Time seems to have stopped in Laos, and life is far slower in this still vastly undiscovered nation. Get to know the real Laos with hiking trips through the mountains near Luang Prabang, sightseeing tours of temple-filled Vientiane, and local boat rides along the Mekong and Xe Don rivers in Pakse. Then, head to nature for trekking, kayaking and canoeing, and other active and outdoor adventures.
This trip combines two fascinating countries over two weeks, giving you the opportunity to discover the best of both - from Thailand's lively capital and activity-filled Chiang Mai, to the riverside tranquillity of Laos and its stunning scenery. .
This is the perfect trip to traverse South East Asia, either as a trip on its own or as a way to link your independent adventures in Thailand or Vietnam..
Travel on a variety of transport - rock the night away on the rails on a sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then drift down the Mekong on a slow boat.
“January was an excellent time to explore this area as the temperature was consistently around 30c. We had awesome local guides and drivers for each country. The terrain was a variety of tarmac, sand and trails through the countryside. The combination of biking, visiting sites and eating local food was a great way to explore these countries. We were also pleased with the variety of accommodation.
This was our fourth SpiceRoads tour. We appreciate the level of professionalism all staff display as well as the awesome planning that goes into all the trips to ensure the clients safety and enjoyment.”
Imagine visiting a country where the locals are still curious to know more about foreigners. Think of a place where time seems to stop, stress disappears and your heartbeat feels like it has slowed down a notch to adjust to the slow-paced lifestyle. This is what every trip to Laos feels like. Get away from the cities and enjoy off-the-beaten-track holidays to come in touch with the real Laos. With beautiful limestone cliffs and the enchanting Mekong River as your backdrop, you have the perfect setting for picture-perfect holidays. Add village homestays and spectacular natural beauty into the mix and life really begins to start feeling like a fairytale.
Climb to the top of Mount Phou Si
Swim in the turquoise-coloured lagoon of Tham Poukham Cave
Discover the ruins of Vat Phou in Champasak
Raft down the Mekong River
Stroll through Buddha Park in Vientiane
Take a dip in the Kuang Si Falls
Explore the Pak Ou Caves
Fast and reliable internet can be hard to come by in Laos. To be on the safe side, print your hotel and transport confirmations ahead of time, and carry a physical map.
While many Asian countries encourage you to eat with your hands, this is not the case in Laos. Use chopsticks if you can.
When eating out, be careful of “happy pizzas” or “happy shakes”. These foods are “happy” because they are laced with drugs, normally mushrooms or opium.
Even on hot days, be sure to bring something to cover your shoulders and knees for visiting monasteries and other holy sites.
Laotians really value politeness. Be a respectful tourist. Don’t take pictures of locals without asking (especially monks), avoid pointing, and always take your shoes off before entering a temple or someone’s home.
Things run a bit slower in Laos - that goes for the people, the service, and the public transportation. Kick back, relax, and count time as the locals do.