Laos is a country brimming with natural beauty and fascinating history. Jaw-ping waterfalls and stunning mountain views are common here, as are ancient and mysterious ruins. In the north there are a myriad of trekking opportunities to remote villages and forested valleys, as well as potential day-long excursions to waterfalls, caves and national parks. Lively Vientiane and sophisticated Luang Prabang dominate the north in terms of size, and are good starting points for any trip to Laos. However there are dozens of smaller towns and villages that can also act as bases for trekking, like Nong Khiaw, Luang Namtha, and Phongsali.
Great trekking isn’t just limited to the north, as the Bolaven Plateau sports a truly stunning number of waterfalls, caves and vistas. The ruins of nearby Wat Phu Champasak have an air of mystery and spirituality, having acted as a place of worship for over a thousand years.
The country is also incredibly diverse, with scores of ethnic groups residing here as they have for centuries or sometimes millennia. The largest diversity can be found in the north, where the Khmu and Hmong groups dominate, making up 11 and 9 percent of Laos’ total population respectively.
For travellers hungry for adventure, Vang Vieng is a great stop to add to your itinerary. Once the party capital of Laos, it has in recent years transformed itself. Now the town plays host to many types of adventure activities like ziplining, rock climbing, tubing, rafting, and kayaking.
In the far south, among the widening waters of the Mekong, is Si Phan Don, or the Four Thousand Islands. The river archipelago certainly lives up to its name, but most of the attractions and activities can be found on Don Det and Don Khon. Here the peaceful river life clashes with the violent roar of the Mekong as it crashes down giant waterfalls before running into neighbouring Cambodia.
A land of incredible diversity and stunning views, Laos is an interesting and beautiful destination for any kind of traveller. The people will welcome you with open arms, eager for you to experience their homeland.