The limestone caves, dense forests and endless waterways of Laos make it a destination that many tourists will leave their country to go and experience. It is not for nothing that this destination is known as the ‘land of a million elephants’. The trails are unbeaten and offer an unforgettable adventure for travelers eager to explore corners of Asia that many people do not know to exist. It is not just the scenery that will leave you breathless – the activities that are open to travelers are epic and will leave even the faint-hearted yearning for more. Are you up for a trip to Laos? You should be because the following activities are waiting for you.
Kayaking at the Four Thousand Islands
When people visit the Four Thousand Islands (Si Phan Don), many only look forward to spending some laid back time in a hammock. Well, nothing wrong with this but the Mekong stretch has much more to offer. For a break from relaxing, try the archipelago spot famous for kayaking. Beginners can start by paddling the gentle waters before they proceed to greater challenges. While at it, keep your eyes open for the stunning riverbank scenery and do not pass on any opportunity to make stops at villages and islands. The lucky ones even get to spot the Irrawaddy dolphin which is an endangered species.
Climbing up limestone karsts
Laos is a hub for climbers and the favorite spot for most people in Vang Vieng. This destination boasts of more than 200 routes that beginners will find manageable and exciting. The marked routes will give climbers a sense of accomplishment while the bolted routes offer a thrill that only seasoned climbers can identify with. For more thrills around climbing, Tha Khaek, located in central Laos is a spot that travelers can participate in a climbing camp. All this happens at the bottom of some stunning karsts that climbers of every level will find thrill navigating.
Ziplining over the primal forest
Northern Laos is reserved for tourists who are out for a thrilling adventure. The unique experience is derived from literary flying through the forest. Ziplines at this location are set at distances of up to 500m. Well, this is no experience for the fainthearted because the high speeds will propel you through nature at record-high speeds. A trip to the primal forest is not complete until one has spent the night in one of the treehouses. It is even more exciting to learn that the only way to access the treehouses is through a zipline. The surrounding forest is home to the Gibbon and whether you have ziplined before or not, doing it here conserves their natural habitat. Tiger scat is in this place for you to sidestep but even more fun is plucking leeches that lurch on the skin.
Exploring ruins of the ancient Khmer temple
Have you ever admired the character of Indiana Jones or Lara Croft? Then, Wat Phu, Khmer temple ruins will be the stage of a most exciting adventure. The temples and palaces in the ruins are still crumbling and adventure seekers will love to explore. It is for the wonders of the Wat Phu that the Unesco has named it as a world heritage site. Free of large crowds most times of the year, a visit to this destination is best concluded with a spa treatment or open-air cinema.
Trekking the ‘100 waterfalls’
Nong Khiaw was until 2008 a sleepy village in the northern part of Laos. Kayaking and trekking now make up for most of the activity that takes place here since it was discovered. The 100 waterfalls hike involves going up a series of falls with the water at the level of the shins. An activity that is best suited for a hot day in Laos, travelers grapple at ropes to support them against the water current as they splash through the water stream.
Boating in a 7km limestone cave
Most people to Laos will forget some of the places they visited but not the Tham Kong Lo cave. Hidden inside the central Lao wilderness, the cave is as inspiring as it is forbidding. For 7km, the only cave covers bat hanging sites and webs of spiders that prey on birds. The only and best way through the cave is a boat ride but be forewarned that most of the trip will be in total darkness with only the sound of the paddle is it parts the water. For those who still have room for more thrills, there is a halfway stop where visitors can soak in the wonderful scenery of stalactites.
Cycling through the country
This is a great way to pass time on lazy days in Laos and is a deal for the group as well as solo cycling. It is a great way to meet the locals, interact with the countryside and access remote places. Most routes frequented by tourists have bikes for hire but the most active trails are Luang Luang Prabang, Udomxai, Namtha, and Vientiane.
You may also like to know about The World’s Most Pleasant Countries to Travel to This Year
Best times to visit Laos
It is always a good time to visit Laos because the destinations has activities all year round; the dry season is from November to February and is best for cycling and trekking, the very hot season is from March to May and this time is ideal for caving while the Wet season that happens from June to October is best for activities like rafting and kayaking.
The government of Laos is out to grow the tourism sector here and that is why their visa application process has been made easier than for other destinations. Without the need to go through an embassy or consulate, visitors wishing to tour Laos can now apply for an eVisa which they will receive in a few days. If from India, the visitor should apply for the visa at least 7 days before the date of the intended travel. The laos e visa for Indian pass allows single entry into the country through Wattay International Airport or Lao Thai Friendship Bridge I.