An Introduction to Laos
This short but sweet travel experience is the ideal introduction to the tranquil and beautiful country of Laos.
Lying quietly under the tourist radar, Laos is a country of jungle adventures, riverside relaxation and rich cultural traditions - perfect for those who like to take the road less travelled.
A trip to UNESCO World Heritage City Luang Prabang is an escape into another world. At dawn, watch apricot-robed monks complete the alms giving ceremony, then take a tuk-tuk to the fairytale pools of Kuang Si Falls. Stay in boutique hotels and dine in intimate restaurants, set in colonial Indochinese villas.
Southeast Asia’s most unlikely capital is packed with temples, museums and monuments, which give context to Laos’ fascinating history.
Indulge in French-inspired pastries at sophisticated Gallic cafés, step barefoot into the capital’s impressive collection of Buddhist temples, then climb the stairs of the iconic Patuxai Monument for stunning views of the city.
Be sure to visit the COPE Centre to learn how UXO (unexploded ordinance) from the Vietnam War has impacted the lives of Lao people.
Laos offers a humbling backdrop of epic landscapes and a myriad of authentic cultural experiences.
Take a slow boat along the Mekong to Pakbeng, where tribal visitors sell textiles and handicrafts, or participate in a homestay at a remote Hmong village. Admire the Buddha statues in the Pak Ou Caves and explore the mysterious Plain of Jars or trek the Bolaven Plateau and splash in the waterfalls of the Four Thousands Islands.
For even more Southeast Asia adventure, combine Laos with neighbours Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand for a tour on history, culture and diverse cuisines.
Unspoiled by tourism and with so much to offer, now is the time to visit Laos.
Our Essence of Laos itinerary combines a little of Thailand and the north of Laos. Enter the country by cruising down the Mekong river to Luang Prabang, with an overnight stop at the hilltribe village of Pakbeng. Explore Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars before heading to the capital Vientiane. For those who want to see more, our Laos on the Loose tour takes you across the north and all the way down south to the Bolaven Plateau and the Four Thousand Islands; an area of the Mekong which has split to form small islands.
Laos has three seasons; cool, hot and rainy season. The best time to visit Laos is between November and April, with blue skies and temperatures ranging from 15-30°c. April and May are the hottest months, with the yearly monsoon rains falling from May until late September. Travel during the monsoons is more difficult, but the country blooms a bright green thanks to the rain. Lao New Year (Boun Pimai) is an enjoyable festival in April with parades, dancing and small scale water throwing as well as water pouring over Buddhist images.
In Vientiane, the boutique Salana hotel offers accommodation right in the heart of the city and opposite Wat Ong Teu. If you can get up early enough, you will see the monks in their saffron robes leaving the temple on their morning alms walk. A little further outside of the city, Green Park Boutique hotel is styled in Lao architecture and rooms look out on a tranquil swimming pool. The hotel has an attached Spa so Green Park Boutique is the perfect place to shake off jetlag.
A little north of Luang Prabang the luxurious Muang La Resort features 10 bungalows alongside the Nam Pak river. If you make it to the 4,000 islands then sleep at The River Resort, an eco-friendly garden resort, with riverfront villas and two infinity pools.
Check out our luxury travel blogs for Laos along with travel guides and more.