Laos Explore Interests

Laos Road Trips

Laos is graced with many serene and relaxed towns, a product of the country's Buddhist traditions of peace and respect. The wonderful city of Luang Prabang is no exception, with its vibrant market, ornate monasteries and the nearby Kuang Si waterfalls, it's a place most visitors spend at least a few days.

Laos’s road system has improved significantly over the last few years. Roads have been upgraded, and getting around is easier than ever, though often still challenging. Keep in mind, however, that a newly graded and paved road this year may get no maintenance, and after just two or even one rainy seasons the road will revert to being nothing but a potholed track. The country’s main thoroughfare is Route 13, which stretches from Luang Prabang to the Cambodian border, passing through Vientiane, Savannakhet and Pakse. Route 13 sees a steady flow of bus traffic, and it’s usually possible to flag down a vehicle during daylight hours provided it’s not already full. Off Route 13, you’ll encounter a wide range of road conditions – from freshly paved carriageways to bone-rattling, potholed tracks. With the improved road conditions, buses have largely supplanted river travel, the traditional means of getting around.

 

PAKSE

THAKHEAK

VIENTIANE

VANG VIENG

XIENG KHOUANG

LUANG PRABANG

LUANG NAMTHA

OUDOMXAY

PHONG SALY

 

 

 

 

Laos Trekking

Discover the charm and rustic beauty of Laos in this adventure travel through the kingdom formerly known as Lang Xang, the Land of Million Elephants.  Northern Laos is famous for its natural beauty: rolling green hills and mountains interspersed with rice fields and countless water buffalo.  A trekking adventure through the countryside and staying with a local tribe family was top of our list of things to do.   Luang Prabang province is perfect for trekking! You pass through beautiful forests, scenic waterfalls and experience homestay in amazing ethnic villages to gain a true insight into the rural life of the local people. Luang Namtha is a land of evergreen highland forests, fog filled valleys, crystal-clear jungle waterfalls, time-defying mountain villages, and challenging river adventures.  It is possible to combine the mountains and forests of Laos with local track of the Akha hill tribe people in Laos remote and topped province of Phong Saly. 

The centre and south of Laos also offer plenty of trekking opportunities.  Surrounded by dramatic karst scenery lining a gently flowing Nam Song River, this town of Vang Vieng will prove an extraordinary sight to behold as you trek and explore its numerous limestone caves and caverns.  Champasak also offers ideal conditions outdoor activities that bring the traveler close to nature and the local population in an environmentally friendly way.

 

LUANG PRABANG

LUANG NAMTHA

PHJONGSALY

OUDOMXAY

VANG VIENG

THAKHEK

CHAMPASAK

 

 

Laos Foods

Lao people enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs, for this reason they appear in almost every Lao meals. Meat and fish are usually grilled or steamed as a result, the famous are fresh and the dishes low in fat. Therefore, Lao cuisine has many regional variations, due in part to the fresh foods local to each region. You can either enjoy and authentic Lao meal (khao niew or sticky rice is a staple) in many of the restaurants or spend a morning to cook delicious Lao dishes for your lunch.

In Laos, people all eat as family style, sitting on the floor, sharing a few dishes. Lao traditional food is dry, spicy and very delicious based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs. It is always being freshly prepared and not being preserved. Other than sticky rice, which can be eaten either sweet or sour, or fermented and is eaten with fingers, Laotian food is very rich in vegetables and is often browned in coconut oil.  There  are some Laos dishes you may try; Lao Noodle Soup (Khao Piak Sen),Baguettes (Khao Jee),Minced Pork Salad (Laab Moo),Green Papaya Salad (Tam Mak Hoong),Fresh Spring Rolls (Yall Dib),Lao Sausage (Sai Oua),Lao Beef Jerky (Sien Savanh).

 

LUANG PRABANG

VIENTIANE

PAKSE

 

 

Laos Culture and History

Laos is poetically known as 'the land of a million elephants' and one of south-east Asia's most enchanting countries. There is a lot more to Laos than meets the eye; the spectacular landscapes, sparkling temples and secluded charms rival any in Asia. Tranquillity abounds in the languid villages and even the cities feel more like laid-back towns. The Mekong meanders by, setting the slow pace with life blooming along its fertile banks.  If you want to tread a path less travelled, this charming country is the perfect destination. Meet warm, friendly people, see fabulous sights and taste mouth-watering local cuisine. Laidback Laos is easy to explore but difficult to leave.

Buddhism is an integral part of the culture in Laos and blossoms in the ever-present golden temples. Laos is home to a diverse range of ethnic minorities and a unique cuisine, and even seasoned travel find a sense of wonder here. It is serendipity for those seeking an Asia not often found these days.

To get a deeper understanding of the culture, nature and history of Laos,  Luang Prabang ensures you  all. The capital Vientiane doesn't feature quite as many captivating sights as Luang Prabang, but spend a couple of nights here to admire the French colonial architecture and magnificent Buddhist temples.

 

VIENTIANE

LUANG PRABANG

CHAMPASAK

XIENG KHOUANG

 

Elephant Experience

Laos is known as “The Land of Million Elephants” for years.  Through the long history, Laos used to be called “Lane Xang”, which can be translated to be “The Land of Million Elephants”. It was named as “Lan Xang” by the King Fa Ngum in 1354. The reason is that he capital of the Kingdom was Luang Prabang and it was surrounded by large grazing pastures with wild herds of elephants lived there.

Actually, Asian elephants are still found in some places in Laos.  They are used for logging industry and tourism activities.  If you aim to live with this huge animal, it is option to become a mahout for a day and experience the thrill of being up close and personal with giant Asian elephants at the Elephant Village Camp in Luang Prabang. Mahouts are elephant caregivers who are paired with their animals for life, and this nature experience is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the role elephants play in Laotian culture.  

 When you are in southern Laos, try an elephant trek to the ruins of Phou Asa. There are great views over the Xepian National Protected Area and its extensive wetlands, which are particularly important for water birds.

 

LUANG PRABANG

PAKBENG

CHAMPASAK

 

 

 

 

 

Laos Cruise

The Mekong is the artery of life in Laos: a trading route, a source of food and water, and a social center for the settlements along its banks. Known locally as The Mother of Waters, the Mekong River has been venerated and worshiped for thousands of years.  The Mekong River possesses a priceless fortune and remains the vital and essential element of this landlocked country. Mainly depending on agriculture, Laos has fertile lands favorable for rice production and livestock farming. The river yields of a wide range of fish including the famous catfish of northern Laos. The Laos cruises along the Mekong River offer a fantastic opportunity to discover the splendor of the Mekong River and the riverine life close up.

Several cruise services are available for anyone planning a river trip from   Houei Xai to Luang Prabang and vice versa, including Luang Say Cruise, Mekong Sun Cruise and Champoo Cruise.  

To explore the southern Laos on a cruise, you have a choice of the Vat Phou Cruises that navigates between   Pakse, Champasak and Don Khong Island.  It offers an interesting visit to the Unesco World Heritage Vat Phou Temple on a delightful three-day voyage aboard a luxurious floating hotel.

 

HOUEI XAI

LUANG PRABANG

PAKSE

KHONG ISLAND

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