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Laos

Sparsely populated and with a mountainous terrain not easily accessed, what’s worth the detour in Southeast Asia? What surprises are waiting for you in the landlocked country of Laos? Let’s take a look…

In the relaxed atmosphere of the capital Vientiane, Pha That Luang, a striking stupa and the most important monument in Laos.  Vang Vieng, set in a dramatic karst landscape on the edge of the Nam Song river - a hub for backpackers and expanding centre for adventure activities: caverns and tunnels for spelunking, rock climbing, floating on the river on an inner tube, that’s tubing! National parks with beautiful scenery for trekking and horse riding and then there is the Gibbon Experience for true thrill seekers! A three-day trip will have you zip lining through the primal forest home of black gibbons with an overnight stay in tree house accommodation only accessible by zip line.  Luang Prabang where at dawn, monks walk through the streets collecting alms of rice, the only buddhist town still practising this tradition.  Charming French colonial buildings and the beautiful temple of Wat Xieng Thong, all set amidst the verdant and exotic greenery that envelops much of Laos.  Wat Phu at the base of Mount Phu Kao, a ruined Khmer temple complex, not on the scale of Angkor in Cambodia, but again, the setting and decidedly fewer tourists, perhaps makes for a more mystical encounter.  Plain of Jars, hundreds of huge stone jars randomly protruding and scattered across a grassy plateau, thought to be linked to prehistoric burial rituals.  Vieng Xai Caves once housing a hidden underground city during the “Secret War” now revealed.  The great Mekong River running the length of the country and with few good roads, providing the main transportation route.  The area of Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) where the Mekong becomes impassible to river traffic because of a series of rapids culminating in Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall, the Khone Phapheng Falls.  A visit to Laos would not be complete without experiencing a boat trip along the Upper Mekong, considered to be one of the most scenic parts of the entire river. 

Shhh… don’t tell the neighbours, there are some extraordinary things to see and do here, just leave the rest behind and lose yourself in Laos. 

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