Laos

Flag of Laos
Capital: Vientiane
Population: 7,169,455
Area: 236,800 km2

Landlocked, Laos is one of Asia's most enchanting destinations. Stunning natural beauty combined with a fascinating Buddhist culture make Laos a great destination for backpackers and independent travelers. Although those tourists who like comfort and luxury, will be well hosted.

Travelers praise Laos for a reason. Adventurers can spend eternity exploring underground river caves and jungles, or climbing distinctive karst peaks. Nature lovers can walk through the wilderness and observe exotic animals like gibbons or elephants. Culture lovers can explore ancient temples and immerse themselves in the spiritual life of Laos. Laos is changing rapidly, but some parts of the country have remained intact and are waiting to be explored by adventurers, who are ready to give up the usual tourist luxury.

If you are looking for culinary pleasure, spice up your experience with a Laotian cuisine course or taste a gourmet style with a French accent in the cities. And if that all sounds a little strenuous, then relax with a spa treatment or yoga. Laos has something for everyone.

The bustling capital city of Vientiane attracts many, as does the thriving tourist center of Wang Vieng. The remote northern provinces of Phongsali, Luang Nam Tha and Udomxai offer exciting trekking opportunities. Infrastructure is still being developed, so travel can be challenging, but extremely rewarding.

In the northeast of the country you will find the mysterious Plain of Jars. Most tourists go to the Si Phan Don River Archipelago, due to the relaxed lifestyle and dolphin watching. The largest river island, Don Khong, is also the most visited, followed by Don Dhet and Don Khon.

You should visit the incredibly romantic Luang Prabang, with its glittering palaces, monks and peaceful way of life. However, the pace has changed a bit since the arrival of tourists, where fine cafes are located side by side with chic boutiques.

The best time to visit most of Laos is between November and February, when it rains the least and is not too warm. It is also the main season for festivals. If you plan to focus on the mountainous northern provinces, then the warm season from March to May and the beginning of the rainy season around June are not bad, because the temperatures at higher altitudes are moderate. The high tourist season is from December to February and during August, and January has the biggest crowds.

Travelers will discover a country untouched by mass tourism and breathe in the slow pace of this Asian gem.