4-Day Laos Culinary and Wine Experience for Couples

Laos

4 days

Rice fields in Vang Vieng
Wat Xieng Khuan Buddha park
Street food in Luang Prabang
Buddhist temple of Wat Xieng Thong
Patuxai monument in Vientiane

About Laos

Discover the untouched beauty of Laos, a hidden gem in Southeast Asia. Experience the tranquility of this landlocked country, rich in cultural heritage and natural splendor. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang, where ancient temples meet French colonial architecture. Explore the capital, Vientiane, home to the iconic golden stupa, Pha That Luang. Venture into the mysterious Plain of Jars, or unwind by the serene Mekong River. Laos also offers an abundance of outdoor activities, from trekking in the northern highlands to exploring the vast cave networks in the south. Immerse yourself in the local culture, savoring the unique Lao cuisine and engaging with the friendly locals. Laos is a destination that promises an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Capital City of Vientiane

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the bustling local market where you can sample a variety of traditional Laotian breakfast dishes. Explore the vibrant stalls selling fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Laotian lunch at a local eatery. Try dishes like Laap, a type of meat salad, and sticky rice, a staple in Laotian cuisine.

Afternoon

Take a leisurely stroll around the city, visiting the iconic That Luang Stupa, a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane.

Dinner

Indulge in a romantic dinner at a riverside restaurant, enjoying the local cuisine and a selection of Laotian wines.

Evening

Experience the vibrant nightlife of Vientiane, with its bustling night markets and lively bars.

Morning

Embark on a scenic boat ride along the Mekong River, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Lunch

Savor a riverside lunch, sampling local dishes like Mok Pa, a steamed fish dish wrapped in banana leaves.

Afternoon

Visit the Royal Palace Museum, a fascinating glimpse into Laos' royal history. Then, explore the nearby Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important monasteries in Laos.

Dinner

Dine at a local restaurant, trying dishes like Khao Soi, a delicious noodle soup, and sipping on local wines.

Evening

Take a leisurely stroll around the charming old town, soaking in the tranquil atmosphere and beautiful French colonial architecture.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Pak Ou Caves, a sacred site filled with thousands of Buddha statues.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch by the river, sampling local delicacies like Tam Mak Hoong, a spicy green papaya salad.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls, where you can swim in the turquoise pools or hike up to the top for stunning views.

Dinner

Experience a traditional Lao barbecue for dinner, grilling your own meats and vegetables on a tabletop grill.

Evening

Relax at a local bar, sipping on Laotian wines and enjoying the laid-back atmosphere.

Morning

Visit the Morning Market, a bustling local market where you can sample traditional Laotian breakfast dishes and buy souvenirs.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local eatery, trying dishes like Or Lam, a hearty Laotian stew.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Patuxai Victory Monument, an iconic landmark in Vientiane.

Dinner

Enjoy your last dinner in Laos at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of traditional Laotian cuisine and wine.

Evening

End your trip with a relaxing evening stroll along the Mekong River, taking in the beautiful sunset views.

Attractions in Itinerary (7)

That Luang Stupa

1
That Luang Stupa

That Luang Stupa, also known as the Great Stupa, is the most significant Buddhist monument in Laos. This gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, Laos is believed to house a relic of the Buddha. It's a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty.

Attractions
Monuments
Religious Sites

2
Mekong River

The Mekong River is the world's twelfth longest river and the seventh longest in Asia. It is a major trade route, linking China with Southeast Asia. Boat tours along the river are popular among tourists, offering breathtaking views of the natural scenery and wildlife.

Attractions
Tours
Landmarks
Royal Palace Museum

3
Royal Palace Museum

A museum in Luang Prabang, Laos. It was originally a royal palace of the Laos Kingdom.

Attractions
Museums
Wat Xieng Thong

4
Wat Xieng Thong

A Buddhist temple (wat), located on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Phrabang, Laos. It is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Architecture
Pak Ou Caves

5
Pak Ou Caves

A pair of caves on the west side of the Mekong river, about two hours upstream from the centre of Luang Prabang, known for their miniature Buddha sculptures.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Kuang Si Waterfalls

6
Kuang Si Waterfalls

A three-tier waterfall about 29 kilometres (18 mi) south of Luang Prabang. These waterfalls are a favourite side trip for tourists in Luang Prabang.

Attractions
Parks
Patuxai Victory Monument

7
Patuxai Victory Monument

This is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, built in 1957 and dedicated to those who fought for independence from France.

Monuments
Landmarks

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Laap

Laap

Laap is a traditional Lao minced meat salad, often made with chicken, beef, duck, fish, pork or mushrooms. It's considered the national dish of Laos and is a must-try for any food lover visiting the country.

Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice

Sticky rice, or 'Khao Niew', is a staple food in Laos and is often served in a small woven basket. It's eaten with most meals and is a key part of Laotian food culture.

Tam Mak Hoong

Tam Mak Hoong

Also known as Papaya Salad, Tam Mak Hoong is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya. It's a popular street food in Laos and is known for its tangy and spicy flavors.

Khao Piak Sen

Khao Piak Sen

Khao Piak Sen is a traditional Lao noodle soup made with thick rice noodles, chicken or pork, and lots of herbs. It's a common breakfast dish in Laos.

Kaipen

Kaipen

Kaipen is a popular snack in Laos made from river weed that's been dried, seasoned with sesame seeds, garlic, and other flavors, then fried until crispy.

Mok Pa

Mok Pa

Mok Pa is a traditional Lao dish where fish is steamed in banana leaves with herbs and spices. It's a popular dish in Laos and offers a unique and delicious flavor.

Khao Jee

Khao Jee

Khao Jee is a Lao-style baguette sandwich, often filled with pate, ham, fresh vegetables, and chili sauce. It's a popular street food in Laos, influenced by French cuisine.

Khao Poon

Khao Poon

Khao Poon is a spicy rice vermicelli soup that's a staple in Lao cuisine. It's often made with fish, chicken, or pork, and flavored with coconut milk and a variety of herbs.

Or Lam

Or Lam

Or Lam is a traditional Lao stew made with meat, eggplants, gourds, beans, and dill. It's a hearty and flavorful dish that's a must-try in Laos.

Beerlao

Beerlao

Beerlao is the national beer of Laos and is a must-try for any beer lover. It's a lager-style beer and is often enjoyed with meals or as a refreshing drink in the hot Laotian climate.

Lao-Lao

Lao-Lao

Lao-Lao is a traditional Laotian rice whiskey. It's a potent spirit that's often served in small glasses and is a popular drink in Laos.

Lao Coffee

Lao Coffee

Laos is known for its robust coffee production, and Lao Coffee is a must-try. It's often served strong and sweet, with condensed milk.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Laos as a tourist is during the dry season, which runs from November to March. During this period, the weather is mostly dry and temperatures are moderate, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Additionally, many of the country's most popular festivals, such as the Boun That Luang Festival and the Lao New Year, take place during these months, offering visitors a chance to experience the rich cultural heritage of Laos.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

March 8

Fri

International Women's Day (Women Only)

April 13

Sat

Lao New Year

April 14

Sun

Lao New Year Holiday

April 15

Mon

Lao New Year Holiday

May 1

Wed

Labor Day / May Day

July 20

Sat

Lao Women Union's Day

July 22

Mon

Lao Women Union's Day observed

December 2

Mon

National Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Laos has three major international airports: Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang, and Pakse International Airport in Pakse. Domestic flights are also available and can be a quick way to travel between major cities.

Buses are a common way to get around in Laos, especially for longer distances. There are several types of buses available, including local buses, VIP buses, and sleeper buses. Local buses are usually crowded and slow, but they are also the cheapest option. VIP buses are more comfortable and faster, but they are also more expensive. Sleeper buses are equipped with beds and are used for overnight trips.

Minivans are a popular choice for medium-distance travel. They are faster and more comfortable than local buses, but they can also be more expensive. Minivans usually have air conditioning and they often pick up passengers from their hotels.

Traveling by boat can be a scenic and enjoyable way to get around in Laos, especially along the Mekong River and its tributaries. There are several types of boats available, including slow boats, speedboats, and luxury cruise boats. Boat travel can be slower than other methods, but it offers a unique perspective on the country.

Tuk-tuks are a common form of transportation in Laos. They are three-wheeled motorized vehicles that can carry up to four passengers. Tuk-tuks are a convenient way to get around in cities and towns, but they can also be used for short trips to the countryside.

Bicycles are widely available for rent in many parts of Laos. They are a cheap and eco-friendly way to get around, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. Bicycling can be a great way to explore the local scenery at your own pace.

Motorbikes are a popular mode of transportation in Laos. They can be rented in many places, and they offer a fast and flexible way to get around. However, driving a motorbike in Laos can be dangerous due to the country's challenging road conditions and traffic rules.

Renting a car is another option for getting around in Laos. This can provide more comfort and flexibility than public transportation, but it is also more expensive. In addition, driving in Laos can be challenging due to the country's road conditions and traffic rules.

Ridesharing services are not widely available in Laos. However, some local companies offer similar services, especially in larger cities like Vientiane. These services can be a convenient and affordable way to get around, but they may not be available in all areas.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency₭ LAK

Time zoneUTC+7

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneLocal numbers only

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type BPower socket type C

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Laos as a first time visitor

1

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

2

The official language is Lao, but English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.

3

The official currency is the Lao Kip (LAK). Credit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist areas, but it's a good idea to carry cash in more remote areas.

4

Laos has a tropical monsoon climate. The rainy season is from May to October, while the dry season is from November to April. Temperatures can range from 59°F to 95°F (15°C to 35°C).

5

Laos is generally safe for tourists, but like anywhere, it's important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

6

Laos is a predominantly Buddhist country, and it's important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples.

7

The food in Laos is a blend of Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese influences. Sticky rice is a staple, and the national dish is 'larb', a spicy meat salad.

8

Tap water is not safe to drink in Laos. Always drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.

9

Laos operates on Indochina Time, which is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7).

10

The electrical supply in Laos is 230 volts and 50Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type A, B, C, E, and F.

11

Healthcare facilities in Laos are limited, especially outside major cities. It's recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical evacuation.

12

Laos is a conservative country. Public displays of affection are considered disrespectful, and it's illegal for foreigners to have sexual relations with Lao citizens unless they are married.

13

The Lao government strictly controls the media. Criticism of the government, the communist party, or the king is illegal and could result in deportation or imprisonment.

14

Laos has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs. Penalties for drug offences, including possession, are severe and can include the death penalty.

15

It's customary to remove your shoes before entering a Lao home or a temple.

16

Tipping is not customary in Laos, but it is appreciated, especially in the service industry.

17

Public transportation in Laos is limited. The most common forms of transportation are tuk-tuks, taxis, and bicycles.

18

Laos has a rich cultural heritage with many traditional festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Water Festival, which marks the Lao New Year in April.

19

Laos has a slower pace of life compared to its neighbors. The locals have a saying, 'PDR', which stands for 'Please Don't Rush'.

20

Laos is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and bears. However, it's important to only support ethical wildlife tourism and avoid attractions that exploit animals.

Basic Lao to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

ສະບາຍດີ

sa bai dee

Greeting someone

Goodbye

ລາກການ

laa gon

Saying goodbye

Thank you

ຂອບໃຈ

khop jai

Expressing gratitude

Yes

ແມ່ນ

mehn

Agreeing with someone

No

ບໍ່

bor

Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me

ຂໍໂທດ

kho thot

Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry

ຂໍອະໄພ

kho o-pai

Apologizing

Do you speak English?

ທ່ານເວົ້າພາສາອັງກິດໄດ້ບໍ່

thaan wao pa-sa ang-kid dai bor

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

ຂ້ອຍບໍ່ເຫັນເຂົ້າ

khoi bor hen khao

When you don't understand what's being said

Help!

ຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອ!

suay leua!

In case of emergency

Where is the bathroom?

ຫ້ອງນໍ້າຢູ່ບ່ອນໃດ

hong nam yuu bon dai

Asking for directions

How much does this cost?

ນີ້ລາຄາເທົ່າໃດ

nee laa kha thao dai

When shopping

Can I have the menu, please?

ຂ້ອຍສາມາດໄດ້ເບິ່ງເມນູບໍ່

khoi sa-mat dai beng menu bor

At a restaurant

Water

ນ້ໍ້

nam

Ordering a drink

Beer

ເບຍ

bia

Ordering a drink

Delicious

ນົມ

nyam

Complimenting food

I'm vegetarian

ຂ້ອຍກິນສຸດ

khoi gin soot

At a restaurant

What's your name?

ຊື່ຂອງທ່ານແມ່ນຫຍັງ

sue khong thaan men nyang

Getting to know someone

My name is...

ຊື່ຂ້ອຍແມ່ນ...

sue khoi men...

Introducing yourself

I'm from...

ຂ້ອຍມາຈາກ...

khoi ma jaak...

Introducing yourself

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Swimwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Flip flops

  • Hat or cap

  • Sunglasses

  • Rain jacket

  • Light sweater or jacket for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • First aid kit with band-aids and antiseptic cream

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa if required

  • Driver's license

  • Health insurance card

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Local currency

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • International power adapter

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Portable power bank

  • Headphones or earbuds

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Ear plugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for entertainment

  • Travel guidebook for Laos

  • Small backpack for day trips

  • Ziplock bags for keeping items dry

  • Travel-size umbrella

Weather Conditions

Laos experiences a tropical monsoon climate, which is characterized by a wet and a dry season. The dry season runs from November to April, and the wet season from May to October. If you're planning to visit Laos, it's essential to consider these seasons. The dry season is the most popular time for tourists due to the lower rainfall and milder temperatures, which typically range from 68°F to 86°F (20°C to 30°C). However, it can get quite cool in the evenings, especially in the northern regions, so it's advisable to pack some warm clothing. The wet season brings heavy rainfall, particularly in the afternoons and evenings. The temperatures during this season can range from 77°F to 95°F (25°C to 35°C). Despite the rain, this season can be a great time to visit as the countryside is lush and green, and there are fewer tourists. However, some rural roads may be impassable due to flooding, so it's important to check the local conditions and plan your travel accordingly. Regardless of when you visit, it's a good idea to pack lightweight, breathable clothing due to the high humidity. A waterproof jacket or umbrella is also a must, especially if you're visiting during the wet season. Remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun, as the UV index can be high throughout the year. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle and plenty of sunscreen. Lastly, keep an eye on the local weather forecast during your visit, as conditions can change quickly, especially during the wet season.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

27° / 14°

January is the coldest month in Laos, but still quite warm by most standards. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures.

February

29° / 15°

February sees a slight increase in temperature, but it's still relatively cool. It's a good time to visit for outdoor activities.

March

34° / 19°

March marks the beginning of the hot season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy hot, sunny weather.

April

37° / 22°

April is the hottest month in Laos, with temperatures often exceeding 35°C. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy hot, sunny weather, but be prepared for the heat.

May

34° / 23°

May sees the beginning of the rainy season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind a bit of rain and enjoy lush, green landscapes.

June

33° / 24°

June is in the middle of the rainy season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind a bit of rain and enjoy lush, green landscapes.

July

33° / 24°

July is also in the middle of the rainy season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind a bit of rain and enjoy lush, green landscapes.

August

32° / 24°

August is towards the end of the rainy season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind a bit of rain and enjoy lush, green landscapes.

September

32° / 23°

September marks the end of the rainy season in Laos. It's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures and less rain.

October

31° / 21°

October is a great time to visit Laos, with cooler temperatures and less rain. The landscapes are still lush and green from the rainy season.

November

28° / 18°

November is a great time to visit Laos, with cooler temperatures and less rain. The landscapes are still lush and green from the rainy season.

December

26° / 15°

December is a great time to visit Laos, with cooler temperatures and less rain. The landscapes are still lush and green from the rainy season.

Did you know?

Did you know that Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia?

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