How to Plan a Laos Trip for 6 Days or One Week in 2024?
If you have six or seven days and are planning to visit Laos, you're going to be able to have a great experience in the country. That's enough to see the highlights in Luang Prabang and Vientiane while leaving time to experience the local cuisine and markets.
With untouched natural beauty, ancient culture, and vibrant city life, Laos has a lot to choose from. Make sure you don't miss anything with this guide on how to plan a Laos tour for six days or a week in 2024.
Luang Prabang Is the Must-Visit Destination: Plan for 4 Days
Its scenic landscapes and rich culture make Luang Prabang a must-visit destination in Laos. The tranquil city sitting at the meeting point of the Nam Khan River and Mekong River is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and jungle. Plan to spend four days in the city to see its major highlights.
Luang Prabang city
After being welcomed at the airport by your local tour guide and escorted to your hotel only 15 minutes away, the first day in Luang Prabang is perfect for leisurely exploration of the city. You can enjoy some drinks in one of the many excellent cafés and stroll along the beautiful riverside.
You should spend a whole day immersing yourself in the city's local culture, starting with a visit to the Royal Palace Museum. The former residence of King Sisavang Vong is filled with artifacts, treasures, royal regalia, and cultural relics from the old Laotian Monarchy.
Luang Prabang's many splendid temples also offer insights into the country's spiritual traditions. Wat Xieng Thong, built in the 16th century, is considered the most magnificent in the city. You can marvel at its elegant architecture, intricate carvings, and stunning "Tree of Life" mosaic. Wat Sene, the "Temple of 1,000 Treasures," stands out with its bright red exterior and gold stenciling. Wat Visoun, dating back to 1513, is one of the oldest in the city and features the Watermelon Stupa.
At least one day should be spent visiting the natural attractions near the city. You can take a boat ride up the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. These are two linked caves filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. After, you can continue on to the famous Kuang Si Waterfall. The 50-meter-high falls are the most beautiful in Laos, and you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pristine pools after exploring the forest trails.
Plan to get up before dawn on at least one day. In a tradition unique to Laos, monks in saffron robes walk the streets every morning collecting alms. You can participate and accept blessings from the monks. Then, you can climb to the top of Mount Phousi to watch the sun rise over the city. Mount Phousi is a small hill in the heart of Luang Prabang. You can witness the beautiful panorama of the city, river, and surrounding landscapes from the top.
Vientiane Is the Must-Visit Destination: Plan for 2-3 Days
Vientiane is another must-visit place on a tour of Laos. The capital city is known for its relaxed atmosphere, historical sites, and cultural heritage. Plan to spend two or three days there and take in the city's highlights.
If you are transferring from Luang Prabang or just arriving in the country, you'll want to take it easy on the first day. After checking in at your hotel, you can relax at a riverside café or try some of the delicious street food while exploring a local market.
A full-day city tour has to include the iconic Pha That Luang. It is a golden stupa and the national symbol of Laos. The massive structure is surrounded by smaller temples and beautiful gardens. At the National History Museum, you can learn about the history and culture of Laos. Then, visit Wat Si Saket, one of the oldest surviving temples. It's famous for its thousands of Buddhist images, some dating back to the 16th century.
Pha That Luang, Vientiane
Touring Vientiane should also include climbing Patuxai, also known as Victory Gate. The monument commemorates the Laotian soldiers who fought for the country's independence. From the top, you can see beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Buddha Park, Xieng Kkuan, is also worth visiting. Located a short drive from Vientiane, the park has over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues, including a massive, reclining Buddha.
The Local Experience Shouldn't Be Missed for any of Laos Trip
Laos has many opportunities for a truly authentic local experience. Food is a big part of the culture there. Delicious specialties can be found in local markets and at street food stalls. Laap, a minced meat salad, khao soi, a noodle soup, and the many Mekong River fish dishes are all worth trying.
Traditional arts and crafts practices can be seen at artisan workshops and markets. Silk weaving, pottery, and silverware are among the traditional crafts that can be seen. Interested visitors can also take part, trying their hand at these or other activities such as bamboo weaving, rice planting, or traditional fishing methods.
Depending on when you visit, you might be able to take part in local festivals. Lao New Year, mid-April, the Rocket Festival in May, or the boat racing festivals held at the end of Buddhist Lent in October are great opportunities to participate in vibrant cultural experiences.
The Best Time to Visit Laos in 2024
When deciding the best time to visit Laos, you have to consider what kind of experience you are looking for. The most popular time to go is during the dry season, from November to February. The natural beauty of Laos is one of the big attractions, and the comfortable weather during this season makes it the best time for outdoor exploration. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20°c to 30°c, with low humidity.
The rainy season, from May to October, is the cheapest time to visit. Temperatures are hot, mostly between 25°c to 30°c, and the humidity can make it feel hotter. However, with fewer tourists traveling then, it is possible to find good deals on tours and hotels, and popular attractions are less crowded. The rain tends to come in short bursts, often in the late afternoon or early evening. You can get some good exploring done if you're up early.
April and November are the best times to enjoy traditional activities. Lao New Year, known as Pi Mai Lao, will be celebrated from April 13th to 16th in 2024. Celebrations take place all over the country, and visitors can participate in exciting water activities. On November 1st, 2024, Boun That Luang will be celebrated in Vientiane to honor the That Luang Stupa. The stupa is believed to house a relic of Buddha. During the festival, religious ceremonies and traditional performances are held. At the same time, the markets burst with food and drinks to tempt visitors.
More Tips for the Laos Trip
● Try the coffee while you're there. High-quality coffee is grown in Laos' fertile soil and has developed into a great coffee culture.
● The daily night market is the best place to shop for local crafts and souvenirs in Luang Prabang. In Vientiane, it's the morning market.
● Carry local currency, the Lao Kip, for small transactions or buying things in rural areas. US Dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted for larger transactions.
● Apply for the Laos e-visa in advance if traveling during the peak season. Peak season lines at immigration for the visa on arrival can be very long.
● Always use a local guide for exploring the jungle in remote areas. Their knowledge will help avoid any dangers, and they can help with communication in an emergency.
● Mosquitoes are a real problem in tropical countries like Laos. Use a mosquito repellent with DEET and sleep under a mosquito net whenever possible.
Laos is one of the few places offering a truly authentic cultural experience. In six days or a week, you can see the top attractions in the country. You can experience Laos' pristine natural environment, rich culture, and history. Contact us and our professional travel consultants are available anytime to help plan your Laos trip.
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