About Laos

Discover Laos as one of the most rugged, unspoiled countries on earth. Truly a lost world with breath-taking mountain vistas, colourful mountain tribes and majestic temples around every corner. Having been spared from mass tourism, Laos is often the highlight of many traveler’s trips to Southeast Asia. This land locked nation is located between the rugged mountains in the north and the fertile lowlands of the Mekong River. Laos is full of natural beauty, from its gushing waterfalls and mighty rivers covering the country, to its amazing people, giving it a pure and vivacious atmosphere. With numerous protected areas, Laos offers many opportunities to connect the traveler with nature based activities, trekking through villages and local interactions that are both enthralling and sustainable.

Laos is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the region, reflecting its geographic location at the crossroads of Asia. Buddhism has always had a strong influence on the Laos culture, and it can be seen today in the many monks who walk the streets of Luang Prabang in their brightly coloured robes. The country exhibits the influences of both European and Asian cultures. However, modernity has yet to infiltrate the sleepy capital of Vientiane, where temples and religious affiliations blend with the city’s rural origins.

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Destination Information

Facts & Figures:

Official Name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)

Location: Southeast Asia, bordered by China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Myanmar

Language: Laotian (official), Hmong, Khmu, French, English

Population: 6,987,068 million

Size: 237,955 km²

Capital: Vientiane

Time zone: GMT +7

Currency: Laotian Kip (LAK) 1 USD ≈ LAK 8,512 (2018)

International Dialing Code: +856

Major religions: Theravada Buddhism, Animism, Christian and Other

Ethnic Groups: 55% Lao & 46 ethnic minority groups

Traditional New Year: Pii Mai (April 13th or 14th & lasts for 3 days)

Times of Year to go:

Tropical with distinct green & dry seasons

Best time to visit: October to April (dry season with moderate temperatures)

Rainy/Green season: May to September

Hint: Avoid crowds when travelling April to September


Dishes are a blend of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese in flavor and presentation. Laotian food is based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs. It is traditionally very spicy and fish sauce is often used to flavour dishes. Arguably the most traditional Lao dish enjoyed nationally is “Laap” – essentially a salad with a meat base, flavoured with lime, garlic, fish sauce, mint leaves, spring onion and ground toasted rice, which adds a subtle nutty flavour.

Health & Safety:

Travel Health Insurance is highly recommended

There are no required vaccinations for Laos. However, proof of Yellow Fever immunization is required for visitors arriving from infected areas (parts of Africa and South America).

Never drink tap water

Peel all fruit and cook all vegetables. Eat in busy restaurants with a high turnover of customers

Travel Tips:

Visit Laos in the Low Season (from May to Sep): While it certainly does rain this season, the landscapes in Laos are picturesque — green and full of colour! This is the best time to take brilliant photographs of the green vegetation and spectacular sunsets along the Mekong River, not to mention much less tourists.


A 30-day tourist visa for Laos can be issued on arrival at some entry points (Vientiane, Luang Prabang & Pakse international airports and some border crossings with China, Thailand & Vietnam), via a travel agency or through a Lao embassy or consulate. Visa exemptions: Japan, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland & 9 ASEAN & 4 SCANDINAVIAN countries. All tourist visas are single-entry only. Two passport-sized photos may be required for the application along with a handling fee US$ 30-42 depending on nationality (tourist visa, 1 month validity) + US$ 01 processing fee. Contact our team for VIP fastrack through immigration services upon arrival.


Air: Vientiane Wattay airport (VTE), Luang Prabang airport (LPQ), Pakse airport (PKZ)

Boat: Border crossings to Laos on the Mekong River from Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

Train: From Nong Khai, Thailand to Tha Naleng

Land: Border crossings from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China

Click Destinations Below to Learn More!

Luang Prabang, the old capital of Luang Prabang Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the juncture of the Mekong and Nam Khan streams. Occupied for a huge number of years, it was the imperial capital of the nation until 1975. It’s known for its numerous Buddhist sanctuaries, including the overlaid Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the sixteenth century.

Pakse is a city in southern Laos, where the Mekong and Xe Don streams meet. Its focal Wat Luang is a luxuriously designed Buddhist sanctuary where priests gather offerings at dawn. The Champasak Historical Heritage Museum investigates the district’s way of life through gems, material and melodic instrument shows. The city’s past is reflected in its French pilgrim engineering, particularly in the old quarter close Xe Don River.

Vientiane, Laos’ national capital, blends French-frontier design with Buddhist sanctuaries, for example, the brilliant, sixteenth century Pha That Luang, which is a national image. Along wide avenues and tree-lined boulevards are numerous eminent places of worship including Wat Si Saket, which highlights a great many Buddha pictures, and Wat Si Muang, worked on a Hindu altar.

Check Out Trip Inspiration

Below you will find an itinerary or itineraries that will not only inspire you, but also give you a better understanding of what you can include on your journey to this country!

Accommodations by City

Below you will find a list of hotels that can accommodate different star ratings / budgets. You will find a list of destinations within the country and in each destination it will feature different hotel accommodations available to include on your trip. Simply click and check off the boxes where it says “Add to Journey” for the hotels you wish to include in your itinerary and type in the amount of nights for each!

Hotel Rating Legend

Hotel Rating Legend

Luxury – An exclusive, marquee property offering the highest standards in accommodations and facilities. Guest and public rooms are luxurious, the service is impeccable.  

Deluxe – An excellent property, offering a high standard in accommodations and public rooms. Full range of services, amenities and facilities. 

Superior – An above average property, with very comfortable accommodations and public rooms. Usually provides a full range of services, amenities and facilities. 

Medium/Comfortable – A nice and comfortable property,  limited range of facilities with comfortable well maintained accommodations. 

Rosewood Luang Prabang (Luxury)

Hidden in the lush green jungle that surrounds the historic royal settlement of Luang Prabang, a river—emanating from a flowing waterfall—runs through the heart of this exotic retreat. Taking its cue from the French-Lao architecture for which the town is known, the interiors reflect the influences of ancient temples, while luxurious tented villas celebrate the explorer spirit.

Satri House (Deluxe)

Satri House is one of the most exquisite places in this ancient city, designed with a style inspired by Laos culture and set in a truly relaxing environment. Here you can enjoy private moments to yourself and really unwind or sit and watch the everyday life of local people from your balcony.

Luang Prabang View (Superior)

This truly magnificent hotel was restored to its original splendour and is easily among the best properties in this world heritage city. Restoration work was guided by the renowned local exterior designer Mr. Boun Kham and the interior was designed by Mr. Ewan. Innovative and traditional colourful designs were used to restore each room.

Today, each category of rooms represents a myriad of cultures and eras. The public areas available for viewing provide a glimpse of the rich history of the building. When the Luangprabang View Hotel opened its doors, it was presented as a gift to this Heritage City. Since then it has been the recipient of numerous awards for both its architecture and design and has been the scene for important event details. Today, each category of the rooms represents an inner detailing in draperies, ceilings, teak wood floors and murals.

The River Resort (Luxury)

The River Resort is integral to its natural environment. The native flora and fauna on our 30,000 sq, meters (7.4 acres) of private, verdant Parkland were preserved; all mature indigenous trees were protected, some more than 25 meters in height and many generations old; and to this day they tower over our lush, tropical landscape, inhabited according to local tradition by protective spirits.

Athena Hotel (Deluxe)

Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV. Some units feature a seating area for your convenience. The rooms include a private bathroom.
There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. Wat Phabat is 400 metres from Athena Hotel, while Pakse Hospital is 700 metres from the property. The nearest airport is Pakse International Airport, 3 km from Athena Hotel.

Settha Palace (Luxury)

The Settha Palace Hotel serves as a testament to the long lost era of classical elegance, gracious service and French colonial charm. Once more owned by the same passionate family that ran the hotel in its heyday before the change of regime in 1975, no stone has been left unturned and no expense spared in the quest to bring this Vientiane landmark back to life.

La Siene Hotel (Deluxe)

Inspired by a love of fine wines, the Parisian art de vivre – the art of living — and the warmth and beauty of Lao culture, La Seine by Burasari reflects Vientiane’s rich French colonial history and enduring, romantic charm. Luxury boutique accommodations featuring daring modern Art Deco interiors, artistic handmade Lao fabrics and a sublime romantic atmosphere make this an ideal retreat for wine-lovers, romantics and stylish travellers seeking an atmospheric bon vivant experience and exceptional hospitality.

Ansara Hotel (Superior)

Ansara Hotel is Vientiane’s boutique destination that will delight the visitor at first sight. A unique visual treat in the heart of the capital, with just 24 rooms and 4 suites, the hotel combines quiet sophistication with genuine functionality. Elegant yet relaxed, it exudes the warm and inviting feel of a private home while professionally addressing our guests’ needs for comfort and practicality.

Experiences by City

Below you will find a list of experiences that you can add to your itinerary when travelling to Laos. You will find a list of destinations within the country and in each destination it will feature different options available to include on your trip. Simply click and check off the boxes where it says “Add to Journey” for the experiences you wish to include in your itinerary!

Vintage Ride & Flora Fix: Tour Includes

All transfers by tuk-tuk

Local English speaking guides

Boat trip as mentioned in the program

Entrance fee as program

Joined conference at botanical garden

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Vintage Ride and Flora Fix in Luang Prabang: Half-Day

Having taken part in the morning alms giving ceremony, hop on a vintage tuk-tuk vehicle and get ready to see Luang Prabang like no one else. Along the ride, the guide will teach you about the history and daily life of its residents. Stop at the Morning Market and visit Wat Xieng Thong temple en route, reputably the most most beautiful in the city . Arriving at the pier, we take a short boat transfer to the botanical garden of Pha Tad Ke. Be immersed in this lush green environment and learn about the great conservation efforts by attending a short conference in the orchid nursery of the park.

Note: Pha Tad Ke is closed on every Wednesday

A Monks' Life: Tour Includes

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Local English speaking guides

All activities as mentioned in the program

Entrance fee as program

Tuk-tuk ride

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

A Monks’ Life: Half-Day (L)

Intro: Buddhism is the basis of Laos culture and temples play an important role in Laotian daily life. The daily alms-giving ritual is a must-see activity for any visitor to Luang Prabang, and “A monks’ life” excursion offers you the opportunity to participate in this practice in an authentic manner.

Set off after breakfast for a visit to the Morning Market where, together with the guide and local host, we pick all the ingredients needed for our upcoming cooking class. Today, we will not take part in a regular tourist-oriented cooking class. Instead, we will drive a little outside Luang Prabang centre to a small village where you will join your hands to cook some traditional dishes.

You will experience how typical Laotian dishes such as Laap Laos, Orlam soup and papaya salad are made. The food is then brought to a local temple to offer for the monks’ lunch, and as part of this ritual, your name will be asked for a blessing chant

We will wait for our turn to eat lunch – which is always after the monks finish.

Later, join in an open talk about Buddhism in Laos with the monks. We will also have the chance to have further exchange with the community before returning to Luang Prabang for a light lunch with the leftover food you’ve cooked.

Kuangsi Waterfall & Cruise: Tour Includes

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Local English speaking guides

Boat trip as mentioned in the program

Entrance fee as program

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Visit Kuangsi Waterfall with one way cruise: Half-Day

Start a scenic fifty minute drive out of the city, through mountainous jungle and farmland passing Hmong and Khmu hill-tribes along the way to the famous Kuang Si Waterfall, where water tumbles over multi tiered limestone formations into crystal clear pools. These waterfalls are in a paradise setting surrounded by the lush forest. Spend your time splashing around in the pools or walking along the forest paths in the upper part of this waterfall. On the way back – about halfway between the park entrance and the waterfall is the Asiatic Black Bear rescue center, which houses a couple of dozen animals rescued from the hands of poachers and traffickers.

Old Aged Tradition & Home-hosted Dinner: Tour Includes

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Local English speaking guides

All activities as mentioned in the program

Dinner at local house

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Old Aged Tradition & Home-hosted Dinner in Luang Prabang (D)

This evening we will witness a Baci Ceremony at a local house. Mrs. Sy – our host,  has been making a great impression with tourists celebrating the Baci at her house because of her hospitality and friendly smile.
The Baci Ceremony – or “Calling of the soul” is an integral part of the Laotian culture and the Baci is a very important activity before or during major life events. We will help in the preparation of the flower trays and have the honour of receiving blessings from the locals. After that, enjoy a meal with the families before returning to your hotel.

Biking in Luang Prabang: Tour Includes

Support truck

Local English speaking guides

Lunch as in the program

Bike & helmets

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Entrance fee as program

Full Day Town Biking in Luang Prabang (L)

Today we explore Luang Prabang by bike. Visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, a peaceful temple featuring the much-photographed Watermelon Stupa, and Wat Aham the site of Luang Prabang’s most important spiritual shrine.

Afterwards, we explore the National Museum at the former Royal Palace. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Laotian culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Next stop is at the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong –  the largest and most splendid temple of Luang Prabangy, best known for its impressive Tree of Life mural depicting the Buddhist story.

Lunch is at the Tamarind Restaurant and provides an introduction to Laotian Cuisine. In the afternoon, we’re off to the Ock Pop Tock weaving centre, an organization that is offering the weavers in the area the chance to earn a decent income through their weaving skills. We also visit Ban Xang Khong village – 4km from the town – where we learn more about Saa paper. We then cycle back to your hotel.

Namkat Yorlapa Exploration: Tour Includes

Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast (check in and check out around noontime)

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program

Local English speaking guide

All the activities as mentioned in the program

All entrance fees

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Namkat Yorlapa Exploration: 3 days

Day 1: Luang Prabang – Namkat Yorlapa (-/L/-)

In the morning we will depart from Luang Prabang and make our way to Oudomxay. This scenic drive passes through mountainous terrain and along the way visits one of the ethnic villages.  We stop for lunch in Oudomxai and take a short walk to the summit of Phou That with its temple. We then continue our drive to Namkat Yorla. Opened to tourists in April 2016, Namkat Yorlapa Resort is a perfect combination of natural beauty, traditional Laotian architecture, and modern comfort. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at Namkat Yorlapa.

Day 2: Outdoor Experience in Namkat Yorlapa (B/-/-)

After breakfast at your hotel, we will ride the ATV towards Namkat Waterfall for about 5 km, and start our 1 1/2 km trek through the jungle to see the giant trees. Trek back and ride the ATV about 500m to the entrance of the Waterfall. We will then  walk over 13 flying bridges for 1 km. The journey will be finished at the resort after 5 1/2 to 6hours. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight at Namkat Yorlapa.

Day 3: Namkat Yorlapa – Pak Ou Cave – Luang Prabang (B/-/-)

We bid farewell to Namkat Yorlapa after breakfast and start our way back to Luang Prabang. We drive the whole morning to Pak Ou caves sites. After a lunch on site, we discover the sacred caves that has thousands of Buddha statues before boarding on our private boat. We end our journey in style, reaching Luang Prabang cruising lightly on the waters of the Mekong River. Upon arrival, we drive to the hotel, check-in your room and spend the rest of the day at leisure; or head to the airport for your onward flight to your next destination.

Culture, Nature & Culinary Cruise: Tour Includes

English speaking guide

Cruise as program

All entrance fees as program

Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles (types of vehicles depending on the number of pax)

A Culture, Nature and Culinary Cruise in Champasak

Day 1: Champasak – Don – Khong (L/D)

Board a long tail boat to start a 2.5 hours cruise on the Mekong river and enjoy the scenic views of Champasack before transfering to the Vat Phou Boat. After a delicious lunch, you will visit the Vat Phou ruins – a majestic pre-Angkorian 10th century temple complex. Spend some time exploring the ruins before heading back to the boat to enjoy the tropical sunset on the deck. Dinner will be served on board.

Overnight on board.

Day 2: Don Khong (B/L/D)

Enjoy your breakfast as the boat sets sail towards the village of Tomo. This morning, you have the opportunity to stroll around the village, meet the locals and explore the mysterious hidden forest temple of Oum Muong. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on the boat as you cruise to Ban Deua Tia, a small Laotian Village where the traditional way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. Spend some time with the villagers and local sutdents before having dinner on board.

Overnight on board at the most northern tip of Don Khong, the largest inhabited island in the river archipelago.

Day 3: Don Khong – Pakse (B/L)

After an enjoyable breakfast on the sun deck, start cruising further south where you will board another small boat, where you will meander among the 4,000 Islands to reach Khone Island. Here you will discover more about the southern Laotian history with a visit to the old French railway and the French colonial house. Lunch will be served at a riverside restaurant.

In the afternoon, take your time to admire the beauty of Khone PhaPheng waterfalls, aptly named the “Niagara of the East” before being transferred back to Pakse by bus where the tour will end.


– Pick-up/Drop-off point: From and to Pakse.

– The trip is not available in June.

The itinerary may change depending on upstream or downstream cruise and depending on weather conditions as well as safety regulations.

– Please bring a  jacket as it can get cool from October to December

– This trip is not available in June.

Bolaven Plateau: Tour Includes

English speaking guide

Private transportation by jeep

All entrance fee as program

Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program

Excite your Senses on the Bolaven Plateau: Full Day (L)

After breakfast at your hotel, head out to the Bolaven Plateau, which stands high above the Mekong and is known for its temperate climate, coffee plantations and mist-shrouded waterfalls. Upon arrival in Paksong, a 13km jeep ride on the trails through rural villages of the plateau brings you to an organic coffee farm. Visit the plantation and learn about the process of producing coffee, from planting to roasting. Finally, you can compare the tastes of three different kinds of coffee: Robusta, Arabica and Typica. Continue on to the village of the Laven ethnic minority, where you can wander the quiet lanes and interact with locals to learn more about their culture and lifestyle.


– Pick-up/Drop-off point: hotel in Pakse

– Shorts & T-Shirt are suitable for the jeep ride

Discover Laos like a Local: Tour Includes

All transfers by tuk-tuk

Local English speaking guide

All activities and meals as mentioned in the program

Entrance fee

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Discover Laos like a Local: Full Day (L)

Hop into your “Tuk-tuk” for an off-the-beaten-path adventure to places that only the locals know, and discover more about Laos and Vientiane as you experience the everyday lives of the local people. The journey starts with tasting the most popular Laotian snack “kao larm” – a delicious combination of sticky rice and coconut roasted in bamboo tubes. Watch the making of “kao larm” and taste the freshly produced snacks. Next stop will be a lively local market where all the foods and goods Laotians need are sold. Enjoy a traditional Laotian Coffee before heading to a family-run silversmith workshop to know about the important role of silver in Laotian culture. Next, you will stop for lunch at a secret restaurant hidden down a residential alley-way. This afternoon you will have the opportunity to engage in Laotian religion at Wat Simueang by learning how to make “mak beng” and “pasaat peung”, traditional Laotian Buddhist banana leaf and wax flower offerings.

Note: Minimum 2 pax

Charming Vientiane & the Sculpture of Buddha Park: Tour Includes

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Local English speaking guide

All activities and meals as mentioned in the program

Entrance fee

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Charming Vientiane & the Sculpture of Buddha Park: Full Day

Today, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image.

We then continue to visit the COPE centre – where you will learn about this remarkable educational centre, a heartbreaking but compelling place that teaches us about the Laos’ Hidden War

After that on the way to Lao’s national precious heritage, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop enroute to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.

In the afternoon we transfer out to see the Buddha Park, a scattered enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. A spectacular view of the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.

Discover Mindful Meditation with Monks: Tour Includes

All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles

Local English speaking guide

Meditation with the monks

2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Discover Mindful Meditation with Monks: Half-Day

This afternoon you’ll travel out of Vientiane to Wat Sok Pa Luang, a forest temple that is famous for its work in Engaged Buddhism. No prior meditation experience is needed as the resident monk will be your teacher for the day. The tranquil surroundings and serene atmosphere provide the perfect environment for you to gain further understanding of Buddhism and meditation. After the meditation course, the monk is available for open discussions about Laotian culture and how to live a mindful and happy life. End this experience with a water blessing ceremony for your health and a safe onward journey. Return to your hotel late in the afternoon.

Note: Dress appropriately

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