When Steppes Travel first organised holidays to Laos in the 90s, large areas of the country remained out of bounds due to the indiscriminate bombing inflicted on the country by the USA during the Vietnam War. It remains the most bombed country per capita in the world. Remarkably however the people have rebuilt their lives and, although it has been left behind economically by its neighbours, Laos has emerged as one of the most delightful countries in the Far East and it is well worth a visit.
what to expect on your laos holiday
Laos is a land of graceful temples and saffron-robed monks. Even the capital Vientiane has more of the feel of a rural town than a bustling metropolis. The infrastructure and accommodation in more remote areas remains limited but there you will find minority peoples, each with their own traditions, culture and intricate textiles for which the country is famous. A surreal cross between Sleeping Beauty and the King and I, Luang Prabang epitomises the easy-going, laid back atmosphere of Laos.
Some ideas for a Laos holiday
- Travel the Mekong from the comfort of a private traditional river boat.
- Travel by helicopter from Vientiane, landing at the Plain of Jars for a lunchtime exploration, before continuing to Luang Prabang
- Walk into the hills and visit some of the minority tribes. The textiles are beautiful.
- Make the effort to reach southern Laos and explore Si Phan Don, the region of 4,000 islands.
WHY WE LIKE LAOS
When the British departed Laos on independence they left behind an efficient, if somewhat bureaucratic, administrative system. When the French departed they left behind good coffee and delicious bread. It is slightly incongruous and unworldly sitting in a little café in Luang Prabang, gazing out across the Mekong as the morning mist rises off the water while you eat delicious croissant. You have to try it!
our Laos expertise
Our travel team have visited Laos a number of times to soak up its sleepy atmosphere and explore more and more of the country as successive areas open up to tourism.