The longer you stay in Laos, the more relaxed you become, and the harder it gets to leave. People are friendly, tourists are few, the history fascinating and the coffee phenomenal.
Our favorite city in Southeast Asia is Luang Prabang, in the hills of northern Laos along the Mekong River. With flights from all over the region it is more accessible than ever, so you have no excuse not to include it on your next trip! With quiet streets wedged on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, the old town is still safe for easy relaxed exploration by foot or bicycle. Small unassuming temples, bougainvillea of every imaginable color, the best noodle soup in Asia, and friendly people make Luang Prabang an extraordinarily seductive place. The night market goes for blocks and blocks, and if you are an early riser, giving alms to the monks at daybreak is a ritual not to be missed. If you venture out of town you can cruise on the Mekong, explore the Pak Ou Caves, visit the handicraft villages for hand-woven silk textiles, silver, and handmade paper, or swim under mountain waterfalls. Stay in Luang Prabang for at least three nights, but you could easily stay up to a week!
North from Luang Prabang you can visit the mysterious Plain of Jars, go trekking, visit local villages or even do a homestay. To the south, Vientiane is the capital, and continuing further south fly to Pakse, the jumping off point for the Mekong River’s 4000 Islands, the lush coffee fields of the Bolaven Plateau, the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia or ancient forgotten temples of the Angkor era. From here, continue south to Cambodia, turn east to Ho Chi Minh City, or west to return to Thailand.