Small but perfectly formed, Laos is the ideal country to visit to get a snapshot of the best bits of Asia. For the intrepid at heart, we take a look at the best bits of adventure tours in Laos.
Filled with magnificent natural wonders, a rich heritage and boundless cultural and traditional characteristics, landlocked Laos is capturing the imagination of more and more visitors. But there’s still plenty going on to take you off-the-beaten-track. Adventure tours in Laos are full of amazing surprises – here are our top tips.
Meandering in Vientiane
Adventures in Laos start in the capital city of Vientiane. Compared to other cities in South East Asia, Vientiane feels smaller and easier to get to know in a short space of time. The feeling is one of getting lost, whether on the wide boulevards with little traffic, in big and small temples, or meandering the streets of the market or the riverbanks of the Mekong River.
Off-the-beaten-track in Laos
Three hours from Vientiane is Vang Vieng and local natural and man-made wonders. An abandoned runway in the former Vang Vieng military airfield is a mysterious sight, while nearby caves and mountains are hidden gems made by nature. Another remote spot ideal for adventure tours in Laos is the Plain of Jars – surrounded by mountains near Xieng Khoang. The Plain of Jars are formed of several stone urns in a number of groupings, of unknown origins.
Culture lovers can have holiday adventure tours in Laos that are filled with fun and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This is centred on Luang Prabang, which is home to more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this area attracts culture and heritage fans from across the world, yet there is always a feeling of space and freedom to wander and truly soak up the atmosphere. In southern Laos, the pre-Angkorna temple of Wat Phu is now mostly ruins, but the area as a whole was an important sanctuary of the Khmer Empire.
People and traditions in Laos
There are numerous hillside villages near Phonsavan perfect to include in adventure tours in Laos. Home to hill tribes, visitors are often invited to experience their culture and learn about their history. In Luang Prabang, monks can be spotted collecting alms in the form of sticky rice from faithful local residents in the early morning. Laos is the only Buddhist nation that still preserves this ritual, so visitors wanting truly original experiences should get up early and observe the custom. On the way to Pak Ou Cave is the traditional village of Ban Muangkeo, where traditional rice whisky is made. Taste it if you’re adventurous at heart!
While visits to Laos aren’t necessarily adrenalin-pumping, Laos tours are still full of plenty of adventures. In Luang Prabang, climb the 328 steps of Phousi Hill and go for a swim in the water by Kuang Si Waterfall. In southern Laos, Tadlo Waterfall is also great for a swim and watching an elephant bathe. Although Laos is landlocked, the country has 4,000 islands in the Mekong River, which can be explored by bicycle and boat. The latter offers the chance to spot the rare freshwater dolphins that reside here.
There are plenty of amazing experiences to incorporate into adventure tours in Laos to suit all tastes. Whether you love history, culture and traditions, or meeting people, being in the countryside or relaxing by the water, Laos has it all. Mr Linh’s Adventures runs numerous adventure tours in Laos
– just choose the one that suits your personality best.