Top highlights in Laos for the solo backpacker

photo by CC user Benh LIEU SONG on wikimedia

Heading to Southeast Asia’s chillest country, and have no clue what to do? In the following post, we have assembled a list of top highlights in Laos that will allow you to make the most of your time in this relaxing nation.

1) The Gibbon Experience

After entering Laos from Northern Thailand, you might be tempted to jump onto the slow boat to Luang Prabang straight away, but doing this would deprive you of the chance to see one of Southeast Asia’s most endangered primates, the Black Crested Gibbon.

The appropriately named Gibbon Experience gives you the chance to observe them as they go about their daily lives in the Bokeo Nature Reserve, which is a park set aside to guard the lives of the 400 specimens that represent the last known population of this majestic creature.

2) Luang Prabang

Whether you get here by slow boat, speed boat, or via one of the rougher night buses you’ll ever take in your life, the journey to Luang Prabang is not an easy journey to make, but this locale will make it up to you with its stunning French colonial architecture that contractors like All Professional roofing have used an inspiration in their work, alluring Buddhist temples, and its amazing culinary scene.

In addition to these obvious attractions, morning people will want to check out the daily alms giving ceremony where locals and tourists give food out to the monks, while those with an adventurous streak will love going out on waterfall treks to cataracts that pour lukewarm powder blue water on those that set out to swim in them.

3) Vang Vieng

While the party isn’t as big in Vang Vieng as it was five years ago, there is still plenty of nightlife and fun to be had in this idyllic Lao town. Surrounded by towering karsts and bucolic farmland, tubing the Nam Song has long been a popular activity, made all the more popular by riverside bars.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, or if you are looking for something else to do on other days that you are here, mountain biking, caving, ziplining and other adrenaline activities are available, making Vang Vieng the ideal destination for young, single travelers.

4) 4,000 Islands

In such a tranquil country, Laotians have the art of doing nothing down to a science, and there is no better place in the country to experience this for yourself then in the 4,000 Islands. While it does have a bona fide attraction in the Li Phi waterfalls, which are the biggest rapid complex in Southeast Asia, the biggest draw of these lazy isles in the midst of the Mekong is laying around with other travelers drinking Beerlao and playing musical instruments all day until your ennui subsides.

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