There is something rather romantic about Laos, not least its name which means Land of a Million Elephants.
The elephants are indeed not quite as plentiful as they once were, but this is still a country where tourism is emerging, and as such it makes for a delightful foil to the more touristy options in Southeast Asia such as neighboring frenetic Thailand.
Top picks in Laos
Most travelers would agree that you mustn’t miss Luang Prabang, which has a romantic and whimsical vibe that is often found in places situated along the banks of a river. Here you will find enchanting temples and monasteries, as well as a dedication to the Laotian arts in the form of shops and galleries selling traditional textiles and silverware.
The capital city of Vientiane is definitely worth a stop, if only to see what a capital city can look like when it is more of a charming town than a bustling metropolis.
If you want more serious bustle, then head to Vang Vieng, which has become far more touristy in recent years, with lots of options to tempt backpackers into staying longer. It’s hard to deny the beauty of the limestone scenery that abounds here, so it’s worth putting up with the crowds if stunning natural vistas inspire you.
Four Thousand Islands
If you are in the mood for a bit of a beach holiday in Laos, then make sure you don’t miss the Four Thousand Islands in the south, including Don Khong, Don Dhet, and Don Khon, each with their own brand of rustic charm which will entice you to stay and while away the days.