Many visitors to South East Asia miss Laos out in favor of the more popular destinations of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
It may be true that traveling to Laos is nothing less than an endurance test – but a beautiful, unspoiled wildlife and a sprinkling of exquisite temples should make the trip worth it. With its exciting terrain, well preserved natural ecosystems and numerous waterways, Laos is now emerging as a premier outdoor adventure destination in this part of Asia.
One of the best things about Laos, apart from its rugged beauty and natural attractions, is the low cost of accommodation, food and transportation. Your dollars will take you a long way back and forth. It may not have such world-class cuisine as its neighboring countries, but it is not impossible to find culinary delights in many of its cities.
Notably the French cuisine is the most popular among restaurants catering for tourists and lots of delicious Thai and Vietnamese dishes as well. Laotian cuisine should not be missed, as neighboring Thailand is also generous in its portion of curry and fresh ingredients that will leave you wanting more… that is, if it’s your type of food.
Must be careful with how much money you take with you. ATMs are not readily available outside of Laos’ biggest cities. Credit will not help you either since it is only accepted by a small number of companies. If you have some Thai baht back from a Thailand visit, spend it in Laos because it is very welcome.
You are most likely to land in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Do not hurry to the next more exotic city because Vientiane is a gem waiting to be discovered. It is a quaint and charming city that has exquisite temples and stupas. Note the remarkable influence of the French in this city’s architecture and cuisine. Take a leisurely stroll along the well laid out streets in Vientiane.
From Vientiane, continue to Luang Prabang along the banks of the Mekong River. It is a picturesque and colorful city with the many orange-robed monks and countless temples that adorn the city.
Do not miss an exciting river cruise that takes you to an adventurous trip that will showcase the picturesque montage of local life along the riverbank.
Do not miss the Nam Ha protected area located in northern Laos. For a more exciting way to travel to the Nam Ha, take a short detour to the town of Luang Namtha and take a boat trip to the Nam Ha. This will allow you to catch a glimpse of many birds, and reptiles along the banks of the river and surrounded by a thick jungle of blooming flora and fauna.
Nam Ha Protected Site offers numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts eager for some adventure. Trekking is best in this area with its exciting terrain, abundant wildlife and breathtaking panoramas. Along the way, watch out for small waterfalls where you can rest your feet and cool off in the crystal clear waters. Notice where you are going and follow your guide’s instructions on safe and unsafe areas to the letter. UXOs or small bombs are still present in some areas, so be sure not to remove them.