Pictures of Laos surely tell the story better than any prose ever could. Unlike its more regularly visited neighbours, the country still remains largely pristine and retains an almost untrodden charm, earning it a prized status among seasoned travellers.
The historical royal city of Luang Prabang captivates with its fascinating mix of French colonial architecture and gleaming temples. Days and nights can be spent among the dizzying city markets selling fresh coffee and knick-knacks or marvelling at the impressive surroundings.
In contrast, Laos capital city, Vientiane, preserves a much more unhurried pace and seems more like a provincial town than a capital. Its beauty reveals itself more gradually than Luang Prabang through stolen glimpses of languid riverfront life still existent in the city and its unusual yet charming sights. Aside from the city there are plenty of places worth visiting – making Laos perfect either jaded travellers or those looking to get off the beaten track in pursuit of more distant and unspoilt pastures.
- Experience the old city in Luang Prabang with its nightly bazaars and hum of otherworld chants wafting from nearby temples.
- Visit the vibrant Dala Market , the glorious temple Wat Xiang Thong, the Royal Palace Museum and the dazzling sunset from the golden cone of Phou Si (if you can manage the steps)
- Take a leisurely walk around Vientiane’s quirky Buddha Park (also known as Xieng Khuan) is akin to taking an active history, religion and art lesson. Full of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures that depict myths, legends and stories – the giant reclining Buddha is a highlight for most. Surrounding trees, gardens and flowers add to the serenity.
- Float down the Mekong river catching snapshot of rural life at its borders