Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Laos

Laos is officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, offers some of the finest tourist attractions. Laos is located in Southeast Asia. The country of Laos is a mountainous and landlocked country that shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China to the north. It is said that the country of Laos has long been isolated from the outside world. Today the country opening up, with an increasing number of roads and bridges being built the amazing tourist attractions in Laos are becoming more and more accessible and the superb historical monuments of the country are worth a visit. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Laos along with your family are listed below:

1. Vientiane

The city of Vientiane is the one of the most popular tourist destinations of the country. It is the largest and the capital city in Laos. You will find some of the best European-style buildings and relics of Buddha. There are numerous of significant structures like Buddha Park, Haw Phra, Kaew, Lao National Museum, Patuxay, Pha That Luang, That Dam, Wat Ong Teu Mahawihan, Wat Si Muang, Wat Si Saket, and, Wat Sok Pa Luang. Many cultural heritages make it as one of UNESCO’s world heritage.

2. Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is one of the most fascinating cities you will find in south-east Asia, it is indeed among the very famous tourist attraction in Laos. This city was the royal capital of Loas, until the year 1975 when the communist took over the country. The main part of Luang Prabang is positioned on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers. On the main roads you will find some of the finest collection of golden-roofed temples, wooden houses and crumbling French provincial buildings fill the main roads. A visit to Luang Praband is surely worth a visit.

3. Mekong River

The Mekong River of Luang is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the country. It is indeed the greatest river of Southeast Asia having approximately length of 4,350 km (2,703 miles). Laos actually has the greatest share of the Mekong River. With few good roads and mountainous terrain, the river is Laos’ most important form of transportation. The Upper Mekong in Laos is regarded as one of the most spectacular journeys of the entire river. One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery of this region is with a boat.

4. Si Phan Don

The meaning of Si Phan Don is 4,000 islands, is an amazing set of islands, considered a must-visit attractions of the country. These spectacular islands are set against a picturesque section of the Mekong River in Southern Laos. The Mekong is impassable to river traffic here due to the Khone Falls, a series of rapids that stretch 9.7 km (6.0 miles) of the river’s length. The 3 prominent islands that cater to tourists are Don Det, Don Khon and Done Kong.

5. Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is one of the beautiful towns of Laos, to be found towards riverside. The Vang Vieng is situated right at the center of the city. The Vang Vieng major tourist attraction is the dramatic karst hill landscape surrounding Vang Vieng. You will find here that the entire main street is full of guest houses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes, tour agencies, and tourists. The Limestone Mountains are famous with rock climbers while the numerous unexplored tunnels and caverns are a spelunker’s heaven.

6. Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars is a huge area extending around the Phonsavan, one of the beautiful towns of Laos, where you will find huge jars of unknown origin are sprinkled around the landscape. The stone jars emerge in clusters, ranging from a single or a few to several hundred jars. You will find different sizes of jars that differ from each other in terms of height and diameter between 1 and 3 meters and are all hewn out of rock. The stone jars are undecorated with the exception of a single jar that has a human bas-relief carved on the exterior.

7. Wat Xieng Thong

Wat Xieng Thong is one of the major tourist attractions of Laos to be found quite near the northern tip of the peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers, Wat Xieng Thong is Luang Prabang’s most wonderful temple. This magnificent temple was constructed during the year 1560 by King Setthathirath and was under royal patronage during the Kingdom of Laos. Inside this amazing temple you will also get an opportunity to witness a rare reclining Buddha statue that dates from the construction of the temple.

8. Pha That Luang

Another most magnificent tourist attractions of Laos is Pha That Luang situated in Vientiane, it is among one of the most vital monument of the county. You will also witness that the stupa has numerous terraces and each of its level represents a different stage of Buddhist enlightenment. You will find the first level symbolizes the material world; the highest level represents the world of nothingness. This amazing monument was constructed during the 16th century on the ruins of an earlier Khmer temple.

9. Wat Phu

Wat Phu also known as the Vat Phou is one of the famous tourist spots of Laos. It is a ruined Khmer temple complex situated right at the base of mount Phu Kao, in the Champasak province. It belongs to the 11th to 13th centuries and comparatively smaller when compared with the monumental Angkor-era locations in Cambodia but the tumbledown pavilions; enigmatic crocodile stone and tall trees that covering much of the site that gave Wat Phu a mystical atmosphere.

10. Pak Ou Caves

The Pak Ou Caves are among the most visited tourist attractions of the country. They are situated towards the northern part of Luang Prabang on the Mekong River, you can reach their by road or river boat. The caves are renowned for their miniature Buddha sculptures extremely popular among tourist as well as locals. You will also find numerous tiny and mostly spoiled wooden Buddhist figures are laid out over the wall shelves.

11. Vieng Xai

The Vieng Xai caves are famous widespread network of caves that served a purpose of being a hidden city throughout the Vietnam War. It is actually the place where Communist army, who were fighting the royalist forces based in Vientiane used to live. Approximately 23,000 people lived in the caves, which contained a hospital, military barracks, bakeries, shops, and even a theater. The region is currently getting promoted in the section of tourism.

12. Van Phou Temple

Van Phou Temple is one of the famous attractions of Laos. The temple is situated in Champassak province and turned into World Heritage by UNESCO because of its high historical value. The temple is said to have represented the history of civilizations that exist in Laos. This building has a curved unusual architecture and numerous works of art contained in them as symbols of commitment and strong religious beliefs.

13. Phongsaly

Phongsaly is among the major tourist destinations of Laos, located towards the northern most side of the nation and share it borders with China and Vietnam. The highest mountain of the area is Phou Doychy having a height of around 1,842 meters and 77% of the forest throughout the province. You can also get some of the spectacular views of the city from the peak of Phou Fa Mountain. The weather in Phonsaly is well suited to the saying that it has “four seasons in a single day”. It is considered to be one of the perfect destinations for vacations.

14. Wat Ou-Tai Temple

Wat Ou-Tai Temple is one of Laos’s famous tourist spot to be found in Ban Ou- Tai Village. The renowned temple was built around 500 years ago by Praya Chakkawattiraja. Inside the monastery you will also find Hor Thane Keo, it’s a place where Buddha Images are kept which was believed to be built by mud and decorated with the arts in its original form. Each wooden column of the monastery stands on stones, with stunning drawings and decorated with daggers, swords, flowers and flags with whole crafted from wood.

15. Wat Luang Ou-Neua Temple

The Wat Luang Ou-Neua temple is one of the famous ancient monuments that were constructed in the same time of Wat Ou Tai, positioned in Ban Ou Neua Village. The roof here is a double overlapping rood that features Lue architecture. All structures here are very beautiful and worth visiting. The temple is adorned with traditional fine art techniques and houses a large Buddha image and other smaller Buddha statue. This temple is widely revered by the Lue people.

16. Wat Phou Champasack (The second World Heritage Site in Laos)

Wat Phou Champasack is considered to the second World heritage site of Laos is undoubtedly the highlight of any visit to Champasack Province is the ancient Khmer Temple of Wat Phou. It is located on the mountains slope and considered as a historic site that was acknowledged by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a World Heritage Site in the year 2001. It is a complex of temple buildings constructed in Khmer style overlooking the Mekong is both impressive and inspiring. It is recognized as one of the most important Hindu sanctuaries of Cambodia’s Khmer Empire and regarded as the largest example of Khmer Architecture in southern Laos.

17. Luangnamtha

Luangnamtha is located towards the northern part of the county bordering on China and Myanmar. It is one of the famous provinces of Laos and a combination of environmental, social, historical and development factors has made it a great location to develop sustainable cultural and eco-tourism initiatives.

18. Namtha National Biodiversity

Namtha National Biodiversity Conservation Area is one of the famous places to visit in Laos. It was founded at a place where dense forest cover 90% of the terrain. An enormous variety of wildlife can be seen here such as wild cattle, Asian wild dogs, tigers, clouded leopard, bears, monkeys and gibbons can be found living in the NBCA and surrounding area. The lush vegetation of the NBCA is also home to a large population of birds.

19. Muong Sing District

The Muong Sing District is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Laos. It is blessed naturally with a picturesque beauty with mountains and numerous ancient temples. This little district of Laos is worth a visit. Although many temples were destroyed during the war, one major attraction and several old temples remain which are noticeably different in style from the classical temples found elsewhere in Laos.

20. Oudomxay

Oudomxay’s proximity to China has brought the province rapid economic growth and infrastructure developments, including good road access to the provincial capital, Xay District. It is among the famous places to visit in Laos. This place is considered to be very adventurous and you can also arrange eco-tourism tours from village to village with travel either by oxcart or on foot. Tad Lak Sip Et Waterfall at Km 11 in Muong Xay District, as well as hot springs and temples at Muong La District and Phouxay Mountain are among some of the outstanding natural scenery worth visiting when in the area.

21. Muong La District

Muong La District is situated around 28 kilometers from the provincial capital, at Wat Ban Pakla Temple. This place of Laos is famous for its 400 year old Pra Xaek Kham “Gold plated Buddha Image” and regarded as one of the most sacred. It is the one of the oldest historical sites in Laos, which has presently become a tourism attraction within the province. It also offers hot water spring, an old French bridge, natural scenery and the beauty of the Nam La River for all tourists to enjoy

22. Bokeo

Bokeo is one of the famous tourist destinations to visit in Laos and you will find around 36 townships and more than 400 villages here. This region of the count is famous as it is a rich mining center for gold and sapphire. One of the special features of this province is commercial mining for precious stones and gold. Some of the best places to visit here aret Ban Nam Khok (The Lue village), 6 kilometers from the town and Ban Houi Sala (The Hmongvillage), which is around 18 kilometers from Bokeo town.

23. Xiengkhuoang

Xiengkhuoang is situated around 435 kilometers towards the northeast of Vientiane. The region of Xiengkhuoang is a mountainous region where you can find numerous caves and waterfalls. This province of Laos preserves a fine collection of archeological riches, including the famous Plain of Jars. The surrounding mountains of this province are home to numerous tribes of indigenous people with their colorful traditional dress and simple way of life. It is one of the famous tourist destinations of the country.

24. Hot Spring

Hot Spring in Laos can be found around 52 kilometers towards north of the provincial capital of Phonsavanh in Muong Kham District. It is a natural mineral hot water spring in a spectacular wooden area. It is widely believed by the local people that the water from the spring has magical properties to cure skin diseases. Visitors can enjoy a bath in natural hot springs however they should be cautious as temperatures her can be as high as 60 degrees Celsius

25. Hmong Village

The Hmong Village of Laos is place where you can witness the simple daily life of the people here, which remains in touch with nature and its elements. You will find some of the finest traditional activities such as weaving, basket making, woodcarving and the never-ending daily chores of farming. Once here you can also get an opportunity to attend the weekly market day where souvenirs and some hand made products are sold; usually at prices lower than on offer in Vientiane

26. That Luang Stupa

That Luang Stupa was originally constructed during the year 1566 by King Saysethathirath, That Luang Stupa was rebuilt in the year 1953. It is as high as 45 meters and is supposed to contain a relic of Lord Buddha. The That Luang Stupa is considered to be an important cultural monument of the country that represents the coming together of all Lao people it holds a special place in the national psyche

27. Wat Phou Asa

Wat Phou Asa is an ancient Hindu-Khmer pagoda that was constructed on flat rock on Phou Kao Klat Ngong Mount in Pathoumphone District. It is indeed one of the most famous National Heritage and an amazing Site to visit. It was constructed by the Khmers with worshipping links to Wat Phou Champasack. It is an important archeological site despite the fact that it is damaged. Archeologists have surveyed the site and are preparing for restoration.

28. Ho Pra Keo Museum

Ho Pra Keo Museum was earlier an ancient temple that was constructed during the year 1565 by King Saysethathirath to house the Emerald Buddha as his personal place of worship. During the 1970’s the temple was converted from a place of worship into a museum and it now houses the country’s best artifacts of Buddhist sculpture and artifacts

29. Wat Sisaket Temple

Wat Sisaket is situated right in the center of the old city, one of the famous places to visit in Laos. The temple was constructed during the year 1818 by King Anouvong and considered to be the oldest remaining temple having survived the destination of the city by the Siamese in 1828. It can be witnessed that the oldest monastery of the county is still standing intact in its original from in its capital. The temple is open daily from 08:00H to 12:00H and 13:00H to 16:00H

30. Patuxay Monument

The Patuxay Monument is considered to be one of the memorial monuments of the county. It is perhaps one among the most prominent landmark in the city and was built during the year 1958 on Lanexang Avenue. The architecture of the temple was said to have inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and its magnificent design incorporates typical Lao motifs including “Kinnari”, a mythical bird woman.

31. Wat Simuang Temple

It is believed that the original foundation pillar of Vientiane is actually found in Wat Simuang, this temple is situated in Ban Simuang village and was constructed during the year 1956. Local legend has it that Nang Si, who was pregnant at the time, leapt to her death as a sacrifice, just as the pillar was being lowered into the hold. A very colorful Phasat Pheung (wax pavilion procession) takes place two days prior to the That Luang Festival in November, which attracts large crowds to Wat Simuang Temple. The temple is thought to be guarded by the spirit a local girl called “Si”.

32. Wat Ongtue Temple

Wat Ongtue temple is also referred as the “the temple of the heavy Buddha” presents sixteenth Century Buddha image that weights an incredible ten tons. It is one of the famous tourist attractions of the county and was constructed by King Saysethathirath. You will find it on the street of the same name – Sethathirath Road

33. Wat Inpeng Temple

Wat Inpeng Pagoda is considered as the major historical landmark that represents arts and culture. The temple is situated towards the northern part of Wat Ongtue Temple. Once here you can witness plenty of historical elements of interest. Despite many of the original items in this temple having since been removed the pagoda still corresponds to the King of Gods.

34. Ta Lat Sao or Morning Market

The Ta Lat Sao or Morning Market is situated on Lanexang Avenue that is right opposite to the Post Office, is one of the major markets of the country. This amazing Morning Market consists of 3 main buildings each with 2 floors. It is considered to be a lively shopping market has become the commercial center of Vientiane. You can find large variety of goods are sold among including Lao antiques, textiles, souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, and products imported from abroad.

35. Suan Wattanatham Bandapao

Suan Wattanatham Bandapao is also known is The National Ethnic Cultural Park is among the most visited tourist attractions of the country. This Park is situated around 20 kilometers south from Vientiane near the Friendship Bridge. You can find here shady paths past model-sized traditional Lao Homes; sculpture of Lao literacy heroes and through a small zoo. You can also relax at the Mekong’s riverside, where the view of Khau Midthaphab can be witnessed.

36. Khau Midthaphab or Friendship Bridge

Khau Midthaphab is also known as the friendship Bridge, is one of the famous landmarks of the city. The bridge was officially opened during the year 1994 and it spans the Mekong River linking Lao P.D.R. (Vientiane) with neighboring Thailand (Nongkhai). As one of Lao’s International Border Checkpoints, tourists can be obtain for entry at the Bridge

37. Xieng Khouan Buddha Park

The Xieng Khouan Buddha Park is among the most famous park that is enjoyed by tourist and locals alike. The famous park is a religious sculpture park and was constructed during the year 1958. You will find some of the best collections of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures that is scattered amongst gardens and trees. That park is constructed around 28 kilometers south of Vientiane backing onto the Mekong River, the town of Nongkhai in neighboring Thailand can be seen on the opposite side of the river

38. Hinkhanna Waterfall

The Hinkhanna Waterfall is one of the fairly attractive tourist spots of the county. It is a little region but simply amazing. The waterfall is located in Naxaithong District about 25 kilometers to the north of Vientiane. Visit Hinkhanna for a memorable experience.

39. Xayabury

The region of Xayabury is one of the most beautiful places of Laos. Visit Xayabury to enjoy some of the rugged landscape that will reveal many beautiful mountains and flower gardens. The local people earn their living via agricultural products such as growing rice, cucumbers, cotton, cabbages, beans and sugarcane. Even today you can find that Elephants her are still used for loading and transporting heavy items

40. Huaphanh

The city of Huaphanh is considered to be a place that is loaded with natural resources and beautiful scenery. A visit to Huaphanh is surely worth it. It is said that the place isolation and rugged landscapes led the Lao Peoples’ Party to use Huaphanh as its base during the war years. It is also popular for its Limestone Mountains and Caves. You will find almost 100 caves here, some of the more well-known of these are mentioned below

  • Tham Than Souphanouvong Cave
  • Tham Than Kaysone Cave
  • Tham Than Khamtay Cave

41. Saleu and Nasala villages

Saleu and Nasala villages are among the famous places of Laos in terms of tourism. Both of them are well known for the high quality weaving and local handicrafts. Saleu and Nasala villages are situated in Xiengkhor District around 125 kilometers out of Xamneua District. These villages are well worth visiting

42. Ban Na Hin (Stone Forest)

Ban Na Hin is also known as the Stone Forest is considered to be one of the fairly attractive tourist spots in Laos. It is situated in Phou Pha Mane Region, Ban Na Hin housed thousands of rock pinnacles, creating a stone forest reminiscent of limestone outcrops of southern China.

43. Khammouane

Khammouane is among the major tourist destinations of Laos to be found in the middle part of the country. The natural resources you can find in this region are mountains and forests, for example: The Nakai Namtheun forest preservation area of the total 352,200 ha, the Hinnamnor preservation area 82,000 ha and Phou Hinpoun150,000 ha, These forests make the province very amazing with various natural caves. The Xebangfay (239 km long), Hinboun, Namtheun and Namgnum are the major rivers of the province

44. Thakhek Town

The town of Thakhek is situated along the bank of the Mekong River, one of the famous places of Laos. The town is considered to be a significant border opposite Nakorn Phanom, Thailand. Historically this town has been a fare front in the war for national independence. In Thakhek we can see many buildings designed in old colonial style (French classic)

45. Sikhottabong Stupa

Sikhottabong Stupa was constructed at the same time as That Inhang Stupa in Savannakhet and That Phanom in Thailand, is one of the top tourist attractions of Laos. These were built in the Sikhottabong Empire; the reason for its construction is for keeping the Bones of Lord Buddha. At first, it was constructed by King Nanthasene for King Soummitham later restored by King Saysethathirath during the 16th century. It’s a four square stupa, each side is 25030 meters long and the foot each of 14.33 meters, the high is 29 meters.

46. The Great Wall

The Great Wall that you will find Along the Route 13 (south) just at Km 8 before Thakhek on the West Side, the great rocky wall stretches from the Namdone River at Km 12; it’s about 15 km long, is one of the significant landmarks of the country. Some sections are in the area of Thakhek constructed in Sikhottabong Empire during the nineteenth century. Today it is kept as a national heritage and a tourist site.

47. Tham Khonglor Cave

Tham Khonglor Cave is also known as the “Beauty in the Dark” is one of the famous tourist sites of the country. You will find it located right in the Nation Protected Forest Area of Hinboun Mountain in Khammouane Province. This cave is around 7,400 meters long, its width ranges from 10 to 90 meters. You will also find here that the Hinboun River runs through the cave in all seasons. The most attractive area within the cave can be observed at Vang That and Had Xay Luang, where many decorative stones clinging to the ceiling can be view.

48. Champasack

Champasack is one of the famous provinces of Laos. It is believed that the fading French colonial architecture and ancient temple ruins make Champasack a place to witness proof of the rich cultural heritage of Laos. Among the major highlights of this area are the Rare freshwater dolphins and powerful waterfalls. Its geographical condition creates one of the most beautiful tourist sites in Laos It is also renowned for the production of Lao coffee, tea, rattan, and other agricultural produces

49. Pakse

One of the fairly popular tourist destinations of Laos is Pakse that is to be found at the confluence of the Xedone and the Mekong Rivers, Pakse links trade and travel between Thailand to Cambodia and Vietnam. It is actually established as an administrative outpost by the French during the year 1905; the town retains much of its colonial legacy and architecture. One of the major attractions of the town is The Champasack Historical Heritage Museum that offers visitors a good introduction to Lao history, culture and art

50. Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands)

Si Phan Don also known as the four thousand islands is a one of the spectacular tourist attractions of the country. They are situated in a section of the Mekong River just north of the border with Cambodia. Don Khong is the largest island and boasts a number of small villages, temples and caves. You will also find a French-built Bridge remaining from a now defunct railway connects the two smaller islands of Don Deth and Don Khon.

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