To be honest, Laos was never on my travel bucket list and I didn’t know much about this small Southeast Asian country. However, when I knew I had to leave China’s border because of my visa situation at the time, I was attracted by all the great images I saw online. It seemed to be a paradise with French and Buddhist influences. Little did I know that Laos, and specifically its ancient capital Luang Prabang, would become one of the most memorable places I had ever been to. 

Top 5 Things To Do in Laos | Linda Goes East

 

Night Market

If you are looking for unique gifts for friends and yourself and local deliciousness, the night market in Luang Prabang should definitely be your hot spot. Local vendors offer goods, such as T-Shirts with Lao prints, bags, hand-made scarves, lights, tea and anything you can think of, for cheap right here.

Don’t be surprised if you see whole families including babies sitting at the market and trying to sell goods – even late at night. Don’t forget to bargain and you will have the time of your life! Get a tuk-tuk right to the oldtown where the night market is located every night.

 

Kuang Si Waterfall

Even though the Kuang Si Waterfall is one of the most visited attractions around Luang Prabang (23 km from the city), it’s well worth visiting. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and splash in the picturesque turquoise water freshly coming down from the mountains above you.

Even if you don’t want to swim, master your way along the path to the top viewing platform of the falls. It’s the perfect spot to take a picture! The entrance fee of the waterfall park is only 20,000 Kip ($2.40). You can reach the park by taking a tuk-tuk or booking a shuttle from your hotel or hostel.

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I can highly recommend staying at Villa Laodeum Nam Khan View, where the staff organized all of our trips and activities during our stay!

Oldtown by Bike

Who could resist renting a bike to explore the 1000 year old city? The price is at $2 per day per bike and can be parked anywhere in town.

Cruise along the mighty Mekong or go on a temple tour riding from one hot spot to another. When in Luang Prabang, temples can be spotted at almost every corner of the city.

If you are in for something spectacular, be sure to wake up early and make your way to a nearby temple at around 7am to see monks collecting alms for the day from the locals.

 

Lao Cooking Class

The way to the heart is through the stomach – and this is even true for falling in love with countries or cultures. Lao food is similar to its neighbors’ cuisines (Thai and Viet food) but still has some unique ingredients or dishes you can only find there. What better way to embrace Lao culture and food than taking a cooking class?

I took an evening cooking class at the Tamnak Lao Restaurant where I learned how to make 3 Lao dishes, I received a Lao recipe book and was taught by a professional Lao chef who has his own restaurant in downtown Luang Prabang – everything for only $20!

The whole course took 2 hours and included dinner! If you decide to do the morning course, you get 4 hours and they even take you to a local Lao market to pick out the ingredients! It’s absolutely worth it!

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Mekong River Cruise

The mighty Mekong is one of the longest rivers in Asia and flows down from Tibet through China’s Yunnan province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong is of huge significance for agriculture and infrastructure in Laos.

A half-day river cruise on the Mekong takes you along the mighty river to several coastal regions around Luang Prabang where you can buy home-made rice liquor, scarves and visit the famous Pak Ou Buddha Caves.

The whole cruise was only $20 and included a delicious local lunch right on the boat! The best thing was that I visited during low season so my mom and I had the entire boat almost to ourselves!

 

When are you planning to visit Laos?

Laos Night Market

  • Des

    I’ve been thinking about going to Laos or Cambodia and you’ve definitely made a good argument for Lao. Looks beautiful, and I love a good night market. Thanks for sharing!

    • It’s such a beautiful country and the people are so warm and welcoming!

  • Meaghan

    First off, I’m totally in love with your new blog design. It’s so beautiful! I would love to go to Laos, but I don’t think I’ll have time. I’ll be heading to Thailand for a month and am super excited to try a cooking class there. Sounds like you enjoyed yourself! Personally, I think eating local food is one of the best ways to understand part of the culture, and what better activity than a cooking class? Now you can cook Lao food for your family!

    • Thanks Meaghan! Yeah totally! Thailand is awesome, I’ve been there a couple of years ago! Enjoy your trip girl! and keep blogging about everything you do <3

  • Laura Nalin

    I’ll be headed to Laos within the next six months before my significant other and I relocate to New Zealand. I will keep all of these points you’ve made in mind! I love that you mentioned eating the local food – I feel that’s one of the best ways to acclimate oneself to a culture and I definitely want to try a cooking class there. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Rafiqua Israel

    The cooking class, night market shopping and bike riding look awesome! The waterfall is so pretty. I have also never (really) considered Laos a “must visit” place on my bucketlist but now I’m seriously giving this some thought! It seems like such a cheap place too…2$ bicycle rides and 20$ cruises? Yes please!

    • yes! it’s such a beautiful place! people are very poor but so welcoming and warm! It’s a must see definitely!

  • Your colorful photos are incredible! We’ve been dying to get to Laos, and its great to see such vibrant images. I can’t believe the beauty of those waterfalls, and the night markets look like endless fun. Thank you so much for solidifying my desire to visit this amazing country and for giving such great ideas for things to do in Luang Prabang.