Landlocked Laos is Southeast Asia’s least developed and least known country – and therein lies its appeal. The pace of life here is extremely laid back and has changed little for centuries, which makes it arguably the region’s most captivating destination.
Laos has stylish, elegant cities such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang, which combine French colonial architecture, stunning Buddhist temples and a sleepy atmosphere far removed from other Asian cities, to create an intoxicating mix for the visitor. The countryside is no less fascinating, with the mysterious Plain of Jars and the unusual Mekong River islands all contributing to Laos’ unique ambiance.
Add the warmth, kindness and amiably vague timekeeping of the Lao people, and you have an unapologetically old-fashioned travel experience. Make sure you book a return ticket, because travelers often find it almost impossible to say goodbye.
With a day trip, Grandeur Journeys can introduce you to the wonders of the local culture or for a deeper understanding of this enchanting country, spend more days traveling with us.
Time stands still in Luang Prabang. The spiritual capital of Laos is filled with dozens of temples and this tranquil atmosphere is enhanced by the town's colonial buildings and lush vegetation. Endless hours can be spent meandering through the small laneways and riverside paths. Excursions can be made to nearby craft villages, waterfalls, and elephant parks or travel by boat along the Mekong River for a different view of the city. With its rich culture and mesmerizing charm, Luang Prabang is an integral part of package tours to Laos.
Vientiane is one of the quietest capitals in the world and due to its sleepy vibe it makes the perfect first stop on Laos tours. Although slightly disheveled with dusty, potholed streets, the city offers many pleasant surprises for travelers with ancient temples filling the streets and cultural centers providing insight in to the traditions of the local people. The city warrants two or three days of exploration.
Further afield, Northern Laos is home to the majority of Laos' ethnic minorities and is a trekker's paradise. The town of Luang Namtha is a popular starting point for adventure travel or for those wishing to see the fabulous scenery and exotic wildlife of the national parks. Laos tours including the towns of Muang Sing and Nam Ha National Park are ideal for those wishing to escape into Laos' wilderness.
In the southern part of the country, a wealth of natural wonders await - the cool highlands of the Bolavan Plateau, the 4000 Islands of the Siphandon region, and dozens of magnificent waterfalls. The dramatic Wat Phou - another highlight of the area - is one of the country's most revered religious sites set in the beautiful hills of Champassak. A boat cruise along this stretch of the Mekong is an unforgettable experience.
Most visitors travel to the capital city Vientiane and then head north to enchanting Luang Prabang. With plenty of sightseeing, activities, and traveler facilities it is no wonder that these two cities continue to draw the most visitors. However, the rest of the country should not be left unnoticed!
The size of Laos and the poor quality of roads in the rural areas mean travel time is long, but those who venture out will be well rewarded! Not only is the landscape beautiful at the destination, but there is not a single stretch of road in rural Laos that does not have stunning views.
The country is best described by its geographic divisions: the mountainous north, the flat plains in the center, and the water-filled south.
Northern Laos is home to the majority of Laos’ ethnic minorities and is a trekker’s paradise. The town of Luang Nam Tha is a popular starting point for adventure travel. In the southern part of the country, a wealth of natural wonders await - the cool highlands of the Bolavan Plateau, the 4000 Islands of the Siphandon region, and magnificent waterfalls.
Spending a few weeks in the laid-back atmosphere of Laos is sure create a lifetime of memories. Our staff have an in-depth knowledge of the country, the hotels, and activities on offer and are more than happy to plan a journey perfectly suited to your needs. Likewise, our guides are enthusiastic about their home and will stop at no length to ensure that you have a fantastic holiday.
From November to February the weather in Laos is cool and dry while March to June sees temperatures soaring in to the high 30s (Celsius). July to October tend to be very rainy, washing out some roads thus making rural areas inaccessible. The Lao are very sociable and if you happen to be in the country during one of their festivals, you are sure to get caught up in the lively atmosphere!
Pii Mai, Lao New Year, is in April and the celebrations include parades and water fights. The magnificent That Luang Festival falls in November and thousands of people and monks travel from remote villages to participate in the religious celebration. Several times a year Vientiane has boat racing competitions, where long wooden boats are raced up and down the Mekong River
1. Vientiane - Peaceful riverside capital, with the sacred Pha That Luang, museums & cafés
2. Vang Vieng - Travellers' haven with stunning karst scenery and plenty of adventure activities
3. Luang Prabang - World Heritage–listed former royal capital with 32 temples, offering plenty of sightseeing, activities
4. Mekong river - Scenic boat trips from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang
5. Wat Phu Champasak - World Heritage-listed ancient temple in a peaceful hillside setting
A visa is required for entry to Laos
Citizens of Australia, UK, US, EU Countries, New Zealand and Canada require a visa to visit Laos. All other nationalities should check with the Laotian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.
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Most frequently asked questions by travellers to Laos
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- Are there many internet cafes in Laos?
- Is Laos a safe country?
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Area: 236,800 square kilometer
Time zone: GMT+7 hours
Calling code: + 856
Currency: Kip - LAK (1 USD equal 8,000 LAK)
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