One of the most laidback countries in Asia, Laos has been largely spared from the break neck pace of development that other Asian countries has seen in the past few decades. Many of the things to do in Luang Prabang, Vientiane and the other towns remain natural attractions as most of Laos remain pristine with waterfalls, rivers and many trekking routes bypassing numerous ethnic hill tribes. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Laos in the most notable cities curated by the Backstreet Team!
The tourist capital of Laos, it’s main peninsula resembles more a quaint french town than any city in Southeast Asia. You are likely to see many more foreigners than locals, with the yearly tourists far outnumbering the number of residents here. The favorite attractions here are Khuangxi waterfall and UNESCO classified Pak Ou caves. Elephant rides are worth the while too and can be combined on a trip to the caves. There are many more temples than you can visit so choose wisely! Kayaking, trekking and bike trips are all great ways to see the surrounding countryside, and if you’re interested in something more intimate with the locals, check out our knife making workshop, weaving experience, or get your hands dirty by trying rice farming!
Vientiane is one of the quietest capital cities in the world, and is a great place to live in without the hustle and bustle of its Asian neighbours. The main attraction here is an engimatic Buddha Park with neo-classical depictions by a religious artist Luang Pu. Check out the golden temple Pha That Luang and the Victory Monument, also known as Patuxai, supposedly built with a cement given by the Americans during the war.
Lao’s very own party capital, Vang Vieng used to be filled with drunk backpackers floating down the river bars on tubes, but after one too many fatal accidents, the scene has been cleaned up and Vang Vieng’s natural wonders start to shine, with limestone caves offering great natural climbing trips, hot air balloons offering a scenic panorama of Vang Vieng, and many other trips including trekking, ziplining and fishing.
The gateway to the mysterious plain of jars, this quaint little town has little else to offer, but is an exciting local experience in itself with fun markets to explore, local alcohols to try and natural attractions such as rivers and waterfalls.
Pakse is the jewel of Southern Laos and not to be missed if you are travelling overland to Cambodia. Many amazing stepped waterfalls are just a day trip away from Pakse and can be easily arranged. Besides trekking and doing mostly nature related activities, there’s not much else to do here.
4 Thousand Islands
Gateway to Cambodia, 4 thousand islands’ borders are blurry, and no one knows for sure which islands belong to which country. Enjoy it all the same with quaint bungalows, hammocks and pristine forests. Nothing fancy here, but you might just find a lifestyle that you fancy here!