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Attractions

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Waterfalls Of The Bolaven Plateus

Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos is popular for its incredible landscape, ethnic towns and unexplored corners. It's presumably best known for being home to some of Southeast Asia's most awesome waterfalls including Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao (otherwise known as Taat Fang). The level's rise goes around from 1,000 to 1,350 meters above ocean level and here the climate all in all is milder than whatever is left of the nation, getting cool, particularly during the evening. Its ripe fields permit ranchers to deliver a portion of the best tea and espresso in the nation (espresso remains Laos' greatest horticultural fare.) Tourism has ended up another critical wellspring of wage for local people as the territory has practically boundless trekking and daytrip opportunities.



Highlights – Southern Laos by scooter, Ban Saphai, Tad Fane, Tad Yuang Gneuang, Uttayan Bajiang.

Location - Southern Laos
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Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai (likewise Vieng Xay, Vieng Sai) is a region and town in Hua Phan Province. The town is situated on Route 6, 30 Km from Sam Neua (Province capital) and 55 km from the Vietnam/Laos outskirt in Na Meo. The greatest fascination of the town are the caverns. The previous Pathet Lao central command of Vieng Xai sit in a striking valley of prolific slopes and limestone bluffs loaded with caverns, a few of which were utilized to shield the Pathet Lao officers amid the second indo-china war. Amid the 1960s, political improvements in Laos were compelling later on of this entire locale. The United States trusted that Laos was urgent in the counteractive action of comrade extension, so this little nation got to be made up for lost time in the contention between the US and the north Vietnamese.



Highlights – Vieng Xai Caves visitor centre

Location - Laos
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Black Stupa (That Dam)

That Dam, or black stupa, is located on a quiet roundabout not far from Talat Sao (the morning market) and the American Embassy. That in Laotian refers to an inverted bell shape (or unopened lotus flower) structure that usually contains relics of the Buddha. Legend has it that a seven-headed water serpent – a ‘Naga’ lived here to protect the stupa that was once covered in pure gold.

During the Siamese-Laotian war in the 1820s, the gold was pillaged and taken to Siam, now Thailand, leaving the legacy that is the black stupa today. Known as the ‘Black Stupa', many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese.



Highlights
: Known as the ‘Black Stupa', many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese.

Location
: Chantha Khoumane Road, Vientiane
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Patuxai Victory Monument

With its crenellated upper level topped with five ornate towers in the traditional Laos style, the Patuxai Victory Monument cuts a distinctive figure on the Vientiane skyline. It forms the centre piece of Patuxai Park, and is dedicated to the Laos who were killed in the fight to gain independence from France, as well as from the nation’s earlier occupiers, Siam and Japan.

 

Highlights
: Patuxai was built between 1957 and 1968 using funds from the U.S. government.

Opening Hours
: From 08:00 to 16:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and 08:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Location
: Patuxai is situated at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district. The monument sits on the large ‘island’ formed where the avenue splits into two, opposite the Ministry of Justice to the south and the Prime Minister’s office to the north.
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Mekong River boat trip

At 4,350 km, River Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia. The Lower Mekong forms a part of the border of Burma (Myanmar) and Laos, and of Laos and Thailand. Two typical journeys along the Mekong areA Three-day cruisethat begins at theSiem Reap, covering Chnok Trou (the floating village), the Kampong Chhnang, the Kompong Tralech, the Koh Chen and finishes at the Phnom Penh. Low water at Tonle Sap Lake can alter this itinerary.



A Seven-day cruisefromthe Siem Reap, a cruise covering the Chnok Tru, the Kompong Chhnang, the Kompong Tralach, the Phnom Penh, the Koh Dek Chau, Chau Doc, the Vinh Long, the Cai Be, the My Theo and finishes at the Ho Chi Minh City. Most river ships on the Mekong have been built recently, and artful replicas of the “colonial” river steamers have been done, accommodating less than a hundred passengers. The cabins, in general, are quite comfortable and practical though recent additions include luxurious options.
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Morning Market

Vientiane Talaat Sao, the morning market is widely known for offering a wonderful selection of the local offerings, mostly of fabric-based stuff. The stalls and shops stay open from early till about 17:00. The indoor market, older and newer malls have been fused together to make Talaat Sao the favored shopping centre for both the locals and the visitors. Mostly the indoor mall keeps featuring household appliances, the knock-off electronics and watches. A few vendors sell delicious Lao ice cream sundaes with yummy coconut ice-cream, nuts, jelly sweets and sticky rice. For buying a sinh, traditional Lao skirt, and endless choices of fabrics are available. Silk scarves, wooden boxes, carvings and bowls are scattered over shops.



 There are shops selling snakes in trinkets and Lao whiskey. Lao herbal remedies are sold. The older mall, opposite of the bus station is of three storeys selling Western as well as Lao clothing alongside electronic goods. Those desperate for parts for a phone, laptops or cameras, find this the ideal place to visit. If one has been looking for traditional styles, the Lao Cotton keeps quality stuff, so does few other shops. The newer mall attempts to raise the standards, and thus features high-end cosmetics, accessories, gold traders and better electronics.
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Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng (additionally Vang Viang) is a riverside town in Central Laos. The town hosts been known as a get-together destination for quite a long time, and whilst regardless this remaining parts more open air situated exercises are currently accessible, for example, mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, giving in, swimming and shake climbing. Vang Vieng is on Highway #13 in the middle of Vientiane and Luang Prabang - by transport (street and transport conditions allowing) around 6-8 hrs from Luang Prabang, around 3-4 hr from Vientiane. Thruway #13 is a two-path street in genuinely great condition with the exception of a couple knocks nearer to the urban communities, nothing to stress over. The street between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is rocky and brags astounding view and also beneficial looks of Lao town life.



Highlights – Tubing, Lao-style steam sauna, Kayaking the river, High swings

Location - Central Laos

Best time to visit: All around the year

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Pak Ou Caves

Luang Prabang is highly popular for these limestone caves located near river Mekong. The Pak Oh Caves have been known as a place of worship over a thousand years. Near the Pak Ou (mouth of River Ou) the Tham Ting or the lower cave and the Tham Theung, or the upper cave overlook River Mekong, 25 km to north of Luang Prabang, Laos. This group of two caves on the west of Mekong, about two hours upstream from centre of Luang Prabang have become pretty well known to tourists.



These caves are mainly noted for the miniature Buddha sculptures. Innumerous small and damaged wooden Buddhist figures have been laid out on the wall shelves taking positions, including that of peace, rain, meditation, teaching, and reclining (or nirvana). One can reach the Pak Ou caves by boat. The trip takes about 2 hours upstream from the Luang Prabang with a magnificent scenery along River Mekong and the limestone mountains. The way back downstream consumes over an hour. One may alternatively go by a tuk tuk, cab or minivan to the Ban Pak Ou village that’s opposite of caves on the other side of the river.

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What You Should Know More About Laos

  • Travel Advice

    • It is a good thing to learn few words of the local language like Please, Thank You, I want to go to … , What is the specialty here?, etc. It will not just help you communicate with the locals but will also give you a brief knowledge about the culture of the place there.

    • You must acquire enough information that you’ll need before venturing in any new location. Don’t let the locals or any stranger mislead you.

    • Whenever you travel in a taxi, make sure you take a metered one. The drivers here have a tendency to cheat not only the tourists but also the locals here. So, be very careful, bargain and negotiate well before hiring a taxi.

    • Avoid getting into brawls with anyone here.

    • Never film or take videos without permission.

    • If you are at a religious place, do not photograph without permission.

    • Dress appropriately when visiting a religious place.

    • If you are undertaking treks, carry the necessary essentials.

    • Carry first aid with you.

    • Never roam around with too much cash in your pocket.

    • Don’t trust anyone with your valuables and cash.

    • Always have a copy of license and passport with you.

    • Keep your valuables carefully in a safe place.

  • Drinking Laws

    The legal drinking age for drinking in Laos is 18 years. However, you may have to display your ID proof before purchasing alcohol here.


  • Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Luang Prabang

    Located in the northern Laos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a charming and a very important little town which indeed is a must visit attraction in Laos. The place has over 30 temples, erstwhile royal palaces, beautiful natural sites and the different buildings showcasing the old French colonial architecture.  


    That Luang

    Great Stupa also known as That Lang located in Vientiane is a national symbol. It also happens to be the most sacred monument in Laos. From the exterior, it looks more like a citadel which is encompassed by huge walls. It also has two two temples with a stupa. The top of the stupa is embellished with a gold leaf.  


    Vang Vieng

    Vang Vieng is an exemplary of heaven on earth. It is an important place to see in Laos and has attracted travelers for years. Usually the place is visited by young backpackers. Vang Vieng is beautified by rivers, great mountains, rice fields, limestone cliffs and the rivers. This scenic and miniscule town offers a number of interesting attractions. For those who wish to enjoy water sports like ‘tubing’, Nam Song River can be an attractive place to go.  


    Wat Si Saket

    Wat Si Saket is incredibly popular for its abbey that houses thousands of small Buddha images. Several Buddhas can be found seated here, everyday. The images vastly date from the 16th to the 19th century and come in varied range of sizes. Statues here are mostly made from bronze, wood and store. In all there are 6800 Buddhas in totality.


  • What will like you like there?

    Food

    The native cuisine of Laos happily amalgamates the techniques and the ingredients from surrounding giants, Thailand and Vietnam. Dishes of the country are spicy and come fresh so anyone who has a chilly craving will love the food here. Besides the local fare, Laos also has kept its love for foreign food intact. The tourists find the the markets of Hanoi, Bangkok and Phnom Penh significantly saturated and difficult. To tackle this situation, Vientiane offers an opportunity for all the would-be restaurateurs. A distinguished quality of French food can also be found here. Several other restaurants are also burgeoning like spring flowers here. Recently opened restaurant Pimenton serves some of the finest sublime steaks and the authentic tapas of Spain. There are several other restaurants too that offer great food.

    Flawless wilderness

    The real extent of the biodiversity is Laos is unexplored to such an extend that scientists happened to discover a completely new specie of flying mammal in the year 2012. It is no bit surprising. Despite undergoing massive degradation for the past few decades there is still a massive area of the country that remains protected. Though monotonous, the steamy jungle might possess certain appeal amidst the snow capped mountains of the northern Laos. You can also witness the karst formations towards the center of the country. The 100 waterfalls trek is an important place to see here. It brings forth a miniscule introduction to the innumerable wonders of Laos. You can book a package tour to explore the place.   

    Relaxation and Rejuvenation

    The "backronym" for Lao PDR is Lao "Please Don't Rush. There has been a burgeoning progress in the economy however, the people (locals) here are unperturbed. It is this pace that notifies the opening hours, bus schedules as well as the different other aspects of the itinerary of the traveler from one end of the country to the other. Tourists who seek seclusion or privacy may also cherish the laid back vibe evident at the beaches. The Laos' Si Phan Don which is a Mekong River archipelago offers a number of crash courses for different adventure activities. If you are one of adventure enthusiasts, this river has a lot on offer.  

    History

    Laos is known for its imperial ambitions popular right from the Khmers of the 12th century to the 20th century anti-communist efforts of the United States. Several buildings, monuments as well as the sightseeing attractions of Laos very well depict the historic richness of the country.

    Mekong River Sunsets

    When the light of the day is dimming, you’ll find the true colors of Lao. This indeed is the best time to indulge in some of the most exotic beer of the country.  Linger around with your partner and let the sun set in the crystal clear seas of Lao


  • Recommended reads for destination
  • When is the best time to visit Laos?

    The best time to visit this landlocked nation is between the months of October and April as the region enjoys a warm and dry weather perfect for sightseeing and roaming around. Water levels are high during the months between November and January and thus, river travels are best during these months. If you do happen to visit during these months, do not miss the cruise rides.

  • How to reach Laos?

    Though there are quite a few routes to get to Laos, the most common route is via Bangkok. You could fly into Bangkok Airport and further fly to Udon Thani International Airport. From here, you can take a taxi or shuttle to the Lao Border in NongKhai which costs about 300 Baht per person. As an alternative option, you could fly into Kuala Lumpur Airport and further fly to Vientiane to reach Laos.

  • Do I need a visa for Laos? How does one get a Laos visa?

    Yes, you do require a visa for your visit to Laos. Although you can apply for a visa before hand through the Laos Consulate in New Delhi, travellers with an Indian Passport are entitled to a VOA (visa on arrival). This visa lasts for 30 days, with multiple entries. It is possible to extend your visa if you wish to. You are required to keep certain documents ready for your visa, such as: Valid Passport, Bank statements, etc. The fee for the Visa costs about USD 30 (INR 1960), this can also be paid in Thai Baht.

  • What is the currency of Laos and where can I get my money exchanged?

    The currency used in Laos is the Lao Kip and the code is LAK. The exchange rate for 1 USD = 8322 KIP and 1 INR = 127.35 LAK. It is always advisable to get your money exchanged at the airport as they give a good currency exchange rates. However, you can also exchange your currency at banks, money changers or ATM’s over there. Exchange of money might also be possible at the hotel you are staying at. It is important to remember that although previously USD was accepted for various transactions in Laos, it is no longer the same case.

  • What are the things to do in Laos?

    There are various things that are unique that you can try during your trip to Laos. Some of the top activities to try during your visit are:

    • Hill Tribe Village Safari – Learn about the different tribes of the region.
    • Nam Khan River Experience – Kayaking in the river costs around INR 3200 per person
    • Take a cycling tour in Vientiane
    • Visit the beautiful Tad Sae Waterfall
    • Take the Elephant Riding Tour

  • What is the local food of Laos? Which are the best places to taste this food?

    The Lao Cuisine is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. The cuisine has many regional variations depending on the local ingredients found in each place. The main staple of the region is sticky rice and the other traditional dish that goes along with it is the larb, a spicy marinated and cooked fish or meat. Some of the best places in Laos to try the local cuisine are:

    • Khop Chai Deu – at Rue Setthathilath
    • Lao Kitchen – Rue Hengboun
    • Doi Ka Noi – Sisangvong Road

  • What is the best public transport to commute around Laos?

    It is easy to move around Laos with their public transport. The modes of transport available here are:

    • Bus – Only available in Vientiane along a few routes. Not used much.
    • Tuk Tuk – there are different types of tuk tuks available and you can choose one depending on the number of people going to take the ride. It is probably the cheapest mode of transport around there and fares can also be bargained if they do not have a meter. It is found all over the place and is the most commonly used transport.
    • Taxi – Taxis can be arranged by the trip, by the hour or by the day and prices can be negotiated accordingly.

  • Do I need to have any vaccinations before the trip to Laos?

    Yes there are some vaccinations that are advisable to take before your trip to Laos. The ones recommended are: Hepatitis A; Poliomyelitis; Tetanus; Typhoid, Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies. For travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission, yellow fever vaccination certificate is required.

  • What is the local language in Laos and which are the most commonly used greetings?

    The local language spoken in Laos is Lao. Here are some common phrases that you can use during your visit:

    • Hello - Sabaidi
    • Thank you – khob chai
    • Good morning – sa bai di ton sao
    • What is the price of – lakha ni aemnjang?
    • How far is – niaemn aenuadai?
    • How are you – sa bai di bo?

  • Which are the best shopping places in Laos and what are they famous for?

    You will be surprised by the variety of shopping that you can do in a small place like Laos. Some of the best places to shop and things you can buy are:

    • Vientiane Night market – clothes, electronics, artworks, etc
    • Carol Cassidy Lao Textiles – woven arts, clothing, etc
    • Talat Sao Morning market – wooden carvings
    • Oot Ni Gallery – paintings, silverware, ornaments
    • Vangtong evening market – varieties of food
    • Little house cafe – handicraft boutique
    • La Cave Wine shop- Wine

  • Here are the best tips Thrillophilia has to offer for your trip to Laos:

    • Get your vaccinations taken before the trip.
    • Topics on war, violence or the government are sensitive topics and thus do try avoiding these topics.
    • There are not plenty of hotels, and this book well in advance if travelling during the peak season.
    • Do not miss the Laos Coffee, it is very popular!
    • ATM’s charge a hefty fee, thus withdraw as much as possible per withdrawal and make your withdrawals minimum.
    • Laos KIP is not worth much anywhere outside the country, thus use all your LAK before departing.
    • Negotiate fares with taxis and tuk tuks
    • Carry bottled water with you as tap water is unsafe for drinking.
    • Mosquitoes are a common problem in Laos and there has been quite some dengue cases. Take precautions for the same.

  • Which are famous islands to visit in Laos?

    Laos has some popular island destinations that you can visit during your trip there. You could also use this opportunity of visiting islands by the cruise. The most famous ones are:

    • Si Phan Don – group of islands, also known as the 4000 islands.
    • Khong island
    • Don Kho
    • Don Som

  • How is nightlife in Laos? Which are the best places to enjoy nightlife?

    Lao’s nightlife is unlike most other places. The place has a city wide curfew and thus you will find almost everything shut by 11:30 PM. However, while you might not witness some very happening club life over there, you can definitely experience a chill evening with beers at a couple of bars with great views. There are also some hideouts for a little longer night scene, however you need to be extremely cautious of your surroundings. The best places to enjoy the night would be:

    • Beer Lao – Cheap but quality beer can be found here.
    • Bor Pen Nyang – Popular for hosting locals as well as travellers at its rooftop bar with a great view.

  • Which are the best cruise options available in Laos?

    With several small islands and Laos itself being a landlocked country, there are many cruise options available in and around the place. However, it is important to choose the best of them all to experience Laos culture and scenery to its best. The best cruise option available at Laos is undoubtedly the Mekong cruise. This cruise has multiple route options and you can choose the one that best suits you.

  • Which are the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Laos?

    Laos being a small place consists of more natural beauty than man-made architectural sites. Nevertheless, two places of Lao have made it on the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and they are:

    • Town of Luang Prabang.
    • Vat phou and associated Ancient settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape.

  • What kind of water sports can be done in Laos?

    Being a landlocked country, there is water on all sides to the place. However, Laos is famous for more water activities than water sports. Some water activities that you must try when you are there are:

    • Kayaking – Mekong river
    • Canoeing
    • White water rafting

    There are numerous groups that are available to arrange for the same. You could also check with your hotel for similar tour packages and options.

  • Which are some romantic places in Laos for honeymoon?

    There are some beautiful places where you can spend time with your loved ones during your honeymoon in Laos. Some of them are:

    • Town of Luang Prabhang
    • Si Phan Don
    • Tham Kong Lo
    • Kuang Si waterfall
    • Vang Vieng
    • Muang Ngoi Neua – natural habitat and isolated, perfect for couples.
    • The Mekong river

  • Where can I get best caving experience in Laos?

    Laos has plenty of caves that you can explore. They are all so unique and have beautiful views to offer. Some of the best caving experiences that you can have in Laos are:

    • Ride through the dark Tham Kong Lor Cave – largest in the country
    • Tham Chom Ong Cave – second largest in the country
    • Tham Khoun Xe Cave – largest sustained river passages, with beautiful structures used to decorate.
    • Pak Ou Caves- It is a Buddha cave with many images and structures of Buddha.
    • Vieng Xai – has numerous caves to explore within this segment.

  • Which are the best trekking routes in Laos?

    Laos has numerous trekking trails with great views. Some of the best trekking routes in Laos are:

    • Don Det Don Khon. Mekong. Laos Sonicwarrior - easy
    • Luang Prabhang temples Laos Sonicwarrior - easy
    • Bleu Lagoon. Vang Vieng. - easy
    • Thakhek Lao. - moderate
    • Tad tayosceusa - moderate
    • Xieng long – Houayfay – Tynpha – Houayyen - moderate
    • Kuang Si waterfalls route - moderate
    • Muang Ngoi Neua - easy

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