10 best things to do in Laos

Traveling to Laos can be considered a fascinating journey to an extremely exotic country well-known for its beautiful natural landscapes, sacred heritage sites, unique culture, and friendly local people. During this unforgettable cultural rollercoaster ride, you will be amazed by lots of interesting sites and activities, from the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang to the mysterious stone structures on the enigmatic Plains of Jars.

1. Luang Prabang (Northern Laos)

Situated in the northern area of Laos, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang is a lovely town that tourists should not miss on their trip to this country. Luang Prabang proudly possesses stunning marvelous natural spots, impressive former royal palaces, and more than 30 sacred temples, historic old French colonial constructions.

Visiting Luang Prabang, you can wake up a bit earlier to take part in the traditional alms-giving ceremony (Tak Bat), enjoy a cup of coffee in a charming cafe in town, and spend time exploring the ancient architecture.

2. That Luang (Vientiane)

Located in Vientiane, That Luang (as known as the Great Stupa) is a national symbol and the most sacred monument of Laos. Viewing from outside, That Luang seems like a fortress with high walls in the surroundings and presents 2 dedicated temples along with the magnificent 45-meter-tall stupa covered with gold leaf on the top.

That Luang - Vientiane

3. Vang Vieng (4 hours north of Vientiane)

Vang Vieng is a graceful mountainous town that attracts numerous travelers all around the world due to its sleeping beauty. Situated among breathtaking mountain ranges, lovely rivers, majestic caves, magnificent limestone cliffs, and vast rice fields, this charming scenic town owns lots of interesting attractions. Among them, the Nam Song River is well-known for its special 'tubing' rides which is an unforgettable experience for tourists traveling to Vang Vieng.

4. Wat Sisaket (Vientiane)

Located in Vientiane, Wat Sisaket is remembered as the only temple in the country that survived the Siamese occupation in 1828 which badly affected the infrastructure of the capital. The temple not only preserves more than 10,000 Buddha sculptures in different sizes and styles but also has beautiful design and surroundings.

The things that you should spend time exploring once arriving at Wat Sisaket are the decorated 5-tiered roof, a small library with a Burmese-style roof, a drum tower, and the floral ordination hall containing 7,000 wooden, stoned, and bronzed images.

5. Bolaven Plateau and Tad Fane Waterfall (Pakse – Champasak)

Lying to the south of Laos, Bolaven Plateau is an attractive travel destination due to its stunning natural scenes, local ethnic villages, and untouched corners. The plateau with elevation ranging from 1,000 to 1,350 meters above sea level is famous for being home to some of the Southeast Asia region's most magnificent waterfalls such as Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao. The most popular activities at Bolaven Plateau are biking and trekking through rural areas. From Pakse city, you can choose to take a day trip to the plateau by private car or spend more time discovering the region following the big loops by motorbike.

Pakse waterfall

6. Bokeo (Northern Laos)

Located in the northwest region of Laos, Bokeo, a peaceful rustic province surrounded by beautiful mountains, primitive forests, and vast farmland, is home to 30 ethnic groups featuring traditional lifestyles and unique culture. The capital province Huay Xai situated on the bank of the mighty Mekong River has some religious sites to explore.

7. Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan - Vientiane)

Belonged to Vientiane, Buddha Park (also known as Xieng Khuan) is a famous site with an impressive collection of over 200 religious statues, including a huge reclining Buddha image. Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who researched both Buddhism and Hinduism, built this construction in 1958 and filled it with numerous impressive statues.

8. The Plain of Jars (XiengKhouang)

The Plain of Jars is remembered as the most unexplained and mysterious attraction in Laos. The civilization that existed in the area remains a big secret for all archaeologists. The regions were formed from both sandstone and granite dated more than 2,000 years old. This unique site is situated near Phonsavan, the main hub of Xiengkhouang Province.

The Plain of Jars

9. Vat Phou (Champasak)

Vat Phou (as known as the Temple Mountain), a temple ruin lying at the basement of Phou Kao Mountain, is bounded by lush forest and offers great views of the mighty Mekong River and the Champasak Province. Coming here, you can spend time exploring the famous ancient UNESCO World Heritage site Khmer temple complex with ornate structures built between the 5th and the 15th centuries, a natural spring containing holy water as local people believed, and a display of Buddha and Hindu statues

10. That Ing Hang Stupa (Savannakhet)

That Ing Hang Stupa is an important worshipping place for both Laos Buddhists and Thai Buddhists living in the northern region of the neighbor Thailand. The sixteenth-century tower is around 9 meters tall and proudly preserves a Buddha’s bone.

Planning a trip to visit That Ing Hang Stupa, you should wear long-sleeved clothes covering shoulders, chest, and knees. Women may need to wear Laos-styled sarong before setting foot on the temple grounds. Additionally, outside stalls also sell coconuts and lotus for people wishing to give offerings at the site.

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