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Riding the buses » Travel Laos

Travel Laos


Laos (Sylvia Fanjoy, Riding the buses)

Laos (Sylvia Fanjoy, Riding the buses)


Travel Laos map

Travel Laos (Riding the buses)

Travel Laos (Riding the buses)


Planning your trip

Three ways to travel around Laos
Laos stole my heart
Taking a mid-life gap year to see the world
They left the farm to see the world: Stop #2 Laos
A classic travel itinerary for Southeast Asia

Places to go

1. Luang Prabang On the Mekong River, about 425 km north of Vientiane, Luang Prabang is a charming, stay-awhile sort of place.  The architecture—a blend of traditional and French colonial—adds to the charm, as do the many Buddhist monks, particularly during the early morning alms gathering ceremony.

On Riding the buses
The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos

2. Nam Ha National Protected Area Luang Namtha in northern Laos is the starting point for what many consider to be the ‘trekking mecca of Southeast Asia’. Local companies offer three-day walking options with jungle camping, homestays and the possibility of kayaking mixed in.

On Riding the buses
Trekking in the legendary Nam Ha National Protected Area, Laos

3. Plain of Jars, Phonsavan These huge jar-shaped stone vessels average about 1.5 m (4.8 ft) in height and diameter. How they got there is still in dispute.  The area around here is part of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail where the United States dropped millions of bombs during the Vietnam War. 

On Riding the buses
Plain of Jars: Where giants partied and the US dropped their bombs
A Hmong guide shares his story

4. Vang Vieng The highway that connects Vientiane and Luang Prabang is considered to be the most scenic rides in Southeast Asia and the town of Vang Vieng is at the mid-way point. It too is stunningly beautiful, set on a river with limestone karsts in the background.

On Riding the buses
Why backpackers are dying in Vang Vieng, Laos

5.  Vientiane The capital of Laos, Vientiane is a very walkable, pleasant sort of place on the Mekong River where you’ll find some great French restaurants (and to-die-for croissants). It’s also a city with countless Buddhist temples, some quite ordinary and some sparkling with gold.

On Riding the buses
Vientiane and the weird Buddha Park, Laos

6. Southern Laos The karst landscape around the Kong Lo Cave is magnificent and the boat trip on the underground river through the cave is spectacular. Further south are the 4000 Islands where you go for some ‘chill time’.

Trip ideas

Trekking in the Nam Ha Protected Area
Long boat ride through the Kong Lo Cave 

The Hmong culture
A Buddhist wedding 

Karst landscape of Vang Vieng 

The alms ceremony
The Baci ceremony 

Volunteer/Learn/Work abroad
A Canadian who opened a language school in Luang Prabang 

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