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Laos

Explore the serene beauty and rich culture of Laos, nestled amidst lush landscapes and ancient temples. Discover the tranquility of Luang Prabang's UNESCO World Heritage sites, embark on adventurous treks through the dense jungles of Nam Ha National Park, and immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of the sacred Pak Ou Caves.

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Laos Highlights

Laos Highlights

5 Days | From $599

Laos
Luang Prabang | Vientiane
Discover Laos

Discover Laos

8 Days | From $999

Laos
Luang Prabang | Vientiane | Xieng Khouang

Top destinations to visit in Laos

1. Luang Prabang: A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved temples, French colonial architecture, and scenic natural beauty.
2. Vientiane: The capital city and cultural hub of Laos, with a mix of historical landmarks, bustling markets, and a vibrant food scene.
3. Champasak: Home to the stunning Wat Phou, a Khmer temple complex, and the peaceful 4,000 Islands region on the Mekong River.
4. Vang Vieng: Famous for its dramatic limestone karst landscape, outdoor adventure activities, and picturesque Nam Song River.
5. Xieng Khouang: Known for the Plain of Jars, a mysterious archaeological site with ancient stone jars scattered across the plains.
6. Savannakhet: A historic city with French colonial buildings and the popular Dinosaur Museum.
7. Phongsali: A remote province in the north, offering opportunities for trekking and experiencing the diverse ethnic hill tribes.
8. Bolikhamsai: Rich in caves, waterfalls, and natural attractions, ideal for nature enthusiasts.
9. Oudomxay: A province with stunning mountains, ethnic villages, and the Nam Kat Yola Pa National Park.
10. Saravane: Known for its traditional cultures, diverse ethnic groups, and lush landscapes.

Best time to visit Laos

The ideal time to visit Laos and experience a bit of everything, including sightseeing, river travel, and exploring the countryside, is from November to January. During this period, lowland Laos enjoys pleasant daytime temperatures, slightly chilly evenings, and lush green countryside after the rains. However, higher elevations can be significantly cooler, with temperatures occasionally dropping to freezing point.


In December, Vientiane and Luang Prabang have average temperatures of around 27°C and 22°C, respectively, while southern regions like Pakse see temperatures climb to around 30°C.
The high water levels from the previous months' rainfall create perfect conditions for trips along the Mekong River. For those seeking water-based thrills, opportunities abound for whitewater rafting and kayaking adventures on rivers like Nam Ou and Nam Xuang in the north. Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, and Luang Namtha are excellent bases for kayaking tours. Additionally, don't miss the scenic waterfalls in the southern highlands for a truly memorable experience.

Experiences you should not miss in Laos

1. Explore the calmness of Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang's charm lies in its cobbled streets, saffron-robed monks, vibrant markets, and stunning riverfront scenery. With 33 wats to explore, the city offers tranquility and spirituality.
Experience the spiritual essence with the revered "tak bat" tradition at 5 am, where Buddhist monks receive morning alms while walking the streets. Climb Mount Phu Si for panoramic views and discover giant Buddhas etched into the cliffs.
Stroll along Sakkarin road with temples every 100 meters and find the awe-inspiring Wat Xieng Thong at the sacred river confluence. The vibrant night market offers unique items crafted from discarded ammunition shells. Enjoy stunning Mekong sunsets from riverside bars or take a boat for an alternative city view.
Luang Prabang's exceptional culinary scene attracts top chefs. Don't miss the Luang Prabang salad with bold garlic flavors and sliced egg toppings. This makes the city a top destination in Southeast Asia.

2. Try solving the mystery of the Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars is a fascinating and enigmatic site, making it one of the most distinctive attractions in Laos. Spread across the Khouang plain in the Lao Highlands, this site is adorned with hundreds of stone jars, some incredibly massive, weighing up to 14 tons.
The origins and true age of these intriguing jars have been the subject of debates among historians, adding to the mystery surrounding them. Although there is no definitive conclusion, it is generally believed that the jars date back around 1,500 to 2,000 years. Their purpose has been speculated to be for storing alcohol or food, while some intriguing theories even suggest that the jars may have served as ancient urns. Visiting the Plain of Jars offers a chance to immerse oneself in this captivating and historic enigma.

3. Explore Vang Vieng
Nestled amidst green-carpeted karsts and pockets of jungle, Vang Vieng has shed its party town reputation but still offers plenty of fun. For an adrenaline-filled adventure, kayak down the Nam Song at white-water rafting speeds, then switch to a zipline experience above the treetops, ending with a thrilling descent.
If you prefer exploring underground, Vang Vieng's caves are a must-visit. Tham Xang (Elephant Cave) houses ancient Buddha statues and a unique elephant-shaped stalactite. Tham Hoi and Tham Loup also have Buddha statues and historical significance from wartime.
For more excitement, tube through Tham Nam (Water Cave) with just a headtorch and rope for guidance. Head to the Blue Lagoon for exhilarating slides, swings, and jumping platforms around turquoise waters.
When you need relaxation, Vang Vieng offers riverside hammocks where you can unwind with a refreshing Beer Lao, enjoying the serene beauty as the world goes by.

4. Visit Vieng Xai Caves
As your tour Laos, explore the Vieng Xai Caves, situated in the peaceful village of Vieng Xai. Far off the beaten path for most tourists, these caves boast a stunning landscape and remarkable historical significance. During the Indochina War, they provided shelter to over 20,000 soldiers and civilians for more than nine years, forming a fully functioning community within the 100 or so caves.
While you can only visit a few caves now, it's still a compelling journey to delve into Laos' tumultuous history. Inside, you'll witness meeting rooms, houses, and theaters that were ingeniously built underground, providing insight into the lives of those who sought refuge there during the war. The Vieng Xai Caves stand as a testament to Laos' resilience and are a must-see for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of the country's past.

5. Enjoy Tad Sae Waterfalls
Nestled amidst the lush greenery of a tranquil jungle, the Tad Sae Waterfalls in Laos offer a captivating and serene escape. The sight of water cascading gracefully over yellow limestone rocks creates a mesmerizing spectacle. Popular among locals, the falls attract Laotian families seeking leisurely picnics and refreshing swims in the crystal-clear pools. Sun-seekers can relax on comfortable sun loungers, basking in the warm rays. The convenience of nearby amenities like restaurants, shops, and cafes ensures a delightful and enjoyable experience for all visitors. Tad Sae Waterfalls stand as a hidden oasis, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in nature's beauty and find peace amid the soothing sound of flowing water.

 

Things to know before traveling to Laos

  1. Visa: Check the visa requirements for your nationality and ensure you have the appropriate visa before arrival or at the border crossing.
  2. Currency: The official currency is the Lao kip (LAK), but US dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas. Ensure you have enough cash, as ATMs may be limited outside major cities.
  3. Respect Local Customs: Laos is a conservative country, so dress modestly, especially in religious sites. Always remove your shoes before entering temples and avoid pointing your feet towards Buddha images.
  4. Language: Learn a few basic Lao phrases, as English may not be widely spoken outside tourist areas.
  5. Weather: Laos has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. Be prepared for both hot and humid weather and occasional heavy rains during the wet season.
  6. Safety: Exercise caution when crossing the roads, as traffic can be chaotic. Avoid consuming tap water and buy bottled water instead.
  7. Cultural Sensitivity: Be respectful of local customs and traditions, such as not touching someone's head and asking for permission before taking photos of people.
  8. Wildlife and Environment: Laos is rich in natural beauty and wildlife, but avoid supporting activities that exploit animals or harm the environment.
  9. Travel Insurance: Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen circumstances.

 

Why choose Acqua?

Acqua offers access to local expertise through carefully selected tour operators who possess excellent language skills, destination knowledge, and buying power. Customize your trip to Bhutan by choosing accommodation, transportation, activities, and pace. Directly booking with local operators ensures cost efficiency and supports local economies. Acqua partners with established operators for favorable rates, providing peace of mind with guarantees and insurance coverage. By choosing Acqua, you support responsible travel and contribute to community projects.

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