Laos Holidays

Traditionally known as the Kingdom of a Million Elephants, Laos remains one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. 

Centuries of relative isolation have preserved this ancient kingdom. Rural Laos greets you today much as it greeted the first Europeans. The isolated village of Oudomxai houses gentle, aboriginal people in traditional thatched houses. The village of Vang Vieng, on the Nam Song River, lies amid caves and extraordinary limestone karsts. Saffron-robed monks move from shadow to light among tranquil Buddhist temples. Distant mountains shimmer in flawless skies as great rivers roll through timeless landscapes of the plain, plateau and lush green forest.

Vientiane’s unhurried pace reflects its status as Southeast Asia’s smallest capital. The great Patu Xay or Victory Gate marks the entrance to the city. It also commemorates the liberation of the Lao people from French rule. The glittering golden stupas of 3rd Century Pha That Luang pagoda still dominate the low-rise skyline. Buddhist temples dot the shores of the Mekong River, and everywhere richly carved traditional Khmer buildings stand among the houses and public spaces of the colonial French.

This juxtaposition of old and new, traditional and colonial echoes Luang Prabang, historic home to the Laotian Kings. Cocooned in a deep valley of the Mekong, against a backdrop of dramatic, green mountains, Luang Prabang’s temples and monasteries sit in harmony with the Khmer and Colonial architecture of this wonderfully preserved UNESCO World Heritage site. Around Phonsavanh, more than 300 giant stone receptacles lie scattered across a plateau known as the Plain of Jars. As many theories exist as there are jars as to why they are there. Like Laos, it remains one of Asia’s wondrous mysteries.

Click here for the latest Foreign Travel Advice for Laos