Tuesday, 28th June 2016
5 ways to enjoy the water in Laos
Travelling to a tropical climate is the perfect antidote to a disappointing British summer, but it can present challenges of its own. A great way to cool off is to enjoy some of the natural water features a country has to offer and Laos has an abundance of options. Check out the five suggestions below and add them to your itinerary.
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng’s reputation for a boozy tubing experience may be well gone, but the essence of the place still remains – the Nam Song River which runs through it. Hire an inflatable tube and spend a morning or afternoon lazily floating down the waterway, taking in the beauty of the countryside and chance encounters with locals and wildlife on its banks – bliss.
Kayaking amongst the Four Thousand Islands
Nowhere has a name as evocative as Si Phan Don, which translates as Four Thousands Islands, and can be found in the Mekong. Jumping into a kayak is the perfect way to explore, as you can go at your own pace and stop off at whichever islands and villages take your fancy. Slow things down a little and you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit this part of the river.
Splashing around in waterfalls
There are some wonderful waterfalls scattered across the landscape of Laos, with Kuang Si near Luange Prabang being particularly popular. There are several pools that are perfect for swimming in this spot. Alternatively, undertake the 100 waterfalls trek, which sees you scrambling up a number of cascades and bypassing the heat of the day altogether.
White water rafting on Nam Xeung River
Depending on the season of the year that you visit Laos, you’ll find the country’s rivers in various states. While the dry season between April and June means they are low, meandering waterways, by the monsoon season from July to October, you’ll find them fast flowing and exciting. This is when white water challenges can be enjoyed, with rapids found in places where, months before, you'd barely believe they would run.
Slow boat along the river
If literally jumping into the rivers and waterfalls of Laos isn’t quite your cup of tea, then you can still enjoy the nation’s water in a more sedate manner. This could be in the form of a leisurely stroll along the Mekong at Vientiane or by adding a river cruise to your trip. Idly winding your way through Laos by slow boat allows you to take in some of the rural scenes from this beautiful corner of Southeast Asia without even getting a toe wet.
Related news stories:
The Laos reading list (6th October 2015)
10 reasons to make Laos your next destination (16th September 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)