Laos is a Southeast Asian country and known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries. Capital Vientiane is the site of the That Luang monument which reportedly houses Buddha’s breastbone in a reliquary; one can also see the Patuxai war memorial and Talat Sao – Morning market.
A few must visit places in Laos
Royal City of Luang Prabang – Situated in Northern part of the county, this is one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Laos. The city is best known for its ornate temples, vibrant night market and exquisite colonial era architecture. Lunag Praban was the former capital of the country and gives a superb introduction to Laos with its traditional wooden houses and European architecture. The city is set apart due to its location between mighty Mekong River and Mae Kok river which makes water based exploration a possibility. Early risers can catch a glimpse of local monks clad in saffron robes as they walk the royal city daily in the morning at 6 am in a ritual known as a ‘tag bat ceremony’, one can also explore the Elephant sanctuary located near Luang Prabang.
The country offers several centuries old temples, monasteries with monks dressed in orange robes and traditional settlements alongside the Mekong river, the country has plenty to offer to the curious visitors.
Laos retains many traditions even today that have disappeared with development of its neighbors in the region. The country offers timeless quality to rural life where stilt houses and paddy fields look like they are out of a movie set.
Discover the Capital City Vientiane – Capital city is located in Central Laos and compared to others capital cities of South East Asia it us extremely laid back. City is best known for its eye-watering beautiful temples. The Buddhist monuments offer a spectacular view of the sunset over the Mekong River. Some of the important places to visit in Vientiane are Wat Sisaket Temple built in 1818, Wat Si Muang Temple and Laos National Museum.
Kuang Si Waterfalls – Close to Luang Praband – the beautiful falls are are set amidst natural landscape, main waterfall features a 200 feet tall cascade, visitors can swim in the crystal clear pools and explore the are by walking over a wooden bridge over the falls.
UNESCO World heritage site Champasak – This is the second world heritage site in Laos and home to Way Phu and this is the Angkor style Khmer temples. The Hindu Wat Phu temple complex has been carefully preserved and is known to date back to over 1,000 years; it is located close to the Thailand and Cambodia border.
French Colonial Heritage of Savannakhet- Savannakhet is the second largest city in Laos and is a important gateway to all corners of the country and home to the spectacular French colonial architecture. Located in the southern part of the country on the banks of Mekong, the city is actually connected to Thailand via a bridge. One can explore the local culture and the 16th century That Ing Hang Stupa, wander the old French Colonial buildings around the central plaza and the central church.
Pakse – City located in the in the southern province and is an ideal gateway to the four thousand island which is a must visit place in Laos and also the famous Wat Phu. One can also access the pristine waterfalls and the colourful markets of the Bolaven Plateau. Si Phan Don i.e. the ‘four thousand islands’, this is where Laos becomes the Land of Lotus eaters. The time swings slowly and views are spectacular. Many travellers stay longer after enjoying the beauty of this place. The Mekong bulges to a breadth of 14 kms here and the is wide along its 4,350 kms journey from Tibetan Plateau to the South China sea, if you caount every islet and sanbar that emerges in the dry months, the names translation is ‘Four Thousand islands’ is not and exaggeration.
Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO travel said, Laos is one of the less explored destinations in Asia and one can enjoy a relaxed holiday and explore the cities and countries of this beautiful country.