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Laos

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, known for its mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, and Buddhist monasteries. It shares borders with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

The nation is rich in cultural heritage, with the ancient city of Luang Prabang being a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it's noted for its traditional Lao food, vibrant festivals, and the mighty Mekong River that flows through its heart.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Explore Luang Prabang

morning:Start your day with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum and gain insight into Laos' history. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant morning market filled with local delicacies. Be sure to try some delectable Lao snacks!

afternoon:Enjoy a traditional Laotian lunch at Tamarind Restaurant, specializing in authentic local cuisine. Afterward, head to the Kuang Si Waterfalls for a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools surrounded by lush greenery.

evening:Experience the vibrant Luang Prabang Night Market where you can shop for traditional textiles, handicrafts, and sample local street food. Then, head to the iconic Utopia Bar for a relaxed evening with stunning sunset views.

day 2

Mekong River Discovery

morning:Embark on a peaceful boat cruise along the Mekong River, marveling at the scenic beauty and traditional villages along the shores. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Pak Ou Caves, home to thousands of Buddha statues.

afternoon:Savor a delightful riverside lunch at the Coconut Garden, offering a serene ambiance and delicious Lao dishes. Afterward, visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre to explore the diverse ethnic cultures of Laos.

evening:Indulge in a memorable dinner at L'Elephant Restaurant, known for its exquisite Indochine cuisine. Afterward, unwind with a relaxing evening stroll along the Mekong River and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

day 3

Historical Vientiane

morning:Discover the rich history of Vientiane by visiting the iconic Pha That Luang, a grand Buddhist stupa that symbolizes Lao nationalism. Then, explore the serene grounds of Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple in Vientiane.

afternoon:Relish a flavorsome Laotian meal at Makphet Restaurant, an inspiring establishment supporting marginalized youth. After lunch, head to the COPE Visitor Centre to learn about the inspiring work on UXO clearance and rehabilitation.

evening:Immerse yourself in the local dining scene with a visit to Kualao Restaurant and enjoy authentic Lao specialties. After dinner, stroll along the Mekong Riverside and witness the stunning sunset views.

day 4

Adventurous Bolaven Plateau

morning:Embark on a scenic drive through the lush Bolaven Plateau, renowned for its stunning waterfalls and coffee plantations. Begin your day with a visit to Tad Fane, a breathtaking double waterfall amidst the pristine nature.

afternoon:Relish a sumptuous lunch at Jhai Coffee House, offering a delectable range of organic dishes and aromatic coffee. Explore local coffee plantations and indulge in a coffee tasting session while admiring the picturesque landscape.

evening:Experience the serene charm of Sinouk Coffee Resort, where you can unwind in a tranquil setting with a cup of artisanal coffee. As the night descends, savor a delightful dinner at Tad Lo Lodge, known for its delectable fusion cuisine.

Laos Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Laap

A traditional minced meat salad typically made with chicken, fish, or pork, mixed with herbs, lime juice, and fish sauce.

Must-Try!

Tam Mak Hoong

Also known as green papaya salad, made with shredded unripe papaya, flavored with lime, chili, garlic, fish sauce, and palm sugar.

Khao Piak Sen

A comforting chicken noodle soup commonly found in street stalls and local eateries.

Mok Pa

A dish of steamed fish wrapped in banana leaves with herbs and spices, typically found in riverside restaurants.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Luang Prabang Night Market

An excellent place to sample a variety of Laotian street food, including grilled meats, sticky rice, and fresh fruit shakes.

Vientiane Morning Market

A bustling market offering an array of street food options such as noodle soups, grilled fish, and fried spring rolls.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Laotian cuisine prominently features meat, there are vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes like tam mak hoong (papaya salad), fried noodles, and coconut-based curries available at most restaurants.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Options

Many traditional Laotian dishes are naturally gluten-free, such as laap, mok pa, and grilled meats. However, it's advisable to communicate dietary restrictions clearly to ensure safe dining experiences.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Laos

Tamarind Restaurant

Known for its focus on traditional Laotian cuisine and offering cooking classes for visitors to learn the art of Lao cooking.

Coconut Garden

A popular restaurant in Vang Vieng, serving a range of Lao dishes in a picturesque garden setting.

Joma Bakery Cafe

A great option for those seeking Western-style breakfasts, salads, and sandwiches, with multiple outlets across Laos.

Things to do in Laos

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Laos

Explore local food, attractions and more!

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