A BRIEF LOOK AT OUR PRIMARY TOURIST DESTINATIONS
Luangprabang Formerly the capital of Lane Xang (land of a million elephants); the entire town was denoted as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995. Situated on the confluence of two rivers (Nam Khan and the mighty Mekong), this evocative town reflects a magnificent mixture of colonial French and traditional Lao architecture. The wonderful wats evoke a feeling of peace and tranquility. Sights include: the National Museum (former Royal Palace), Vat Xieng Thong, Phusi Hill overlooking the Mekong and town, Khouang Si waterfalls, Hmong traditional villages and the mystical Pak Ou caves you can visit by boat up the Mekong River calling in on interesting weaving and whisky-maker villages.
Houeisay Located in the remote north-west near the infamous ‘Golden Triangle’ with an entry check-point from Thailand and a border with Myanmar. The area is renowned for its gem stones, including sapphires and rubies.
Pakbeng A small village located above the Mekong River, an interesting stop-over for river cruises between Luangprabang and Houeisay.
Luangnamtha Home of several distinctive local tribes living in pristine forests with indigenous wildlife and a large native bird population, offering a memorable glimpse at an enduring way of life. Winner of an international gold award for eco-tourism.
Xieng Khouang A mountainous area with some caves and waterfalls, but most famous for the Plain of Jars. Huge jars carved from stone and weighing up to 6 tonne each litter the plains; the origins and original use of these stone-age artifacts is still unknown.
Vang Vieng Just 150km north of Vientiane on the Nam Xong River, this quiet, scenic area abounds in caves lurking in the distinctive beauty of the mountain ranges.
Vientiane The capital of Laos is on the Mekong River; this cosmopolitan city is the seat of government and the cultural and commercial centre. There are many, not to be missed, beautiful Buddhist wats and memorable monuments; plus a smorgasbord of memorable restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines.
Savannakhet An area renowned as retaining their traditional Lao heritage; also an important trading junction with both Thailand and Vietnam.
Paskse / Champassak Pakse is the ideal place for short trips to the former capital of Champassak and the memorable World Heritage pre-Angkor ruins of Vat Phou.
Khong Island Near Cambodia with the huge Khonephapheng waterfalls; between November and May the rare white Mekong River dolphins may be seen.
Boloven Plateau This area is home to several waterfalls and local, minority villages that can be visited by riding on elephants. Also tea, coffee and fruit plantations proliferate among glorious scenery and rare flora and fauna.
Roads between main towns are good, but may be more rugged in remote areas; there are regular flights between the cities.