Laos is often overlooked due to its more famous neighbours, though it is one of Southeast Asia’s most enchanting places. Buddhism reigns here and its influence spreads through all facets of day-to-day life. The people of Laos are friendly, open, courteous and respectful whilst the country has a slow, very laid back, old fashioned serenity. It’s known for its mountainous terrain, Mekong River, French colonial architecture, hill tribes and Buddhist Monasteries. Go here to escape a hectic pace, be inspired by people, explore untamed landscapes and seek some inner calm.
Luang Prabang is the most popular place to visit whilst in Laos. Most of this gentle town is in bed by 10pm and it’s one of the few places that has retained its individuality. Take part in the biggest form of respect each morning at sunrise called the Alms Giving Ceremony, go elephant riding near waterfalls, visit the night markets for souvenirs or see a Buddhist temple.
Vientiane is the Laotian capital and is the Economic hub of Laos. French architecture and street signs mix right alongside Buddhist Temples, Monasteries and pavement cafes. Plenty to do after dark here from backpacker beer hangouts to flashy cocktail bars. Hire a song-teow and take a ride, hike the nearby rice paddy scattered countryside or become educated at the National Museum.
Vang Vieng is a tourist city about a four-hour drive from Vientiane, once known for its backpacker rave bars and toxic party scene. Over the past 5 years it has undergone a massive makeover and grown up a little. Visit Blue Lagoon, hire a motor bike, swim under a waterfall or go ‘tubing’ (safely) and kayaking through water caves.
For information on Volunteering in Laos, CLICK HERE.