Laos, officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of South East Asia's pride rocks, boasting of natural beauty and lush surroundings. Landlocked with countries like Myanmar (Burma), China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, the country's population stands at almost seven million in a total land area of 236,800km
The country is known as one of the poorest nations in the world, mainly due to the fact that it has experienced wars – both civil and against other nations. Slowly, the country is reforming itself, mainly plotting its development by generating electricity from its rivers and selling the power to its neighbour countries such as Thailand, China, and Vietnam. It also accelerates its progress by exporting metals – alloys which are important in building just about everything currently.
Moreover, it has improved its take on tourism, venturing on its natural wonders and making ecologically sustainable travel destinations for all its visitors. In 2013, it was recognised as the “Best Travel Destination” by the European Council on Tourism and Trade, with tourist arrivals surging by up to 22% per annum basis. The country received the prestigious citation following the initiatives at preserving the culture and the history and raising the quality of tourism services.
Where to go
Luang Prabang – Formerly the capital of Laos and is now a UNESCO World Heritage city, Luang Prabang rose to prominence as the capital of the first kingdom of Lao or Lan Xang, the land of the million elephants. The cleanliness and tidiness of the place is one thing, but the multi-roofed structures and intricately created architectures are another. Visit the temples of various religions here, taste the spicy and savoury food, and take as many pictures possible – especially of the temples and the stupas.
Wat Phu/Vat Phou – The Vat Phou or the Wat Phu is a ruined Khmer temple complex in southern Laos. Located at the base of mount Phu Kao and found some 6km from the Mekong River in Champassak province, the ruins were initially associated with the city of Shrestapura, directly east of mount Lingaparvata. The original temple on the site was built as early as the fifth century, but the surviving and crumbling structures date from the 11th and 13th centuries. The temple remains has a unique structure, on which the elements lead to a shrine where a linga was bathed in water from a mountain spring. Later, the site became a place of Theravada Buddhist worship, as it still is today.
Vientiane – The sleepy capital of Laos, Vientiane is immersed in the religion and tradition of the Lao people, the perfect representation and description of what Laos is. Located on the Mekong and near the border of Thailand, the city is a capital that is worth seeing. Check out the reclining statue of Buddha in Buddha Park, view the Patuxai Gate in Thannon Lanxing, and visit the crumbling French mansions – another cultural dimension of the city. After all the sights, inhale the bougainvillea scents in the street, and enjoy a bowl of steaming noodles available at almost every turn.
Discover the countries of South East Asia and unravel the secrets of this beautifully exotic and wonderful region in the world's largest continent. Visit the beaches of the Philippines and Indonesia, delve into the culture of Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Brunei, and shop until you drop at very cheap prices in in Vietnam and also Thailand.
Fly to a new world and experience the grace and elegance of West Asia and discover the Arabian-Asian splendour. Travel to countries such as the Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and discover the tradition and the culture of all these. Get to know the ways of the people, and grab some souvenirs before flying to the next destination.
How to get out
The international airports of Luang Prabang and Vientiane are the main gateways when entering and leaving Laos. Airlines such as Lao Airlines, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia all fly out to destinations outside of Laos. For cheap flights, visit Skyscanner's updated database. Skyscanner is an online source of the cheapest flights from over 600 airlines worldwide. Travel hassle free and book flights directly on the site, or download the free app available for mobile devices.
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