15 Best Things to Do in Laos

Louisse

15 Best Things to Do in Laos

Laos, a gem of Southeast Asia, is a country brimming with rich culture and stunning landscapes. Nestled amidst Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Myanmar, this landlocked nation captivates with its intriguing blend of ancient temples and vibrant culture. Despite its relatively compact size, Laos offers a bounty of experiences to travelers – ranging from the hustle and bustle of its lively cities to the tranquil charm of secluded villages and the untouched splendor of its natural vistas.

Laos Travel: Everything You Need to Know

When to Go

Ideally, visitors should plan their trip to Laos between November and February, when the climate is comfortably cool and arid. The period from March to May sees higher temperatures and less rainfall. The monsoon season, from June to October, though prone to sporadic flooding in certain regions, can offer its own unique appeal. The lush, verdant countryside and the awe-inspiring spectacle of waterfalls in full flow make this season a captivating time for nature lovers to visit.

Getting Around

Laos has a limited transportation network, but there are several options for getting around the country. The most common mode of transport is by bus, which is affordable but can be slow and uncomfortable. Tuk-tuks and motorbikes are also popular options for short distances, and taxis can be hired for longer journeys.

Accommodation

Laos offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. In the cities, there are plenty of guesthouses and hotels, while in remote areas, homestays are a popular option for experiencing local culture and cuisine.

Culture and Etiquette

Laos has a rich and vibrant culture, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering temples and homes, and it is considered impolite to touch someone’s head. When visiting a temple or other sacred site, it is important to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees.

Food and Drink

Laotian cuisine is a unique blend of flavors and influences from neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, as well as traditional Lao dishes. Some of the must-try dishes include laap (a minced meat salad), tam mak hoong (a spicy papaya salad), and sticky rice, which is a staple food in Laos. Beer Lao is the national beer and is widely available throughout the country.

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Best Things to Do in Laos

From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to stunning landscapes and vibrant cities, Laos is a destination that should not be missed. Here are the 15 best things to do in Laos.

1. Visit the Ancient City of Luang Prabang

Ancient Luang Prabang
Photo: Twitter/Ketan Vikamsey

Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a city in northern Laos that boasts a rich cultural heritage. The city is home to several ancient temples, including the famous Wat Xieng Thong, as well as French colonial architecture. Visitors can also enjoy the local cuisine, take part in a traditional almsgiving ceremony, and witness the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: V4WR+GMR, Luang Prabang, Laos.

2. Explore the Plain of Jars

Plain of Jars
Photo: Twitter/Andtartary2

The Plain of Jars is a mysterious archaeological site located in central Laos. The site features thousands of giant stone jars scattered across the landscape, some weighing up to several tons. The purpose of these jars is still unknown, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs.

Entry Fee: LAK 150,000; Location: Check Map
Address: 75V2+653, Xiang Di, Laos.

3. Take a Boat Ride on the Mekong River

Mekong River laos
Photo: Twitter/Jack Chambers

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens boasts a magnificent collection of tropical flora and flowers. The gardens are an ideal destination for a leisurely walk, while visitors can also indulge in the various concerts and cultural events held here.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Laos.

4. Embark on a journey through the vibrant Vientiane Night Market

Vientiane Night Market
Photo: Twitter/Nonstop Eurotrip

The Vientiane Night Market is a bustling market that takes place every evening along the Mekong River in the capital city of Vientiane. Visitors can browse through a wide range of goods, including handicrafts, souvenirs, and street food.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: XJ64+X7M, Vientiane, Laos.

5. Learn about Laos’ History at the COPE Visitor Centre

COPE Visitor Centre
Photo: Twitter/Gearing Up

The COPE Visitor Centre in Vientiane is dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos. The country is one of the most heavily bombed countries in history, and the COPE Centre showcases the ongoing efforts to clear UXO and support victims.

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Entry Fee: Gratis; Location: Check Map
Address: Boulevard Khou Vieng, Vientiane, Laos.

6. Trek to Remote Villages in Northern Laos

Remote Villages in Northern Laos
Photo: Twitter/AlienJunkyard

Northern Laos is home to several remote villages that are accessible only by foot or boat. Trekking to these villages is an excellent way to experience the traditional way of life in Laos, as well as witness stunning landscapes and natural beauty.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Nong khiaw street, 1C, Nong Khiaw, Laos.

7. Attend the Bun Bang Fai Festival

Bun Bang Fai Festival
Photo: Facebook/Jenher Yong

The Rocket Festival, commonly referred to as the Bun Bang Fai Festival, is a unique traditional celebration observed in various parts of Laos. The festival features rocket launches, traditional music, and dance performances, as well as a range of delicious food and drink.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Laos.

8. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon

Vang Vieng blue lagon
Photo: Twitter/Doko Today

The Blue Lagoon, located near Vang Vieng, is a stunning natural pool surrounded by lush jungle. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim, relax on the beach, or take a zip line ride into the water.

Entry Fee: LAK 10,000; Location: Check Map
Address: W9GW+G5G, Naka, Laos.

9. Visit the Pak Ou Caves

Pak Ou Caves
Photo: Twitter/Worlio

The Pak Ou Caves are a series of caves located along the Mekong River, near Luang Prabang. The caves are home to thousands of Buddha statues, and visitors can witness the unique blend of Buddhist and animist beliefs in Laos.

Entry Fee: LAK 20,000; Location: Check Map
Address: 26X6+CGG, Pak Ou, Laos.

10. Explore the Bolaven Plateau

Bolaven Plateau Laos
Photo: Twitter/LoveLaos

The Bolaven Plateau is a highland region located in southern Laos, known for its stunning waterfalls, coffee plantations, and lush forests. Visitors can trek to the waterfalls, sample local coffee, and visit remote villages to learn about the traditional way of life in the region.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Laos.

11. Discover the Lao Jungle

The Lao Jungle
Photo: Twitter/Elephant Project

The Lao Jungle is a vast and wild region located in central Laos. Visitors can take part in trekking and kayaking tours, exploring caves and waterfalls, and encountering a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and gibbons.

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Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: V2FF+FR9, Pak Long, Laos.

12. Learn About Traditional Lao Textiles

Lao Textiles Laos
Photo: Facebook/Panh Moon Lao Textiles Gallery

Laos is famous for its traditional textiles, which are intricately woven by hand. Visitors can learn about the traditional weaving process and purchase unique handmade souvenirs in several villages around the country, including the Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre in Luang Prabang.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: WJRV+PVM, Kamphengmeuang Rd, Vientiane, Laos.

13. Experience the Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine
Photo: Twitter/The Holiday Place

Laotian cuisine is a unique blend of flavors and influences from neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, as well as traditional Lao dishes. Some of the must-try dishes include laap (a minced meat salad), tam mak hoong (a spicy papaya salad), and sticky rice, which is a staple food in Laos.

Entry Fee: Rp 100.000; Location: Check Map
Address: Phiawat Village, near Ministry of Health, Thanon Samsenethai, Laos.

14. Explore the magnificent Wat Phu Temple Complex during your visit to Laos

Wat Phu Temple Complex during your visit to Laos
Photo: Twitter/Khiri Travel

The Wat Phu Temple Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southern Laos. The complex features a series of ancient temples and shrines, including the impressive Wat Phu Champasak, which is set against a stunning mountain backdrop.

Entry Fee: LAK 50; Location: Check Map
Address: V4HW+QHF, Luang Prabang, Laos.

15. Relax in the 4,000 Islands

4,000 Islands
Photo: Twitter/John Van De Velde

The 4,000 Islands, also known as Si Phan Don, is a group of islands located in the Mekong River near the border with Cambodia. Visitors can relax on the beaches, take part in water activities such as kayaking and fishing, and witness the rare Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the region.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Don Det, Laos.

In conclusion, Laos is a fascinating and diverse country that offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventures, Laos has something for everyone. From exploring ancient temples and archaeological sites to trekking through remote villages and relaxing on stunning beaches, Laos is a destination that should not be missed.

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Louisse

With a passion for all things beauty and wellness, Louisse brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her writing.

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