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Laos

Nestled between Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and China, the landlocked country of Laos is known for its warm, welcoming locals and laid-back atmosphere. Despite the arrival of tourism over two decades ago, traditions still hold strong in Laos making for a truly unique and relaxing visit.

There is no mistaking the charm of Laos. As soon as one touches down there is an undeniable sense of tranquility that sweeps through the streets. Locals are friendly and hospitable, the attractions are captivating yet unimposing, and nature is always respected, protected and bountiful.

Most travelers start their tours in either Luang Prabang or Vientiane, discovering the colonial roots, traditional attractions and deep spirituality found in both destinations. From temples, pagodas and spiritual parks to outdoor markets, majestic waterfalls and riverfront promenades, Laos’ major ‘cities’ exude a charming feel that is generally associate with small towns. The enriching experience only deepens when moving farther outside the ‘busy’ parts of Laos, where locals go about their day to day as they have for centuries.

Destinations such as Si Phan Don, or the 4,000 Islands, and Vang Vieng display the natural beauty that Laos has been blessed with, boasting thousands of tiny islands and towering limestone caves accessibly to all adventurous travelers. Other places such as the Plain of Jars reveal a more mysterious background, surrounded by active remnants of a forgotten war-torn nation. Move even farther into the wild and you’ll find destinations in the Phongsaly province where rainforest trekking, treetop canopy living and zipline adventures are a daily occurrence.

No matter what you’re looking for with a visit to Laos, the country has something unique to offer. Excellent outdoor adventures, intriguing cultural enclaves, deep-seated spiritual practices and delicious local cuisine are found around every corner, and a handful of pleasant surprises are always popping up. Many unsuspecting travelers find they have a difficult time leaving this tranquil corner of Southeast Asia… so if you find yourself not wanting to leave, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Location: bordered by Burma and People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.
Status: the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia and the Jewel of the Mekong.
Population: 6,695,166
Area: 236,800 km2 (91,428 sq mi)
Religions: Theravada Buddhism, Christianity

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