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For a couple on honeymoon, Laos offers a refreshing change to destinations that may already be suffering from Instagram-fatigue. A quiet corner of South East Asia, tucked in between its better-known neighbours Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China, Laos is perhaps amongst the best destinations in Asia to discover the region as it was before the tourist boom, making its charms certain to entice a newlywed couple in search of both adventure and reflection.
Its main urban hubs are Vientiane and Luang Prabang: worthwhile destinations in themselves. Vientiane’s oldest temple is home to more than 10,000 Buddha images, whilst Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been claimed by UNESCO to be the best preserved city in Southeast Asia. Spend an afternoon strolling down streets lined with elegant French architecture, and dip into the Royal Palace for a decadent experience.
For sunset panoramas, navigate the Mekong River, being transported by its surrounding towering limestone cliffs, terraced rice fields and remote villages.
At the Bolaven Plateau, trek to meet minority tribes and visit the coffee plantations that provide an essential link between them and the modern world and further on, pay a visit the Kung Si Falls for a refreshing dip in its natural pools, and hike through surrounding jungle, which is even home to some of Asia’s rarest bears.
Echoes of ancient civilisations can be found the deeper you traverse into Laos’ densely-vegetated heartland. Visit the ruins of long-forgotten holy places that predate Angkor Wat, and lose yourselves on the Plain of Jars, an ancient site where hundreds of large stone jars lie have inexplicably lain strewn across the plateau for more than 2,000 years.
Afterwards, drive to the deep south of Laos, to explore Si Phan Don, “Four Thousand Islands”, where the mighty Mekong River has divided the land into numerous tiny islands.
For couples wishing to combine a cultural tour with a beach honeymoon, we recommend a short flight to nearby Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam, where you can round off the honeymoon with a few days spent reclining on golden sands.