Top things to do in Northern Laos

Top Choice Cave in Vieng Xai

Vieng Xai Caves

Joining a truly fascinating 18-point tour is the only way to see Vieng Xai's seven most important war-shelter cave complexes, set in beautiful gardens backed by fabulous karst scenery. A local guide unlocks each sit…
Top Choice National Park in Luang Namtha

Nam Ha NPA

The 2224-sq-km Nam Ha NPA is one of Laos' most accessible natural preserves and home to clouded leopard and possibly a few unpoached tigers. Both around and within the mountainous park, woodlands have to compete wit…
Top Choice Laotian in Muang Ngoi Neua

Gecko Bar & Shop

Handmade woven gifts and tea are for sale at this delightful, memorable little cafe (two-thirds of the way down the main drag, on your left heading south). There's a nice terrace to sit and read on, the owners are c…
Top Choice Laotian in Huay Xai

Daauw

The friendliest vibe in town: soak up the sunset view on its chill-out terrace decked in low cushions and an open-pit fire, and choose from freshly prepared organic Hmong food, wood-fired pizza, plenty of vegetarian…
Top Choice Cultural Centre in Phonsavan

Xieng Khouang UXO-Survivors' Information Centre

This unexploded ordnance (UXO) information centre and colourful, upbeat shop sells silk laptop bags, purses and handicrafts made by UXO survivors. Aside from displays including bomb parts and harrowing stories of re…
Top Choice Laotian in Luang Namtha

Lai's Place

No other restaurant in northern Laos offers such a tourist-friendly introduction to the diverse cuisines of the region's ethnic minorities than this simple eatery with sturdy wooden tables and walls lined in groceri…
Top Choice International in Luang Namtha

Bamboo Lounge

With its moss-green facade this place is the favourite in town for travellers, offering employment to young people from remote villages and donating more than 2800 books to local schools. It's alluring by night with…
Top Choice Laotian in Udomxai

Souphailin Restaurant

Don't be fooled by the modest bamboo exterior of this backstreet gem – easily the tastiest Lao food in the city is served here. Friendly Souphailin creates culinary magic with her mok phaa (steamed fish in banana le…
Top Choice Indian in Pak Beng

Khopchaideu

Based at the Mekong Riverside Lodge, this place may serve some of the best Indian food you'll find in northern Laos. You can expect all the usual curries, as well as dishes like buffalo masala, executed with flair a…
Top Choice Cafe in Sam Neua

Yuni Coffee

A blessing for coffee snobs: if you're missing standard lattes your caffeine privations are over. Now in a new, more spacious location with a modern industrial look and a choice selection of breakfast items and casu…