Laos is a Southeast Asian country bordered by Myanmar, China, Hanoi, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known for its lush nature and scenery, absolutely stunning waterfalls, villages and massive Buddhist monuments that will leave you breathless. Go beyond the hustle and bustle of the city and experience these stunning sights.
1. Bolaven Plateau
Located in southern Laos, the Bolaven Plateau is an elevated region that includes several rivers and the scenic Tad Fane twin waterfalls. It is a place where you can get amazing coffee and tea. In fact, it’s some of the best that the country has to offer. This is because the dirt is quite fertile. The area has a variety of wildlife including tigers, elephants and many bird species. It’s also a great place to trek, have a picnic or motorbike.
2. Buddha Park
Buddha Park, or Xieng Khuan, is a sculpture park that contains hundreds of concrete Buddhist statues in poses that range from ethereal to fearsome to unique and fascinating. This peaceful attraction contains sculptures that are larger than life, telling stories of Buddha and Hindu mythology. The main draw of the park is the circular structure that contains three levels. Each level represents something different: earth, heaven and hell. And when you reach the peak, you can gaze over the whole park and soak in the views.
3. The Pak Ou Caves
The Pak Ou Caves, meaning mouth of the Ou river, are a holy site that contain thousands of Buddha icons, as well as a stunning Buddhist shrine. They are not too far away from Ban Xang Hai village, which is known for its ceramics, whiskey and wine.
4. Si Phan Don
Si Phan Don, or 4000 islands, is composed of several islands located in southern Laos. It is in the Mekong River in the Khong district of Champasak province, right at the border of Cambodia. At Si Phan Don, you can soak in the picturesque views, go kayaking, check out the local bars and restaurants, see the waterfalls, head out to the beaches, rent a bike or lay back and relax in a comfortable hammock. Regardless of what you do, there are many activities throughout Si Phan Don and numerous sights to see.
5. Phu Chi Fa
Phu Chi Fa is one of the highest peaks in Northern Thailand with views that are absolutely breathtaking. Here, you can find beautiful sights, view the sunrise, browse the local vendors, ride a rented motorbike or you can camp, to give you some suggestions. And the great thing about camping in Phu Chi Fa is that the vendors sell camping gear, such as blankets and tents. The shops on the main street offer delicious Thai dishes such as khao pad gai, which is chicken fried rice that’s cooked in a wok with onion, garlic and spices.
6. Kuang Si Falls
The Kuang Si Falls are a rather popular tourist destination, as they are magnificent and powerful. They are located south of Luang Prabang and the main waterfall has a 200-foot drop. There is an admission fee to enter but once you do you’re free to swim in the pools and soak in the natural beauty.
7. Shop in Vientiane
Vientiane is the capital of Laos and is an excellent place to shop. Some of the best shopping is at Samsenthai Street, around the Nam Phou Fountain and at the Talat Sao Morning Market. At these destinations, the locals sell a variety of crafts, jewelry, art, silk and antique items.
8. Wat Xieng Thong
Wat Xieng Thong, or Temple of the Golden City, is a Buddhist temple located in northern Laos. It is both a significant Buddhist site and full of works of art with historic meaning. It dates back to 1560. This attraction includes a beautiful glass mosaic that depicts the tree of life, the royal funerary carriage house that contains a funerary carriage and urns for the royal family, magnificent statues and gold walls that are so intricate that your eyes won’t know where to look first.
9. Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang is a gold Buddhist stupa – or dome-shaped structure – located in Vientiane. It is considered a sacred monument and is on the official seal of Laos. It is quite an extravagant and stately sight, originally built in the 1st century. On the inside are numerous sculptures, paintings and altars, as well as a small park that is referred to as the Saysettha Gardens.
Rounding off the list is Bokeo, which is the smallest province in Laos. Here, you can visit many traditional villages, markets and temples. Not only can you visit the locals and have a glimpse of their lives, you can also experience the Bokeo Nature Reserve. Here, you can zipline and see the black-crested gibbons, which are a beautiful but endangered primate.