Shhh, let's keep this one a secret! A country relatively untouched by the modern world, Laos is just about as close as you'll get to an escape from contemporary life. A mountainous country, Laos offers visitors the chance to see charming small cities or the outdoors on a scenic hike, visiting local mountain tribes in quaint hilltop villages.
Most Laos tours focus around Luang Prabang, the former capital and World Heritage-listed site. Boasting everything from colonial French architecture to ornate golden temples, you are constantly reminded of history in this regal city.
In addition to Luang Prabang's beautiful historical sites, the area is also home to various waterfalls, parks, and an elephant sanctuary.
A lot to love in Laos
A constantly smiling country that's easy to get around, you won't have any stress seeing the sights with the help of a good Laos travel guide. Still, if you prefer the comfort and support of a private guide, it's cheap to hire a local expert by the hour, or even for your entire stay.
Vientiane is a popular place to start your journey and book any tours or excursions you wish to take, as most flights to Laos arrive in the capital. Decide between a French or Lao meal to accompany a glorious sunset on the banks of the Mekong River after exploring some of the city's gorgeous temples and Buddhist monuments.
You can also find some wonderful museums in Vientiane. Among them is the Lao National History Museum, where you can learn all about the country's fascinating past. If you get tired in the heat, just head to any of Vientiane's many spas for a relaxing treatment.
Make your own trail
Other must-see sites in Laos include the incredible Ban Pak-Ou Caves – filled with spectacular depictions of Buddha – and the Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng, another of the country's most beautiful spots. To get off the beaten track, head south to Si Phan Don, a pretty set of islands located within the Mekong River.
Known for using fresh vegetables and herbs, sticky rice and hot chilli peppers, local cuisine in Laos is a delicious and affordable way to sustain yourself while enjoying the country. In bigger towns, keep your eye out on menus for tasty buffalo burgers!
If you're into adventure, Laos definitely won't leave you craving a dose of adrenalin. The country's many rivers and winding roads provide plenty of action for even the most daring of travellers. Rent a motorbike and head through the dirt paths connecting the mountain villages or go kayaking on the Nam Song River.
Not enough? Try a hot air balloon ride or tubing in Vang Vieng, or perhaps a rock climbing excursion in Laos' many caves. Whatever you decide to do in Laos, you are sure to enjoy the country's beautiful historical sites and unspoiled landscapes.