Laos is a landlocked country with natural surroundings and idyllic temples that brings a sense of nostalgia. In contrary to dramatic grow of other Southeast countries, Laos still remains the origin of tradition and peace. Even in Vientiane, tourists would feel a tranquil riverside town rather than a hustled capital. Here are 10 destinations in Laos you shouldn’t fail to miss.
10. Vieng Xai
Vieng Xai cave is a cave system used as a battleground during the Vietnam War. Cave system comprises hospitals, barracks and theatre which can accommodate roughly 23,000 people. The government prides itself on the cave system and promote the image to worldwide tourists.
9. Pak Ou Cave
Because of the cave system located in the North of old capital Luang Prabang, along the blank of Mekong river, people can visit by boat or road transport. Pak Ou Cave is famous for hundreds of small wodden Buddha statues displayed on the cliff. Here Buddha statues are diverse, showing a lot of different religious forms of Buddhism.
8. Wat Phu Temple
Located on Phu Kao mountain, Champasak province, Wat Phu (or Vat Phou) is an ancient temple complex built by Khmer people. As you can see, the temple’s construction shows clues of architecture of 11th or 13th century. Therefore, the temple is regarded as a microcosm of Angkor Wat, however Wat Phu still remains unique features and its mystery that attract tourists to visit. Nowadays the temple is a popular place for Buddha worship.
7. Pha That Luang
In Vientiane, Pha That Luang (the word means monument for placing breastbone in Laos) is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The temple has a lot of cloisters that show different stages of monks and symbol of sovereignty. The lowest cloister is symbol of while the bottom floor symbolizes prosperous world, top floor also symbolizes liberation, bowls of Buddhist nirvana. Pha That Luang was built in the 16th century on the ground of an ancient Khmer temple. In 1828, this temple was destroyed when Thai people took over Vientiane but 1931 rebuilt by the French up to 1931.
6. Wat Xieng Thong
Laid on the northern was created by the Mekong and Nam Khan River, Wat Xieng Thong is considered the most relic sacred temple in Luang Prabang. Built in 1560 by King Setthathirath and used for serving Royal families, Wat Xieng Thong contains plenty of iconically ancient statues such as reclining Buddha. In 1931, a few antique stuffs of the temple were brought into Paris exhibition and be returned to Laos after 30 years later.
5. Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars (Plain of Jars) is a large field outside the town Phonsavan. True to its name, the field has hundreds of giant stone jars half buried into the ground. According to reseachers, mysterious jars are made of stone in various sizes and measure from 1 to 3 metre. Besides, some archaeologists believe that this plain of jars was a graveyard in ancient period but so far not any convincing evidence for the claim.
4. Si Phan Don
Si Phan Don means “4000 islands” situated along riverside of Mekong River in Northern of Laos. 3 most visited islands include Don Det island, Don Khon island and Don Kong island.
3. Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is about 4 hours by bus Northern away from Vientiane. Vang Vieng is considered to be the transit between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Majestic mountains and breathtaking landscape has attracted more visitors rather than a stopover. Visitors can take a rest look over peaceful mountain fading to horizon or leisurely sail a boat on Nam Song river.
2. Mekong River
Mekong river is known as the longest river in the Southeast Asia with a length of more than 4300 km. Mekong river offers a popular waterway for Laotian. Mekong River upstream section inspire tourists to travel by boat especially tourist can admire splendid scenery of Huay Xai.
1. Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang was the capital of Laos until 1975. Luang Prabang is considered one of the most charming and peaceful cities of Southeast Asia. With ancient houses, islands along Mekong River and Nam Khan river and monks seeking alms in the morning, friendly smiles of the people of Laos, delicious Laos food, Luang Prabang is an ideal place for those who want to escape from hustle and bustle of city life.