some of the activities I suggest you plan during a trip to Laos:
- Explore ancient Buddhist temples, scattered throughout the country.
- Take a bike ride in one of the serene villages in the green countryside.
- During the dawn, attend the Alms Giving Ceremony at Luang Prabang where the orange-tuniced monks collect the alms from the people.
- Discover the natural wonders: spectacular waterfalls, mountains and caves.
- A trek in the northern regions is another unique experience, including jungles and villages of ethnic minorities.
- Relax in a hammock on one of the islands on the Mekong to the south of Laos.
- Enjoy a beautiful sunset on the Vientiane riverfront, on the other side of the Mekong there is Thailand!
- If you feel like renting a motorcycle you can go traveling around the country, there are some interesting 2 or 3 day loops that you should not miss!
- Drink a Beer Lao, one of the best beers here in Asia!
- Try the tubing in Vang Vieng.
- Try to visit Laos during one of the festivals that the country offers.
Some info about Laos:
Capital of Laos: Vientiane
Population: 6.2 millions
Official language: Lao
Calling Codefor Laos: +856
Laos Visa: For most passports you get it easily on arrival in the country, it is 30 days in length, you have to pay it in US dollars. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country.
N.B. Always check before leaving that the rules for obtaining the visa have not changed recently!
Phone and Internet: It is easy to get a sim card, you can take advantage of the wifi service in many hotels and some restaurants, the speed can vary from optimal to terrible, depending on where you are.
The main tourist destinations of Laos:
Luana Prabang is certainly the place that will remain in your heart after a visit here in Laos. A quiet village full of ancient temples, which became Unesco heritage in 1995, do not miss the nearby Kuang Si waterfalls and the alms gathering ceremony!
Vientiane, one of the quietest capitals on this planet (although lately there has been an increase in traffic), including Buddhist temples and colonial architecture on the banks of the Mekong River.
Vang Vieng and its river surrounded by the fascinating and characteristic limestone mountains. The place is famous for the “tubing”, along a stretch of the river riding a rubber inflatable donut, a rather funny experience!
The thousands of islands on the Mekong River at Si Phan Don (4000 Islands)
Pakse, from here you can explore the Bolaven Plateau and the ancient Khmer Wat Phu Champasak temple.
Tha Khaek, a nice motorcycle ride of a few days starting and coming back from this sleepy little town on the river will take you to the wonderful Kong Lo Caves, reachable with cars or busses if you do not feel like driving yourself.
Phonsavan, famous for the Plain of Jars, one of Laos’s most enigmatic attractions.
Laos, when to go?
The best time to visit Laos is from November to January / February, where temperatures are milder.
From March / April begins the hot season that arrives until September / October.
May / June-September are the months where it rains the most, this entails a wonderfully green landscape!
Essentially you can visit Laos throughout the year!
N.B. Lately the weather conditions are changing a lot, so sometimes the seasons are not always as expected!
Festivals in Laos
Laos, like many other Asian countries, is a place full of colorful and animated festivals, parties and celebrations held throughout the year.
Discover in this article of mine month by month when to go to celebrate with the nice Laotian people!