ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Top 5 Places to Go in Laos

Updated on October 11, 2014

These five communities offer a full picture of the beauty, relaxed pace, and lifestyle of the Lao people. Whether you're looking to connect with nature, see cultural and historical sights, or party all night long, you'll find these opportunities in Laos. I highly recommend the Lonely Planet Laos guide to help you get the most from your time in Laos.

Monks in Luang Prabang.
Monks in Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang

The UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, Laos offers a restful and cosmopolitan experience for travelers. The key attraction here is the laid-back vibe, the friendly Laotian people, the delicious food, and the charms of the Old City quarter.

Luang Prabang is filled with beautiful World Heritage sites, like the Wat Xieng Thong temple and the Royal Palace Museum. Don't miss the opportunity to give the monks alms in the morning, watch the sun set from Mt. Phu Si or see traditional Laotian dance. Learn more about Luang Prabang top activities.

Plain of Jars

The mysterious Plain of Jars refers to a collection of oversized urns that lay scattered across the countryside near Phonsavan Laos. The jars have many different origin stories; no one really known who put them there or what they were doing.

You can explore the Plain of Jars on your own, or go as part of a tour. See, touch, and climb on the urns to experience this unique site. When seeing the area, please remember than unexploded ordinances can be a problem, and so stick to the trail.

Vang Vieng

A favorite of backpackers, Vang Vieng is the adventure capital of Laos. You'll also find lots of bars to support Vang Vieng's reputation as a party town for adventurous youth.

Here, you can explore the caves just outside the city or go rock climbing. The real attraction is the Nam Song River, which offers float trips. Travelers float down the river, stopping at beer bars located along the way. The bars lure tourists with free shots of the local liquor and club music you'd expect to find in the U.S. or U.K.

Tourists can use the rope swings that go over the water, but should be aware that these are often dangerous. In 2011, 27 travelers died in Vang Vieng from hitting their heads on the river's rocks or drowning.

Travelers who want to explore Vang Vieng without getting too close to the backpacker culture may want to consider staying on a local organic farm that allows guests to work. A little outside town, it is more remote and quiet.

Vientiane

Low-key capital city Vientiane offers some of the best Lao food in the country. Vientiane also hosts an incredible morning market filled with silks and crafts by local artisans.

Cultural highlights include the Wat Sok Pa Louang monastery, the Ho Phra Keo temple, and the Xiang Khuan Buddha Park. The latter is filled with giant Buddha statues that you can explore.

After seeing the sights, you can unwind in the town's herbal sauna.

Since most Lao flights come through Vientiane, you should plan to take a day or two to see it on your Southeast Asia trip.

Si Phan Don
Si Phan Don

Si Phan Don

The hammock islands offer unparalleled relaxation an the chance to see the near extinct Irrawady dolphin. To get there, you will need to make your way to Pakse, and then take a boat from Pakse to the islands. Stay on Don Khon, the main island -- it offers waterfalls and dolphins. Then tour some of the other islands by boat. The area is popular with backpackers looking for a place to unwind, but is still remote and underdeveloped, and so not as wild as Vang Vieng.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)