When you first heard about Laos, you probably thought it was just a mountainous, slow-paced, low populated country in Southeast Asia. However, on a Laos vacation, you’ll find that it is a very intriguing country with a strong Buddhist culture. One thing you may not know about Laos is that the government actually limits tourism in an effort of preserving places like LuangPrabang. If you are looking for someplace off the beaten path, find a Laos resort and get your vacation on, don’t waste any more time, book a flight to Laos whilst the culture is still rich in this corner of the world.
Nothing says vacation like sitting on a white-sand beach with a good book. In Laos,it’s perfectly acceptable to play beach bum. It’s easy to find a quite beach, so all you’ll need is a good book and some sunscreen and you’ll be ready for a relaxing day. But, if relaxing isn’t really your thing, you can always grab some snorkelling gear and check out the beautifully coloured sea creatures. Or, you can try to show off your surfing skills. And, as a bonus, most of the popular beaches have rental stands where you can get chairs, boogie or surf boards, snorkel gear or whatever else you want … so you won’t have to pack the entire house to be comfortable at the beach.
Things to Do:
If you enjoy learning about history and exploring ancient cities, make sure you head to northern Laos and visit LuangPrabang – the capital city of the Lane Xang Kingdom during the 13th to 15th centuries. For over 600 years the Lan Xang kingdom spread throughout present-day Laos, southern China and northeast Thailand. In the city, you’ll see the Phra Bang – a gold image of Buddha. The Lao people esteem the Phra Bang very highly.
LuangNamtha in the far northern region of Laos was just recently opened for tourism and is probably one of the country’s most attractive places. It’s a remote city in a primaeval forest and the living conditions are all very basic. The area is surrounded by mountains and rice fields and is probably one of the most relaxing places you could go.
There are markets all across and around Vientiane that sell fresh produce, hand-crafted ornaments, jewellery and couture textiles, which makes Laos a great place to shop. Even if you aren’t a big shopper, visiting a Laos market is a must-see. Take a few minutes to just walk around the market, look at the vibrant colours and you’ll start to understand a little bit of what it’s like to live in Laos. Whether you are looking for woodcarving, books, lamps, fabric, jewellery or ethnic handicrafts, Laos has it all – so make sure there is plenty of room in your luggage.
Eating and Drinking
You’ll find that Lao cuisine is pretty similar to Thai and Vietnamese – probably because the countries are neighbours. In Laosrestaurants, you’ll find spicy soups, sticky rice and chick and other local favourites. Major cities in Laos serve foods that will please just about anyone, but as you head down the road less travelled, your food selections will dwindle. Just as a little tip, if you head to a Laos restaurant with a view over the river … make sure you take along some mosquito repellent – if you don’t, you’ll regret it the next morning. Restaurants that look over the river are some of the best Laos restaurants because they have more relaxed and unique menu options. When you get away from the river, your dining options are as varied as the tourists you’ll see wandering the streets.