#01 A slow boat down the Mekong

The lifeline of this landlocked nation, the Mekong figures in every visit to Laos, supplying the fish for dinner, a stunning array of sunsets and a route to travel along.

#01 A slow boat down the Mekong

#02 Phongsali

Head into the far north to this untouristy town, from where you can explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

#02 Phongsali

#03 Plain of Jars

Ancient funerary urns, the remnants of a lost civilization, lie scattered across the heart of the northeast.

#03 Plain of Jars

#04 Waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau

A series of spectacular waterfalls set among lush forest.

#04 Waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau

#05 Luang Prabang

At the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Khan, Laos’s most enchanting city boasts atmospheric temples and a variety of excursions.

#05 Luang Prabang

#06 Lao food

Fiery and crammed with herbs, Lao food is a delight to discover – and there’s excellent Beer Lao to wash it down.

#06 Lao food

#07 Vang Vieng

Best known for its tubing and backpacker scene, Vang Vieng is also a great place for outdoor adventures.

#07 Vang Vieng

#08 Trekking

Rugged mountain forests set the scene for hikers seeking to explore the remote hill villages of the north.

#08 Trekking

#09 The Nam Ou

This tropical waterway in the mountainous north passes through some of the country’s most inspiring scenery.

#09 The Nam Ou

#10 Colonial shophouses

French–Indochinese shophouses add character to city streets in Mekong River towns, such as Savannakhet.

#10 Colonial shophouses

#11 That Luang

The country’s most important religious building is best seen at sunset when the golden stupa seems to glow in the fading light.

#11 That Luang

#12 Si Phan Don

This picturesque collection of Mekong islands, close to the Cambodian border, is dotted with rustic fishing villages and is the perfect place to relax.

#12 Si Phan Don

#13 Wat Phou

The most evocative Khmer ruin outside of Cambodia, this rambling mountainside complex dates from the sixth to twelfth centuries.

#13 Wat Phou

#14 Lao massage

A traditional massage at a Lao sauna is the best way to wind down and rejuvenate after a long trek. The herbal mixtures in the steam bath (and the tea) are jealously guarded secrets.

#14 Lao massage

#15 Wat Xieng Thong

Spared wars, fires and overzealous restorations, the jewel of temple-rich Luang Prabang is as elegant as it is historic.

#15 Wat Xieng Thong

#16 Textiles

Weavers plying their craft still work the looms under their homes in the countryside, where each ethnic group is known for having its own style of textiles.

#16 Textiles

#17 Nong Khiaw

Straddling the Nam Ou, this is the perfect place for a few days, relaxing in a hammock or exploring the surrounding area on foot or by kayak.

#17 Nong Khiaw

Planning your trip to Laos

Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Laos features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
A postcard from Laos: exploring the curious Plain of Jars

A postcard from Laos: exploring the curious Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars, in northern Laos, remains one of Southeast Asia's great mysteries. Shafik Meghji journeys here to uncover the secrets of this little-tourist…

31 Oct 2017 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
More featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs