Landlocked between Thailand and Vietnam, the long forgotten backwater of Laos is startlingly beautiful with rolling mountains, jagged limestone cliffs, brooding jungles, remote tribal villages and the mighty Mekong River. The pace of life is slow, centuries-old traditions are lovingly retained and the Lao people wonderfully welcoming.
In the sleepy capital, Vientiane, tree-lined boulevards are crowded with frangipani and tamarind, ancient ruins, gleaming stupas and graceful colonial buildings. When in need of a break, you’ll find numerous cafes and patisseries, a tasty legacy of French rule.
Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of Southeast Asia’s most alluring places and considered to be the religious heart of Laos. Wander the palm-lined riverbanks and tranquil streets, passing gilded wats, traditional wooden houses and with luck, and a 4am wake up call you’ll see saffron-clad monks collecting alms for your own picture-perfect snapshot of bygone Asia.
The Mekong is the lifeline of Laos, so there is perhaps no better way to discover this stunningly scenic and culturally distinctive land than a river cruise (available on request).
GMT +7 hours
Lao Kep, although US$ also accepted in some places.
Luang Prabang is approximately 13.5 hours from the UK (via Bangkok).
Laos is a year-round destination, although there are two distinct weather seasons. The dry season is October to late April and the wet season May to September. However, within each season there are variations and November-January are the coolest months while February-May is drier and very hot.
A visa may be required. Please ask for details.Find out more