Why This Cheap And Underrated Southeast Asian Country Is Surging In Popularity

the patuxai gate in vientiane laos

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Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam – the alternatives in terms of visiting Southeast Asia are good-looking.

However what for those who’re on the lookout for someplace slightly extra off-path on this area?

The reply is the gorgeous and underrated nation that borders all three of these aforementioned favorites: Laos

the patuxai gate in vientiane laos

This landlocked nation has loved a powerful 285% year-on-year improve in guests in 2023 according to local media, with vacationers from the U.S. making up an honest chunk of these figures.

So, simply why is Laos grabbing its personal share of the Southeast Asia limelight and why may it’s the perfect place so that you can pattern this fascinating a part of the world? Let’s discover out.

An Reasonably priced Entry To Southeast Asia

One of many major issues Laos (or the Lao Individuals’s Democratic Republic to provide it its full title) has going for it’s the truth that it’s an inexpensive place to go to.

That’s a common rule for Southeast Asia, however Laos undoubtedly comes up cheaper than a few of its close to rivals – it’s not out of the query to funds as little as $40 a day, perhaps even much less in distant areas.

The foreign money used within the nation is the Lao Kip, which works out to about 20,000 to the greenback on the time of writing.

It’s price allowing for that the U.S. greenback and the Thai Baht are extensively accepted in Laos, however be sure to have some native foreign money with you simply in case.

luang prabang and the mekong river in laos
Photograph by David Visitor

You also needs to be ready for blended foreign money transactions, e.g., paying in {dollars} and getting change in kip.

An Various Means To Cruise

Cruise? However didn’t I point out earlier that Laos is landlocked?

You’re proper, I did – nonetheless, actually lots of of miles of one in every of Asia’s most well-known rivers runs proper by way of the north of the nation after which alongside its western border with Thailand.

That river? The mighty Mekong – and you may take pleasure in cruises up and down this superb river to see components of the dense forest inside of the nation which might be inaccessible through roads.

a river cruise on the mekong in luang prabang laos
Photograph by David Visitor

Whereas no cruise is strictly ‘low cost’, doing one resembling that is prone to be far kinder to your pockets than an ocean cruise across the Caribbean or Mediterranean.

Fascinating Tradition And Influences

Laos is a predominantly Buddhist nation with many temples and spiritual complexes devoted to the religion.

This makes for a laidback, virtually non secular vibe to most of the locations you’ll go to.

You may also see a European colonial affect within the bigger cities and cities right here, as Laos was a protectorate of France from 1893 to 1953.

One other attention-grabbing factor to notice about Laos is that it’s essentially the most bombed nation on the earth, with an enchanting museum in Luang Prabang devoted to this truth.

wat xieng thong in luang prabang laos

There’s nonetheless a number of unexploded ordnance within the nation, so it’s greatest to not go off wandering into the wilderness by yourself.

The Friendliest People

That is one thing folks say about a number of locations, however take it from me after I say that Laotian individuals are extremely pleasant.

Supplied you’re respectful to them and their tradition, you may be warmly welcomed and infrequently requested many questions on the nation you come from and what it’s like there.

The nation is mostly protected with low ranges of crime too, making it an excellent solo traveler backpacking vacation spot.

Three Locations You Ought to See in Laos:

1. Luang Prabang

This mountain metropolis lies on the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers and has beforehand been rated as one of many top 10 cities in Asia to visit.

Luang Prabang at night colonial building and tuk tuk
Photograph by David Visitor

It options a fascinating mix of conventional Buddhist temples and shrines, mixed with a vibrant meals scene that’s influenced by numerous European expats who stay right here.

2. Vientiane

The capital of Laos can be the nation’s largest metropolis and a serious port on the banks of the Mekong River.

buddhist monks walk past wat phra that temple in vientiane laos

Town completely blends historic Buddhist structure with extra fashionable colonial buildings from its time underneath French rule.

3. Vang Vieng

This small and unassuming rural city has change into an iconic place to go to for vacationers due to its unimaginable outside journey choices and rising celebration scene.

tourist river tubing on the nam song in vang vieng laos

Suppose motorcycling by way of jungles on mountain roads, bathing on the foot of dramatic waterfalls, and driving down the river in a rubber ring (sure, actually).

Learn Extra:

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

How To Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

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