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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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.
Anthony has been a pleasure to work with and when he is not available, other members of the team respond in a timely manner. I have booked a total of 6 trips since December 2013 and plan to book more to fill my bucket list.
The trip was excellent and very well run, we have no complaints it was exactly as we expected.The guide was knowledgable and courteous, it ran on time and accommodation was fine.We have no complaints and have now booked again to go to India.
The trip was as above and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, all destinations were as expected and lived up to our expectations.We went with the idea of visiting Turkey and especially Gallipoli which achieved our goals.The historical part of thetrip was very well done and memmorable.
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.
Anthony has been amazing throughout my planning of my tour. He has been very quick in replying to my emails and always answering with everything I wanted to know.
I look forward to hopefully planning my next trip through him next year!
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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.
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