Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
An Authentic Asia
Laos cherishes many of the traditions that have disappeared in a frenzy of development elsewhere in the region. It's hard to believe somnolent Vientiane is an Asian capital, and there's a timeless quality to rural life, where stilt houses and paddy fields look like they are straight out of a movie set. Magical Luang Prabang bears witness to hundreds of saffron-robed monks gliding through the streets every morning in a call to alms, one of the region’s iconic images. Intrepid travelers will discover a country untainted by mass tourism and Asia in slow motion.
A Kaleidoscope of People
Laos is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the region, reflecting its geographic location as a crossroads of Asia. The hardy Hmong people live off the land in the remote mountains of the north, Kahu and Alak elders in the south still have traditional face tattoos, and the Katang villagers of central Laos sleep with forest spirits.
Fifty Shades of Green
With its dark and brooding forests, glowing emerald rice fields, and glistening tea leaves that blanket the mountains, the landscape in Laos changes shades of green like a chameleon. But it's not just the landscapes that are green: when it comes to ecotourism, Laos is leading the way in Southeast Asia. Protected areas blanket the landscape in many of the more remote areas of the country, and community-based trekking and cultural initiatives contribute to the local community and preserve the environment.
Travelers rave about Laos for a reason. Adventure seekers can lose themselves in underground river caves, on jungle ziplines or while climbing karsts. Nature enthusiasts can take a walk on the wild side and spot gibbons or elephants. Culture lovers can explore ancient temples and learn about Lao spiritual life. Foodies can spice up their lives with a Lao cooking class or go gourmand in the French-accented cities. And if all this sounds a little too strenuous, then unwind with a spa session or yoga class. Laos has something for everyone.