Weaving along the Mekong River, Vientiane is the capital and the largest city in Laos, however, it is still small enough to get to know easily. The tree-lined boulevards and old temples impart an old world charm, in spite of bustling traffic. Without doubt, Vientiane is one of Southeast Asia’s quietest capital cities.
A full day is enough to see Vientiane’s sights with Wat Sisaket, the city’s oldest temple, Wat Simuang - the most popular temple with worshippers. Another attraction is That Luang, Laos’s most important religious building, best viewed at sundown when its golden surface glows like a lamp. Apart from temples, the museum of Lao art, housed in the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew and Lao National Museum. From Vientiane, you can take a day trip to Xieng Khuan or the “Buddha Park”, a concrete-cluttered meadow that’s home to more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues, including a 40m-long reclining Buddha, or a trip to Ang Nam Ngum Reservoir where attracts locals and foreign visitors alike for relaxing weekend retreats, offering hiking and camping and boat trips to small, half-sunk islands. Vang Vieng, Laos’ most notorious backpacker hotspot is another option for a day trip. LUANG PRABANG
Set amidst a striking mountainous skyline, Luang Prabang is perhaps the best preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. This UNESCO World Heritage listed city is the gem of Laos and was the Royal residence of the last king, Sisavan Vatthana.
If your time is limited, you should go to visit the old city, dubbed by the UNESCO World Heritage team as a “historic preservation zone”. Your day should begin with the sunrise view from Mount Phousi and a wander around the lively morning market, before heading to the elegant Royal Palace Museum in the former Royal Palace, en route to Luang Prabang’s most impressive temple, Wat Xieng Thong. If you have more than one day in Luang Prabang, the recommendation for the 2nd day is to take a boat up the Mekong River and contemplate the hundreds of Buddhas within the holy Pak Ou Caves, or travel south to one of the area’s two major waterfalls, Kouang Si and Tad Se. But whatever you do, don’t forget to wander the streets at dawn, when the town’s legion of monks receives alms. THE PROVINCES
Northern Laos is the mountainous area and fed by the waters of the Nam Ou and the Mekong Rivers. Several minority groups such as Khamu, Hmong and Akha is inhabiting in the area. On the way to the region, you will see the stunning scenery, observe the lifestyles of the locals who reside on the river banks. Luang Nam Tha Province – Surrounded by ethnic villages and ricefields, Luang Nam Tha reveals plenty of hidden charms in its tribal museum, local market, pagodas, and friendly locals. The province is the gateway to the famous with its Nam Ha Protected Area as one of Southeast Asia’s most famous ecotourism destinations. Covered by primitive rainforests, valleys and mountainous areas, the park has a significant level of plant and animal biodiversity. In addition, this is the home of many hilltribes such as Akha, Lanten, and Khamu and one an learn about the unique cultures of these native people. Nong Khiaw – is on the way from Luang Prabang to the North. There are some Hmong villages within walking distance of Nong Khiaw. Set among dozens of limestone karsts, the town is full of stunning scenery. Viengxay – in the border with Vietnam far in the northest of the country. For those who love adventure trip, travelling from through the border from Viengxay into Vietnam is an unforgetable journey with lifetime-mountainous roads, various ethnic minorities, and stunning scenery! Central and Eastern Laos
Vang Vieng is the small town that is 3 hour drive away from Vientiane. This small village is surrounded by limestone karsts and the beautiful Nam Song River and has emerged as a popular stopover for tourists wishing to kayak or go caving. The Plain of Jars is another not-to-be-missed place where are covered by scores of mysterious stone jars estimated to be 2000 years old. Southern Laos
Pakse is the starting point for travellers to visit the Southern Laos, where the people maintain their traditional ways of life and the scenery is unparalleled. There is an international airport in Pakse it is not far from the Thai border. Though this is an hidden gem, most of travellers spend one night in the town only as there is not many things to do. Champassak - situated on the Mekong River in the South of Pakse is a blend of English and French colonial buildings and traditional Lao houses. Here locates the splendid Wat Phou recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, a spectacular pre-Angkorian temple that sits amidst the rice fields and waterways of southern Laos.
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