Laos – Land of Million Elephants
Laos – a wonderful landlocked in the Southeast Asia with the Mekong River stretching along the large part in western boundary, is one of the most picturesque countries with the richness in tourist attractions. Being dubbed as the Land of Million Elephants, Laos has a long-standing history and unique culture which have existed over 10,000 years. Travel to Laos, you will get a chance to discover a mystery land with breathtaking untamed natural beauty from forested landscapes and mountainous terrain. If you plan to take a trip on this vacation, beautiful Laos with diversity in both culture and nature will be the best suggestion which brings you unforgettable experience.
Laos is a tropical monsoon country, where the climate divides into three main seasons: rainy season, cool dry season and hot dry season. Every season offers a unique weather, and the best time to travel to Laos is from October to April, when daytime temperature is warm with lovely sunshine, evenings turn into a little bit cool air and the countryside remains evergreen and lush. Travel to Laos in this period, you will have a perfect trip with deep discovery to hidden beautiful tourist attractions under a comfortable weather. Besides, travel to Laos in this months can limit rainfall, bringing you the most convenient condition to merge yourself into the nature with several historical and cultural highlights.
Laos gathers a huge number of spectacular tourist destinations. And Vientiane is the first recommendation. Located in the Northeast of Laos, Vientiane is the bustling capital and the biggest city, where is home of the most important national monuments.
A trip to That Luang which is the symbol of Laos and an icon of Buddhism; an exploration to significant Buddhist temples and stupas such as Haw Phra Kaew, Wat Si Saket, Black Stupa; or a talk with a monk at Sangha College will bring you a very first impression on the richness in cultural and religious aspects of this country.
Take a deep insight to the long-standing history in this area by visiting Laos National Museum, where keeps remarkable monuments and events from the past. Start your natural discovery by trekking through the Nature Park and reaching Phou Khao Khouay with incredible waterfalls and picturesque sceneries from the wildlife. Moreover, contemplating Victory Gate Patuxai with unique French architecture is also a good idea that you must do when in Vientiane. When night falls, it is the best suitable time for walking around colorful local night markets and drinking some beers in lively noisy pubs.
Travel up to the North of Laos, Luang Prabang town, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and admire the tranquil beauty of Kwangsii Water Fall. The architecture of Luang Prabang is also resemble with a quaint European village with the flow of Mekong River and Nam Khan River running alongside. Therefore, it’s popular to cruise on Mekong River to fascinating tourist attractions.
You can merge into the nature by cruising to Pak Ou Caves, an impressive place with natural limestones and sculpted Buddha images. Whiskey Village, where is the home of Laos rice whiskey is also an ideal destination on boat trip. Take a glance at history by visiting the famous Royal Palace Museum.
For your best sunset or sunrise ever, climbing on Phou Si Hill will bring you an exciting adventure with breathtaking panorama and super-nice photo opportunities. When in Luang Prabang, joining in local activities such as planting, cropping and harvesting rice at the living farm will bring you memorial experiences in a peaceful countryside of Laos. For your best relaxation, Utopia – a multi-complex of bars, pubs and restaurants will be the best choice ever.
Located in the heart between Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng emerges as a natural land with diverse ecological system including limestones mountains and luscious paddy fields. It is an amazing idea to take a natural adventure to explore well-known Tham Chang Cave and Jang Cave contemplate, as well as contemplate the charming beauty of Kaeng Nyui Waterfall. Going hiking to the forested hill and drowning yourself into the crystal water at Blue Lagoon and Phu Kham Cave will bring to closer to the wonderful nature. Start to visit famous Wat Kang Pagoda and Vang Vieng Elephant Sanctuary, where is the land of many living elephants. Another gorgeous stop is Pha Ngern View Point, where gives you the greatest panorama of the beautiful Vang Vieng.
Travel to Laos, it will be a big mistake if you don’t take a discover to 4000 islands – Si Phan Don. This famous place is a archipelago containing several islands, which are uninhabited and too tiny for roads. Don Det and Don Khon in the Southern Si Phan Don are the most outstanding attractions with glamorous natural beauty. Merge yourself in this natural heaven by cycling in the local villages to feel the peaceful atmosphere in a lovely countryside, or trekking on the lush jungle path with evergreen flora on both sides.
- Currency: Official currency in Laos in Lao Kip (K). Upon arrival in Laos, you can exchange your currency into Lao Kip for more convenience in trading. Laos is one of the cheapest country in Southeast Asia, therefore you will have the most comfort when travelling to this country. Although only Kip is legal in daily transactions, US Dollar and Thai Baht (B) are also used widely.
- Transportation: There are several means of transportation in Laos. Tuktuk is an iconic transportation in Laos. You can hire a tuktuk for your whole-day purposes to save you cost with low price. Bus is a suitable choice for those people who want to travel to other provinces or Laos’s neighbors such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Because Mekong River runs through Laos from the North to the South, cruise and boat are the popular transportations in this country. You can take a boat trip on the river for a deep exploration to beauty of different tourist attractions. In Laos, you can take a flight to travel to other regions easily. Besides, taxi, motorbike for rent are also available in many tourist areas.
- Visa: To enter Laos for your trip, tourist visa is required. Visa for travel in Laos generally permits a stay in 30 days. However, if you want to stay more in Laos due to your own purposes, you can extend your visa up to 2 times with limited 90 days in the Department of Immigration in Vientiane. Only foreign tourists can apply an online application form for travel visa in Laos with simple procedures.
- Languages: Lao is among the tonal languages of Southeast Asia’s Tai-Kadai language family, therefore citizens in Laos speak approximately 90 other languages. However, Laotian is considered as the official language of this Land of Million Elephants. In many regions, especially tourist area, English and French are also spoken widely.
- People: Demographics in Laos include three main ethnic groups: lowland Lao (Lao Loum), upland Lao (Lao Theung) and highland Lao (Lao Soung, including the Hmong and the Yao). In general, local people in Laos are very friendly with everyone, especially the tourists. When in Laos, you will feel always be hearty welcomed to this country.
- Religion: Buddhism is the main religion which accounts for about the half number of population in Laos, largely in lowland Lao group. Besides, there are also a small number of religious communities who are Christians, Muslims and other local religions.