Laos is a small and developing country that is less well-known than neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, but in many respects it benefits from this, especially if you want fewer crowds, a more authentic local experience, and extremely friendly and welcoming locals. What’s more, while the tourist industry may not have been heavily developed, there are still plenty of activities for you to enjoy, sites to see, and some of the most culturally rich and incredible villages to visit.
Bokeo Nature Reserve
Bokeo Nature Reserve offers more than tourist opportunities to see local wildlife, although visitors will be able to see tigers, elephants, and buffalos, as well as a fine assortment of local birds and more. However, the reserve was originally established after Black-Cheeked Gibbons were rediscovered in the area.
This rare breed of gibbon was previously thought to be extinct, and the reserve has helped ensure that their numbers have increased. Visitors can even stay at the Gibbon Experience, offering huts for accommodation and zip lines to get through the treetops; a truly unique experience that also helps finance the protection of the Gibbon species.
Angkor is a well known Khmer temple situated in Cambodia to the Southwest, but its size and popularity mean that it can become overcrowded. Wat Phu, on the other hand, remains relatively unknown and it has a certain appeal and charm that might be considered lacking in its larger rivals.
The ruined Khmer temple dates from between the 11th and 13th Centuries and the historical importance of the site is immediately evident. The large and overgrown surrounding trees, as well as the crocodile stones, make the temple unique even as a Khmer temple and they give the spot a truly mystical and even eery feel.
While Laos has not developed fully as a tourist destination, there are some areas that are in the early stages of this development. Luang Prabang is the most popular destination with tourists, and was once the capital of the kingdom. It is also where you will find a range of accommodation types of budgets with companies like Wexas.
Despite being popular with visitors, it has managed to retain all of its cultural and historical appeal, and visitors can enjoy elephant rides to the nearby waterfalls, while offering donations to the monks that walk the streets to collect alms in the morning. There are many Buddhist temples and monasteries, and if you need to find any supplies or amenities, this is one of the more likely destinations where you will be able to.