We’re starting a new series on World of Wanderlust, which, as it sounds is an in-depth look at some of the world’s must see locations that none of the team have been able to get to yet (just because we haven’t been there yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read about it on the site)!!!
First up, we’re talking about Laos – one of the lesser visited but equally fascinating countries in Indochina – which strictly compromises of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos… but has now grown to include all of mainland Southeast Asia, adding Thailand, mainland Malaysia, Singapore and Burma (watch this space for an in-depth look at Burma, one of the biggest trending destinations right now)!
On a recent trip to Southeast Asia with Intrepid on a group tour, I had to sadly cut my time short and return home a little earlier than anticipated. A few days later I was supposed to visit Laos, so it seems only fitting to cover Laos as the first “Weekly Wanderlust” location.
Laos gets a little lost in translation – or shall we say cleaver marketing campaigns – in comparison with it’s neighbours Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia (which has recently been named one of the World’s top 25 Destinations). However there is much to love about Laos, particularly if you’re eager to get out of your comfort zone and into the wilderness.
Typically Laos is described as blissfully laid back, so if you’re coming to spend time here, much like the rest of Southeast Asia, don’t sell yourself short!
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time”
– Bertrand Russell
Pictured: Kwangsi Waterfalls, Luang Prabang
Where Should you Go in Laos?
The colonial era architecture, temples and authenticity of Luang Prabang makes this UNESCO World Heritage the standout favourite for travellers visiting Laos.
Located north of the capital (Vientiane) is Vang Vieng, infamous for its’ wild tubing (and partying scene) on the river banks. Around the area there are a great range of activities such as caving, kayaking, rock climbing and trekking.
Vientiane is the capital of Laos, however is much more underrated than the likes of other Southeast Asian capitals such as Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City. Travellers will likely pass through here to reach other destinations in Laos, however there are much more amazing and surreal experiences to be had outside of the capital, so be sure to limit your time here in favour of other locations.
Know Before You Go
Visa on arrival has been available in Laos since 2010.
As with most other destinations in Southeast Asia, you will need to allow for extra time when travelling throughout Laos due to delays, cancellations, and breakdowns.
Laos is the least westernised of all the Indochina countries, so you can expect a more authentic and laid back experience – perhaps reason to allow for more time here to explore!
Laos is also a great place to enjoy adventure activities such as trekking, kayaking, and rock climbing… so be sure to not skimp out on travel insurance to play it safe!
A great way to visit Laos as a solo traveller is to join a trip with Intrepid Travel. In association with ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations).