5 Reasons You Need To Visit Laos Right Now

The little country of Laos lies in the middle of Southeast Asia and boarders with some of the most popular and powerful countries in Asia, sitting between China to the north, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west.

While it is often overlooked by some of it’s more famous neighbours, Laos is a beautifully unique and diverse country, brimming with cascading waterfalls, mountain ranges, wildlife encounters and lying along the Mekong River.

bridge in luang prabang

Luang Prabang is one of the most popular cities in Laos, and was actually designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. It sits 700 metres above sea level in between the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers.

A beautiful heritage town, Luang Prabang is dedicated to tourism, where you can find everything from Royal Palaces and over 33 temples, to quaint shop-houses, cute cafes and sprawling markets. It also remains the main centre for Buddhist learning in Laos, and is the perfect place to learn more about spirituality and the Buddhist way of life.

READ MORE:
Chasing Waterfalls Across Luang Prabang

Whilst one of the most popular cities in Laos, Luang Prabang is still quite quiet for such a popular a tourist destination, offering visitors a glimpse into the laid back vibe that the locals like to live by. It was definitely one of the most relaxing places we visited in Southeast Asia, where you can completely unwind and go with the flow.

river crossing in luang prabang

1. All Of The Happy Locals

The people of Laos are some of the loveliest and most friendly we found in all of Southeast Asia. They are not pushy and yelling at you from the their tuk tuks or market stalls, they are always smiling, welcoming and happy to help if you need it.

The locals also understand that tourism and visitors are super important to their businesses and their town. So as long as you’re acting appropriately around cultural and religious sites and showing respect to the locals and the monks, they’re very happy to see you and have you in their town.

READ MORE:
10 Things You Must Do In Luang Prabang

pond at luang prabang temple

2. The Weather Is Always Sunny

While Laos experiences a tropical climate and a wet and dry season, the weather is still nice and warm all year round. The best time to visit Laos is between November and March during the dry season when the weather is cooler but still definitely nice and warm!

January is the most popular time of year to visit, both because of the optimal weather, but also the festival season. Make sure you check out the local festivals and what’s going on around Laos during January so you don’t miss out on any of the fun.

photoshoot at luang prabang temple
photoshoot at luang prabang temple

3. Historical Culture & Tradition Continues In Modern Day

All across Laos you will find locals that are deeply entrenched in their culture and traditions. At many of the temples that we visited we saw couples taking beautiful wedding photos in their traditional dress, as well as many locals taking part in cultural and religious ceremonies across the town.

As we mentioned in our previous post –ย Luang Prabang’s Traditional Alms Giving Ceremony – Tak Bat, in villages all across Laos the local Buddhist monks take part in an alms giving ceremony, where they walk around the village barefoot at dawn, accepting gifts and donations of food from the local laypeople.ย  This beautiful ceremony is wonderful to experience in real life, and is one of the last places in Southeast Asia where this tradition still takes places each day.

READ MORE:
Luang Prabang's Traditional Alms Giving Ceremony - Tak Bat

For an even more authentic look at a different type of local culture, you can even take a day trip out to spend some time with some of the ethnic tribes living in their villages. Depending on each individual tribe, some are welcoming and open to visitors and some prefer their privacy and do not want to be disturbed. If you are interested in visiting some of these ethnic villages, you can take a day tour into the mountains from Luang Prabang to some of the local tribes.

Check out the best places to stay in Luang Prabang

mekong delta in luang prabang

4. There’s So Much Natural Beauty

All across Laos there are stunning natural attractions that you can experience.

Around Luang Prabang you can find some really beautiful waterfalls, including Kuang Si and Tad Sea falls. These waterfalls have levels of cascading water, falling into azure pools of water where you can swim and escape from the heat and humidity of the midday sun.

Out near the boarder of Thailand you can find the Gibbon Experience, where deep in the forest you can fly across canopies, surrounded by gibbons. If you stay out here, you can wake up some of the world’s highest treehouses, surrounded by the gibbons waking up for the day in the tree tops.

READ MORE:
An Essential Guide To Luang Prabang

Laos is also a beautiful country full of mountains and beautiful rivers, and no matter where you visit you won’t be far away from some truly gob-smacking natural attractions.

utopia river bar in luang prabang

5. It’s Kind Of Still Off The Beaten Track

While Laos is growing in popularity, it is definitely still off the beaten track compared to it’s more popular neighbours. Visiting Laos right now means you are still a little bit removed from the crazy tourist trails of Bali and Thailand.

Although Laos is by no means untraveled, it’s still a nice break from the crazy crowds, with everyone moving to at a much slower pace here.

Find the best places to stay in Luang Prabang for your trip!

locals playing bowels in luang prabang

Check out more of our adventures across Laos

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5 REASONS YOU NEED TO VISIT LUANG PRABANG RIGHT NOW

Happy travels,



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Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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6 Comments

  • Iga Motylska May 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I planned to visit Laos in 2011 but had to change my itinerary at the 11th hour due to severe flooding, it is still top of my list. I hope to visit soon and your spectacular photos have inspired me to do so even more! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Emma Shaw May 7, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Oh no! How disappointing! I hope you can make it back there soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  • josiekelsh May 5, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I just loved Luang Prabang! Totally agree that everyone needs to visit now, before it looses that relaxed, small town feel.

  • Taru May 5, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Laos looks like an amazing place! And is sounds like now would be a good time to visit before it gets more crowded.

  • Anna May 5, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I’m feeling so guilty now because I was there about 2 years ago. But my initial idea – to travel around Laos – changed into getting a Thai visa in Vientiane and back to Thailand. Oh well… Your pictures are beautiful by the way!

    • Emma Shaw May 7, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Thanks so much Anna! Hopefully you can still make it to Laos one day, it’s definitely worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Just two twenty-something married Aussies, visiting as many places as we can in between normal life, and hoping to inspire and offer advice for your travel planning.

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