7-Day Laos Adventure: Unexplored Paths with Family

Laos

7 days

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

7-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Vientiane

Morning

Start your adventure in the capital city, Vientiane. Visit the local markets to get a feel for the local culture and lifestyle.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Laotian meal at a local eatery, where you can sample dishes like sticky rice and Laap.

Afternoon

Explore the historical site of That Luang, a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the center of Vientiane.

Dinner

Have dinner at a local restaurant, trying out more Laotian cuisine.

Evening

Take a leisurely stroll along the Mekong River, enjoying the sunset.

Morning

Travel to Vang Vieng, known for its limestone karst landscapes. Go for a morning hike and enjoy the stunning views.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local restaurant, enjoying the stunning views of the mountains.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon, a popular swimming spot.

Dinner

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Khao Soi, a noodle soup.

Evening

Relax and unwind after a day of adventure.

Morning

Travel to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Visit the Royal Palace Museum.

Lunch

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Mok Pa, a steamed fish dish.

Afternoon

Visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls, where you can swim or hike.

Dinner

Have dinner at a local restaurant, trying out more Laotian cuisine.

Evening

Visit the night market for some shopping.

Morning

Take a boat trip along the Mekong River, visiting the Pak Ou Caves, filled with thousands of Buddha images.

Lunch

Have lunch at a riverside restaurant, enjoying the beautiful views.

Afternoon

Visit the traditional weaving village of Ban Phanom.

Dinner

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Or Lam, a Laotian stew.

Evening

Relax and unwind after a day of adventure.

Morning

Travel to the Plain of Jars, a megalithic archaeological landscape. Explore the site and learn about its history.

Lunch

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Tam Mak Hoong, a spicy green papaya salad.

Afternoon

Visit the MAG UXO Visitor Centre to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War on Laos.

Dinner

Have dinner at a local restaurant, trying out more Laotian cuisine.

Evening

Relax and unwind after a day of adventure.

Morning

Travel to the Bolaven Plateau, known for its cool climate, waterfalls, and coffee plantations. Visit a coffee plantation and learn about the coffee-making process.

Lunch

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Khao Poon, a spicy rice vermicelli soup.

Afternoon

Visit the stunning Tad Fane and Tad Yuang waterfalls.

Dinner

Have dinner at a local restaurant, trying out more Laotian cuisine.

Evening

Relax and unwind after a day of adventure.

Morning

Visit Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex located at the base of mount Phu Kao.

Lunch

Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, trying out dishes like Ping Kai, a grilled chicken dish.

Afternoon

Explore the 4,000 Islands, a stunning archipelago in the Mekong River.

Dinner

Have your last dinner in Laos at a local restaurant, trying out more Laotian cuisine.

Evening

Relax and unwind after a week of adventure, reflecting on your experiences.

Attractions in Itinerary (12)

That Luang

1
That Luang

Also known as the Great Stupa, That Luang is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, Laos.

Attractions
Monuments
Religious Sites
Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon

2
Tham Phu Kham Cave and Blue Lagoon

A popular cave with a blue lagoon, known for its stunning limestone formations and a reclining Buddha statue.

Attractions
Nature
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
Kuang Si Waterfalls

4
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
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

6
Ban Phanom

A village famous for its traditional Lao textiles and weaving crafts.

Cultural Experiences
Shopping
Plain of Jars

7
Plain of Jars

A megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. It consists of thousands of stone jars scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xieng Khouang Plateau.

Attractions
Landmarks
Cultural Experiences
MAG UXO Visitor Centre

8
MAG UXO Visitor Centre

A museum dedicated to educating visitors about the unexploded ordnance (UXO) problem in Laos.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Bolaven Plateau

9
Bolaven Plateau

A region known for its cool climate, beautiful waterfalls, and coffee plantations.

Attractions
Tours
Tad Fane and Tad Yuang waterfalls

10
Tad Fane and Tad Yuang waterfalls

Two of the most spectacular waterfalls in Laos, located in the Bolaven Plateau.

Attractions
Parks
Wat Phou

11
Wat Phou

A ruined Khmer temple complex located at the base of mount Phu Kao.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
4,000 Islands

12
4,000 Islands

A riverine archipelago located in the Mekong River, known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity.

Attractions
Tours

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

  • Sandals

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat

  • Rain jacket

  • Light sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • First-aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa

  • Driver's license

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Local currency

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Travel guidebook

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power bank

  • Universal travel adapter

  • Camera

  • Memory cards for camera

  • Headphones

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs

  • Eye mask

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Books or e-books for leisure reading

  • Travel-size umbrella

  • Ziplock bags for wet clothes or toiletries

  • Travel laundry line

  • Tissues or wet wipes

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?

1 of 10

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