Laos tourist attractions in a land that was known in antiquity as Lan Xang, or the Million Elephants, Laos, traditionally the largest developed and most enigmatic of the three former French Indochina states, Laos has emerged as the front-runner in economic and political reform. After decades of isolation, landlocked Laos has in the 1990s become more open towards the outside world, and the number of foreigner travelers has been increased accordingly. Today, Laos along with Cambodia and Vietnam is one of the most visited destination in Indochina, from the laid back Vientiane to the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang and more, Following is the list of top 10 things to do in Laos,
However, Laos is more open to tourism than ever before, Laos is closest to the romantic image of South-East of Asia. With strong rural traditions and a deeply spiritual culture, the ‘ Land of Million Elephants’ holds the edge in peaceful, laid-back travel
Top 10 Things to Do in Laos
# 10 Vang Vieng
This small town 160KM north of caoital Vientiane nestles along a scenic bend in the Nam Song Rivr, the main attractions are karst topography lining the west bank of the river. Even if you dont plan on exploring any caves, a walk along the river can be rewarding. Most of the local fishing pirogues are poled along the river, so the scenery is unmarred by noisy motors.
# 9 Wat Phu Champasak
Literally mountain temple, this Khmer temple site spreads over the lower slopes of Phu Pasak 8 KM south east of Champasak. Though small compared with the Angkor era sites in Siem Reap, Cambodia, or with Buriram, Thailand, Wat Phu is charged with atmosphere. The surviving structure date from as early as the Chenla Kingdom from 6th to 8th centuries, though exact dating is still in question.
# 8 The Plain Of Jars
The Plain of Jars is a large area extending around Phonsavan from the south-west to the north-east where huge Jars of unknown origin are scattered about in at least a dozen groupings, site 1 or Thing Hai Hin and the site 2, the Hai Hin Phu Salato as well as site 3, the Hai Hin Laat Khai, however, there are many sites can also be seen in Muang Kham district, but none of them contain more than 40 or so jars, only sites 1 and 2 and 3 are considered to be reasonably free of UXO. Even at these sites you should take care to stay within the jar areas and suck to worn footpaths.
# 7 Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
This collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures lies in a meadow by the side of the Mekong River some 24KM south of the town center off Thanon Tha Deua. The park was designed and built in 1958 by Luang Pu, a yogi-priest-shaman who merged Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, mythology and iconography into a cryptic whole. The concrete sculpture at Xieng Khaun are bizarre but compelling in their naive confidence, they includes statue of Shiva, Vishnu, Arjuna, Buddha and everyother Hindu or Buddhist deity imaginable.
# 6 Wat Si Saket
Wat Sisaketsata Sahatsaham is a temple sites opposite the presidential palace. the temple built in 1818 by king Anouvong, it is perhaps the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane, all the other temples were built after Wat Si Saket or were rebuilt after destruction by the Siamese in 1828. In spite of the Siamese influence Wat Si Saket has several unique features. The interior walls of the cloister are riddled with small niches that contain over 2000 silver and ceramic Buddha images.
# 5 Bolaven Plateau and Tad Fane Waterfall
Centered on the north east of Champasak, the fertile Bolaven Plateau wasnt farmed intensively until the French planted coffee, rubber and the bananas in early 20th century, along with the Laven , the plateau is a center for several other Mon-Khmer ethnic groups. Also, several beautiful waterfalls are inked with the Set river, the most commonly visited are Taat Lo and Tad Fane, both just a few kilometers west of Paksong.
# 4 Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
The great Stupa is the most important national monument in Laos, a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Laos sovereignty. The image of the main stupa appears on the national seal. The monument looks almost like a missle cluster from a distance. Surrounding it is a high-walled cloister with tiny windows added by king Anouvong in the early 19th century. The great stupa is designed to be mounted by the faithful, so there are walkways around each level.
# 3 Bokeo nature reserve
The Bokeo Nature Reserve was created to protect its population of the black-cheeked gibbon, rediscovered in 1997, which was previously thought to be extinct. A visit to Bokeo Nature Reserve is not complete without a stay at the Gibbon Experience, an eco tourism conservation project. Guests stay in tree houses and travel by zip line through the forests in search of the Black Gibbon. Besides the elusive black gibbon, visitors to the reserve may also see elephants, bears, tigers and wild buffalo. The Gibbon Experience also works to rehabilitate and return to the wild animals that were captured by poachers. With mountains ranging from 1,600 to almost 5,000 feet in altitude, the reserve also is a good place to watch birds. Source: TourOpia
# 2 Pak Ou Caves
one of the must see of Laos tourist attractions located 25 KM by boat from Luang Prabang along the Mekong River, at the mouth of the Nam Ou, are the famous Pak Ou caves. Two caves in the lower part of the limestone cliff facing the river are stuffed with Buddha images of all styles and sizes. The lower cave known as the Tham Ting, is entered from the river by series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight. Stairs to the left of Tham Ting lead round to the upper cave, Tham Phum, which is deeper and requires artificial light for viewing.
# 1 Luang Prabang – UNESCO heritage town
Nakhong Luang Prabang is already wake up from the long slumber brought on by decades of war, however, today, Luang Prabang is the must see destination in Laos because of its historic temples – around 32 of the original 66 built before the era of French colonization are still standing and because of its delightful mountain encircled setting, about 700 m above sea level. The city’s mix of gleaming temple roofs, crumbling French provincial architecture and the multi-ethnic population of Hmong, Mien and Thai tribal people tends to enthrall even the most jaded travelers.