Laos is the last, largely untouched country in South East Asia where you can still enjoy peace and tranquillity that is so hard to find in our hectic world.
Isolated for decades, visitors are now re-discovering this remote Asian backwater, its beautiful scenery, generous and friendly people and interesting cultural history. For anyone open to a more adventurous style of holiday, a trip to Laos will certainly offer a rich and rewarding cultural experience unlike anywhere else in the world.
Laos has its own unique cultural identity, which can be found as equally in the local rice shops and noodle stands of Vientiane as it can be in the colourful hill tribes of the north.
The former Royal Kingdoms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang display a wealth of superb Buddhist temples side by side with more modern French colonial architecture, and of course, the enigmatic Plain of Jars is certain to leave you wondering.
A wide range of distinctive traditional handicrafts is available, including silverware, ceramics, woodcarvings, textiles, and tribal crafts. The hilly, jungle-clad landscape is home to a bewildering variety of rare and beautiful wildlife, including Javan mongoose, leopard cats, gibbons and langurs, goat-antelopes, bears, gaurs and the majestic Asian elephant.
Flowing through the entire length of the country, the majestic Mekong River is home to the very rare Irrawaddy Dolphin and also helps to support many species of resident and migratory birds.
Above all, Laos is a country of people - genuine, friendly and always with a warm smile. Their relaxed approach and the unhurried pace of life is a really refreshing change to the chaotic hustle and bustle that marks much of the rest of Southeast Asia.
Do you want to know more about Laos and its beauty? Or do you need accurate visa information?
Contact the Laos tourism board for more information.
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When a single women in her 50's, traveling from the US to Egypt, stumbles across a website offering a tour, and then they make her feel totaling comfortable about every step of the process, you know you've hit a homerun!
My experience with Encounters was excellent from start to finish. The Tour Guide, Sheriff, was the most passionate, enthusiastic and professional guide I have ever had on a tour and his love for Egypt really made me enjoy my time so much more.
My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.
I thought it was very good we didn't have to worry about anything everything was in order and kept with the schedule as planned, unless we wanted to deviated from it to do somethingelse. The trip really a trip of a life time.
There was a time many years ago that I wanted to travel to Egypt and didn't because of the cost. This trip was, to me, very affordable. I think everyone should experience this trip. The tour guide was alos excellent, Sherif Mohammad.
Conscientious in early communication; knowledgeable, humorous and caring tour guides; an exemplary itinerary that was well organized yet flexible; an overall extraordinary experience. I'd recommend them enthusiastically.
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Luang Prabang is an UNESCO World Heritage city, but also a small Laos town trying desperately to hold onto its traditional culture within a developing region.
If you have an opinion on this, it will usually be a strong one.