An exciting temple from Laos past made into a museum of important Buddhist artifacts.
Known for its laid-back lifestyle, Laos is at once a relaxing place to visit and one of the top party spots in the world. In Laos, you can lay in hammocks, swim in aqua waterfalls or party all day long while floating down a the Nam Song River. Laos may be known as a lazy spot, but it still offers adventure, such as trekking and biking. Three quarters of Laos is covered in forest and mountains, making land travel tough.
Currency: Lao Kip (LAK)
Government: Communist State
Did you know?
- The Laos government maintains strict control over the country’s media.
- Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
- The Mekong River is very important in Laos for the transportation of both cargo and people. Its dams are also a source of electricity for the country.
- One of the most dangerous snakes in the world lives in Laos: the king cobra.
- The majority of Laos’ population lives along the Mekong River and most of them don’t have running water; they must carry water from the river to their homes.
- Buddhism plays an important role in the lives of the Laos population and has given them the reputation of being friendly and wise.
With a tropical monsoon climate, Laos’ weather can be quite temperamental. Monsoon season comes twice a year and occurs at the same time across the country, although the time itself may vary significantly from one year to the next. Although the monsoon season makes roads impossible to pass and floods most riverside areas, it does benefit Laos by making the Mekong River more navigable.
- Rainy Season: May to October
- Cool/Dry Season: November to February
- Hot/Dry Season: March, April
Laos’ inhabitants began migrating from southern China in the 8th century and, by the 14th century, the first Lao kingdom was founded. This was eventually split into three kingdoms in 1713, which came under Thai rule until the 18th century. French influence grew in the late 1880s to early 1890s and, by 1893, the Thai formally surrendered all territory east of the Mekong River to the French.
The French withdrew from Laos in 1953 and the country became an independent, constitutional monarchy. Laos was divided and all attempts to find political solutions failed by the 1960s when they became drawn into the bigger issues and wars going on in Southeast Asia.
Finally, on December 2, 1975, The Lao People’s Democratic Republic was founded and, in 1988, the government introduced market reforms. Although Laos is still one of the poorest countries in the world, it is developing rapidly.
Beautiful aqua multi-tear falls that can be quite refreshing to dip in on a hot day in Laos.
With multitudes of bars along the river, most travelers spend days tubing their way to each party spot, sampling the local Lao Lao whisky.
With beautiful Buddhist temples, a laid-back culture and a sprinkling of French colonial architecture, Luang Prabang in northern Laos is one of the prettiest, most romantic cities you could visit. Here are 10 sites to see while you’re there.
It was a warm summer’s day, as we sat on the patio having a beer in Takapuna, Auckland, planning another travel adventure — one that was to become an epic, wild journey through Southeast Asia.