Wednesday, 16th September 2015
10 reasons to make Laos your next destination
Laos may not gain as much attention as its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, but that does not mean it isn't worth a visit. In fact, the relatively unvisited nature of the country makes it all the more enticing for travellers keen to get off the beaten track. Still not convinced? Here are ten reasons why you should make your next destination Laos.
1. Calm attitude
In the modern world there is far too much rushing about and if you can't take things more calmly while on holiday, then when can you? Laos has an incredibly laidback attitude to life and even the capital Vientiane, which occupies a peaceful bend in the river has a relaxed feel to it, so forget your stresses and slot into Laos time.
2. World-class cuisine
Again, Laos' neighbours get more attention on an international scale when it comes to food, but the cuisine of Laos is just as good if not better. Fresh fish, salads and herbs can be found on menus throughout the country and there is plenty of variety to hold your taste buds' attention through every meal.
3. Religion is important
It is impossible not to see the importance of Buddhism to the people of Laos as you travel about the country. From stunning temples and pagodas to monks clad in saffron robes, there is a reminder of the prominent religion around every corner.
4. Clear skies make for wonderful sunsets
Stunning sunsets are one of nature's most beautiful achievements and nothing beats scoping out a great location from which to view them during your holiday. Sip a drink from a rooftop bar or listen to the sounds of the river from its bank and enjoy a sunset undisturbed by light pollution.
5. Quality coffee on offer
There are a number of French influences left over from the colonial period in Laos, with bread and pastries and colonial architecture among them. For coffee lovers there is nothing more important than being able to get a good quality freshly brewed cup and this is the greatest thing the French left behind in Laos.
6. Hidden waterfalls
Stumbling across a waterfall while hiking in the Laotian countryside is a magical experience and the nation has an abundance of such sites. Make like a local and use the opportunity to sit in a perfect setting with a picnic or paddle to cool off.
7. Lush countryside
Laos receives a relatively large amount of rainfall each year and as well as filling the aforementioned waterfalls it has a stunning impact on the rest of the landscape. Everywhere you look it is lush and green, with rice paddies and jungle reminding visitors they are in Southeast Asia.
8. Wonderful souvenirs
Those taking a handicraft back from Laos will want something that screams the country and is not ubiquitous all over the region. Choose a Hmong story cloth for a truly authentic souvenir from your time in this incredible country.
9. Ecotourism ambitions
The natural beauty of Laos is evident for those who visit Laos, but it is not lost on the country's population either. There is a widespread desire to preserve the associated benefits for the future and move more towards ecotourism as people venture to this stunning corner of the world.
10. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Exploring United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites makes for a fantastic thing to do on any holiday and Laos has three incredible options to discover. Choose from the ancient town of Luang Prabang; the awe-inspiring temple complex of Wat Phu; or the 2,000-year-old mystery of the Plain of Jars. Alternatively, plan to visit them all.
Related news stories:
The Laos reading list (6th October 2015)
What to know before you go to Laos (23rd April 2015)
What does the Laotian flag symbolise? (17th November 2015)
Everything you need to know about coffee in Laos (29th December 2015)