Laos Fast Becoming a Hub for Cross-border Adventures
Despite being Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, Laos’ pristine wilderness, soaring plateaus and stunning mountain terrain mean that it is fast becoming a hub destination for exotic multi-country itineraries. As transport and road infrastructure improves in the region, so do the opportunities for inter-country travel; providing travelers with new and intriguing program possibilities that link Laos to neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. With Myanmar also opening up its doors to its neighbors and easing travel restrictions, it’s only a matter of time before thrilling new destinations in Laos benefit from the opportunities offered by cross-border travel.
Below are just a few of Khiri Travel Laos’ suggestions for adventurous overland itineraries that either begin or finish in Laos:
Northern Laos and Vietnam
This trip begins with a visit to the ancient royal capital of Luang Prabang, a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, and from here we embark on a multi-day overland journey that takes us through the pristine and relatively untouched wilderness of the country’s rugged north. The program also includes an eco-tour on an award-winning night safari to Nam Et-Phou Louey, a National Biodiversity Conservation Area that covers nearly 6,000 km2. The night safari is a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of some of the region’s most endangered wildlife, including the Asian tiger, Asian elephant and the timid sambar deer. We then head even further north to explore the historic network of Vieng Xai caves, before heading east and crossing the border into Vietnam for some cultural charm at a homestay in Mai Chau, a rural district in the northwest region of Vietnam. Alternatively, your tour could continue on to other destinations, like the country’s capital city, Hanoi, the ancient city of Hoi An on the coast, or beaches further to the south.
Luang Prabang via Northern Thailand
This program begins in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province with a visit to the picturesque border town of Chong Mek. Here we cross into Laos and then head north to Huai Xai, a sleepy little town on the Mekong River that is the northernmost entry point from Thailand into Laos. We then take a cruise down the Mekong River and enjoy a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the cultural differences between these two neighboring countries. The cruise also offers you a glimpse into local life along the banks of the Mekong, passing some villages where outsiders are rarely seen. Our cruise ends at the riverside pier in Luang Prabang , just as it did for the city’s royal elite in centuries past.
Northeast Thailand to Luang Prabang
This tour begins in northern Thailand in the town of Nan from where we travel to the Laotian border for an adventurous trip by public bus to Luang Prabang. We pass through stunning scenery along isolated roads rarely travelled by outsiders, giving you a glimpse of local life on both sides of the border. Traveling via Xayabouly in Laos’ Sainyabuli Province, we stop off for a couple of days at the Elephant Conservation Center, before completing our journey to Laos’ ancient royal capital.
Southern Laos to the Angkorian Temples
In southern Laos, travelers have plenty of options to cross into Cambodia, Vietnam and/or Thailand. No matter whether you hire private or public transportation, coming from southern Laos’ Bolaven Plateau or the 4,000 Islands (Si Phan Don) region, the newly completed road to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat saves a great deal of time previously spent driving over dusty, potholed roads. Crossing the international border point at Veunkham, Laos, into Dong Kralor, Cambodia, travelers have the opportunity to visit Kratie on the banks of the Mekong River, or continue to the eastern provinces of Cambodia such as Rattanakiri and/or Mondulkiri.
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