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Destination

Laos

Laos – officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic – is one of the great travel frontiers; landlocked and mountainous, swamped by jungles and promising Indian Jones adventures in remote tribal villages and ancient Buddhist caves.

With Thailand on one side and Vietnam  on the other, you might expect Laos to be commercial and crowded, but this is Asia’s backwater, where life moves as slowly as the churning waters of the Mekong River, which forms the border with three countries – Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia -  – as it snakes south towards the Gulf of Thailand.

Laos – officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic – is one of the great travel frontiers; landlocked and mountainous, swamped by jungles and promising Indian Jones adventures in remote tribal villages and ancient Buddhist caves.

With Thailand on one side and Vietnam  on the other, you might expect Laos to be commercial and crowded, but this is Asia’s backwater, where life moves as slowly as the churning waters of the Mekong River, which forms the border with three countries – Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia -  – as it snakes south towards the Gulf of Thailand.

A long-running civil war – during which the USA  dropped millions of bombs in Laos – kept the country off the mainstream tourist circuit for many years. Unexploded ordnance and poor infrastructure continue to pose a challenge to tourism, but each year brings a new crop of upmarket accommodation to supplement the existing backpacker hostels – Laos is finally finding its feet. Eco-tourism looks set to be its trump card, taking visitors to remote tribal villages and pristine national parks teeming with weird and wonderful wildlife.

Despite this rugged outlook, the capital city, Vientiane, feels remarkably cosmopolitan, helped by a café culture left behind from when this was part of French Indochina. Dotted around its pleasantly faded, palm-shaded streets are ancient ruins, gleaming stupas and graceful colonial buildings.

The laidback atmosphere and the relative lack of modern development make Laos perhaps the most authentic and unspoiled of the Southeast Asia nations, though it competes for this title with neighbouring Myanmar. Laos is also one of the few communist countries left in the world – which should be obvious from the bureaucratic red tape and the omnipresent red stars on uniforms and state buildings.

Until 1988, tourists were banned from Laos, but now it is possible to travel all over the country. Nevertheless, there are few crowded tourist hotspots, with the possible exception of monastery-studded Luang Prabang and the overblown backpacker resort of Vang Vieng. Wherever you go in Laos, you’ll encounter the delectable Lao cuisine: a little bit French, a little bit Southeast Asian, and perfect washed down with a bottle of Beer Lao.

  • How Feeling A Charming Of Two Nations
    How Feeling A Charming Of Two Nations
    11 Days / 10 Nights

    Halong - Ninh Binh - Vientiane - Luang Prabang.

    Contact us for price

    Journey North to South in Vietnam and then South to North and back again in Campuchia

  • Luang Prabang Reveal
    Luang Prabang Reveal
    4 Days / 3 Nights

    Luang Prabang

    Contact us for price

    Journey North to South in Vietnam and then South to North and back again in Campuchia

  • Luang Prabang Stopover
    Luang Prabang Stopover
    3 Days / 2 Nights

    Luang Prabang

    Contact us for price

    Journey North to South in Vietnam and then South to North and back again in Campuchia

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