Laos exudes a graceful elegance worth of a luxury holiday. Experience the charms of this enchanting kingdom with private tours in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Soak in the tranquility on a Mekong River cruise, try your hand at cooking with one of the country’s top chef and partake in timeless traditions unique to Laos.
Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. Enter Laos through a rural bordertown and travel the country to meet some...More
Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. 15-day Northern Laos Exploration tour brings you to the most remote areas...More
Culture and Nature of Laos just combines in this 11-day tour. Exploring the ancient town of Luang Prabang and its surrounding, allured by the never fading tradition. Continue with the exploration t...More
Be captivated by the rich heritage of Southeast Asia. Admire glorious wonders left by the ancient kingdoms of Thailand and Cambodia. Explore vestiges influenced by French colonisation in Laos and C...More
Let's start your day city tour in Luang Prabang with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. From there, you walk to the...
Sai Bat (Morning Alms) is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture. In observing it, the devoted offer food to monks throughout the Luang Prabang every mornin...
An icon just outside the city, Kuang Si Waterfalls are stunning and SO worth seeing it in person (the water really is that blue!). If you are fairly confident and comf...
You can embark on a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives you a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious P...
Also just on the outskirts of Pakse, Wat Phu is an impressive Khmer temple that reminds me of a miniature version of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, though it was actually bui...
Formerly a French colony, charming Vientiane is South-East Asia’s answer to Paris. Visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statue...
Head south to Si Phan Don, explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old col...
No trip to Vientiane is complete without checking out the sculptures in Buddha Park. Also called Xieng Kuan, this family-friendly park on the banks of the Mekong is 15...
The Elephant Village Sanctuary in Luang Prabang is an educational facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of Asian elephants in Laos. The facility also...
The organic farm of The Living Land Company not only grows food in Luang Prabang but provides an opportunity for tourists to work on the land like the natives. Located...
The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is a stunning display of plants and flowers that are native to Laos. This facility has a greater mission to educate visitors on the rel...
The Mekong River, which spans the length of the country from its northern jungles to the volcanic coffee-growing plains around Pakse, has been Laos’ lifeline for...
Every traveler should try one of Laos’ simplest but tastiest foods, khao piak sen. This savory tapioca noodle soup served in chicken broth is sold at every resta...
Laos’ namesake beer is as popular and widespread as water. In fact, sometimes it is easier to find than bottled water as you really can find it anywhere …...
Laos’ main cities are filled with a plethora of international dining choices and fine cuisine, but to truly enjoy the zesty flavors of Lao cooking, it’s be...
Have you ever been to Pakse if you haven’t taken the time to climb the staircase to the top of Wat Phou Salao? Doubtful. A moderate half-hour climb brings...
Baci Ceremony (also spelt Basi) is specific ceremony in Laos which has been practiced for hundreds of years. The term commonly used is “Sou Khuan” which me...
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The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead.
Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.
A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River.
The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.
Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.
The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.
In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.
The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.
Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.
How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out.
How long can you stay in Laos?
Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries.
Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.
The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.
The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.
A report from Andy Jarosz from BBC Travel about his day trekking to the remote 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw 10 years ago (in 2012). The experience that you cannot miss when visiting the area. Check out the details as below so that you have some ideas of what to expect.
In the last four years, the rural village of Nong Khiaw has seen a steady stream of adventure travellers who want to experience the 10km trek before it disappears.
Strictly speaking, the name of the 100 Waterfalls Trek in northern Laos is misleading, since it is impossible to say how many waterfalls tumble through the thick jungle along the steady 10km ascent, with each one tumbling immediately into the next.
Laos has announced a full reopening to tourism today that allows vaccinated arrivals to enter the country without any testing requirements.
Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, spoke during an announcement broadcast live across social media.
She said that as the number of Covid-19 cases had significantly decreased, and in order to ensure economic recovery, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and the government of Laos had coordinated with a number of sectors to determine new entry measures in line with the global situation.
After canvassing public opinion and consulting with experts, the Taskforce has set out the following measures for entry to Laos, effective from 9 May onward:
All international checkpoints will be open for entry and exit by Lao citizens, foreign residents, tourists, and other types of visitors.
Citizens of countries that have bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreements with Laos may now enter Laos without the need for a visa.
Citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Laos may now apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate abroad or via the e-Visa online system. Visa on arrivals will also be reinstated at certain international checkpoints.
Fully vaccinated foreigners or Lao citizens carrying a vaccination certificate may enter Laos without any screening or testing for Covid-19 when arriving by land, air, or water.
Non-vaccinated citizens of Laos, foreign citizens, or residents aged 12 years and over must take a Rapid Antigen Test (ATK) at least 48 hours prior to departure and present the results upon arrival.
Foreign arrivals in Laos that become infected with Covid-19 must bear responsibility for any and all medical costs involved in treatment.
Private vehicles may now enter and exit the territory of Laos via checkpoints as prior to the pandemic. Guidelines regarding this measure will be drafted and publicized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
Madame Thippakone said that ministries and tourism departments, as well as tourism businesses, must now be fully prepared to welcome foreign tourists.
At the same time, she announced the reopening of entertainment venues and karaoke bars, however, such venues must ensure they fully comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.
Let's start your day city tour in Luang Prabang with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. From there, you walk to the nearby Wat Mai, which is one of Luang Prabang’s largest and most richly decorated temples.
Continue your tour seeing the city’s oldest temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture.
Continue your visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures.
You can take a short walk around the small roads of the city center, watching the life of local people, and visiting the traditional house of Heuan Chan, the Chantal wooden house dating back to 100 years old.
Late afternoon, you can climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic sunset view of the city and the Mekong River.
Sai Bat (Morning Alms) is a longstanding tradition in Laos Buddhist culture. In observing it, the devoted offer food to monks throughout the Luang Prabang every morning.
Starting from early morning around 05:30 to 06:30 am in March to October and 06:00 to 07:00 am in November to Febuary.
Held on the main street in every morning, there are many places through the town and inside every temples. Here just give the main procession: in front of Xiengthong temple, Luang Prabang Primary School and Natonal Museum.
Observe the ritual in silence and contribute an offering only if it is meaning for you and can do so respectfully. If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and take care not get in the way of the monk procession or those making offerings.
An icon just outside the city, Kuang Si Waterfalls are stunning and SO worth seeing it in person (the water really is that blue!). If you are fairly confident and comfortable on a motorbike, you could rent one and get there on your own.
Minivans and Tuk-Tuks are also available to take you there. From the entrance, it is a small hike up to the waterfalls that will take you past rescued black bears hanging out at the sanctuary. It will only be a few minutes before you start hearing the water. The area is packed with tourists for most of the day, so consider going early in the morning and try to be the first person in if you want to avoid the crowds. To get a panoramic view of the waterfalls from high up, continue your hike to the (not so) secret waterfalls.
You can embark on a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives you a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims.
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to see the elaborate interiors of the Pak Ou caves is to book a guided caves tour, where you will be able to get detailed information on the site.
Also just on the outskirts of Pakse, Wat Phu is an impressive Khmer temple that reminds me of a miniature version of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, though it was actually built in the 7th century, way before Angkor Wat.
Wat Phu does not see as many tourists, though, so it’s a nice change of atmosphere. This will make a nice day trip from Pakse, just make sure to pile on sunscreen as there’s very little shade!
Formerly a French colony, charming Vientiane is South-East Asia’s answer to Paris. Visit Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image.
Enroute to Lao’s national icon, the precious and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, you will have the opportunity to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
For an insight into the tragic history, visit the COPE centre. More bombs were dropped on Laos per capita during the Vietnam War than any other country in history. Many bombs failed to detonate, and still injure Laotians today, hence the importance of COPE. This organisation educates visitors on the problem, and provides victims with prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation.
Head south to Si Phan Don, explore the local peaceful villages of Ban Khone, where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French colonial buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive.
Continue to discover the 4000 islands area by tuktuk and visit the marvelous Liphi waterfall, also called the ""Corridor of the Devil"" one of the most beautiful waterfalls marking Lao border with Cambodia.
If you are lucky, you may even see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Mekong dolphin at Ban Hang Khone.
Then visit Khone Phapheng, which is considered the largest waterfall by volume in South East Asia. Khone Phapheng is an impressive spot near the Lao-Cambodian border, set within an area which is teeming with wildlife, making this area one of the most breathtaking destinations in Laos.
No trip to Vientiane is complete without checking out the sculptures in Buddha Park. Also called Xieng Kuan, this family-friendly park on the banks of the Mekong is 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from downtown Vientiane. Over 200 Buddhist statues are on display in the park, including a giant domed structure that visitors can climb inside to view the park from above. The Park is full of sculptures that reflect the religious interests of the founder, Luang Pu Bunleau Sulilat, who began the work on the park in 1958. He was interested in merging the beliefs of Buddhism with those of Hinduism, so you’ll find concrete sculptures of the Hindu gods, demonic figures, zoomorphic creatures, and many of the Buddha, including a 40-meter-long reclining Buddha. There’s also a huge pumpkin sculpture, which can be entered through the mouth of a demon leading to three floors representing earth, heaven and hell.
The Elephant Village Sanctuary in Luang Prabang is an educational facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of Asian elephants in Laos. The facility also provides employment to villagers. Elephants at the sanctuary are rescued work elephants that are protected.
A day tour through the Elephant Village lets you interact with the large animals. You can try your hand at being a mahout with an experience designed to let you learn how to care for and bathe the elephant. This is one of the most comprehensive, hands-on experiences in the country and a rare chance to get up close to these magnificent animals.
The organic farm of The Living Land Company not only grows food in Luang Prabang but provides an opportunity for tourists to work on the land like the natives. Located in the countryside, you can don a conical hat and learn how to harvest a rice patty, plough a field using livestock, and learn the skill of threshing in a real farm environment.
Be forewarned that the experience is authentic and it is difficult manual labor. If you prefer to not get your hands dirty, you can simply observe the locals performing their daily chores in the fields.
The Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is a stunning display of plants and flowers that are native to Laos. This facility has a greater mission to educate visitors on the relationship between Laos people and their natural surroundings, so you will see that theme throughout the gardens and information. Examples of this include exhibits that showcase plants that were traditionally used in medicine or for ceremonial purposes.
The plant collections include hundreds of varieties of orchids, ferns, bamboos, and more. There are several types of gardens and collections to visit on the grounds.
If you are interested in additional eco-treks in Laos, the experts at the botanical garden can direct you to reputable guides.
In order to get to the botanical garden, you must take a boat from Luang Prabang. The boat returns to the city every hour until 5:30pm, and the cost is included in your admission ticket.
The Mekong River, which spans the length of the country from its northern jungles to the volcanic coffee-growing plains around Pakse, has been Laos’ lifeline for centuries. And even if some of it is no longer navigable because of recently built hydroelectric dams, the stretch from the Thai border at Huay Xai down to Luang Prabang remains the most popular way to experience the slow lifestyle of local river communities. The trip takes two days, with an overnight stop in the village of Pak Beng, before boats moor at Luang Prabang’s jetty. If coming from northern Thailand, you can buy tickets and board the slow boat in the border town of Houay Xai. In Laos, book your tickets in Luang Prabang: Shompoo Cruise offers luxurious river explorations on charming wooden schooners that ply the route between Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, and the Thai border, stopping at popular sites like the Pak Ou Caves along the way.
Every traveler should try one of Laos’ simplest but tastiest foods, khao piak sen. This savory tapioca noodle soup served in chicken broth is sold at every restaurant, stall, and bus station, and served in every home across the country. Be sure to make use of the fresh herbs, soy sauce, and bean sprouts that every seller will add on your table next to your steaming bowl. But be cautious with the chilies, as they really burn. A popular place to eat khao piak sen in Vientiane is the Phim Phone Noodle shop in Dongpalane Road, just south of the Morning Market.
Laos’ namesake beer is as popular and widespread as water. In fact, sometimes it is easier to find than bottled water as you really can find it anywhere …including in the middle of nowhere. Look for it at remote street stalls catering to locals and in the packed touristy bars of Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. Beer Lao is a smooth, savory, and light brew, and it goes down well with any meal. It is somewhat of a national obsession, so feel free to sample it at every opportunity.
Laos’ main cities are filled with a plethora of international dining choices and fine cuisine, but to truly enjoy the zesty flavors of Lao cooking, it’s best to hit the street and eat like a local. From tapioca noodle soups to barbecued meats and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves, Laotians are masters of street food. You are in for a culinary treat.
Have you ever been to Pakse if you haven’t taken the time to climb the staircase to the top of Wat Phou Salao? Doubtful. A moderate half-hour climb brings you next to the giant golden Buddha that sits at this vantage point. From here, you can look out over the town and the junction between the Mekong and Sedone rivers.
Baci Ceremony (also spelt Basi) is specific ceremony in Laos which has been practiced for hundreds of years. The term commonly used is “Sou Khuan” which means “spirit enhancing or spirit calling”. The ceremony involves the tying of white cotton strings around person’s wrists and the prayer saying or well wishing for the person that the ceremony is intended for.
Lao people believe that a human being is a union of thirty-two organs, each has a spirit or Khuan (Lao word for spirit) to protect them. These spirits often wander outside the body causing unbalance of the soul which might lead to an illness. The tying of the white string represents tying of the 32 spirits to the body putting them back in harmony as well as bringing good luck and prosperity.