A trip to Laos is nothing short of a meditative experience.Life moves mindfully, the cuisine is soulful and the ambience is pure bliss. Temples, caves, forests, waterfalls, mountains, and adventure sports are some of the unique features of a holiday in Laos. The country has a wild terrain which is home to around 49 ethnic groups. Laos refers to ‘Kingdom of a million Elephants’ .
Elephant Village Sanctuary
The Elephant Village Sanctuary in Luang Prabang is an educational facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and protection of Asian elephants in Laos. The facility also provides employment to villagers. Elephants at the sanctuary are rescued work elephants that are protected. A day tour through the Elephant Village lets you interact with the large animals. You can try your hand at being a mahout with an experience designed to let you ride and learn how to care for and bathe the elephant.
Kuang Si waterfalls
The Kuang Si waterfall in Luang Prabang is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Laos. The waterfall cascades down three tiers to a 50-meter drop. Beneath the falls are a series of pools ideal for swimming and perhaps the best view for looking up at the grand falls. You can change clothes in wooden huts that are located on-site. Trails around the falls let you hike for different perspectives.
Pha That Luang
Located in Vientiane, Pha That Luang is one of the most significant monument in Laos. The stupa has several terraces with each level representing a different stage of Buddhist enlightenment. The lowest level represents the material world; the highest level represents the world of nothingness. Pha That Luang was built in the 16th century on the ruins of an earlier Khmer temple.
Snouk Coffee tour
It will not take long for you to notice Sinouk Coffee as you travel throughout Laos. It is the prominent coffee supplier and some of the freshest coffee you will ever taste. On the Sinouk plantation, they still dry beans the old fashioned way, on large tarps in the sun. The plantation has an organic certification. True coffee fanatics can stay at the Sinouk Coffee Resort on-site and wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed Lao Arabica coffee wafting through the gardens.
Buddha Park is an open-air sculpture park with giant sculptures of Buddha and Hindu deities. Located 25km southeast of Vientiane, the park not only has statues of Buddha, but also of Hindu gods, deities, demons, and animals from both beliefs. The statues are as impressive in size as they are in detail. Standouts at Buddha Park include a 40-metre reclining Buddha, Indra a 2-headed elephant, and a 4-armed deity riding a horse.
Green Papaya Salad
Green Papaya Salad is typically made with shreds of unripe papaya. It is of Lao origin, but served in different varieties around the region. Green Papaya Salad was a dish imported to Bangkok from Lao immigrants. It is similar to Thailand’s Som Tam dish, but does not contain peanuts and is usually made with fermented fish sauce. Other ingredients include palm sugar, lime, garlic, tomatoes, dried shrimp, chilis, and raw eggplant. All of these ingredients are pounded together in a traditional mortar and pestle.