Laos – It’s a magical place

Posted on: 7 August 2017

About 270 days may have passed but I can still remember the wonders of Laos. It was during my constant interactions with holiday goers that I found that while many have heard or thought of going to the country, they are still anticipative on what they will experience there. It is like a veil has been cast over Laos, keeping it mysterious and magical. Here, with my opinion, I hope to be able to let you in on its magic. Maybe, you will be travelling to Laos for your next holiday. As a first time traveler into Laos, we spent 8 days, visiting Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang and Vang Vieng.

Patuxay monument in the day & night
That Luang in Vientiane


Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. Like many other capital cities, Vientiane is the most urbanized city in the country. However, do not expect to see tall skyscrapers or office towers in the city. You will find rows of shop houses, street vendors and markets when you walk down the streets instead. Vientiane is home to 2 iconic monuments which I personally enjoyed visiting the Patuxay Monument and That Luang both worthy to be the National icon of Laos.

Modeled after the Arc de Triomphe of France, the Patuxay monument has exquisite wall art and a marvel of a view at night. If you visit in the day, you can go to the top to view the city scape.
That Luang the stupa made of gold, a grand site to take in. Under the late afternoon sun, it glimmers in glory.

Luang Prabang

The UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang is the place for tourist. A little vacation town along the Mekong River with resorts ranging from 2 stars to 5 stars. For those looking for some pampering, you can book yourself into one of the 5 stars resorts to enjoy some spa treatment and their recreational amenities. Besides, the town also offers many interesting activities like offering alms, cruising along the river, trekking and even cooking classes. With a culture similar to Thailand, you can expect to find many Thai like cuisines and night market shopping.

Some things that I feel that you cannot miss while you are there, a visit to their Morning market, night market and visiting the famous Kuangsi Waterfalls.

Enjoy at one of the luxurious resorts in Luang Prabang
The local morning market
Enjoy a visit to the waterfalls during the year end
The Plain of Jars

Xieng Khouang

The mountainous province of Xieng Khouang is best known for the Plain of Jars, a large piece of land with stone jars of various sizes scattered all over with its origins still unknown. A mysterious site to explore with a little bit of danger. Laos is known as the most heavily bombed country in the world and many were left undetonated. While there are huge efforts to remove these bombs, there are still many at large, posing a risk to the unsuspecting people. At the plain of jars, you can see areas demarcated by tapes, signifying the danger areas which not been cleared of bombs. That is probably the closest I have been to bombs in my life!

The journey by road to Xieng Khouang is really long (about 6 hours) and winding as we drove along the mountain roads. It is best for you to pack some motion sickness pills if you are prone to it. Though the ride was tough, I was distracted by what I found the most beautiful ride in Laos. Along the way, just sit back and appreciate the great nature with all the mountain top views of the enduring mountain range and valleys.

Vang Vieng

The last town I visited was Vang Vieng, a small riverside town for those looking for an active holiday. The town offers water activities such as tubing and kayaking along the river. You can also take a dip in the Blue Lagoon which also offers zip lining. For those with a higher budget, you could also enjoy a hot air balloon ride to catch a scenic sunset beyond the rocky surroundings. It is one of the things I wish I had done when I was there. For those interested in culture or history sites, Vang Vieng does not offer much. However, you can visit the numerous caves some of which were used as Buddhist temples.

During the evening, the riverside comes to life as a place to go to enjoy the night. There are plenty of outdoor dining option which allows you to sit along the river and enjoy a drink and some barbecue with your friends and family.

With the tons of things I could do and see and with food that is easily liked by my Singaporean palette, Laos is definitely a country I enjoyed thoroughly. A place where you will not see the tall metal building, you can easily forget the fast paced life of Singapore. With just the right amount of technology to keep you connected to people back at home (yes they have wifi). It is definitely my pick to enjoy a laid back holiday not too far off from home.

…and just when you think you have seen all the tricks there is in Laos, there is always Southern Laos where there is more magic waiting to wow you.

If you would like to know our 8 days Laos itinerary, you can check it here. Itineraries are available on a 2-to-go private tour.

View from one of the toilet stops along the road
Blue Lagoon, the water playground
Wishing I was taking that ride too
Dinner by the river bank