TRAVEL THAILAND & BEYOND
 
 
  

 

Laos
Hotel Descriptions
Luang Prabang
Provinces
Vientiane
Tour Packages
Luang Prabang
World Heritage Site
2 Days / 1 Night
3 Days / 2 Nights
4 Days / 3 Nights
5 Days / 4 Nights
Vientiane City
and Luang Prabang
4 Days / 3 Nights
5 Days / 4 Nights
Lao Discovery Tours
4 Days / 3 Nights
Pakse, Sekong, Attapeu, Pakse
5 Days / 4 Nights
Vientiane, Xieng Khouang, Luang Prabang
6 Days / 5 Nights
Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang
7 Days / 6 Nights
Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Pakbeng, Houexai
8 Days / 7 Nights
Houexai, Pakbeng, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakse, Vat Phou, Bolovan Plateau
Cruises
Luangsay
Vat Phou
Travel Information
Country Information
Tourist Tips & Guides
Tourist Destinations
Luang Prabang
Provinces
Vientiane

 

 

Laotian Provinces
Lao's People Democratic Republic

FROM VIENTIANE TO LUANG PRABANG

Nam Ngun Lake
This large artifical lake produces most of the electricity used in Vientiane. Located in the Ngum River Valley it is a beautiful area in midst the hills and a cruise on the lake with it's pictures islands is very pleasant. The lake can either be visited in a day from Vientiane or en route if traveling overland to Vang Vieng and there one resort inviting for over night stays.

Vang Vieng
This town is nestled along a scenic bend of the Nam Song River and about half way between Vientiane and Luang Prabang traveling overland on Route 13. The little city is not without charm, but the main attractions are the limestone cliffs and the many tunnels along the river.

NORTH WEST (from the Thai Border to Luang Prabang)

Houeixay
Houeixay is a little riverside town on the border to Thailand and close to the Golden Triangle. The region is famous for it's precious stones and as gateway for transport and trade. It is an international border point and used by tourist traveling overland from the north of Thailand (Chiang Khong) to Laos and vice versa.

Luang Namtha
Bordered by Myanmar to the West and China to the North this mountainous province has with 39 ethnic minorities the largest number of different tribes in the country. The most popular and easiest way to reach Luang Namtha, the capital of the province, is by boat from Houexai. Lao Aviation also operates several weekly flights from Vientiane and there is a road connection to Oudomxai and onwards to Luang Prabang. Due to a few NGO projects in the area is the capital rather busy and level of service and accommodation are higher then to be expected in such a remote village. There are some nice guesthouses along the river and the area invites for treks to ethnic villages in the surroundings.

Oudomxai
This rugged province in the north of Laos is home to about 23 different ethnic groups, all of them with distinct religion, languages and traditional dress. Myang Xay, the capital of the province, can be reached with Lao Aviation or overland via the bumpy road from Luang Prabang or from Luang Namtha. This is a beautiful area for trekking and to visit local villages but it opened only recently to tourism and services and infrastructure are limited and very basic.

Pakbeng
This rustic little town on the board of the Mekong is halfway between Houeixay and Luang Prabang. Traveling by slow-boat between this two places one has to stay there over night. The little town consists of mainly wooden houses and is a market city and a transit point with no particular interest.

Hongsa
Located south of the Mekong River between Pakbeng and Luang Prabang this is a little local village, which invites to experience the lifestyle of the local people. The highlight of the stay there is the elephant ride through the jungle and to local villages. Services are however limited and infrastructure basic.

NORTH EAST

Xiengkhouang Province - Plain of Jars
This high plateau in the northeast of Laos is an extremely beautiful region and the home to the mysterious Plain of Jars. The giant jars are carved out of solid hunks of rock from mountains surrounding the valley and are estimated to be between 2500-3000 years old. Many theories have been made regarding the use and the origin of the jars but up to today it is still a mystery.
This area was unfortunately also one of the most devastated areas during the Vietnam War and many huge craters remind of that fact.

SOUTH

Savannakhet
Savannakhet bridges the country between Thailand and Vietnam and is an junction for trade between the two countries. The town has a number of interesting temples, including a Vietnamese temple and a large Catholic church. Much of the town's architecture is French Colonial and the center can easily be explored on foot.

Pakse
Pakse is the center of the south of Laos with connections to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It is a busy trading town and the main attraction is the big and colourful market. The second Mekong Bridge between Laos & Thailand was opened last year and links now Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand with Pakse what of course further increased trade and tourism in this area. Pakse itself lacks sightseeing attractions but it is the gateway to explore this beautiful part of the country with Wat Phou as main attraction.

Vat Phou
This ancient Khmer Temple was build in the first decades of the 9th century by Jayavarman II and served as Khmer Capital until the Kingdom moved to the Angkor plain. Despite of being smaller, Wat Phou can be compared to Angkor. Not only has it been built in the same style; it also exudes the same atmosphere of an ancient city lost in the jungles for uncounted centuries. While the structures themselves are overpowering, it's the jungle overgrowth that creates a particular charm,

The site of the temple is divided into two parts. The lower part consists of two ruined palace buildings at the edge of a pond, which was used, for ritual ablutions. The upper section, the temple sanctuary itself, once enclosed a large Shiva phallus (linga). It was later converted into a Buddhist temple but much of the original Hindu sculpture remains.

The Boloven Plateau
This is a very fertile plain to the North-East of Pakse and famous for the coffee plantations and it's beautiful hilly countryside with small rivers and waterfalls. The plateau houses a dozen mainly animist ethnic minorities, including Laven, Alak, Katou, Ta-Oy, Houne, Ngai and Suk communities. It stretches over several Laotian Provinces and the main villages in this area are Salavan, Sekong and Attapeu. Also in this area are the services are limited and the infrastructure very basic.

Khong Islands
Shortly before the Mekong crosses into Cambodia, it splits into countless branches creating more than 4,000 river islands of which the larger ones are inhabited and the largest southern island, Don Khone has an old disused 5km railway, built by the French as part of the Mekong bypass route. The main attraction in this beautiful area is the impressive Khong Phabeng Fall - the biggest water falls in Asia. This part of the Mekong is also home to a rare species of freshwater dolphins of which you might catch a glimpse early morning or late afternoon if you are lucky!

There are several very pleasant and charming local hotel and guesthouses on the islands, which invite to relax and enjoy this beautiful and peaceful area.

 

 
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