Few other places in Southeast Asia are as beautiful as Laos. You would never know it because it never gets the attention it deserves. But if you are looking for a chance to get away from the hassle and bustle of modern life, take a trip to Laos. The country will exceed all the expectations you could possibly have. In this post, you will find plenty of reasons why you need to visit Laos and a visitor’s travel guide including Laos highlights + tips.
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Explore Laos Travel Guide – All you need to know + Laos Highlights
Laos Attractions – Explore Laos
What is there to see and do in Laos? The options are endless. Vieng Xai Cave City near the Vietnamese border gets its renown from the 1960s during which it hosted Laotian soldiers. Today you can get a guided tour for just a few dollars.
The Kuang Si waterfalls will take your breath away. And once you are done gawking at all that beauty, there are pools at the bottom waiting for you to take a swim. And the cost of accessing the waterfall is surprisingly low.
You might also like: The Ultimate Guide to Luang Prabang, Laos
If you don’t care for water activities, then you might as well visit Pha That Luang, a tall dome-shaped Buddhist shrine with high walls that create the façade of a fortress. You can admire the temple for free from the outside, or pay the small fee to access the interior with its plant and animal images.
The Bolaven Plateau rivals Kuang Si in the area of waterfalls. But if you have no interest in venturing out to the fringes of the country, you could just as easily restrict your tour to Vientiane, the capital.
Vientiane appeals to tourists because it has many of the modern amenities that most of them couldn’t imagine living without. That being said, the city is no less appealing as a tourist destination, not with sites like the Sisaket Temple and Buddha Park.
If adventure is what you desire, though, then a trip down the Mekong River will suit you just fine. The trip is slow, which might discourage some visitors. But you get home-cooked meals on your journey. This is as you take in the sights and sounds of Laos through which the river wends.
Laos deserves every bit of the praise it attracts from the people who have visited the country. Nong Kiew has limestone cliffs for climbers to tackle. Phou Hin Poun is a conservation area with a wide variety of flora and fauna.
You can even chat with monks at Sangha College (Vientiane). They love tourists and they are always happy to chat.
Recommended: Laos Itinerary: The perfect one week in Laos
Laos has plenty of budget-friendly accommodations that are both comfortable and also steeped in the local culture. That way, your tour never has to end, not even when you retire for the evening.
Hostels like Friendly Backpackers, Nana Backpackers, and Sanga are very welcoming to foreign visitors.
You can get a room in a hostel for $6. More luxurious accommodations might cost as much as $20 a night. That gets you a private room, air conditioning, breakfast, and internet.
Hotels are a little more expensive but you are still spending $50 or less per night. This even applies to 4-star hotels with swimming pools.
Laos Transportation – Getting around Laos
Laos has a public transport system. Your transport budget will depend on the means you choose. Tuk-tuks and taxis are everywhere. So it won’t take you long to find an appropriate means of reaching your destination.
You can even haggle if you have the mind for it. You might be surprised by the discounts you can acquire in the long run.
However, try to realize that public transport in Laos is the slow option, especially taxis and tuk-tuks. They are cheap, costing less than a dollar a trip but they take a while.
Buses are a little more appealing for this reason. You have to pay as much as $15 for a trip on a VIP bus that has amenities like air conditioning. Most local buses are horribly uncomfortable.
They will transport you from one city to another, possibly even to a neighboring country but the experience is not particularly attractive.
If you are short of time, you are better off flying. A fifty-minute flight could cost you $100, if not more.
The water is also an interesting option. There are slow boats along the Mekong River that will get you to your destination for a friendly fee.
You can’t just barge into Laos just because you suddenly have the urge to see its wonders. Take a moment to plan. That involves considering the requirements for Laos eVisa. A Laos eVisa is necessary to get you across the Laos border, especially if you originate from one of 180 countries around the world. There are countries like Australia and the US whose citizens can acquire their eVisa upon arrival in the country.
You also have nations within Laos’ vicinity whose citizens do not require a visa to enter the country.
Everyone else has to engage the people at visalaos.com to get their eVisa. The company has resources that will help people apply for and then acquire eVisas to Laos. They will show you how to fill out your application and then follow it up.
But even after securing an eVisa, it is imperative that you book your flight and your vacation amenities in Laos ahead of time.
Momondo has been known to help its visitors secure the best vacation deals. The same goes for Skyscanner which can find you the cheapest airlines available. Hostelworld can secure affordable accommodations whereas World Nomads can get your travel insurance.
Preparation is crucial for anyone who wants to enjoy their trip. That doesn’t just apply to your travel and accommodations. You need a decent backpack that can store your luggage conveniently.
Clothing also matters. Consider your target tourist sites and the type of climate you are likely to encounter. Pack some deodorant, a razor, a towel, bathing suits, shampoo and the like.
Bring some of your own band-aids, hand sanitizer, antibacterial cream, and earplugs. You could also bring a few reading books along, material that can keep you occupied during long bus rides or as you travel down the Mekong.
You can never go wrong with adequate preparation. I hope this quick Laos travel guide with Laos highlights inspired your visit to Laos.
Have you ever been to Laos? Share your experience with us.