In compared to other neighbor countries like Cambodia and Thailand, Laos seems to be less popular for western visitors for their holidays. In my opinion, the major reason is the high plane tickets. However, if you can hunt for the no frill flights provided by Vietnam Airlines or Air Asia, Laos is a suggested destination to visit with the peaceful and pretty landscapes, especially honest and friendly local people. Let’s put your soul in these top places to visit in Laos
You can choose the departure place of Hanoi city where you take a flight to Luang Prabang. Coming here, you can enjoy the beauty of a peaceful capital with ancient temples and pagodas, the good dishes or the fragrant cups of coffee on the river shores. Visiting the day and night markets of Luang Prabang is also an interesting experience to see how gentle and peaceful the Luang Prabang is. Don’t forget to pay a visit to some attractions including Kuang Si Waterfall, Tad Sae Waterfall, Pak Ou Cave. 3 days is enough for the visit to Luang Prabang.
From Luang Prabang, you can catch a bus to Vang Vieng. This is a small town, which is immersed into the gorgeous natural landscapes of rivers and mountains. Vang Vieng is always attractive for its adorable beauty and friendly people. All the tourist activities here are simple but attractive. The River of Nam Song with its currents blowing through the town is considered a present which the nature has inherited to the area. Sitting on the sides of the river to admire the sunset or the new dawn while sipping a cup of coffee or Laos’ beer is the very exciting experience you should get when visiting Vang Vieng.
Don’t forget to try on the game of tubing to release your body and your soul to the current of Nam Song River; ride a bike around the fields of rice, corn or mulberry in lush green; travel by Blue Lagoon to enjoy the fresh and cool water. One more interesting experience that should not be missed is enjoying the dish of fragrant grilled meat while having a cup of Laos’ beer on the shore of the gentle Nam Song River. 2 days are the minimum period that should be spent in Vang Vieng.
Your next destination of the capital of Vientiane which is not so far from Vang Vieng. The capital is around 160 km from Vang Vieng which takes around 4 hours on bus as the roads in Laos are stills in bad condition. The capital city includes many destinations to visit like Patuxai Victory Monument (also known as Khai Hoan Mon) That Dam, The Presidential Palace, That Luang, Wat Si Muang, Wat Sisaket, Wat Ho Phra Keo and Xieng Khuan which is about 25 km from Vientiane and is the storing place for above 200 Buddhist statues in various postures.
Cuisine in Vientiane is also an attractive feature of this city which is good and cheap. Along the shores of Mekong River, there are lots of stalls for hot pot opened at night with the pretty river view. Vientiane Market is also an interesting destination to visit. 2 days is enough for your travel to Vientiane.
If the time allows, you can also get a bus crossing the borders to visit Udon Thani of Thailand where you can enjoy the cheap and good dishes of this country as well as enjoy the massage service before getting buses to back to Bangkok or Chiang Mai for your returning flight. You can also take a direct flight to Vietnam from Vientiane.
Some note for the top places to visit in Laos
A dirt travel tour to Laos does not cost you too much as hostel are everywhere with the room rate of between $6 and $10 per night. The rate in Luang Prabang is a bit higher than that in Vang Vieng and Vientiane, but just around $10 per night for a hostel dorm bed. In addition, there are also a lot of luxury and nice hotels and resorts for affluent people who want to have a trip to retreat and enjoy the peaceful destinations.
Coffees, foods and drinks are all available, good and cheap. The grilled dish served with Laos sticky rice is a very famous dish that should not be missed. Laos’ beer is also the product that marks Laos on the travel map for backpackers in all over the world. Thus, once coming to Laos, don’t forget to taste the dishes of sticky rice, beef sausage, grilled dishes and drink beer every day of your tour.
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