New Road-Trips Explore Laos’ Rugged Beauty in 2020
Laos, a mysterious country covered in dense forests, surrounded by mountains, is often considered as the hidden gem of Southeast Asia. With the Mekong river flowing throughout the country, it’s the backbone of Laos. Much of the country’s culture, food, and history is intertwined with the river. Immerse yourself in the charm, slow lifestyle and breathtaking scenery as you make your way through Laos. The different ethnic minorities you meet as you pass through various regions in Laos will keep you fascinated throughout your whole trip.
To absorb yourself in the mystery and charm of Laos, we recommend travelers to combine Laos with one of its more prominent neighbors: either Thailand or Cambodia. Part of the intrigue of this region comes from getting lost in the mountainous regions of southeast Asia. Historically, the borders of these countries were never clearly defined. Travelers would only notice towns and cities appearing more developed, signaling they were in a different country, as they descended from the mountain passes. Khiri Travel Laos has been working on mesmerizing-overland-cross-border itineraries that will give your intrepid explorers a different perspective on how to lose themselves in Laos. While some border crossings are already well established, Khiri Travel Laos will share these routes from a different perspective. Follow us through some of our routes as we combine Laos with our neighboring countries:
Following the Mekong from Northern Thailand to Vientiane, Laos is our longest-running itinerary. We start off in Loei and take a short drive to the idyllic town of Chiang Khan. As it’s in close proximity to the Mekong River, guests can enjoy the relaxed charm of slow-life on the riverbanks. In rural places it’s easier to see monks go out for alms in the morning, they are traditionally barefoot as a symbol of their austerity. As traditional Theravada Buddhist monks rely on the generosity of the villagers, early birds can participate in this event before exploring the town. The night market of Chiang Khan, undiscovered by most western tourists and guide books, will have rustic souvenirs and northern Thai snacks unique to the region.
Continuing on the small and scenic roads, Northern Thailand and Laos have wonderful coffee and tea plantations scattered through the mountainsides. For the coffee and tea connoisseurs, we can make a short pitstop before crossing the Lao Friendship Bridge, where we enter Laos. While venturing into its capital, Vientiane, the city is full of ornate and larger than life Buddhist temples. Buddha Park and Wat Si Saket are among our favorite landmarks in the city. After visiting Vientiane, guests can continue south to see the waterfalls of Luang Prabang or the 4000 Islands.
Another alternative route into Laos goes by way of Cambodia into southern Laos, we start off in the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap with it’s iconic Angkor Wat and slowly unwind into the more relaxed regions within Laos. The 4000 Islands is the perfect place to get acclimatized to the slow-living lifestyle characteristic of Laotian fishermen and farmers along the Mekong River. The islands are next to an impressive collection of rapids and waterfalls and also home to a sanctuary that protects the endangered river dolphins: they still make an occasional appearance in the river to lucky bystanders. As fishermen bring their freshwater catches from the rivers, we recommend trying whole fish wrapped in banana leaves and stuffed with lemongrass. While it is roasted over an open flame, the fish stays juicy and tender while taking in the herbal aromatics from the lemongrass: it’s a local favorite that will leave you stuffed. Our journey pushes north to the Bolaven Plateau for coffee farms and a thrilling jeep safari. Our foodies can learn how Laotian specialty coffee is harvested and produced.
Our newest route is specially tailored for nature lovers and lets you enjoy the beautiful lush greenery in the hills of Northern Thailand and Laos. Beginning in the rustic countryside of Nan, the little town is a great introduction to our route ahead. With caves and waterfalls scattered throughout the province, Nan has some of the best hiking in the region. Our local homestays will show you how they forage for herbs and mushrooms in forests and mountains.
On our drive to Pak Beng, get lost in the rugged beauty of the mountain terrain as the road winds around the mountain ridges. As you walk through the open-air markets and sample the local specialties, adventurous foodies can try the frogs and snails, which are local delicacies that are caught from nearby rice paddies and river banks. While relaxing in the Oudomxay Province, hiking and zip-lining at Nam Kat Yola Pa waterfalls is a fun-filled adventure that should not be missed.
Khiri Travel Laos has flexible itineraries that can integrate seamlessly with any other country you are planning to visit in Southeast Asia. Our team would like to wish all our partners and explorer a happy and adventurous 2020!
Contact us at [email protected] for more information on any of the itineraries mentioned or to make a booking.