The landlocked country of Laos is a hidden gem in Asia. It is the heart of Indochina, and yet, with all the developments and modernizations going on in its neighbouring countries, it is still untouched by the demands and stress of modern day life. Its beauty lies in the Lao people, century-old traditions and heritage, and its lush, pristine landscape. Why not consider Laos on your next trip to Indochina?
Unfortunately, Laos is not very well known. Most people travel to its surrounding countries of Thailand, Vietnam, or even Cambodia, but very few North Americans ever think to visit Laos.
Here are a few facts and reasons as to why it’s definitely worth considering a Laos vacation.
Food and Drink: Always on everyone’s mind when considering a trip anywhere, the food in Laos is simply amazing. Traditional Laos food does tend to be spicy but they are just as happy to tone it down for Falongs (term of endearment used to describe foreigners). Coriander figures prominently in most dishes and Lao Lap, a spicy minced meat dish, is available on every menu in the country. Don’t forget to order Mekong River fish at least a couple of times for a tasty treat. For those who prefer, there is also a wide variety of Vietnamese, Thai dishes, and of course, Western dishes that can be had. Prices are very affordable as well. You can enjoy a $1 meal at the night market – completely safe, by the way, and worth a try just for the experience, or dine in the most high-end restaurants, where meals rarely tip the scales beyond $20.
Hotels: Both Vientiane and Luang Prabang have a nice range of properties to choose from to meet all budgets. Goway even offers one of our prominent Stays of Distinction in Luang Prabang – the Amantaka, for those searching for a real slice of luxury. A stay at this hotel is an experience in itself. It is true though, that for those who move beyond the main cities, accommodation does become a bit more bucolic.
Spas and Wellness: Spas are readily available all across Asia, and the same is true in Laos. For those who love massages, a 60-minute traditional Lao massage starts at approx $10 USD and you’ll rarely end up paying more than $15 USD for any type of massage you choose.
Top 10 things to do in Laos:
- Wake up early one morning while in Luang Prabang and give alms to the monks – truly a rewarding experience.
- Take a long boat down the Mekong to visit Pak Ou Caves.
- Take a Lao cooking class. There are some excellent ones in both Luang Prabang and Vientiane.
- Go tubing down the Mekong in Vang Viene.
- Have a different type of massage every single day while in Laos
- Visit the remote area of Xieng Khouang Province – the site of the famous Plain of Jars and also one of the most heavily bombed areas of Laos during the Vietnam War.
- Visit the COPE Rehabilitation Centre in Vientiane and learn all about UXO (unexploded ordinance) left over from the Vietnam War.
- Enjoy a Lao beer or a fresh fruit juice at a sidewalk café in Vientiane
- Cycle through the countryside of Luang Prabang for 30 km to the Kuang Si Waterfalls
- See Mekong dolphins while exploring the 4000 islands of Pakse.
Goway has a number of touring programs that visit Laos, ranging from private short city stopovers to longer group touring programs. Of course, with Laos being one of the countries that make up the area of Indochina, you may want to combine a visit here along with either Vietnam, Cambodia, or Thailand… or better yet, with all of them!
Whatever the travel itinerary, it’s time to put Laos on the map because it’s definitely worth a visit!