Trekking and hiking is still the best way to explore Laos its ethnic diversity. Trekking indeed is the best way to meet people, to see their rural lives and experience how the Laotian people manage their day to day life. Most places in Laos are far away from modern civilization. It means you also travel back in time! If you join our trekking tours you will need to reduce your needs and turn on your expectations. But please do not expect crowded touristy village trails and European living standards... We will provide you only a true adventure.
Exploring the magical northern Laos on feet. Meeting plenty of colorful hill tribe villages. Immerging into the evergreen nature of Laos. Finding yourself in the most remote areas. Fulfilling your...More
Laos Adventure Trail is part of our Laos Adventure tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of culture e...More
Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. 13-day Northwest Laos Experience brings you to the remote areas of norther...More
Indulge yourself in the rich culture and nature of authentic Laos from vibrant temples to lush jungle. Luang Prabang offers you plenty of chances to take great photos and enjoy great food. Head to...More
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...
The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley and famous for its sprawling coffee plantations and many waterfalls....
If you thought you didn’t need to pack a coat for Laos, think again. At an altitude of 1,626m, mountainous Phongsali gets cold, but it’s worth bracing it f...
If spending your nights sleeping in sky-high treehouses alongside gibbons, and days ziplining from tree to tree is your idea of jungle heaven, then you’re in luc...
One of the best visual perspectives of the natural landscape in Laos is from the Viewpoint at Nong Khiaw in the northern part of the country. If you are up for the 1.5...
Plain of Jars’ thousands of mysterious megalithic jars are scattered throughout Xiang Khuang Province in northeastern Laos. Dating from the iron age, the oldest...
The northern town of Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border and the perfect gateway to hike through pristine rainforest and meet Laos’ hill tribe communiti...
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 …...
The twin waterfall of Tad Fane in the Bolaven Plateau is breathtaking enough when approached on foot, and even more so when experienced from a zipline perched at more...
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...
The Elephant Conservation Center hosts Laos’ first hospital dedicated to elephants that are victims of logging accidents or affected by diseases.
The Kamu Lodge is a beautiful eco-lodge in a remote location on the banks of the majestic Mekong River in northern Laos. Access to the lodge is by a private boat - a t...
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Bucolic Wat Phou (Wat Phu, Vat Phou, Vat Phu) sits in graceful decrepitude, and while it lacks the arresting enormity of Angkor in Cambodia, given its few visitors and more dramatic natural setting, these small Khmer ruins evoke a more soulful response. While some buildings are more than 1000 years old, most date from the 11th to 13th centuries. The site is divided into six terraces on three levels joined by a frangipani-bordered stairway ascending the mountain to the main shrine at the top.
Visit in the early morning for cooler temperatures (it gets really hot during the day, and on the lower levels there isn't any shade) and to capture the ruins in the best light. Make sure to grab a map at the entrance as there is little to no signage here.
Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.
It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.
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Initiated in 2006 by an NGO working for years with the elephants, this annual meeting of Laos Elephant Festival became one of the big festivals of Laos, followed by thousands of Laotians who move to attend a number of exercises, parades, and elections of the most emblematic animal of Laos. Fifty elephants are walking around for 3 days in the streets of the small provincial town. A large market takes place for the occasion with all kind of local (or Thai) products.
Home to the country’s largest pachyderm population, Xayabouly Province is the natural choice to host this growing event that also aims to raise awareness about the need to protect the endangered Asian elephant, which has played such a vital role in Lao people’s livelihoods, culture and heritage.
The highlight of the year in Wat Phu Champasak is the three-day Buddhist festival, held on Magha Puja day on the full moon of the third lunar month, usually in February. The ceremonies culminate on the full-moon day with an early-morning offering of alms to monks, followed that evening by a candlelit wéean téean (circumambulation) of the lower shrines.
Throughout the three days of the festival Lao visitors climb around the hillside, stopping to pray and leave offerings of flowers and incense. The festival is more commercial than it once was, and for much of the time has an atmosphere somewhere between a kids' carnival and music festival. Events include kick-boxing matches, boat races, cockfights, comedy shows and plenty of music and dancing, as bands from as far away as Vientiane arrive. After dark the beer and lòw-lów (Lao whisky) flow freely and the atmosphere gets pretty rowdy.
When the three months of Buddhist Lent come to an end in October, it is the perfect time to visit temples and celebrate the end of the rainy season. In Laos, this is called Boun Awk Phansa (Sometimes translated as Boun Ok Phansa or Boun Ock Phansa) and various religious and local traditions can be observed during this time. Moreover, there are plenty of festive activities are organized throughout the country with floating flower boats, candles, fireworks, lavishly decorated wats and an old-time carnival … all make for a magical Boun Awk Phansa festival in Laos.
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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.
The Bolaven Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley and famous for its sprawling coffee plantations and many waterfalls. Explore the delights of this area, accompanied by a knowledgeable coffee guide, by vintage jeep. The tour starts with a visit to several villages on the plateau and a break at the secluded Tad Moan waterfall, which offers the perfect place to relax and swim. After exploring the wonders of the plateau, head to the Mystic Mountain coffee plantation to witness and learn about the coffee roasting process. You will have time to explore the plantation’s verdant surrounds while your hosts prepare a delicious home-cooked lunch. For those wishing to delve deeper into the process of coffee production, there is the option of a homestay to learn some of the techniques of the trade from the owner of the plantation and further explore the area.
If you thought you didn’t need to pack a coat for Laos, think again. At an altitude of 1,626m, mountainous Phongsali gets cold, but it’s worth bracing it for the splendid panoramic views. The cloud-cladded mountains and a vast, verdant jungle are just some of the reasons this region is Laos’ go-to trekking spot. Trekking tours include hikes up mountains with forest views, staying with the unique Akha Puxo people and descending into a valley to see rice paddies sprawl out around you.
Due to China’s influence on Phongsali, the architecture is fascinating, with buildings fluctuating between industrial Chinese concrete blocks to tin-roofed houses and mud huts. To feel like you’ve travelled to China, visit the Yunnanese shophouses and the Chinese temple. For a history of Phongsali, head to the Museum of Tribes to find information, photos and colourful costumes.
If spending your nights sleeping in sky-high treehouses alongside gibbons, and days ziplining from tree to tree is your idea of jungle heaven, then you’re in luck. In Huay Xai, near the border with Thailand is the Gibbon Experience. Based deep in the Bokeo Nature Reserve, the experience offers visitors the chance to spend three nights in the treehouses.
Spend your mornings with the guides gibbon-spotting, seeing other wildlife such as giant squirrels and Asiatic black bears. Or you can choose a three-day option, trekking for around three hours each day along the Nam Nga River passing a fresh water swimming pool and a waterfall. One of the treehouses you’ll bunk down in overnight offers stunning sunsets across the valley.
The Gibbon Experience invests much time in reforestation programs, looking after old trees as well as planting a diverse range of new ones. They also work with the government to employ park patrollers who guard against illegal logging, hunting and fishing. It’s been such a huge conservation success story that a new national park has been created within the reserve. At 136,000 hectares, the Nam Kan National Park is home to the most pristine forest in all of Laos, an abundance of wildlife and Laos’ biggest tree.
One of the best visual perspectives of the natural landscape in Laos is from the Viewpoint at Nong Khiaw in the northern part of the country. If you are up for the 1.5-hour trek to the top of the mountain from the tiny village of Nong Khiaw, you will see a panoramic view of the flowing Nam Ou River.
Also visible is an iconic view of tiny Laos villages surrounded by the mountains. Since this is a natural setting, plan your round-trips wisely to the top as you will be hiking through forest, and you will need a flashlight once the sun sets. There is also nowhere to buy water along the hike, so plan ahead with proper hydration and sturdy shoes. If you would rather enjoy the view from below, boat trips are available along the river.
Plain of Jars’ thousands of mysterious megalithic jars are scattered throughout Xiang Khuang Province in northeastern Laos. Dating from the iron age, the oldest jars go back to 500 BC. The largest “King Jar” is at Site 1 and the longest jar is at Site 2. It’s possible to hire a guide to take you on a trek from Site 2, which is behind a rice paddy to Site 3, which is in the forest on top of a hill. The leading theory suggests these stone vessels were used in burial rituals. Evidence suggests that bodies were distilled in the jars until only bones remained. The bones were then removed and interred in a ceramic jar or in the ground. Nine of the 90 sites containing jars have been cleared of UXOs, so stick to the established routes and bring a guide out trekking with you.
The northern town of Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border and the perfect gateway to hike through pristine rainforest and meet Laos’ hill tribe communities in the protected Nam Ha Reserve. Several local tour operators, including well-known Green Discovery Laos, organize eco-friendly and culturally sensitive treks into the reserve. An overnight trip is not enough time to get deep into the jungle and to truly experience the local ways of life. Be sure to allow for a longer visit if you are interested in staying with the villagers, who often double as guides for trekking in the reserve, and offer community-based tourism in the form of homestays.
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.
The twin waterfall of Tad Fane in the Bolaven Plateau is breathtaking enough when approached on foot, and even more so when experienced from a zipline perched at more than 320 feet high with a bird’s eye view of the falls and surrounding valleys. Ziplining above Tad Fane costs $50 per person, and tickets can be purchased on-site or in advance from tour operators like Miss Noy in Pakse, which also offers reliable automatic scooter rental from $5 a day.
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.
The Elephant Conservation Center hosts Laos’ first hospital dedicated to elephants that are victims of logging accidents or affected by diseases.
Located in Sayabouly (3 hours by road from Luang Prabang) the center is staffed with an international team of elephant vets and offers free veterinary care services, an emergency unit, a breeding center, a mahout vocational center and the most extensive elephant information center in country.
The Elephant Conservation Center is not just another elephant camp. It provides a global approach to the resolution of various problems striking the last elephants of Laos. Through a dedicated team of international conservationists and vets, programmes are implemented on site and beyond. ElefantAsia, an internationally recognised organisation, runs Laos’ elephant conservation programme from the facility. A true private-public partnership, the Elephant Conservation Center cooperates with multiple conservation organisations around the world.
The Kamu Lodge is a beautiful eco-lodge in a remote location on the banks of the majestic Mekong River in northern Laos. Access to the lodge is by a private boat - a two and a half-hour ride upstream through glorious scenery from Luang Prabang.
Accommodation is in luxury safari tents, mounted on semi-permanent bamboo platforms with thatched covered roofs. All are fitted with solar-powered electricity and hot water. Beds are comfy, and the rooms are well located, with private balconies surrounded by forest and the river banks.
Several excellent excursions are included in the price. In-house activities include rice farming, fishing, gold panning, Laos archery and tours of the local village. More adventurous excursions include treks to caves and waterfalls and tribal communities. The staff will also teach you how to find medicinal plants in the forest if you are interested.
The lodge is built next to a small Kamu village with close and harmonious ties between the two. The lodge is run in a sensitive and eco-friendly way, protecting and enriching the village people. The area around the lodge is spectacularly pretty, with lush paddy fields, a dramatic mountainous backdrop and the mighty river below.
The lodge would suit anyone interested in getting a flavour of life in rural Laos or a voyage on the mighty Mekong River. It is a very peaceful place, ideal for relaxing and taking it easy. Food is served where you choose, either on your balcony or in the riverside restaurant. All meals and soft drinks are included in the price made with organic ingredients. Staff are vital to the success of the lodge. Sourced from local villages, they inject their warm and friendly personalities to give a very welcoming and engaging atmosphere to the entire project.
Kamu Lodge can also be visited as an extra night stop on the Luang Say cruise following the initial night stop in Pak Beng.