Laos is one of the last untouched countries in the world, as its popularity as a travel destination has not yet been established to the high degree of some of its neighbors. Laos is a landlocked country surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Those who are not familiar with the region and the Asian culture, which includes 10,000 years of human history and a rich Buddhist tradition, may dismiss Laos travel. However, visitors will find an abundance of historic buildings and temples in this lovely country, a traditional Buddhist culture, and a peaceful landscape. If you’re seeking a unique and unspoiled destination for your next vacation, consider taking a trip to Laos.
Wattay Airport, in the capital city of Vientiane, is the major hub of access to Laos for international travelers. You can travel on Lao Aviation and Thai Airways International if you are already in the surrounding area or are willing to have multiple layovers to save on travel costs. If you’re looking to continue your Laos travel to other surrounding countries, there are daily flights to Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur. Visitors also have road access if entering from Vietnam, China, or Thailand, but no railroad access has been added to Laos yet. The most efficient means of travel within Laos is either by flight with Lao Aviation or by boat on the Mekong River.
When booking your trip to Laos, be sure to choose carefully what time of year you go. The most popular season for travel this Mekong region country is between November and April, as the weather during this time is very comfortable; however, the rates for accommodation increase and rooms may be harder to find in some parts of the country. The hot season lasts from March through May, so if you don’t enjoy the heat, you should avoid these months. One of the best times to tour Laos is during the rainy months of June through September. Despite the rain, the temperatures are quite mild and visitors will find great rates on accommodation and tours.
The varied regions of Laos offer visitors quaint, rural villages as well as larger cities with an array of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. The major travel destinations include the capital of Vientiane, the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, the Bokeo region, and Champasak. Each of these towns offers various Laos accommodation options, generous hospitality, and exciting things to do and see. Luang Prabang is perhaps the single most popular destination in Laos travel. At least one full day should be spent in this historic city, exploring the various temples and learning about the area's long and unique history. Visitors can observe the alms-giving ceremony that takes place at dawn, explore the temples, observe the Buddhist monks, visit Phousi Mountain to enjoy the sunset, and wander through the night market.
The capital city of Vientiane is also a popular destination for those planning a trip to Laos. Although it is the capital city, it is not as modernized as other cities in Asia, making it a pleasant and relaxing place to spend time. The list of attractions in Vientiane and the surrounding area is extensive, including the Wat Sisaket, That Luang, Patuxai (Victory Gate), and the Buddha Park. It is also the perfect base to travel to some of the other well-known parts of Laos, such as the Bokeo Region. This area is home to more than 30 different ethnic groups, beautiful forests, unique wildlife, and a well-preserved traditional culture. Bokeo is ideal for those looking to get away from the city during their vacation.
Located in the southern part of Laos, Savannakhet and Champasak are two popular destinations. Savannakhet is ideal to explore on foot, and there are numerous walking tours and eco-tours that visitors can choose from. Throughout the city visitors will find Buddhist temples, Catholic churches, and Vietnamese temples to explore. Travelers will also want to visit That Ing Hang Stupa, one of the most impressive Buddhist sites in Southern Laos, Heuan Hinh (Stone House), and the Dinosaur Museum. Champasak also offers a variety of temples, including Wat Phou, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wherever you go, Laos travel is sure to be nothing short of fascinating due to the country’s unique variety of rural and urban culture, and its complicated past.