Top things to do

Top Choice Bar in Luang Prabang

Icon Klub

Imagine a place in the afterlife where writers meet and conversation is as free flowing as the fabulous mixology cocktails. You pull up a pew next to Jack Kerouac, and Anaïs Nin is reading in a cosy chair nearby… Ic…
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 Ruins in Wat Phu World Heritage Area

Wat Phu Champasak

Bucolic Wat Phu sits in graceful decrepitude, and while it lacks the arresting enormity of Angkor in Cambodia, given its few visitors and more dramatic natural setting, these small Khmer ruins evoke a more soulful r…
Top Choice Hill in Luang Prabang

Phu Si

Dominating the old city centre and a favourite with sunset junkies, the 100m-tall Phu Si (prepare your legs for a steep 329-step ascent) is crowned by a 24m gilded stupa called That Chomsi. Viewed from a distance, e…
Top Choice Museum in Luang Prabang

Royal Palace

Evoking traditional Lao and French beaux-arts styles, the former Royal Palace was built in 1904 and was home to King Sisavang Vong (r 1905–59), whose statue stands outside. Within are tasteful, decidedly sober resid…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Luang Prabang

Wat Xieng Thong

Luang Prabang's best-known monastery is centred on a 1560 sǐm (ordination hall). Its roofs sweep low to the ground and there's a stunning 'tree of life' mosaic set on its western exterior wall. Close by are several …
Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Vientiane

Pha That Luang

Svelte and golden Pha That Luang is the most important national monument in Laos; a symbol of Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Legend has it that Ashokan missionaries from India erected a tâht (stupa) here to …
Top Choice Market in Luang Prabang

Handicraft Night Market

Every evening this tourist-oriented but highly appealing market assembles along Th Sisavangvong and is deservedly one of Luang Prabang’s biggest tourist lures. Low-lit, quiet and devoid of hard selling, it has myria…
Top Choice Cosmetics in Vientiane

T'Shop Lai Gallery

Vientiane's finest shop. Imagine a melange of aromas: coconut, aloe vera, honey, frangipani and magnolia, all of them emanating from body oils, soaps, sprays, perfumes and lip balms, plus bangles, prints, fountain p…
Top Choice Cultural Centre in Vientiane

COPE Visitor Centre

COPE (Cooperative Orthotic & Prosthetic Enterprise) is the main source of artificial limbs, walking aids and wheelchairs in Laos. Its excellent Visitor Centre, part of the organisation's National Rehabilitation …