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The Buddha Park in Vientiane
The Buddha Park in Vientiane

Read More About Laos on GoNOMAD

Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang Laos: Kayaking and Rock Climbing

This stunning, landlocked country is often overlooked by many travelers, standing in the shadows of its neighboring countries like Thailand or Cambodia. The environment is still very pristine, and outside of town you probably won’t run into any other tourists.


When I arrived in Vientiane, the capitol of Laos, I hunted for a hostel on foot; the city center is small, so it wasn't difficult, even with my huge pack. I paid 40,000 Laos Kips for a clean room with hot water (don’t be fooled, that’s about the price of a Starbucks latte).

That night I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life, all brilliant pinks and oranges on the Mekong River, where fishermen were casting their nets for the final time. It was the first time in my life I'd noticed the sun both rise and set in the same day, and it felt good.

The next day I rented a bicycle and rode to the outskirts of the town, where I came across some temple grounds. I saw saffron-colored monks robes drying between trees in the sun, and ended up having a conversation with one of the monks-in-training. Read more...


Micro-Lending Programs Help the Forgotten Women of Laos

Laos is a beautiful country; unlike neighboring Thailand, it remains relatively unspoiled by tourism and development. The people are warm and friendly, and genuinely pleased to welcome you into their country and into their homes.

A woman weaving thread in Laos. Photo by Charlotte Halligan
A woman weaving thread in Laos Photo by Charlotte Halligan

Despite its diminutive size, Laos is bursting at the seams with incredible sights and experiences: there is literally something for everyone.

The women in the Ban Hai village meet to discuss textile designs, marketing and pricing.
From the laid back charm of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, to the wild parties and tubing in Vang Viang. Read more...

Bun Bang Fai: The Rocket Festival of Laos and Thailand

Up, up and away!

While farmers and politicians across Australia battle it out over water allocations, in Southeast Asia, Thais and Laotians are preparing to embrace their water shortages in a style all of their own.

A successful launch rips into the air near Buddha Park in Vientiane. Photos by Kenton Molloy. Click on photo to enlarge.
launching rockets in Laos

Dating back to pre-Buddhist times the Bun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival), held around the May full moon, is traditionally based on the notion that launching bamboo rockets skyward will initiate the rainy season and bring much needed relief to the country's rice fields.

Popular in Thailand’s northeastern Isan province and around the Laos capital of Vientiane, the event continues to maintain a rich cultural significance.

Testament to this is a 3,000-word poem based around the event being translated into the English language and designated as supplementary secondary school reading by the Thai Ministry of Education.

Tongue firmly in cheek

While respecting the event's traditions, today’s Thais and Laotians embrace the festival with their tongue firmly in their cheek. Read more...

Read more GoNOMAD stories about Laos:

Luang Prabang, Laos: A Slice of Heaven?

Cycling Northern Laos: A Pedaler's Paradise

Savannakkhet Destination Guide

Vientiane and Vicinity: Savoring Papaya, Pone and French Colonial Charm

Destination Guide: Vientiane, Laos

Across the Friendship Bridge: An Alternative Way to get from Thailand to Laos



Read more GoNOMAD stories about Laos


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on photo to enlarge. Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang Laos: Kayaking and Rock Climbing By Christine
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The Buddha Park in Vientiane Read More About Laos on GoNOMAD Vang Vieng and Luang
festival near Buddha park in Vientiane, Laos. Photo by Kenton Molloy. Click on photo to return to Kenton
A major safety issue in any other country, but in Laos its just all part of the fun. Photo

Tags: storySection: Destinations
Location: Asia, Laos
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