According to mathgeneral, the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Laos borders Vietnam, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar and has about 7 million inhabitants on an area of 236,800 km². The capital and largest city of the country is Vientiane. The narrow southern part of Laos lies on the Indochinese Peninsula while the wider northern part of the country lies on the Southeast Asian mainland. Depending on the altitude at which you are, Laos has a hot tropical climate. The important Mekong also flows through the national territory of Laos and shapes its landscape. 15 tributaries flow into the “Laos lifeline”. Almost 70% of the population lives in the cities on the banks of the Mekong, the mountainous highlands in the north are almost uninhabited. Many languages can be found in Laos, which can mainly be assigned to four major language families. The official language is Lao. The most widespread religion is Theravada Buddhism, which came to the region of present-day Laos around 800. The largest population group are the Lao Lum. The city of Luang Prabang and the temple district of Wat Phou with the Champasak cultural landscape are the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Laos. You can also experience incredible nature on a tour of the Southeast Asian country. Especially the extremely friendly people, the rich culture, the breathtaking landscapes, the good gastronomy and the relaxed atmosphere make the authentic Asian travel experience in Laos perfect. German citizens need a visa to enter Laos. You can also experience incredible nature on a tour of the Southeast Asian country. Especially the extremely friendly people, the rich culture, the breathtaking landscapes, the good gastronomy and the relaxed atmosphere make the authentic Asian travel experience in Laos perfect. German citizens need a visa to enter Laos. You can also experience incredible nature on a tour of the Southeast Asian country. Especially the extremely friendly people, the rich culture, the breathtaking landscapes, the good gastronomy and the relaxed atmosphere make the authentic Asian travel experience in Laos perfect. German citizens need a visa to enter Laos.
The royal city of Luang Prabang is located at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers in northern Laos. One of the greatest attractions of the city of 30,000 souls is the old royal palace (Ho Kham), which is now a museum. The many temples on Sakkarine Road are also worth a visit. Especially the largest temple in Luang Prabang, the Wat Mai temple, is worth seeing with its numerous decorations. The Wat Xieng Thong temple complex on the banks of the Mekong is also very interesting.
A very special highlight in the morning is the monk procession of over 600 monks through the streets at sunrise and accepting gifts. From the hill Phou Si you have an excellent view over the city.
In the caves of Pak Ou, which are about 25 km outside the city, believers have set up numerous small Buddha images. The limestone caves are among the most important pilgrimage sites in Laos. The Tat Kuang Si waterfalls can also be reached by bike or tuk tuk.
The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park is located near the Vietnamese border and is home to rare animal species such as tigers, leopards and Asian elephants. Guided tours and night safaris are offered in the park.
The sleepy village in northern Laos has developed into a paradise for outdoor lovers in recent years. Nong Khiaw is located on a loop of the Nam-Ou River and offers numerous trekking routes and a wonderful landscape in different ethnic groups such as the Hmong or Khmu people. There are numerous joint tourism initiatives that support the locals. Often you have the opportunity to help with rice cultivation or basket weaving and thus learn the craftsmanship. In addition, guided tours into the Lao jungle are offered. There are various excursions on the Nam-Ou and occasionally there are boat races between the villages. One of the most popular hiking tours is to Mount Phadeng Pea, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view. Outside the city in the middle of rice fields is the cave of Pha Tok, this is where the inhabitants fled from air raids, because there are some large halls in the rock. On a waterfall tour, several large and small waterfalls in the rainforest are controlled. At Sabai Sabai, you can indulge in massages in a traditional sauna in the middle of the tropics.
For a long time, Vang Vieng was considered the party hell of the backpacker scene, but this time is over and shouldn’t put anyone off a visit, because otherwise you might miss the breathtaking landscape around Vang Vieng. Because the highlights are outside the city, such as the green rice fields and karst mountains. In these there are countless caves that invite you to go on discovery tours. The Tham Chang, Tham Xang, Tham Hoi and the Tham Phu Kham are known.
Another highlight of the Blue Lagoon with its brilliant blue water is best reached by bike or rented motorcycle. Many climbing tours are also offered in the area.
Pakse is also called the pearl of the south and is the third largest city in the country. The city is located at the mouth of the Xe Don in the Mekong in the Champasak province and should not only be visited as a stopover on the way to Thailand. Because it has a lot to offer in its surroundings, such as the fertile Bolaven Plateau, a 1,200 meter high plateau. Coffee, tea and pepper are mainly grown there and the picturesque waterfalls are particularly beautiful after the rainy season, including the Tad Fane and the Tad Nyuang.
Although it is a world cultural site, a visit to Wat Phou still seems to be a real insider tip. The largest wat in Pakse is Wat Luang, which is located directly on the Xe Don below the French bridge.
There are daily tours to the villages of Ban Saphai or Don Kho, where you will be introduced to this craft in traditional weaving centers.
A very special highlight at the end of Lent in October is the dragon boat race.
Also worth a visit is the Si Phan Don National Park in Champasak Province, whose name means “the 4000 islands”. The extremely rare Irrawaddy dolphin romps near the island of Don Khon. The Khon Phapheng waterfall is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Asia.
Vientiane has been the capital of Laos since 1975. The city is the economic, political and cultural center of the country with around 620,000 inhabitants in the entire metropolitan area. The city is located directly on the Mekong, on the border with Thailand. The two countries have been linked by the Thai-Laotian Friendship Bridge since 1994. The city is also known as the “City of the Moon”. In contrast to many other Southeast Asian capitals, Vientiane has not yet been discovered by mass tourism and therefore offers a very special insight.
The great stupa of the Pha That Luang Temple is known as the holiest monument in Laos. As a national symbol, the image can be found on numerous documents, stamps and banknotes.
Since 1968 Vientiane has had a special archway, the Patuxai (Victory Gate). This is dedicated to the fallen independence fighters from the war against France. A visit to the Lao National Museum, also known as the National History Museum, is also very interesting. Another tourist highlight is the Wat Si Saket temple complex (also known as the Sisaket Museum) at the southern end of Avenue Lane Xang. Nowadays there are more than 10,000 Buddha statues of various sizes, shapes, colors and materials.
The former personal chapel of the Lao royal family is also worth seeing and is known today as the Ho Phra Keo Temple.
Do not miss a walk along the Mekong Riverfront. There are numerous Laotian restaurants and cafes here and it is an ideal meeting place to chat with locals.
Late in the evening there are frequent identity checks in Laos and those who cannot identify themselves correctly spend the night in police custody. There are some domestic flight connections, but the aircraft do not always meet international safety requirements, although this has improved significantly in recent years. There is the possibility to book private charter flights in a helicopter. The roads between the larger cities are paved. However, not all main connections are navigable in all weather conditions. Due to the high accident rate, a rental car trip is not advisable. There are also long-distance buses for all individual travelers, but they are more or less reliable. The Mekong and other rivers are important traffic routes with good connections with speedboats and ferries. Private jet boats can also be rented. Laos can also be visited as part of a guided tour. Most providers run organized small group tours to the main attractions. Combination travel with neighboring countries is also possible.