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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Egypt & Middle East
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I had an amazing time on the trip. Everything was incredibly well organized and planned out to a tee. Our tour guide, Big Mo, was amazing and super knowledgeable. I couldn't have imagined a better trip to Egypt!
Ant provided excellent service. He always responded as quickly as he could, attending to the questions I had for him. He was also very patient and pleasant. I depended on his knowledge and service to make the trip.
I liked the service and the tour guide & driver on the tour. They were professional and provided very good service. I thought 1-2 hotels on the trip were not quite 4-star. It also happened that this group of people was always late for schedule and our walk pace was too slow. It really needs the guide to make people on schedule and be punctual for the activity. Overall I think the time management of this tour needs improvement.
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
Everything was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable and liked that we were interested in what he was telling us. We were lucky to be in a group with like minded people who also wanted to stay in places longer of which our guide accommodated. Only negative thing was the sitting train. Best to just take the flying option. Train was not bad but has no services, no alcohol, and breakfast was all carbs and an egg. Egypt really seems to like their breads and pastries....
I have dealt with Anthony Horrobin on a number of occasions and it is like talking to an old friend on the phone. Anthony is super-efficient and will always go the extra mile to create the perfect trip.
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.
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