Laos is a great introduction to old South-East Asia: its history spans over 10,000 years, Buddhism permeates every corner of life and the pace of life is as slow as it has been for centuries.

"Largely unspoilt, much of this land is mountains, mists and natural beauty, with charming cities (Luang Prabang being possibly the best preserved in this part of the world)."

Without doubt the most magnificent temple here is Wat Xieng Thong (The Golden Monastery) – within walking distance of the town, and situated above the point where the Mekong and Nam Khan River meet. Around 18 miles from Luang Prabang, and making for a lovely day trip is the gorgeous Kouang Si Waterfall.

And for a complete contrast to all the tranquillity, head to the city’s fabled night market – open every evening (look carefully and you’ll find some really quaint genuine local pieces to be found at very good prices).

What you need to know

  • Capital City


  • Time Difference

    GMT +7

  • Best Time to Visit

    November to March

  • Currency

    Laos Kip (US$ are widely accepted)



Choose from the cream of Laos' finest hotels

  • Amantaka Luang Prabang

    Housed in French colonial buildings, this peaceful retreat offers several dining options from authentic Lao to French-influenced cuisine awaits, and is in walking distance of Luang Prabang’s many attractions.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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  • Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao Luang Prabang

    With its reputation as one of the region’s most serene hotels (undoubtedly due to its hilltop location and views over the sacred mountains), this intimate Belmond property makes for an unforgettable stay.

    Call us on 01244 567 000 to start planning your next holiday.

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Inside Knowledge

Creating special moments

  1. Royal & Religious

    Royal & Religious

    The centre of Lao culture, Luang Prabang, was also the royal seat of the Lane Xang Kingdom. It’s only a small town, but has 33 large temple complexes and around 1000 resident monks; their robes adding to the colourful surroundings of wats and flowers.

  2. Activate an Adventure

    Activate an Adventure

    Kayaking, rock climbing, caving, trekking… Vang Vieng is Laos’ centre of adventure: the perfect spot for activities of all kinds – and worth visiting for the postcard sunsets alone!

  3. Monkeying Around

    Monkeying Around

    For a truly unique experience, head to northern Laos where and take on The Gibbon Experience, flying at high speed through lush forest and valleys on zip lines up to 500m long, and fulfilling all your childhood fantasies.