Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, popular to all kinds of travelers. Laos was a French colony until 1954 and you can meet the French influense everywhere. The French architecture is evident in Savannakhet where you can find also a catholic church. The baguette will be probably the most often snack as it is sold on many places as well as croissants.

Today Lao People's Democratic Republic is one-party socialist republic. People of Laos still suffer because of the effects of the Vietnam war. Laos is the most bombed nation in the world. Americans left here millions of bombs that never exploded, so called UXO. Today they still kill people, mostly villagers and among them many kids. People live in fear while trying to earn living on the fields where they can hit an unexploded bomb any time.

You can explore here great Buddhist temples if you like history and culture. You can enjoy many great ecotreks to see wild animals or visit the hill tribes. Or if you like adventure, you can try ziplining in the jungle, kayaking on Mekong, exploring thousands of caves or just tubing with friends in Vang Vieng.

Do you want to know the prices in Laos? Check out our Laos budget guide


Map Places from the photo journey on the map


Huay Xai
Huay Xai
We crossed the borders from Thailand to Laos near Huay Xai. From there we took a two day boat on Mekong river. The first day you need to sleep over at Pak Beng. The second day you finally arrive to Luang Prabang.
Mekong
Mekong
The Mighty Mekong is the most famous river in Southeast Asia. It flows from China through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Boat trip on Mekong
Boat trip on Mekong
During the journey you will see how people have been living near Mekong for centuries.
Boat trip on Mekong
Boat trip on Mekong
The boat stops at some villages where the local people get on and off.
Boat trip on Mekong
Boat trip on Mekong
The kids on the shore are trying to sell the bracelets to get extra money.
Wat Xie Thong - Luang Prabang
Wat Xie Thong - Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is a nice town full of tourists. On the picture you can see the Luang Prabang's temple Wat Xie Thong. There is a famous night market where you can try lots of food and buy some souvenirs.
Luang Prabang night market
Luang Prabang night market
These piles of food work like this: pay few dollars, take a bowl and put there everything you can eat.
Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang
One of our favourite things in Southeast Asia are the fresh fruit juices. Here you can just choose one of the great combinations.
Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang
You can also try barbecued fish from Mekong.
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
The trip to Tat Kuang Si Waterfalls is a very popular thing to do. The waterfalls are located 28 km from Luang Prabang.
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
The waterfalls are just amazing. If you wake up early and arrive before 7 am, you could enjoy them without other people.
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
Tat Kuang Si - Luang Prabang
There are also many beautiful turquoise pools where you can swim. For us it was one of the greatest experiences from Laos, being all alone in the jungle with these incredible waterfalls.
The Bear Rescue Centre - Luang Prabang
The Bear Rescue Centre - Luang Prabang
Visit the Bear Rescue Centre on the way from the waterfalls. They save here the bears who were kept in captivity in small cages to harvest their bile. The bile is a fluid produced by their liver.
The Bear Rescue Centre - Luang Prabang
The Bear Rescue Centre - Luang Prabang
The bile of the bears is used for some traditional Chinese medications.
UXO museum - Luang Prabang
UXO museum - Luang Prabang
When you are in Luang Prabang, visit the UXO museum. UXO means "unexploded ordnance", the bombs that didn't explode.
UXO museum - Luang Prabang
UXO museum - Luang Prabang
Many areas in Laos are still highly contaminated by UXO. Every day there is a person who is hurt by UXO. Many of them are small kids. You can see people with missing body parts everywhere. UXO affects everyday life. It could be dangerous to go to school. It is a high risk to work on the field to earn the living. The poor villagers are affected the most by UXO and if an accident happens, they don't have the money to pay for the medical bills.
Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is a backpackers dream. You can do many activities here and there are also many famous bars here. It can get quite crazy here :)
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Try tubing in a cave. That is quite fun thing to do, especially if you meet a bus of old chinese tourists over 60 in the middle of the cave and you splash the water on each other like small kids.
Kayaking in Vang Vieng
Kayaking in Vang Vieng
We decided to go kayaking. It isn't really adventurous, but a nice relaxing activity. It can be quite funny too because most of the backpackers are just tubing around you with a can of beer in their hand, of course drunk. The locals are just collecting the drunk people in the end :)
Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng
We tell you a funny story that shows the spirit of Vang Vieng. We stopped to buy a bottle of water in a small shop by the river. The lady told us she doesn't sell water. So we asked for anything else, tea, juice? Nope, nothing, just beer! She opened the fridge full of beer. No comment :)
Patuxai - Vientiane
Patuxai - Vientiane
Patuxai is a war monument in the capital of Laos, Vientiane. It is dedicated to people who fought for independence from France.
The Wat Sisaket - Vientiane
The Wat Sisaket - Vientiane
When you are in Vientiane visit The Wat Sisaket temple. It is the oldest temple in Vientiane and it is still original. You can see here thousands of buddha ceramic or silver statues.
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
The most famous attraction 25 km from Vientiane is The Buddha Park - Xieng Khuan, a sculpture park made by Bunleua Sulilat, an artist and a priest-shaman.
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
There are more than 200 hundred Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, made around 1960s.
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
The Buddha Park - Vientiane
Even the sculptures are not that old, it is definitely an interesting place to visit.
Herbal Sauna - Vientiene
Herbal Sauna - Vientiene
Try traditional herbal sauna near the monastery Wat Sok Pa Luang. The sauna is difficult to find as it is not exactly in the monastery complex, but ask locals. You won't meet there any tourists, just locals. It was an unique experience. Don't expect any luxury.
Herbal Sauna - Vientiene
Herbal Sauna - Vientiene
The sauna is really made the old way. They boil many kinds of fresh herbs (a lots of eucalypthus) in the water and it is vaporizing to the sauna.
Bus
Bus accident
This was a place where we were born again. Our bus almost crashed here. Nobody was hurt and the bus was ok, so we were super lucky to have an amazing driver.
Bus
Traveling by bus in Laos
Well...traveling with locals can be fun, but if there is no AC and a tiny window makes it only worse, it could be a challenge not to die in the heat for 8 hours.
Bus
Traveling by bus in Laos
In any case, a barbecued chicken with sticky rice can perk you up :)
Bus
Traveling by bus in Laos
Anything can happen. A motorbike on the roof? No problem! :)
Caves
Exploring the caves
The southern Laos is an area of caves, especially around Thakhek. Rent a motorbike and try to explore them. You won't meet many tourists there.
Caves
Exploring the caves
Some of the caves are big, ready for tourists with entrance fees, some of them hidden and impossible to find.
Tad Lo
Tad Lo
Tad Lo is quite a nice village with growing accommodation. There are three waterfalls that brings tourists here. Unfortunately we visited Laos in dry season, so it wasn't much water there.
Champasak
Champasak
Go to Champasak, a town by Mekong. Rent a bike and make an afternoon trip to see the Champasak temple. It is very nice tour through the villages. Recommended!
Champasak temple
Champasak temple
Wat Phu Champasak is a ruined Khmer temple listed in UNESCO.
Champasak temple
Champasak temple
Quite a unique place with an amazing atmosphere. It is one of our favourite places in Laos. It can't compare to the Angkor Wat, more famous Khmer ruins in Cambodia, but in terms of the atmosphere we would rate Champasak better.
4,000 islands and around
Si Phan Don - 4,000 islands
Mekong on the border with Cambodia is just huge and it creates thousands of small islands, called Si Phan Don - 4,000 islands. We stayed one night at Don Khong, one of the biggest ones. There wasn't much to do, so we decided to relax there a day and than we headed further. Traveling with Lao beer - the best beer in Asia - was the only way how to get from there during the New Years celebrations.
4,000 islands and around
Si Phan Don - 4,000 islands
The rest of the days we stayed at Don Khon. There are many types of accommodation, restaurants and travel agencies.
4,000 islands on bike
4,000 islands on bike
You can rent a bike and explore the island.
4,000 islands on bike
4,000 islands on bike
There is a bridge between Don Khon and Don Det, so you can bike there too.
Kayaking- 4,000 islands
Kayaking- 4,000 islands
The river is so huge that it doesn'feel like a river, but more like a sea.
Kayaking- 4,000 islands
Kayaking- 4,000 islands
The best way how to enjoy Mekong is to rent a kayaks or go on a kayaking tour.
Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall - Si Phan Don - 4,000 islands
Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall - 4,000 islands
Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall is the largest cascade in Southeast Asia and the only reason why Mekong is not navigable to China.
Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall - 4,000 islands
Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall - 4,000 islands
This is a sacred tree rescued from the waterfall. It is sacred for Buddhists so people pray there. It could be little bit unusual for the western people as we see only a piece of wood under the glass, so it is a good place for understanding other cultures and religions.

Map Places from the photo journey on the map


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