Laos

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Our most recommended things to do in Laos

Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

1. Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

In the morning, get picked up by your guide and head to Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest surviving Buddhist temple. The temple is famous for its cloister wall that houses more than 6,800 Buddha icons of all sizes. You may also be able to witness the many locals that come to pray in the morning, enlightening you to traditions of the area. Stop at Wat Prakeo, which once held the Emerald Buddha and now functions as a museum, and the Patuxay Monument, a symbol of the country's resilience and independence, to learn of Laos' complex history. Take time to lunch before walking through Vientiane's laid-back streets, enjoying the refreshingly easygoing atmosphere of the capital. Pass through a number of gorgeous temples before arriving at Talad Sao, Vientiane's central market. With two distinct areas, a modern shopping mall and the sprawling original market, Talad Sao offers an abundance of treasures for you to discover. Bring your day to a stunning conclusion by heading to the Mekong River, where the sun paints the water in brilliant orange hues as it sets below the horizon.

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Pak Ou Caves, Whisky Village & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

2. Pak Ou Caves, Whisky Village & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

Start your day with hotel pickup in Luang Prabang center at 8 AM. Take a 45-minute road trip along the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves where you will get on a slow boat to visit the cave network. The 2 famous caves hold a special cultural value, packed with over 4,000 Buddha icons and a history dating back thousands of years. The upper cave is a 5-minute climb up steps, 50 m into the rock face. The caves are set in a dramatic limestone cliff at the point where the Mekong joins the Nam Ou River. After visiting the cave, get back to the van then transfer to Ban Xianghai where the local wine named 'Lao Lao' whiskey is made. Enjoy a traditional Lao lunch before continuing the journey by van to the Kuang Si waterfalls. Take the chance to visit a bear sanctuary on the walk up to the falls. At the Bear Rescue Centre, you will be given a lot of useful and interesting information about the Asian sun and moon bears as well as the Free the Bears protection program. Find out about how the bears are rescued from poachers and the illegal wildlife trade. Arrive at the Kuang Si Falls where you can take hundreds of beautiful photos and swim in the cool green stream. At about 4:30 PM, head back to your hotel in Luang Prabang with a convenient air-conditioned transfer.

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Vientiane Highlights & Buddha Park Full Day Tour with Lunch

3. Vientiane Highlights & Buddha Park Full Day Tour with Lunch

Begin your private tour at the serene Wat Si Saket, the only temple left intact after the Thai invasion of 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital, and its breezy teak-covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Continue to the nearby Wat Ho Phra Keo and the nearby Presidential Palace and appreciate the building from outside. Visit Wat Si Muang, one of the most popular and venerated temples in Vientiane. Then move on to the Patuxai monument, Laos’ version of the Arc de Triomphe, where you can climb the stairs to the roof for sweeping panoramic views of the city. Next, your tour takes you to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple is resplendent as the sun shines upon its towering golden spire. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then take a 45-minute drive to the Buddha Park. En route make a brief stop and take photos of the Friendship Bridge, built by the Australian government in 1994, which links Laos and Thailand. On arrival, take a stroll around the Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan), filled with more than 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues including a huge 40-meter Reclining Buddha image.

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Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

4. Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

Start your full-day adventure with pickup from your hotel in Vang Vieng and join a 6-mile ride north to Ban Vieng Samai, the kayak starting point. Your kayaking guide will provide you with paddling instructions before you set off downstream on Nam Song River. On the journey, glide over many small rapids and enjoy the scenery of the incredible mountain karts along both sides of the river. Then, take a break from your kayaking tour with a visit to Tham Nam Cave. Tube inside the marvelous, 1,640-foot-long cave, dragging yourself with the help of a fixed rope. Take some time to enjoy a picnic lunch and then hop back on your kayak, paddling until you reach the center of Vang Vieng. Afterwards, you will have the choice to either be transferred back to your hotel, or to participate in activities such as zip lining and swimming in the Blue Lagoon 1. Before the zip line experience, your guide will walk you through instructions and safety training. Fly 4,440 feet over the green forest and river. The journey consists of 7 lines, 12 platforms, and 2 bridges. The Blue Lagoon 1 is one of the most famous locations in the city. Sit back and relax or jump in the natural pool to cool down. After your fun day out, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Vang Vieng in the evening.

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Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

5. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Kuang Si Waterfall by Tuk-Tuk

Enjoy a half-day Luang Prabang waterfall tour which lasts for 5.5 hours. Get picked up at your hotel at 8:30 AM and climb into a Tuk-Tuk, one of the most popular forms of transport in Laos. As you ride through the incredible scenery, take in the sights and experience real Laos culture and customs from your guide. First, enjoy a local coffee at a viewpoint of the Mekong River. At 10 AM, visit a lovely Luang Prabang village, one of the highlights on the tour and learn more about local life. At 11 AM, head over to Kuang Si Waterfall, the main highlight of the tour. At 1:15 PM, stop for lunch with your guide as you learn about the cuisine of the local people. Finish the tour at 2 PM after you're dropped off back at your hotel.

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From Vientiane: Nam Ngum Reservoir Private Day Trip

6. From Vientiane: Nam Ngum Reservoir Private Day Trip

Start your day with pickup at your hotel in Vientiane around 8.30 AM. Drive north to Nam Ngum Reservoir, a 250-square-kilometer (96.5-square-mile) lake with beaches and swimming spots located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Vientiane. On the way, stop at the Hmong Village to see the local market and meet the hill-tribe people. Continue to visit the archaeological sites of Vang Xang, built during the Hmong-Khmer Empire between the 8th and 11th centuries. Upon arrival at Nam Ngum Reservoir at noon, tuck into a local lunch served at the boat restaurant on the lake itself. After lunch, embark for an approximately 1.5-hour boat ride to discover fishing villages on the islands. On the way back to Vientiane, pay a visit to a traditional salt abstraction site at Ban Keun. Continue to Dong Mark Khai Market where local people gather to sell wild animals and a large selection of insects. You will reach your hotel in Vientiane in the late afternoon around 5 PM.

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Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

7. Luang Prabang: Guided Tour of Mt. Phousi with Local Cuisine

Experience the stunning beauty of Luang Prabang's natural scenery on a half-day motorbike tour, choosing between the sunrise or the sunset options. Choose the sunrise option to start your tour early when you’re picked up from your hotel at 5 AM. You’ll be taken to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang as the sun rises at 6 AM before cruising down the Mekong River on a local boat. At 7:30 AM, enjoy a local breakfast to learn more about traditional cuisine in Laos. Finish the tour at 8:30 AM when you’re dropped off back at your hotel.  Alternatively, choose the sunset option and start the tour in the afternoon. Get picked up from your hotel at 4:30 PM and head off on the back of a motorbike to Mount Phousi to admire the best views of Luang Prabang at sunset. Learn about the city's rich history from your expert guide and try some local cuisine in Luang Prabang. Sample delicious dishes like Or Lam, Khao Soy, and Nam Van before being dropped off at back your hotel at 8:30 PM.

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Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and UNESCO City Highlights Tour

8. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and UNESCO City Highlights Tour

Begin your journey at 7:30-8:00 AM by pickup at your hotel in Luang Prabang. Embark on a private slow boat tour upstream on the Mekong River, with a brief stop in a Rice Wine making village. After this, you will arrive at the Pak Ou Caves. A place of historic importance, see the thousands of Buddhist statues with numerous dimensions. The caves have a long history which dated back to when Laos was still an animism country. Journey back to the city and enjoy lunch in Coconut Garden restaurant, one of most famous traditional restaurants in Luang Prabang. Continue with a visit to the Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham which was built in late 18th century. Then, head to the Royal Palace Museum called as Haw Kham the Golden Hall, built between 1904-1909 with a blend of Laotian and French Beaux Arts.  Discover the Frecnch colonial architecture on the way to the Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most beautiful temples in the town. The temple was built in 1560 to commemorate the memory of the Chanthaphanith and Jataka stories from Buddhist cosmology. Xieng Thong Ratsavoravihanh the "Golden City or Golden Tree Monastery" is the most historically significant and impressive of Luang Prabang's temples, and is typical of the Lao Architecture of Luang Prabang. Next, visit Ock Pop Tok Living Craft Centre which is the perfect place to learn more about the fascinating world of Lao textiles and handicrafts. Lastly, make a stop at UXO Lao Visitors Centre. In here, learn more about Laos´ recent history. Watch some short movies about the unexploded ordnance, as Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. Get a transfer back to your hotel to enjoy the rest of your evening.

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Luang Prabang: Full-Day Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

9. Luang Prabang: Full-Day Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls

Following pickup from your accommodation at around 8:20AM–09:00AM, you can enjoy the views as you drive through the countryside to explore the Pak Ou Caves. Following a 45-minute drive from Luang Prabang, you will stop to visit Ban Xang Hai, also known as Whisky Village. There you can see the process of making lao lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, and can even try an early morning sample. You then embark on a boat trip from Ban Xang Hai to the Pak Ou Caves on the Mekong River, taking in the breathtaking views of the tranquil countryside as well as the mysterious nature on the way. Pak Ou Caves are two linked caves crammed with thousand of lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes which have been left by devoted pilgrims. Explore the caves for about 40 minutes, before your boat takes you onward to enjoy a beautiful buffet-style lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Mekong River. Following your lunch break, this adventure destination package takes you to the final stop of the Kuang Si Waterfall. There you will have time to explore the three-layered Kuang Si Waterfall, walk the trails of the nature reserve, swim in the refreshing turquoise-water pools, and visit the bear rescue center. You'll leave for Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, making a short visit at Ban Na Uan Hmong village on the way. Your return to the city is expected to be between 5:30PM-6:00PM, which is the ideal time to visit Phousi Mountain for the sunset.

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Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

10. Full-Day Private Guided Pak Ou Caves & Ethnic Village Tour

Set off into the Mekong River after being gathered from your hotel, passing scenes of fishermen and wildlife on the way. Once you arrive at the Pak Ou Caves, head to Tham Ting, the first cave. The smaller cave is illuminated from the entrance, making it a popular place to burn incense and offer prayers. As your guide leads you through the dark cave with a light, catch sight of the Buddha icons, numbering in the 1,000s that fill the place.  After your excursion through the caves, hop aboard your boat and make your way to the village of Ban Xanghai. Here, you can witness the traditional method of making lao-lao, the local rice wine. A short drive then takes you to Ban Phanom, which is famous for its handwoven textiles. Watch the craftsmen deftly work at their looms, weaving silk and cotton into intricate patterns. Conclude your day of adventure with a leisurely boat trip back to Luang Prabang.

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Laos, located in Southeast Asia, shares borders with countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is a veritable heaven of delicious delicacies, amazing views and many things to see and do.

While there, be sure to see the beautiful town of Luang Prabang. Known for its rich culture and tasty food, a great way to get a real feel for the town is by electric bike. Cycle along the Mekong River and learn about Luang Prabang's diverse culture, then see an elephant show.

Another Laotian city to visit is Viantiane, the capital. Take a tour and marvel at beautiful temples like Wat Sisaket, which is filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and the famed Patuxay monument.

Another important site in the city is the Pha That Luang, a temple constructed in the 16th century, which is highly visible with its lofty golden spire. Then stroll along the riverbanks, where local food stalls are set up and travelers can enjoy a refreshing snack. Phou Khao Kway National Park, near Viantiane, is majestic and filled with many of Laos' famous wild orchids. Spend a day on an orchid trek to learn about the park and raise your environmental awareness.

Laos is an inspired adventure for any traveler, offering wild orchids, delightful cuisine and a rich and long cultural tradition.

Other Sightseeing Options in Laos

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