When you travel to Laos, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Laos, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Laos to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Laos, things to do can include exploring Laos attractions and visiting the places of interest.
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Pha That Luang is a Buddhist temple which is considered a national symbol, and the most important religious monument in Laos. It is also known as the Great Stupa and flaunts a beautiful architecture. Vat XiengToung is one of the oldest monasteries in the city. Golden Stupa is the biggest stupa in Laos. Patuxai victory monument in Vientiane is dedicated to the lives lost in the war with France as well as Japan. The interior of the monument is breathtaking with painted walls and ceilings. Black Stupa (That Dam) has many mythological stories attached to it and is regarded as the city’s guiding spirit.
Laos offers a number of family-friendly activities are available, making it a great relaxed place to travel with children. Jungle treks are offered by many tour companies. Elephant rides are always fascinating for kids. When in LuangPrabang, a visit to Tad Sae waterfall is a must. For teens, kayaking, climbing and zip-lining in VangVieng are among the many things to do there that can fill a few action-packed days.
Vientiane boasts of several beautiful temples or wats, but one of the most impressive and interesting of them is WatHoPhraKeo though it is more of a museum now. Even without the Emerald Buddha, it is well worth a visit. Wat Si Muang is one of Vientiane’s most popular sites. The temple is named after Si Muang, who sacrificed herself in the pit that holds the central pillar of the structure. Wat Si Saket is the oldest temple in Vientiane. HoPraKeo -a small, quiet temple has scenic beauty with some good photo opportunities. LuangPrabang is home to many ancient Buddhist temples, WatXiengToung and WatWisunarat are the oldest and probably most atmospheric in LuangPrabang. Wat Mai is the largest and most richly decorated Buddhist temple in LuangPrabang. WatPhu is a Buddhist temple considered to be one of the oldest sites.
Laos Nationa lMuseum is a great way to learn about the history of Laos, its people and the culture. It has in its collection fascinating ancient items. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the history of warfare. Visiting the COPE visitor centre is run by an NGO and is a small museum where you can buy and donate for the cause and support for the rehabilitation of survivors and other people with disabilities across Laos. RoyalPalace museum(Haw Kham) was built for King Sisavangvong exhibits royal religious objects, weapons, statues, screens and paintings from centuries past.
The Boun That Luang Festival is held every November in Vientiane and is considered the most important Buddhist celebration in Laos with activities going on for three days and three nights that include parades, live music and religious ceremonies. The main event is held at That Luang and people come to pay respect to the stupa. If you are travelling during mid –February do not miss the elephant festival in Sayaboury, a great experience for the whole family. If you visit WatPhuon the full moon of the third lunar month in February, you would be able to be a part of the temple’s biggest annual festival that lasts week-long. The events held through the week include elephant racing, monk-blessing ceremonies, buffalo and cock fights among others, as well as a trade fair.
One of the best things to do in LuangPrabang is to jump into the stunning waterfalls and explore caves. KuangSiFalls is the biggest waterfall and extremely beautiful so you can spend a couple of hoursthere before heading to Pak Ou Caves, called by locals the “Buddha caves”. There is also a famous Tad Thong Waterfall and Tad Sae Waterfalls. Mountain biking is another adventurous sport to experience the countryside of LuangPrabang. There are many adventure sports like Kayaking, Rafting, trekking tours offered by different tours and travel agents. LuangPrabang bowling culture is famous as a late night.
ChampasakProvince in southern Laos located near the MekongRiver boasts of Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). It is sleepy, laid back and extremely friendly. The lifestyle of Vientiance is very laid back and casual. You could very well relax and enjoy your leisure time while here. For relaxing from the adventure sports one can take up a relaxing spa treatment at the Spa garden. The traditional spa and herbal massage at WatSok Pa Luang is highly recommended.
LuangPrabang was a feel of French colony in the region and is its food reflects it the best. L'Elephant is considered the best restaurant in town as well was La Belle Epoque in LuangPrabang. Coconut Garden is known for authentic Laotian food. Also you can go to PhuDoi Restaurant at Kiridara. LuangPrabang’s Night Market inside a tiny lane is also popular. For a fun dinner experience visit Laos Barbecue restaurant for you cook the meal with ingredients given on your own and is very simple. Saffron café has the best coffee overlooking the Mekong. For some Indian food head to Nizam restaurant and Riverloft restaurant for Laos and American comfort food.
KhaoJee is one of Laos’ common street foods and it is sold across the city. Tam MakHoong is a spicy green papaya salad similar to Som Tam in Thailand. Lao sausages (Saioua) are a snack item found in the roadside stalls and delicious to eat. Laab Moo is minced pork salad and is very popular. Lao noodle soup(KhaoPiakSen)is similar to Pho and is a staple food. Lao Beef Jerky (SienSavanh) is a great item to take with you if you are on the go. Lao stew (Oh Lam) is a vegetarian dish and has a unique taste. You will find Beer Lao everywhere which is difficult not to miss. It is a favourite with locals and tourists.
To explore the nightlife in Vientiane, go downtown. You will find numerous open air bars on the riverside front. Few other places that are known around are Spirit House, Kong view restaurant, Martini lounge, Samlo pub, Smile Bar, Bucket Bar.
Oot Ni Gallery located near the National Cultural Hall on Samsenthai Street is the best antiques shops in Vientiane, and is highly recommended. The shop has a collection of genuine, silver ornaments, handicrafts and artwork. Carol Cassidy Lao Textiles is a shop that works both as a workshop and gallery. The store houses traditional Laotian textile weaving products. T'Shop Lai Gallery, strives to a keep traditional crafts alive and help the poor is run by Les Artisans Lao, a non-governmental organization. You will find a number of wine markets along Samsenthai Road, selling imported wines.
Vientiane surprisingly has a range of shopping options from handicrafts to fine arts. For the early risers Talad Sao Morning Market is apt , Vangtong Evening Market is the most popular, and few shops along the Mekong riverfront are the favourite picks of tourists.