There are many magical places scattered throughout South East Asia, but the landlocked nation of Laos is perhaps the most special and spiritual of them all. Welcome to the “Land of a Million Elephants”, as it was once known. To take a holiday here is to take a gentle step back into a land that time forgot. It’s only here, surrounded by the bordering Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where you will come across vistas and landscapes that will take your breath away. There’s an indefinable mood to spending time in this beautiful country. It seems to seep into you, slowing you down, as you explore its many fascinating and heart warming sights. Left decimated by relentless bombing during the Vietnam War, the country has an palpable spirit of quiet but firm survival, which stems from the deeply woven Buddhist religion that you will witness throughout the country.
Experience the quiet calm of glimmering Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, the only sound the peaceful distant chanting of the young monks. Wander the cobbled streets of beautiful Luang Prabang, situated at the confluence of the mighty Mekong River with the Nam Khan River, taking in the lazy atmosphere. Temples adorned with gold leaf shine in the sunshine, filtering through old traditional shuttered doors, highlighting walls rich with decorations, showing the stories of Buddha. In the distance, gaze out over the two rivers wrapping around the town, with the lush green jungle behind.
Stay at some of our favourite luxury 5 star resorts in all of Asia; the beautiful Amantaka in Luang Prabang, or Settha Palace in Vientiane, both steeped in tradition and elegance. When you can tear yourself away, shop for some rich Laotian textiles, bright in colour and woven with great skill over many centuries. Sample some delicious Laotian cuisine, so unique amongst its more well-known neighbours. Play a game of traditionally French petanque on a deserted street with the local children.
You will encounter some real heart if you spend time in Laos, and it’s impossible to return without having been touched by the wonderful people and traditions of this amazing land. Our best advice? Discover it for yourself now, before these memories are lost forever.
A selection of hotels that we have visited and fallen in love with. Speak to one of our experts today and find out why.