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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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.
Amazing tour. Any issues we had were addressed in a timely fashion and the resolutions were satisfactory. My only complaint is the driver picking us up was late and none of the cell numbers worked when we tried to call and figure out what to do.
Encounters Travel did such a superb job in organizing this tour. I had never heard of them before going on the Maldives Magic tour, however now I will recommend them to friends/family and use them for my future planned trips.
Our tour is what made the trip that much more memorable. Rather than being plopped at a westernized resort, we were able to get a taste of how the locals live, eat and entertain themselves. We stayed in quaint guesthouses on the islands amongst the locals, ate authentic Maldivian cuisine (one day even with a Maldivian family who made us breakfast), and viewed a traditional dance/singing performance which was absolutely delightful. This was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.
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.
I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
We had a wonderful time and great memories. We felt safe the whole time and would recommend this trip to anyone of any age as long as you can walk a lot. They are with you from arrival to departure and any problems that arose the guides would try their best to solve. They also showed remarkable patience for other people in other groups we saw that were acting like idiots.
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