Often referred to as the Backwater of South East Asia, Laos has a charm all its own. Calmness, peacefulness and tranquillity come with all this and visitors to the ‘Land of a Million Elephants’ always get a unique experience.
Vientiane’s charm is that is doesn’t have the frenetic feel of a capital city. With quiet French cafés and friendly bars, it is an easy place to get around and the locals are always up for a chat. Follow the Mekong River and meander upcountry to get into the heart of Laos. Meet the colourful ethnic minority hill tribe people and experience their village lifestyle. See the monks as they go about collecting alms on their morning walk around the streets of historic Luang Prabang, with its proliferation of temples and monasteries.
Laos offers something very different and yet memorable, with its incredible remoteness and sheer sense of timelessness.
Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, remarkably well-preserved townscape illustrates a key stage in the blending of these two distinct cultural traditions.
It was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom until King Phothisarat moved the administrative seat to Vientiane in 1545. There are Royal Places and over 30 temples to explore.
A luxury boutique hotel set on 14,000 squre metres of lush and tropical gardens with great mountain views where you can enjoy the cool breeze while having a drink in the colonial 1861 bar before perhaps moving to the restaurant La Belle Epoque to indulge in Laotian or French inspired cuisine which features produce from the hotel’s own organic garden.
Accommodations are spread out within five pavilions holding 20 pioneer suites and the main residence comprising 4 Explorator suites.
Vientiane is the laid-back capital of Laos that has a wonderfully mixed heritage (Khmer, Lao, Thia and more recently French) and as a result it’s architecture is an assortment of French colonial architecture Buddhist temples. Along broad boulevards and tree-lined streets are notable shrines including Wat Si Saket and Wat Si Muang. Many bakeries, cafes and villas seem straight out of 19th-century Paris.
The ‘city of Sandalwood’ (the original meaning of Vientiane) was originally an early Khmer settlement where a Hindu temple was built, now the site of Pha That Luang.
Surrounded by gardens on an historic garden estate, Amantaka’s suites draw on Luang Prabang’s ancient Buddhist heritage to offer peaceful sanctuaries close to nature. Entered via a courtyard through louvered doors, Suites have high wooden ceilings, large windows and four-poster king-size beds. All offer outdoor living areas and a number include private swimming pools
In Luang Prabang, the Boat Racing Festival is held in August, whilst in Vientiane it is held the day after the End of Buddhist Lent.
Traditional racing boats are carved using one single tree. The boats holding up to fifty paddlers belong to a village and are usually kept in a shelter on the temple grounds and come out once a year to race. Mornings are devoted to women’s crews, afternoons to men’s crews.
Top class design and the finest facilities. Usually located in a spectacular setting it may be an exclusive hotel in a meticulously restored historic building, or recognised as the leading property of an international chain.
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao
Luang Prabang, Laos
A perfect alternative to the big brand hotels:
exclusive and independently-owned properties with a smaller number of rooms and highly personalised services.
Salana Boutique Hotel
High quality with an excellent room standard, a full range of facilities and first-rate service; may be a new property or regularly refurbished with attention to ongoing maintenance.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Malaria is a risk factor in some parts of rural Laos and you should discuss with your Travel Doctor if prophylaxis is recommended.
Vaccinations are advised for common diseases like Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid as well as Influenza. Japanese encephalitis may also be a risk for some travellers.
We advise you to consult a Travel Doctor specialist prior to departure to assess these risks in relation to your medical history and travel plans.
High Season – November to March
This is the best time to visit most of Laos. The countryside is green and lush after the rains. The weather is pleasant during these months although it can be cold in the mountains. Temperatures start to climb in February. If planning to visit over the Christmas and New Year period you should book your arrangements early as it can be very busy.
Shoulder Season – July and August
During the shoulder season it is wet in most parts of Laos with high humidity however the landscapes are a spectacular emerald green. Laos is popular at this time for tourists who visit from Europe during their summer break.
Low Season – April to June plus September and October
April and May brings the hot season to Laos when temperatures can reach 40°C. The rains begin in May and September and October can be very wet. Road travel in Laos can be particularly difficult during the wet season.
We have access to a wide range of airfares and have excellent relationships with our key airline partners. Our two main airline partners in Asia are Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines. With hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore respectively both airlines are well positioned to provide a quality service from Australia to all major destinations in Asia.
There are limited flight options from Australia to Laos. We normally suggest using the services of Thai Airways International who have regular flights from the Thai capital into Laos.
Irrespective of whether you book directly with us or with your preferred travel agent, we’ll want to know the details of all of your fights. Flight times regularly change and, if or when they do, we want to make sure your transfers and other arrangements are amended accordingly.