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10 reasons why Laos should be on your travel wish list | Insight Guides Blog

10 reasons why Laos should be on your travel wish list

Ten good reasons why you should travel off-the-beaten-track and take a trip to magical Laos, a southeast Asian gem. Put this beautiful country on your travel bucket list now!
Traditional alms giving in Luang Prabang
Traditional alms giving in Luang Prabang. Photo: Shutterstock

Traditional alms-giving in Luang Prabang. Photo: Shutterstock


Often overlooked in favour of its more-hyped neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, land-locked Laos is a beautiful, rewarding country in which to travel, with a distinct Lao-French culture and a relaxed, Buddhist pace of life. Here's why you should put the country on your wish list:


1. Vientiane is the most laid-back capital in southeast Asia, with a walkable old quarter and the French influence evident in its clutch of fine restaurants, bakeries and boutiques


Victory Gate Patuxai, Vientiane. Photo: ShutterstockVictory Gate Patuxai, Vientiane. Photo: Shutterstock


2. Wat Phu is located on a site which has been sacred to at least three cultures – explore the shrines, ruins and unusual geological formations of this mighty complex


Wat Phu World Heritage Site. Photo: ShutterstockWat Phu World Heritage Site. Photo: Shutterstock


3. The Plain of Jars is a unique sight – huge stone jar-shaped vessels scattered over a dozen locations on a lonely plateau – but what are they? Who built them and why? The view of them at sunrise or sunset is something special


Plain of Jars. Photo: ShutterstockPlain of Jars. Photo: Shutterstock


4. The French colonial presence in the region has left behind a culinary legacy; find excellent baguettes to munch on for breakfast all over the country. Enjoy with the strong, local coffee


French baguettes at the market. Photo: ShutterstockFrench baguettes at the market. Photo: Shutterstock


5. You can cycle to world-famous heritage sites, caves and jungles, bedding down at homestays and in temples for an extraordinary cultural experience


Riding bicycles through in Luang Prabang. Photo: ShutterstockRiding bicycles through Luang Prabang. Photo: Shutterstock


6. Minority crafts and souvenirs of all kinds can be picked up at the Handicraft Night Market in Luang Prabang – THE place to find Hmong woven clothing, Lao lanterns and much more


Luang Prabang handicraft market. Photo: Shutterstock

Luang Prabang handicraft market. Photo: Shutterstock


7. Laos is a deeply Buddhist country and you will see saffron-robed monks gathering their alms every morning, while the philosophy imbues all of daily life here


Collecting alms. Photo: ShutterstockCollecting alms. Photo: Shutterstock


8. You can witness remote and rural Mekong River life at the beautiful Si Phan Don islands – go there now, while development is still in its early days


Stilt houses along the Mekong river. Photo: ShutterstockStilt houses along the Mekong river. Photo: Shutterstock


9. If you want to try caving, rock climbing, trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, abseiling or rafting, it's all on offer in Vang Vieng, Laos' adventure capital


Kayaking on the Song River in Vang Vieng. Photo: ShutterstockKayaking on the Song River in Vang Vieng. Photo: Shutterstock


10. Luang Prabang is one of the most romantic cities in the region and a World Heritage Site; its old streets are filled with fine temples and colonial buildings, all set against a backdrop of forested hills and the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers


The Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang. Photo: ShutterstockThe Royal Palace Museum in Luang Prabang. Photo: Shutterstock


Insight Guides can take you there: review our trips to Laos online now or submit a trip request 


Want to find out more?

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The French Legacy in Laos

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