There are plenty of things to do in Laos on a tailor-made itinerary, from the laid-back capital of Vientiane to the romantic Luang Prabang and the dazzling natural landscapes of the south.
It’s hard to believe that Vientiane, a small, peaceful city by the Mekong River is the capital of Laos, let alone any country. It is full of delightfully crumbling French buildings, fragrant food stalls and ornate, graceful temples. We recommend visiting the Ho Phra Keo Temple with its Emerald Buddha and religious art, the temple of Wat Sisaket, golden That Luang Stupa and the Victory Monument. The central market is a hive of activity, as is the Talat Sao market, packed with brightly coloured, handwoven textiles.
Considered the best-preserved town in south-east Asia, the Unesco world heritage site of Luang Prabang is a former royal capital. Immerse yourself in the town’s spiritual atmosphere, and wake early to offer alms to the monks. On a tailor-made itinerary, visit the Royal Palace Museum and the atmospheric night markets, or take an outing to the Pak Ou Caves full of Buddha statues, the three-tiered waterfall of Kuang Si, or the village of Ban Xang Khong, known for paper making and silk.
Known for its lush, untouched beauty, the south of Laos is perfectly suited to be explored by boat. Visit Pakse – sitting at the confluence of the Mekong and Don rivers, this small provincial town is the gateway to the Bolaven Plateau, Si Phan Don (the 4,000 Islands) and the Vat Phou temples in Champasak.