The Best Luxury Tours of Laos
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Laos is sometimes forgotten by visitors to Southeast Asia, probably because it has no beaches or large cities. This is a mistake, for it is one of the most serene, unspoiled and beautiful countries on Earth, and the peaceful yet colorful Buddhist culture is alone worth a visit.
Its landscape is the stuff of dreams; characterized by karst mountains that stand tall over green valleys and rice fields, and a glistening network of winding rivers. Other natural wonders like waterfalls and caves are common place with in its idyllic ecosystem.
Laos offers a wide variety of fun and relaxing activities for its visitors, from elephant experiences, to boat trips, to swimming in natural pools created by waterfalls. Laos also features many small ethnic villages throughout its countryside, where the inhabitants’ lifestyles take us back to a simpler time.
The city of Luang Prabang is an incredibly laid-back and picturesque town that tempts visitors to stay for a while and enjoy the ambience and culture, as well as the natural beauty of the surroundings countryside. Laos serves as a great microcosm of Southeast Asian land and culture, and should be a part of any trip to the region. Guests selecting our Luxury Level of hotels can also ask a dedicated U.S. based Laos expert to design a tour to their preferences.
The passion and knowledge of our staff and the extreme attention to detail that we put into every aspect of your Laos tour is what separates us from the rest. We only offer mid-level to ultra-luxury travel, and so we never compromise on our level of service so as to compete with budget Laos travel agents that focus solely on price. About 70% of our guests are repeat customers and referrals because they recognize that we have the best values for the level of travel and service we provide.
The following sample itineraries exemplify our commitment to creating unique, luxurious Laos holidays. Travelers can use our interactive tour design tools or consult with a Laos Specialist to create a customized itinerary. + Read More
With year-round warm weather, Laos is an inviting destination regardless of the season. The region sees the most travelers during the months between November and March during the drier season.
This incredibly bucolic region is most often visited between November and March when the islets that dot the Mekong River are easy to access.
Central Laos sees the most travelers during the temperate dry season that runs between November and March each year when the weather is best for sightseeing.
Best Things to See in Laos
Genial locals and a rustic atmosphere are what travelers often remember the most when returning from Laos, but the country is also home to an intriguing mix of ancient ruins, secret cave shrines, gushing rivers, and verdant jungles that are sure to delight. The following is a brief overview of Laos's must-see attractions.
Luang Prabang’s central landmark, Mount Phou Si is capped by a Buddhist shrine. The views from the summit are spectacular, and offer some of the best photo opportunities in the city. Learn More
The thousands of stone jars that litter the Xiangkhouang Plateau were left by an unknown civilization for some inscrutable purpose. Learn More
This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best examples of the Hindu-influenced building practices of Khmer temples in Laos. Learn More
Formerly the repository for famous Emerald Buddha, which is now in Thailand, Wat Ho Phra Kaew is filled with traditional Laotian religious art and scriptures from the country’s rich history. Learn More
Every morning the Buddhist Monks of Luang Prabang wander through the streets of the city collecting alms of food from the local population in an ancient ceremony called Tak Bat. The ritual is an unforgettable experience, and many travelers choose to participate by purchasing and donating foodstuffs to the monks. Learn More
This three-tiered waterfall is just outside the city of Luang Prabang. The cascading pools of turquoise water are the perfect place to take dip to beat the mid-day heat of Northern Laos. Learn More
An ancient pilgrimage destination in Central Laos, the Pak Ou Caves contain hundreds of decaying or damaged Buddha images too worn to display temples or homes. Learn More
The former home of the royal family of Laos, the palace is a colonial structure built by the French in traditional Laotian stylings. Learn More
The 4,000 Islands, Si Phan Don, have become an increasingly popular destination in Southern Laos offering travelers rustic getaways, and, for a lucky few, the chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins. Learn More
Central Laos is well-known for its awe-inspiring cave formations. The winding passages of Tham Kong Lo (sometimes called Kong Lor Cave) can be navigated by boat, and the journey through the unusual subterranean landscape leads to a secluded valley seemingly purpose built for picnics. Learn More
While the cuisine in Laos varies by region, no dish is considered complete without a generous helping of sticky rice - a glutinous strain eaten predominately in Southeast Asia. Tangy curries, crispy noodles, and minced-meat salads are common place throughout the country, as well as many French inspired dishes that became popular when Laos was part of French Indochina.
Transportation in Laos
Our tours are designed to maximize our guests' time spent exploring Laos's treasure trove of ancient art, architecture, and culture; not traveling between destinations. As such, we typically recommend using air travel for any destination that would take more than four hours to reach overland. Though Laos offers a plethora of ways to travel cheaply, discerning travelers are more concerned with timely arrivals and departures, and hassle free transit. Our expert knowledge of Laos's ever changing roadways and airways allows us to efficiently and economically route you to anywhere in the country.
Laos’s affordable and reliable air companies allow us to quickly and effectively route our guests between destinations. We typically recommend booking a flight for any destination that would require more than four hours spent driving over land to reach.
For land travel in Laos, we provide all of our guests with a private, luxury vehicle. Individuals or couples traveling with us are chauffeured in a high-end sedan, while large groups traveling together reach their destinations in a luxury coach.
Laos Travel Tips
Heavily influenced by Buddhist traditions, the country's reverent citizens still follow many ancient traditions that have been handed down through the centuries. Follow these simple guidelines and you will certainly do well on your immersive journey into Laos.
1. Head and Feet: The body is seen as a manifestation of the spirit in Laos. The head is the highest and most sacred point of the body, and the feet are the lowest. While traveling in Laos, it is best to refrain from touching anyone else’s head, and your feet should never be used to point at or touch anything considered sacred or of value.
2. Voice and Veneer: As with most Buddhist cultures, Laos’s people take care to remain “cool, calm, and collected” at all times, and travelers who do the same will find their vacation much more rewarding.
1. Buddha: Buddha images are highly revered in Laos. Travelers should refrain from climbing on statues, and should never sit in front of a Buddha figure unless you can curl your legs to avoid pointing your feet toward the sacred image.
2. Monks: Buddhist monks in Laos occupy a highly venerated position in society, and are given the utmost respect. Local customs forbid the monks from touching or accepting gifts directly from women. Monks are also forbidden from shaking hands with anyone. It is important to note these customs are observed both on and off temple grounds throughout the country.
1. Beachwear: Laos’s culture is conservative, and even during the hottest weather men and women tend to wear pants and shirts with long sleeves. To avoid attracting unwanted in attention, refrain from wearing beachwear when in public areas outside of swimming pools or beach destinations.
2. Temples: Though Buddhist temples in Laos do not enforce dress codes as strictly as temples in other Southeast Asian destinations, it’s best to dress in modest clothing when visiting religious structures in Laos.
3. Shoes: Please remove your shoes before entering homes, offices, or temples in Laos.
1. The Lao Kip is Laos’s official currency. Lao Kip banknotes are available in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000.
2. U.S. Dollars maybe accepted at a number of establishments, but we always recommend using local currency for any transactions in Laos.
3. Credit cards are accepted in most high-end hotels and restaurants in larger cities like Vientiane, but smaller establishments, businesses, and markets will likely be cash only.
Laos Travel FAQ
Travelers from the U.S. and Europe can procure tourists visas on arrival. The process requires 2 passport photos and a small fee of about $5 USD. Find out more on the country’s tourism website.
We typically recommend that our guests choose air-travel to reach destinations that would take more than a few hours to reach in a vehicle. Reliable and safe regional flights are an efficient and cost-effective manner of travel in Laos.
That being said, land travel experiences in Laos are some of the country’s most unique adventures, and for the right guest a road-trip through Laos’s largely undeveloped countryside is a must-do.
Baggage rules typically vary between international and domestic airlines. Your Travel Specialist can help you determine appropriate sizes and weights for checked and carry-on luggage for your Laos trip.
We do not recommend that our guests eat street food in any country, but many of our guests choose to selectively indulge in the local street cuisine without any issues.
When traveling abroad, it’s best to only drink bottled water.
SIM enabled cellular phones can be connected to local networks by purchasing a local SIM card, which requires photocopies of your passport photo and visa pages, and a passport photo. An increasing amount of western mobile networks are offering international roaming in the country. Check with your mobile provider for more information.
Wi-Fi access is available in many locations, but connection speeds typically vary greatly across the country. Your hotel will typically have the best speeds.
Most hotels in Laos use a semi-universal A/C-type wall socket that will accept the most common plugs from the U.S. and Europe. Purchasing a plug adapter kit will ensure you have everything you need while traveling in Laos.
Yes. Modern bathrooms are typical throughout Laos.
Western goods are fairly easy to find across the country.
Travel Insurance FAQ
Travel insurance is recommended for all our guests traveling to Laos.
Travel insurance premiums are determined by the age of travelers, and the total cost of the booked tour.
Travel insurance can be purchased up to the day before your departure; however, if you wish to have preexisting conditions insured, you must purchase the insurance package within 14 days of booking the tour.
Your travel insurance premiums include coverage for every person listed.
International flight costs can be covered, and we recommend you do so.
Travel insurance premiums cannot be customized.
No. Claims must be filed by the claimant.