Finally, the backpacking Laos travel guide is ready for you. Laos, although one of the underdeveloped countries in Southeast Asia, is still an important gem worth your while. Why? Because you can learn a lot about Buddhism while backpacking Laos, and of course, you’ll definitely meet some amazing people while visiting the famous Laos Tourist Spots. The Laotians are very friendly and relaxed people. Plus, you will realize prices here are very cheap and your backpacking Laos budget can be $20 USD per day!
Best time to visit Laos
There are 2 types of weather in the country, like most in the Southeast: wet and dry season for Laos. The wet season starts in May until October. July and August are the rainiest months. The dry season starts from November to April. The best months for backpacking Laos are from November to February. When I was backpacking Laos in December, it was very cold and temperatures were going down until 5 degrees, surprisingly. But it’s not the normal weather at that time.
1. Kwang Si Falls
You can visit the Kwang Si waterfalls, which is just half an hour sharing a tuk tuk ride from Luang Prabang. The place is amazing and you won´t get tired to take pictures or even take a bath there. They also have ropes where you can swing and a tree where you can jump off into the pools from. So, soak yourself in some series of pool and vibrant blue waters!
2. Buddha Park
This is a sculpture park 25 kilometers away from Vientiane. You can go by bus to get there or you can try to be more adventurous and go hitchhiking. It’s a perfect plan while you are staying in Vientiane. Prices are around 1 USD for the entrance and for transportation.
3. 4 000 Islands
Along the windy section of the Mekong, you’ll certainly find scattered both large and small islands. Most of the islands are isolated, too tiny for roads, and the area has not long had electricity.
When backpacking Laos, the 4,000 Islands is one of Laos Tourist Spots that is perfect place for relaxing. It’s the perfect place for reading a book while lying down in the hammock. There are bars and restaurants to go around to during the day and night. You will get amazing sunsets in 4,000 Islands every single day. It’s an easy place to keep your backpacking Laos with a budget of $20 USD per day!
This small town was part of the Khmer Empire. People come to Champasak to visit the ruins of Wat Phou, a temple built in Khmer style. If you are sleeping in Champasak town, you can rent a bicycle. It’s half an hour riding to the temple. It’s similar to Angkor Wat, but it’s a smaller temple. It’s totally worth it to visit this place. Champasak is very peaceful town to spend a few days in and I will recommend you to include this in your list of things to do in Laos.
5. Bolaven Plateau and Tad Fane Waterfall
In Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos, you’ll get to their traditional coffee farms and ethnic villages. No only that but you’ll fall in love with the fantastic sceneries waiting for you there. Also, it is where you can find numerous spectacular Southeast Asia’s waterfalls, including Tad Fane (Paksong), making it to our list of Laos Tourist Spots.
6. Vieng Xai
Another Laos Tourist Spots is Vieng Xai. It is a city in Hua Phan Province where you can find a lot of caves. One thing to do in Vieng Xai is to set a tour to discover the “Hidden City”or the caves in the city. There are tour providers that you can contact to do this activity.
7. That Ing Hang Stupa
The site is very important for Buddhists because of its historical mark. This site is sacred because the land has one of Buddha’s bones in it. Tourists can visit the shrine everyday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
8. Pak Ou Caves
Another religious site that you might want to consider visiting is Pak Ou Caves. The cave has thousands of Buddha statues in it. The place gives untroubled vibes but the highlight is really the number of statues inside.
Despite Vientiane being the capital of the country, it isn’t a very busy place. In fact, you can walk around the city just to enjoy the night market and go for the sunset in Mekong River. There are lots of things to see in Vientian like Wat Si Muang, a Buddhist temple, or you can go outside the city to visit Buddha Park, a Laos sculpture park. Also, there is a night market next to Luang Praband where you can shop around after enjoying your sunset views.
10. Vang Vieng Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most Instagrammable places in Laos that host famous attractions, so it’s one of our Laos tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss. You can have lot of adventures there since they have activities like rope swings and zip-lines, actually cheap for an unforgettable experience. The downside is it is often crowded with people trying to cool down from the Laos heat but still, it will be a great spot for you because it is an absolute paradise to chill from crystal blue waters, beers, sunlight, and everything beautiful and relaxing!
And of course, it’s the backpacker place in Laos so you’ll find good deals. For more things to do in Laos, you can do Tubing in the Nam Song river where you can find bars selling bucket of drinks. Don’t worry for your stay too, because you can find very cheap accommodation in Vang Vieng. You can visit Tham Phu Kham cave where you can find a large bronze reclining Buddha. Also, Blue Lagoon, a pool with crystalline water. You could also try The Hot Air Balloon for a more unforgettable experience.
More Laos Tourist Spots
11. Huay Xai
If you are coming from Chiang Rai in North Thailand, Huay Xai could be your first experience in Laos. It’s quiet and not many foreigners visit here. Most of them take a bus to Luanng Prabang or Luang Namtha. The other option is to take the slow boat until Luang Prabang instead of the bus. It can be an amazing place to go around and meet your first locals in Laos. Also, it’s a way to introduce yourself to Laos gastronomy.
12. Luang Prabang
Another Laos tourist spot is Luang Prabang, which is the most touristic place in the country. It’s a very quiet place and gets most of the attention for the things to do in Laos. You can visit Kuang Si waterfalls for splashing visit. Also, you can go for a walk around Mekong River. In the morning, you can see the ritual of alms giving to the monks. You will meet hundreds of people in Luang Prabang, and you can party and enjoy the night market in Luang Prabang.
Thakhek is the place for sightseeing caves and trekking. Trekking in Thakhek is a must because you’ll enjoy the place waiting for you in the end, the Blue Lagoon. As we’ve said, Blue Lagoon is so beautiful that lots of tourists go there.
14. Nong Khiaw
Don’t miss the Pha Tok caves in Nong Khiaw as it is one of the main attractions here. Also, getting to the caves is a whole lot of adventure because it isn’t easy. Also, you could float down the Nam Ou river with a bamboo raft.
15. Luang Namtha
One thing you could do in Luang Namtha is visit Nam Ha. The site is a national protected area. You would enjoy the lush scenery around you and if you’re lucky, you could spot an endangered clouded leopard. There is also night market for local Laos gastronomy.
16. Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall
The biggest fall in Southeast Asia belongs to Khone Pha Pheng Falls. Also, it’s not just big but it’s beautiful for sightseeing. It is also the reason why it’s hard to navigate to China from Mekong river. The rapids are just astonishing to watch flow freely.
17. Tham Kong Lo
Tourists enjoy this cave because it’s very touching. The formations inside the cave and the light that bounces every formation is just magical. Get shoes that can withstand damages from sharp rocks and use protection for mosquito bites.
18. Bokeo Nature Reserve
It’s hard to forget your experiences with nature reserves because it’s really as natural as it gets. You’ll definitely enjoy the biodiversity in this nature reserve. Oh and did we forget to mention, there are ziplines and treehouses here, too!
19. Mount Phousi in Luang Prabang
With only 300 steps up to the top, it’s reassuring that almost anyone could climb here. The views from above is beautiful. Go in the afternoon, and wait for the sunset, for it will be the greatest highlight of your day.
20. Alms Giving to the Monks
You can see this ceremony daily in Luang Prabang. It usually starts at sunrise, and you can see how people offer food to the monks. It’s one of the most touristic things to do in Laos. It makes you aware of the culture in Laos.
21. Pha That Luang
The literal translation of Pha That Luang is great golden stupa. For those who don’t know stupa, it is Buddhist architecture that contains relics and is used as a place for meditation. The place has really beautiful architectural design.
You can visit Pakse, an off-the-beaten-place for backpacking Laos. It’s very quiet at night but you can go around the market during the day. You will see real Laotian life – like how busy it can be despite the usual quiet that surrounds a lot of places in the country. It’s the perfect place for relaxing before going South to Champasak or 4000 Islands. Read here if you want to volunteer in Pakse.
23. Tham Kong Lo
This is a karst limestone cave in Khammouane Province that can be found specifically in Phu Hin Bun National Park. It is very dramatic because of the karst formations. In fact, it is regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s geological wonders.
24. Wat Xieng Thong
The monastery of the golden city, Wat Xieng Thong, has a high importance for the religion in this country. The place is rich of architectural gems. You would be amazed how beautiful the exterior and interior designs on the temples here.
25. Plain of Jars
If you want to have a sense of the prehistoric times, it’s a good idea to visit Plain of Jars. It’s amazing because the megalithic stone jars date back up to prehistoric times and it’s just cool to see in this era that these jars have withstood the test of time, and war actually.
And Of Course The Mekong River
And the last but not the least on our Laos tourist spots, don’t forget to visit the Mekong River! It’s the perfect place for relaxing while visiting Laos. You could enjoy the sunrise or the sunset or you could just also stroll around. For some reason, this river is very peaceful.
There you have it- our top Laos Tourist Spots you should definitely visit! We know that Laos is not that touristic but give it a chance and go backpacking in Laos. Aside from the cheap prices, you’ll love the experience in this country.
Happy travels! 🙂