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10 Best Places to Visit in Laos

Best Places to Visit in Laos

Laos must be a wonderful destination to visit if you love the outdoors. The commercialization of this lovely nation is still taking place, and there are still so many unexplored natural wonders. Majestic mountains, stunning waterfalls, rivers, wide plateaus, etc., will all be visible. There are many stunning scenes displayed right before your eyes, which will undoubtedly astound and impress you. Why not travel to Laos and revel in God’s gift of natural beauty? In this article, I will cover the Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Laos. So let’s dive in!

Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Laos

10. Vientiane

Vientiane

Starting things off, we have Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, located on the banks of the Mekong River. Unlike the usual hustle and bustle of other capital cities, Vientiane boasts a more relaxed and slower-paced experience. You have the opportunity to wander along the charming streets, indulge in the flavors of local delicacies at the bustling night market, and admire the exquisite architecture of the city’s magnificent temples.

Make sure to visit Wat Si Saket, the oldest Buddhist temple in the city. Another highlight is the Patuxai Monument, also known as the Victory Gate. If you have more time, head to the Buddha Park just outside the city. Vientiane is a great jumping-off point for visiting the rest of Laos, but we don’t recommend spending too much time here.

9. Bolaven Plateau

Bolaven Plateau

Located in southern Laos, the Bolaven Plateau sits on a volcanic tableland. Known for its beautiful natural landscapes, this destination is home to several majestic waterfalls, with the highest waterfall in the country found here. But the area is also famous for its authentic villages and lush coffee plantations, where you can learn about the coffee-making process and indulge in a freshly brewed cup. The easiest way to explore this plateau is by a motorbike loop or guided tour from the city of Pakse, which sits just to the west.

8. Luang Namtha & Nam Ha National Protected Area

Luang Namtha

Located in the Luang Namtha province of Laos, the Nam Ha National Protected Area is the perfect destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Sprawling across an area of 2,224 square km, this park is a treasure trove of biodiversity, featuring lush forests, exotic wildlife, and traditional tribal communities.

The best way to experience this area is by trekking, kayaking, or mountain biking. We opted for a guided day hike through the dense jungle, which was a little over 15 km and had 975m of elevation gain. It was a challenging hike, especially with the humidity, but we enjoyed all the lush tropical plants along the way.

7. Muang Ngoi

Muang Ngoi

Muang Ngoi is a sleepy little village located in the north of Laos, tucked in a peaceful valley between lush green mountains. This town feels remote and isolated, with only a few gravel streets hosting a dozen guesthouses and restaurants. As you would expect, most travelers come to relax and enjoy the riverside setting.

But we also recommend taking the opportunity to visit the surrounding area. You can hike to three nearby local villages, kayak down the river, or visit the nearby waterfall. As this town is mainly accessible by boat, there’s no quieter place than Muang Ngoi.

6. Nam Kan National Park

Nam Kan National Park

Nam Kan National Park lies in close proximity to the borders of Thailand and Myanmar, offering a serene sanctuary amidst lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems. With 1,360 square km of pristine forest, this park is home to diverse wildlife and plant species.

What makes Nam Kan National Park different is the unique way that you explore it. The Gibbon Experience, a world-renowned ecotourism initiative within the park, gives travelers the chance to zip line above the jungle canopy, observe wild gibbons in their natural habitat, and sleep in uniquely designed tree houses, all while contributing to the local community and forest conservation efforts.

5. The 4,000 Islands

The 4,000 Islands

The 4,000 islands is an archipelago in the south of Laos, right next to the border of Cambodia. This region boasts a distinctive terrain with myriad land patches scattered across the Mekong River, many of which are too diminutive for habitation. Among these, Don Det and Don Khon stand out as prominent destinations.

Don Det is renowned among backpackers for its budget-friendly bungalows and mesmerizing sunsets, while Don Khon offers a picturesque landscape dotted with cascading waterfalls. No matter which island you decide to stay on, you can visit both of them since they’re connected by a French Colonial Bridge.

Both islands exude a relaxed atmosphere and are home to an array of exceptional dining establishments, adding to the allure of their laid-back charm. The island here has some new concrete roads, which makes it perfect to just rent a bike and explore around.

4. Thakhek Loop

Thakhek Loop

Thakhek Loop is one of the most authentic areas to explore. It’s not exactly a destination but rather a scenic motorbike loop that starts and ends in the city of Thakhek. This 450 km or 280 mi journey features steep karst mountains, lush forests, refreshing springs, and numerous caves. The loop also passes through remote villages, offering a glimpse into authentic Lao culture.

Key attractions encompass the awe-inspiring Kong Lor River Cave, the panoramic vistas from the Dragon Cave Viewpoint, the refreshing Cool Springs, and The Rock Limestone Forest, offering thrilling ziplining experiences amidst its rugged valleys.

3. Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a small town located in the heart of Laos, situated on the banks of the Nam Song River and surrounded by stunning limestone mountains. The town is renowned for its unparalleled views and range of adventures to choose from. You can indulge in thrilling activities like tubing or kayaking down the river, exploring the vast cave systems, hiking up to one of the steep viewpoints, or riding in a hot air balloon to take in the stunning vistas from above.

One of our favorite things to do was explore the beautiful countryside and attractions by motorbike. There are also a few different Blue Lagoons on the outskirts of town that offer relaxation after a day of adventures.

2. Nong Khiaw

Nong Khiaw

The charming town of Nong Khiaw is situated on the banks of the Nam Ou River in the jagged northern region of Laos. Renowned for its breathtaking mountain vistas and tranquil ambiance, Nong Khiaw is swiftly emerging as a top-tier destination within the country.

Offering an abundance of outdoor pursuits, visitors can relish in sunset panoramas from the Som Nang Viewpoint, conquer the rugged trails of Pha Daeng Peak, embark on river kayaking adventures, or uncover hidden caves nestled amidst the picturesque countryside.

1. Luang Prabang

Finally, we have our last and my favorite destination in all of Southern Asia. Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Kan Rivers. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that blends incredible natural beauty with historical charm and a rich cultural heritage.

This is where most of the attractions are located, including the night market, the Royal Palace, Haw Pha Bang Temple, the local mountain viewpoint, and the streets filled with well-preserved architecture. Take a sunset cruise on the river, learn how to harvest rice at the Living Land Farm, or marvel at the cascading Kuang Si waterfalls. We have another full article about Luang Prabang, where you can find the best things to do in Luang Prabang.

Conclusion

Discovering the 10 best places to visit in Laos unveils a tapestry of natural wonders and cultural gems. From the serene streets of Vientiane to the breathtaking landscapes of Nong Khiaw and the historical charm of Luang Prabang, Laos offers an unforgettable journey for outdoor enthusiasts and culture seekers alike. Majestic mountains, tranquil rivers, and lush plateaus beckon travelers to explore the untouched beauty of this Southeast Asian gem. Embark on an adventure and immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes and rich heritage that Laos has to offer.