In general, tourism to Laos is still somewhat niche compared to its Southeast Asia neighbours. However, like Myanmar, it is expected to see a major boost in the coming years as travellers look for new and unique destinations. While Vietnam and Cambodia have mastered Mekong river cruises, Laos is just beginning to explore its benefits. Currently, Avalon Waterways, APT and Pandaw are among the lines cruising the river in Laos. The majority of Laos river itineraries start in either another Southeast Asian destination or in Laos’ capital Vientiane. A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang is a must. It is known for its many Buddhist temples, royal palace and night markets, where travellers can pick up locally made products. Another must-see is Vang Vieng, about four hours north of Vientiane.
PLACES TO STAY
Laos is home to a number of smaller, boutique properties that offer four-and-a-half star luxury. Satri House in Luang Prabang is a mansion-style property with spacious rooms and air-conditioning, a restaurant, bar, full-service spa, two outdoor pools and a health club. It is close to the Royal Palace Museum and the night market. Also in Luang Prabang, near the international airport, is the intimate Hotel De La Paix with 23 guest rooms, a restaurant, bar, full-service spa, outdoor pool and four spa tubs.