Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Advice Needed: Where's the best place(s) to visit in Laos?

Posted by mariamini on 18/8/2007 at 15:39

Posted from within Vietnam.


We're currently in Vietnam, looking to go into Laos very soon, for roughly a week.

We've got some guide books and have read up on travelfish but was hoping perhaps people could help us on here.

I'm looking for peoples recommendation of any particularly good spots we should definately go to? We've got 7-10 days to do it.

Any help will be appreciated,



#1 mariamini has been a member since 9/7/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by Rufus on 19/8/2007 at 06:33

The Lonely Planet Guide book is hopelessly out of date. I believe there is a new one coming out. Luang Prabang is probably the number one spot. Vientiane is definitely worth a visit for a couple of days, despite what some other posters might say. (I live there, so I should know). So is Xieng Khuan, (Plane of Jars). Only spend about 2 days in the latter area, though.
I find Vang Vieng boring, others love it but there are far too many tourists for my likeing and it is definitely not "Laos". Champasack is also worth a look. You won't be able to cover Laos in such a short time - 2 days in Vientiane, 3-4 days in LP, the rest is up to you.

#2 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 974
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Posted by jennipa on 19/8/2007 at 08:48

What kind of things do you like to do?
Personally I agree with Rufus about Vang Vieng, but when I was there I met a number of people who got as far as VV and decided to spend the rest of their trip there and not see anything else.
Luang Prabang is a good place to base yourself from for a few days - after exploring the city you can take a number of day trips; Pak Ou cave, Elephant trekking etc.
The 4000 islands were one of my highlights, especially Don Khon but there is literally nothing to do there except relax and enjoy the scenery, not everyone's cup of tea.
You can't "rush" Laos. I discovered that. It's a fantastic place.

#3 jennipa has been a member since 15/6/2007. Posts: 4
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Posted by exacto on 20/8/2007 at 22:01

with 7 to 10 days to spend, i'd definitely recommend hanging out in the vientiane-vang vieng-luang prabang corridor, with the lion's share of your time spent in luang prabang. i personally like vang vieng, but it isn't exactly the most authentic lao experience available either. it depends on whether you are looking for the real laos or looking for a place to hang out and relax. vientiane gets more interesting every time i visit and has heaps to do, and luang prabang is still a premier travel destination and one of the all-time highlights of any travel i've done. from there you can fly on to chiang mai, bangkok, or back to vientiane.

i suspect we'd all be more comfortable making more specific recommendations if we had a better idea of what types of things you prefer to do, if history of the war is interesting to you or not, from where (and how) you'll be travelling from vietnam to laos, and what your budget is. have a good trip. cheers.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,679
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 29/8/2007 at 16:06


I really liked the Buddha garden in (or just outside) Vientiane. When we were there it was very quiet and there werent many tourist at all. Get there early. We got there on our motorbike but I am shure a bus or a taxi can be done.

Vientiane is an interesting place to explore, from the banks of the Mekong to the old French colonial buildings.

One place I really want to go and see tho is the 'plane of jars'. Looks interesting.

Have fun.

#5 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464

Posted by marianwarren on 29/8/2007 at 16:32

Hi mariamini

I liked Luang NaTha in the north, Luang Prabang - Vientiane; especially the amazing sculptures at Buddha Park as mentioned by Jon_Mak_Mak (4000 kip on the bus from Central Bus Station - this was very much a squeezy rattley locals only bus but the locals were so helpful as when to get off [the Buddha Park is practically the end of the line]) Entry 5000 kip with a 2000 kip camera fee. If you can fit it in try to get down to Si Phan Don. Although with only 7 - 10 days LP and Vientiane may be enough.

Travel well


#6 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

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