As the kingdom of elephants and temples, Laos is a newly emerging destination for visitors to Southeast Asia. Bordering by no seascape, the mainland of Laos makes way for the holy shrines, colonial architecture, and natural sanctuary. In this article, we take you to explore the 10 best places to visit in Laos. They display the diverse beauty of this country!
1. Elephant Village Sanctuary
The first one on the list of top 10 tourist attractions in Laos is the Elephant Village Sanctuary. This iconic destination is where the Asian elephants are protected and preserved with the support of the local villagers.
Visitors at the Elephant Village Sanctuary can have some hands-on experiences with these large animals. Which include riding, caring, bathing the elephants, and learn about the habitats of these magnificent animals. Since Laos is the country of thousands of elephants, this village sanctuary is definitely a must-have on your visit list!
2. 4000 Islands
The breezy and gorgeous island-scape of the 4000-islands area is at the Southernmost of Laos. Amongst these thousands of islands, Don Khong, Don Khon, and Don Det are the most sought-after. Since these islands are deserted and remote, it may be hard for you to find the essential daily services such as the internet or ATM stations.
To visit any of these islands, it’s essential to take a ferry from the mainland. Staying at a local homestay, enjoying the peaceful Mekong River, and immersing in the local cuisine are the most authentic experiences you should not forget.
3. Kong Lor Caves
The caves of Kong Lor lie in the heart of the Phou Hin Bun National Protected Area. This is a precious gem of Central Laos stretching over 7 kilometers as an underground river system. Taking a boat trip along one of the world’s longest river cave gives you a chance to mesmerize at the mystical geological formations.
Other incredible experiences you should not miss at Kong Lor include visiting the rural village and exploring the national park. It’s better if you spend a night around the Kong Lor area since the trip from Vientiane lasts for 5 hours.
4. Wat Phu
Wat Phu is the UNESCO World Heritage site which is located in Southern Laos. This is one of the oldest magnificent temples in the country sitting at the foot of the holy Phu Kao Mountain.
Blending the quintessence of Buddhism and Hinduism, Wat Phu is a vivid reflection of the Laotian history. A little walk further from Wat Phu takes you to a complex of smaller temples by the side of the mighty Mekong River. A day-trip to Wat Phu is perfect for those seeking a weekend hideout from the bustle of the big cities.
5. Khon Pha Pheng Waterfall
The waterfall of Khon Pha Pheng is also known as Khone Falls. The massive vista from the peak of the falls is a rewarding experience. Formed by dozens of points across the mighty Mekong River, the breathtaking Pha Pheng Waterfall becomes a must-visit attraction in Southern Laos.
The best experience at Pha Pheng Waterfall is simply a long walk around the landscape. It allows you to admire the impressive scenery of the jade-like waters. The fishing activity of the local fishermen is also an insightful experience for first-time visitors.
6. Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden
For the fans of nature and biology, Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is a stunning collection of flora species native to the country. The visitors will be amazed at the function of each plant. Other than being a decorative item, these plants and flowers are also used in traditional medicine. Some others play a big role in the country’s ceremonial purposes. A short trip around Pha Tad Ke walks you through the natural journey that reflects the love of the Laotian with their surrounding landscape.
7. Luang Prabang
Known as of the most talked-about cities in Southeast Asia, Luang Prabang is the city of history and colonial architecture in Laos. This charming city witnessed the regime takeover in 1975 between the Communist and the royal family in 1975. Once the proud capital of Laos, Luang Prabang covers the peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River. This town houses the glittering golden temples, wooden residential buildings beside the crumbling French houses. The town has been famous as one of the best places to visit in Laos that you can not miss.
8. Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center is an educational experience in Luang Prabang. The site concentrates on the spectacular beauty and culture of the ethnic minorities of the Laotian people. This is home to a great exhibition of traditional ethnic regalia, artifacts, and unique handmade crafts. This is a one-of-a-kind destination in Laos that gives you a better understanding of the Laotian culture.
9. Vang Vieng
The riverside town of Vang Vieng is in the Central region of Laos. It takes around 4 hours by bus from the Laos capital. This lively town is home to plenty of accommodations, food and beverage services, cafes, tour agencies, and bars. The most iconic tourist attraction in Vang Vieng is the gigantic karst hill landscape on the outskirt of the town. The Blue Lagoon is also one of the best places to visit in Laos.
The site is a dramatic scenery of limestone mountains. The local rock climbers love to explore this deserted area through its tunnels and caverns. You can also choose to sail along the Nam Song River in an inner tube. This is another must-do activity when in Vang Vieng.
10. Plain of Jars
The huge unknown jars scatter all around the town of Phonsavan. Which makes it a mystic and irresistible tourist attraction in Laos. All the jars are made of stones and appear in different sizes. Some lie alone, some lie in clusters. Each of them is around 1 to 3 meters in diameter.
The archaeological research suggests that the rock jars tell the story of ancient burial practice. These items appear to be plain. Only some of them have the human carvings on the exterior coat reflecting their ancient bas-relief.
With the help of a local guide, you get to understand more of these 10 best places to visit in Laos. Go ahead, book a trip, and enjoy your incredible vacation!