Here is the top 11 places to visit in Laos for people who first travel to that country.
11. Nong Kiau
Nong Kiau, sometimes called Nong Khiaw, is a popular tourist destination in Luang Prabang Province because of its many walking, mountain climbing and biking opportunities. A must-see site is the bridge across the Nam Ou River that was built by China. The bridge connects the two parts of Nong Kiau, and is a good place to see stunning views of the river and mountains.
Nong Kiau is a rustic village, so visitors shouldn’t expect truly luxurious accommodations. Spelunkers may enjoy exploring the Pha Tok Caves that are located about a mile from town. The caves housed villagers during the Second Indochina War.
10. Tham Kong Lo
Tham Kong Lo, also known as Kong Lo Cave, is a limestone cave in Phu Hin Bun National Park. Located on the Phu Hin Bun River, the cave has been described as a geological wonder of Southeast Asia. The karst cave is more than 6,5 km (4 miles) long and up to 91 meters (300 feet) high.
It contains an emerald-colored pool that locals believe is sacred, saying it reflects the skin color of Indra, a Hindi god. Previous cave visitors praise a boat ride through the cave, calling it a grand adventure. Staying in a private home is easy to arrange for those in need of overnight accommodations.
9. Bokeo Nature Reserve
The Bokeo Nature Reserve was created to protect its population of the black-cheeked gibbon, rediscovered in 1997, which was previously thought to be extinct. A visit to Bokeo Nature Reserve is not complete without a stay at the Gibbon Experience, an eco tourism conservation project.
Guests stay in tree houses and travel by zip line through the forests in search of the Black Gibbon. Besides the elusive black gibbon, visitors to the reserve may also see elephants, bears, tigers and wild buffalo. The Gibbon Experience also works to rehabilitate and return to the wild animals that were captured by poachers. With mountains ranging from 1,600 to almost 5,000 feet in altitude, the reserve also is a good place to watch birds.
8. Vieng Xai
The Vieng Xai caves are an extensive network of caves that served as hidden city during the Vietnam War. The area was home to the Communist army, who were fighting the royalist forces based in Vientiane and was bombed by the US army.
Up to 23,000 people lived in the caves, which contained a hospital, military barracks, bakeries, shops, and even a theater. The Lao government hopes to promote the caves as a tourism destination, similar to the Củ Chi tunnels in Vietnam.
TO BE CONTINUED…