Laos

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Still relatively untravelled, but rapidly growing in popularity for its flawless good looks and outstanding authenticity, a trip to Laos quickly becomes the journey of a lifetime.

Spiritual, mysterious, and utterly unique, Laos is a true treasure of the east. A place of hauntingly beautiful landscapes, unfathomably deep cultures, centuries-old temples, and timeless rituals, it feels like little has changed here since Buddhism was first introduced to the country almost 1,300 years ago. Silent, saffron-robed monks still gather in single file to observe the sacred daily Tak Bat alms giving ceremony, old-fashioned wooden fishing boats still glide through the morning mists on the Mekong River, and it is only the very young who cannot remember a time when the monks outnumbered the tourists. One of Indochina's most enchanting and authentic countries, here the awe-inspiring splendour of the Orient endures and the traditions of the past live on, as strong as they ever were.

Whether it's the unforgettable magnificence and history of the UNESCO protected royal city of Luang Prabang or the old-world charms of the capital, Vientiane, Laos still retains the peaceful, sleepy lifestyle that has been lost from the majority of states in southeast Asia. A French colony until 1953, the entire nation is underpinned with a romanticism so characteristic of countries in Indochina, but magnified many times over by its stunningly well preserved Buddhist traditions and architecture, and otherwise lack of influences from the outside world. Eclipsed in popularity by some of its more famous neighbours – China, Thailand, and Vietnam – those who do pay Laos a visit are rewarded with some of the most captivating, pristine landscapes and richest heritages in the whole of southeast Asia.

Visually Laos is stunning, its landscape dominated by rugged mountains and broad rivers. Jungle-clad highlands cover the north, whilst the impressive Annamite Mountains straddle the eastern border with Vietnam. Flowing down from China along the Lao-Thai border, the mighty Mekong River runs the length of the country. A vital waterway to the landlocked Laotians for trade, fishing, and transport, the incredible importance and cultural significance of the river to the entire country's way of life is best experienced on a river cruise.

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  • Luang Prabang

    Famed for its pristine scenery, ancient temples, and host of resident monks, Luang Prabang leaves travellers spellbound.

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  • Vientiane

    Vientiane's tranquil atmosphere and alluring French charm make it a refuge from all the cares of the outside world.

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Fast facts

  • Time Difference

    GMT +7

  • Currency

    Lao Kip

  • Capital

    Vientiane

  • Flight Time

    Approx. 15 hrs 10 mins

  • Best Time To Go

    November to March

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