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Things to do in Laos

Our most recommended things to do in Laos

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls Cruise

1. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls Cruise

Enjoy a private or shared group boat tour to the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfalls departing from Luang Prabang. You will be picked up at your accommodation and travel straight to the pier. Hop onboard a long tail boat for a relaxing journey aong the Mekong River. Enjoy the views from the water as you pass by local villages and fishing communities. After the first hour and a bit, the boat makes its first short stop at the popular Ban Xang Hai, also known as ‘the whiskey village’. Explore the village, see the process of making Lao Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey, and taste the finished product. Continue by boat traveling slowly along the Mekong in the direction of the glorious Pak Ou Caves. Arrive at a small boat landing dock where stairs lead you straight up to the cave. These limestone Buddhist caves have been a place of worship for thousands of years, over this time a collection of Buddha statues and idols have filled these spiritual natural caves Enter the Ou River to visit the limestone cliffs. Then, after a 30-minute boat ride down the Mekong River, arrive at Manifa Elephant Camp for lunch. Enjoy a full buffet-style lunch at the restaurant overlooking the Mekong river and free-roaming elephants. After lunch break, travel by car to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. Enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the three-layered Kuang Si Waterfalls. Walk the trails of the nature reserve and swim in the refreshing turquoise water pools and visit the bear rescue center. Depart for Luang Prabang, with a short stop at Ban Na Uan Hmong village on the way. Return to the city with drop-off at your hotel.

Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

2. Vang Vieng: Kayaking & Cave Tubing with Zip Line/Blue Lagoon

Start your full-day adventure with pickup from your hotel in Vang Vieng and join a 6-mile ride north to Ban Vieng Samai, the kayak starting point. Your kayaking guide will provide you with paddling instructions before you set off downstream on Nam Song River. On the journey, glide over many small rapids and enjoy the scenery of the incredible mountain karts along both sides of the river. Then, take a break from your kayaking tour with a visit to Tham Nam Cave. Tube inside the marvelous, 1,640-foot-long cave, dragging yourself with the help of a fixed rope. Take some time to enjoy a picnic lunch and then hop back on your kayak, paddling until you reach the center of Vang Vieng. Afterwards, you will have the choice to either be transferred back to your hotel, or to participate in activities such as zip lining and swimming in the Blue Lagoon 1. Before the zip line experience, your guide will walk you through instructions and safety training. Fly 4,440 feet over the green forest and river. The journey consists of 7 lines, 12 platforms, and 2 bridges. The Blue Lagoon 1 is one of the most famous locations in the city. Sit back and relax or jump in the natural pool to cool down. After your fun day out, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Vang Vieng in the evening.

Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

3. Vientiane: Private Full-day Must-See Sights & Sunset Tour

In the morning, get picked up by your guide and head to Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest surviving Buddhist temple. The temple is famous for its cloister wall that houses more than 6,800 Buddha icons of all sizes. You may also be able to witness the many locals that come to pray in the morning, enlightening you to traditions of the area. Stop at Wat Prakeo, which once held the Emerald Buddha and now functions as a museum, and the Patuxay Monument, a symbol of the country's resilience and independence, to learn of Laos' complex history. Take time to lunch before walking through Vientiane's laid-back streets, enjoying the refreshingly easygoing atmosphere of the capital. Pass through a number of gorgeous temples before arriving at Talad Sao, Vientiane's central market. With two distinct areas, a modern shopping mall and the sprawling original market, Talad Sao offers an abundance of treasures for you to discover. Bring your day to a stunning conclusion by heading to the Mekong River, where the sun paints the water in brilliant orange hues as it sets below the horizon.

Luang Prabang: Countryside Mountain Bike Tour with Lunch

4. Luang Prabang: Countryside Mountain Bike Tour with Lunch

This mountain bike trip combines great cycling with the chance to discover authentic Lao rural life. Leave the beaten path and find your own adventure outside of town. Get geared up and ride out of town along the Mekong River. After crossing the old communist bridge, make a stop to visit Xieng Lek Village, famous for its mulberry paper and weaving. Follow the Nam Xuang River past villages before offroading into the countryside, up and down hills, past rice paddies and local villages. Ride through vast rice paddies and Lao Leum, Hmong, and Khmu villages with locals tending to the daily activities of Lao agrarian life. The last leg of the ride will take you along the Nam Khan River. Before entering Luang Prabang City enter the beautiful Wat Phon Phao, with its huge golden stupa and an incredible view overlooking all of Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang: Private Sunset Cruise and Hot Pot Dinner

5. Luang Prabang: Private Sunset Cruise and Hot Pot Dinner

Enjoy the best views of Luang Prabang at sunset on a private cruise on the Mekong River. Experience a traditional tuk-tuk ride, sail along the Mekong, and enjoy a delicious hot pot dinner. After getting picked up from your hotel by tuk-tuk, head to the boat jetty behind the Royal Palace and set sail for a 2-hour cruise along the Mekong River. Listen to your local guide explain the history of the Mekong and its residents as you sail. Drinks and snacks are available to purchase. The cruise is timed to catch the sunset, so you can relax on the boat terrace and take in views of the sun setting behind Luang Prabang and Chompet. You can also have your photo taken by the guide. After dusk, return to land and hop back on the tuk-tuk for a quick drive to your dinner venue, Sin Dat Hot Pot and Barbecue Restaurant. Have fun cooking your own meal for dinner as the locals do before getting dropped off back at your hotel in the evening.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls Kayak Tour

6. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls Kayak Tour

Discover Laos' varied and scenic landscapes on this guided tour. After getting picked up from your hotel in Luang Prabang, head north to the Nam Ou Riverside where you will begin your kayak tour. This is an easy river for kayaking where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the tranquil countryside and see naturally-formed limestone cliffs.  Kayak your way towards Pak Ou, where you will visit the famous Pak Ou Caves – 2 linked caves crammed with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims. Enjoy a guided tour of the caves before starting the second section of your kayak on the Mekong River. Paddle down the Mekong for 30 minutes to reach your lunch destination. Sit down to a delicious buffet lunch as you admire breathtaking views of the Mekong. After lunch, continue to the Kuang Si Falls and enjoy some free time to explore these unique 3-layered falls. You could go for a walk through the trails of the surrounding nature trails, take a dip in the refreshing turquoise water pools or pay a visit to the bear rescue center. Finally, begin the journey back to Luang Prabang. Stop at Ban Na Uan hmong village and get the chance to experience Hmong village life, meet some of the local people and see their traditional embroidery crafts. Get dropped off back at your hotel at the end of the day.

Half-Day Nam Song River Kayak Tour with Zipline or Tham None

7. Half-Day Nam Song River Kayak Tour with Zipline or Tham None

Start your half-day trip with pickup from your accommodation in Vang Vieng city center and transfer to the kayak starting point. Before kayaking experience begins, your guide will give you the basic paddle instructions and some history about the mighty Nam Song river. Glide over many small rapids and enjoy the scenery of the incredible mountain peaks along both sides of the river. Apart from the kayaking experience, you can also choose to partake in either the zip-lining experience or Tham Nam None cave tubing. If you choose the zip line option, you’ll experience the green forest canopy that covers the mountains on the side of the river. Make your way along a stream down to the zip line at the Tham None river bank. Take a short trek up to the hut on Phar None (sleeping wall). This is a great location for taking pictures of the surrounding mountains, and has a beautiful view of the Nam Song river. Get strapped in and take an exciting zip line ride flying over the green forest and river below. There are 6 lines in total for you to enjoy. If you choose the Tham Nam None Cave option, you can explore the secluded cave that served as a place of refuge for people caught up in the chaos of the Indochina Wars. Making your way into the cave by an inflatable tube, pull on a rope to reach the walking point where you’ll see many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Bike Ride & Long-Tail Boat Cruise

8. Luang Prabang: Kuang Si Bike Ride & Long-Tail Boat Cruise

Get picked up from your hotel in Luang Prabang in the morning. Choose a great bike at the local partner's bike shop in Luang Prabang before setting off on a scenic, 30-kilometer paved-road ride along the Mekong River to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfall. Enjoy the medium-grade ride which lasts 2-3 hours with some hills, making several stops to explore the local villages along the way. When you arrive, marvel at Kuang Si Waterfall which spans a large area through some of the lushest jungle around Luang Prabang. Explore the easy walking trails which wind past numerous pools and water cascades where you can relax and swim. Enjoy a provided lunch at the waterfall as you soak up the scenic views and tranquil atmosphere. Make use of the small private changing rooms near the waterfall allowing you to change into your swimming suit. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall. After plenty of recreation time at the waterfall, hop back onto the bikes for a fun downhill ride to the Mekong River. Then, board a long-tail boat for a 1.5-2 hour scenic cruise up the Mekong River back to Luang Prabang. Finally, ride the short distance back to the bike shop to wrap up a great day.

Vang Vieng: Half-Day Zip Lining with Cave Exploration Option

9. Vang Vieng: Half-Day Zip Lining with Cave Exploration Option

Experience the green forest canopy that covers the mountains on the side of the river. Make your way along a stream down to the zip line at the Tham None river bank. Get strapped in and take an exciting zip line ride over the green forest and river below. There are 6 lines in total for you to enjoy. Before the zip line experience, your guide will walk you through the instructions and safety training. Fly 4,440 feet over beautiful landscape.  You can also choose an option to upgrade your journey by visiting Tham Nam None Cave during this half-day tour. If you choose the Tham Nam None Cave option, you can explore the secluded cave that served as a place of refuge for people caught up in the chaos of the Indochina Wars. Make your way into the cave on an inflatable innertube and pull on a rope to reach the walking point  to see many beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

10. Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves & Kuang Si Falls Day Trip

Visit the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Waterfall on a full-day tour, with a scenic drive up and down the length of the Mekong River. Start with early morning pickup and relax on the 40-minute drive to Pak Ou Village. Admire locally-produced crafts, before crossing the mighty Mekong River in a small boat to the base of a limestone cliff. Enter the impressive Pak Ou Caves, filled with Buddhist statues and relics. Take your time to explore this incredible place, scented with burning incense and overlooking the impressive landscape. Climb a winding set of stairs, grab a flashlight, and find another fascinating cave to visit. After enjoying the caves, stop for lunch at the base of the caves. Cross back over the water and drive downriver for 1.5 hours, to reach the famous Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop at the popular Whiskey Village along the way, to sample local Lao Lao. Admire the rushing turquoise waters of the falls, surrounded by beautiful jungle scenery. Visit the bear sanctuary while there. We drop you back in Luang Prabang where your tour ends.

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What people are saying about Laos

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 200 reviews

Great package to be able to get an early morning head-start of some of the town's most popular sites and scenes BEFORE the crowds. Our guide MisterPon was so much fun, and most informative. We enjoyed history, culture, craft, daily life, hiking....and FOOD!!! Highly recommend as an excellent primer to the beautiful town of Luang Prabang.

Hosts were really polite and professional - they checked in with me beforehand to coordinate things, and the entire experience was so well-run. It was an excellent look into Lao culture, and I highly recommend it. The only area for improvement would be to mosquito-proof the area, but insect repellent helped.

A fun experience! That said, there are numerous tour operators within Vang Vieng itself offering similar programmes, so you can either opt to book on the spot or pre-book with this vendor.

Brilliant day out. Loved the guides and had great fun kayaking with Pip! Thanks guys

Waterfall and boat trip are excellent, be prepared for a long minibus journey