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Simply Beautiful

If you’re looking to experience an authentic destination in Southeast Asia, you should visit Laos. Natural in almost every aspect, Laos offers travellers endless opportunities and unique surprises along the way. Also known as the Land of a Million Elephants, Laos is a culturally rich, landlocked country with a sparse population relative to its size. Lao people are predominantly Buddhist and are very hospitable to travellers.

Unique Flavours

From a bamboo-themed cooking class and freshly made noodles to sampling traditional Lao coffee and visiting a coffee plantation, Laos offers a diverse range of culinary experiences.

Unique Experiences

Venture to the 4,000 Islands region to go in search of the illusive Irrawaddy freshwater dolphin, cycle to quaint local villages and stay in a riverside lodge overlooking the Mekong.

Local Encounters

Join the locals for a game of petanque, the Lao national pastime or receive a traditional Lao blessing at a ‘baci’ ceremony in a local home to gain an insight into the local way of life.


Top Highlights

Laos Map and Infos








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Situated along the Mekong River near the border with Thailand, Vientiane has a mixture of Asian and French colonial architecture destined to charm you. It houses many temples and Buddhist monuments, including the famous Pha That Luang. Not only does the style of the buildings reflect Laos’ historical ties with France, but the freshly baked baguettes are often served next to shops selling piping hot noodle soup. This capital city is the centre of culture, commerce and administration in all of Laos.
Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng has managed to become a destination in its own right – and rightfully so. While the town still isn’t much more than three streets and a bus station, it is the stunning scenery of the Nam Song river and karst rock formations surrounding this town that make it look like a rural scene from an old Asian silk painting. Thanks to the Lao government closing the riverside rave bars in 2012, the community has rebooted itself as an outdoor paradise for kayaking, caving, rock climbing, and more. Visit some of the blue lagoons or relax and take in views of the mountains.
Luang Prabang
The former capital of Laos, this UNESCO World Heritage City has to be one of the most charming places in all of Southeast Asia. A myriad of traditional Lao wooden houses, gold-roofed temples, and French colonial architecture are set against a backdrop of verdant greenery and rugged mountains. The city wakes up every day to the sound of bells, gongs and drums from the local temples which send the monks and novices on their rounds to collect rice for their daily meal. Luang Prabang is the main centre of Buddhism practices and is the perfect location for spiritual contemplation. Surrounded by natural beauty, the town offers travellers a wealth of spiritual beauty and outdoor adventure.
Pakse, the capital of the Champasak province of Southern Laos, is an ideal base with its relaxing atmosphere on the Mekong and Sedone Rivers, friendly locals, ubiquitous riverside restaurants and bars, and Southeast Asia’s highest waterfall, Khong Phapend. Located steps from the Bolaven Plateau and the 4000 Islands make Pakse a great starting point for exploring Southern Laos. For culture, Pakse is synonymous with Wat Phou in a similar way that Siem Reap is to Angkor Wat. Wat Phou was built by the founder of the first Khmer empire, Jayavarman II. It is much smaller than Angkor, but still a rival to that ancient empire and worth a visit.
If you’re looking for an authentic destination to visit then experience Laos in all its majestic beauty. Natural in almost every aspect, Laos is one of Southeast Asia’s least developed nations offering the adventurous tourist a land of many surprises. It is still a relatively undiscovered country that has escaped the dramatic industrial development of its neighboring countries. laos_flag Laos, also known as the Land of a Million Elephants, is a culturally rich, land-locked country with a population of just over 6 million. The Laotians are predominantly Buddhist and are very friendly and hospitable people. The official language is Lao, but English is widely spoken. The capital city, Vientiane, skirts the Mekong River, which forms the border between Laos and Thailand. In Vientiane, you should pay a visit to the temples of Wat Phra Keo, Wat Si Saket and the splendid sight on top of the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ offering a superb view on of the surrounding natural area of Vientiane. One of nation’s most important temples is the That Luang Stupa, which should not be missed. During the afternoon, if you have time, stop by the National Cultural Ethnic Park, the Friendship Bridge or the bizarre Buddha Park. In the morning, don’t miss the market where you can buy anything from local handicrafts to MP3 players and traditional medicine. The second destination of Laos is Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that deserves to be seen. There, among other things, you can enjoy a walk to the top of the Wat Phousy overlooking the Mekong River, for splendid views of adjacent land. Later, you can discover the stunning and beautiful Wat Xieng Thong Temple. In former times the oldest temple of Luang Prabang played a major role during cremation ceremonies for the Laotian kings.
His successors helped establish Buddhism as the predominant religion of the country. TIMELINE 18th Century Conflicts with Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia 1907 Franco-Siamese treaty that defined the border between Laos and Thailand 1945 Formation of Independent government under Free Laos Banner 1947 France recognized the independence of Laos 1960 paratroop captain seized Vientiane in a coup 1972 Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) joined a new coalition government 1975 The King renounced his throne In the 18th century Lane Xang entered a period of decline caused by dynastic struggle and conflicts with Burma Siam, now Thailand, Vietnam and the Khmer kingdom. In the 19th century the Siamese established hegemony over much of what is now Laos. The region was divided into principalities centered on Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Champassak. Late in the century the French supplanted the Siamese and integrated all of Laos into the French empire. The Franco-Siamese treaty of 1907 defined the present Lao boundary with Thailand. During World War II the Japanese occupied French Indochina including Laos. In September 1945 Vientiane and Champassak united with Luang Prabang to form an independent government under the Free Lao banner. In 1946 French troops reoccupied the country and conferred limited autonomy on Laos following elections for a constituent assembly. France formally recognized the independence of Laos within the French Union in 1949 and Laos remained a member of the Union until 1953. Pro-Western governments held power after the 1954 Geneva peace conference until 1957 when the first coalition government led by Prince Souvanna Phouma was formed. The coalition government collapsed in 1958 amidst increased polarization of the political process. Rightist forces took over the government and a communist insurgency resumed in 1959. In 1960 a paratroop captain seized Vientiane in a coup and demanded formation of a neutralist government to end the fighting. The neutralist government newly in place was driven from power later that same year by rightist forces. In response, the neutralists allied themselves with the communist insurgents and began to receive support from the Soviet Union. The rightist regime received support from the U.S. A second Geneva conference was held in 1961-1962 and provided for the independence and neutrality of Laos. Soon after accord was reached the signatories accused each other of violating the terms of the agreement and with superpower support on both sides the civil war soon resumed. In 1972 the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) joined a new coalition government after the Vientiane agreement of February 21, 1973 went into effect that same year. Nonetheless the political struggle between communist’s neutralists and rightists continued. The collapse of Saigon and Phnom Penh in 1975 hastened the decline of the coalition. On December 1975 the king renounced his throne in the constitutional monarchy and entrusted his power to the Lao people but the LPRP dissolved the coalition cabinet and the communist Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) was established. The new communist government imposed centralized economic decision-making and broad security measures including control of the media and the arrest and incarceration of many members of the previous government and military in “re-education camps”. These draconian policies and deteriorating economic conditions along with government efforts to enforce political control prompted an exodus of lowland Lao and ethnic Hmong from Laos. About 10% of the Lao population sought refugee status after 1975. Many have since been resettled in third countries including nearly 250,000 who have come to the United States. The situation of Lao refugees is now nearing its final chapter and many have resettled in their homeland.
Laos is a landlocked country bordered to the north by China, to the east by Vietnam, so the south by Cambodia, and to the west by Thailand and Myanmar. Apart from the Mekong River plains along the border of Thailand, the country is mountainous, particularly in the north and in places densely forested.
Laos enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons, the rainy season from the beginning of May to the end of September and dry season from October through April. The yearly average temperature is about 28 C (82F), rising to a maximum of 38 C (100F) in April and May. In Vientiane minimum temperatures of 19 C (66F) can be felt in January. In mountainous areas, temperatures drop to 14-15 C (58F) during the winter months, and during cold nights easily reach the freezing point. The average precipitation is highest in southern Laos, where the Annamite Mountains receive over 3000 mm (118 inches) annually. In Vientiane rainfall is about 1500-2000 mm (59 to 79 inches), and in the Northern provinces only 1000-1500 (39 to 59 inches) mm.
Buddhism first appeared in Laos during the 18th century A.D. The unified Kingdom of Lane Xang, in the 14th century declared Buddhism as the state religion and urged the people to abandon animism or other beliefs such as the cult of spirits. The policy was meant to develop the Laotian culture around one common faith, Theravada Buddhism. Today, this form of Buddhism is now the professed religion for 90% of the Lao people. Buddhism is an inherent feature of daily life and casts a strong influence on the society. Lao woman can be seen each morning giving alms to monks, earning merit to lessen the number of their rebirth. Lao men are expected to become a monk for at least a short time in their lives. Traditionally, they spend three months during the rainy season in a Buddhist temple. But nowadays most men curtail their stay to one or two weeks.
The Laotians are known to be friendly and smiling people who love liberties with no quarrels or oppressions. They hold great respect for the nation and most live with honour and respect for others. A typical example illustrative of this well-known friendliness is the way in which inhabitants welcome strangers with a free meal. Friendship, love and peace sit in the hearts of Lao people. They hate conflicts or oppressors and their slogan is “united we survive and separated, we die.” They enjoy literature and arts, and the country’s ancient heritage arises from the national poetry that illustrates the Laotian way of life. HINTS The Lao Lum (lowlanders) who make up 70% of the population and predominantly live on Mekong River level. The Lao Theung (uplands) who comprise 20% of the population and on the foothills with an elevation of less than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). The Lao Song (hill tribes) who constitute 10% of the population and live in the mountainous areas. Theravada Buddhism has contributed greatly to the Lao culture. It is reflected throughout the country in its temples, the language, the arts, literature, performing arts and more. Laotian music is dominated by its national instrument, the khaen, a type of bamboo pipe. Houses are built on stilts and have free space underneath the roofs with a triangle wind plates on each side. There are two types of houses; single and a double roofed. The number of steps depends on the height of the house, but traditionally they’ll have an uneven number. The dress depends on gender and age. Lao women are dressed properly and seen traditionally as the mothers of the nation. Lao women wear silk skirts, blouses and scarves to attend important ceremonies. During significant events, Lao women wear scarves and coiled hair styles. Lao men wear salong, big large pants, or peasant pants, to attend important ceremonies.

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