Although Laos is not a popular travel destination in comparison with its neighbor countries, Thailand and Vietnam, it is truly a stunningly beautiful, friendly and exciting country to be on top of every traveler’s list. Here are the next reasons why Laos is an ideal destination for your 2018 vacation.
City Pilar Festival
Phonsan Stupa Festival
In Borikhamxay Province, the Phonsan Stupa Festival takes place at the end of January. The festival celebrates this 1000-year-old stupa, which was named a provincial cultural heritage site in 2016. People come to gather and pray as well as see the Buddha’s footprint, where they make merit by putting gold leaf or money onto the print.
Laos is a majority Buddhist nation, and you can’t get very far without running into an intricately painted temple or wat. Some of the most ornate temples are in Luang Prabang, the former royal capital. Historic temples like That Luang and Wat Si Saket can be found in Vientiane. If you travel to Champasak Province in southern Laos, Wat Phou (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is worth a visit. The ancient Khmer temple ruins attracts thousands in the middle of the third lunar month for traditional dancing, sporting events and music.
The Nam Song in Vang Vieng is famous as a tubing hot spot. Rent a tractor tire inner tube and head upstream. Lazily float down the river and take in the beautiful karst mountains and lush green foliage. Join the party at any of a number of riverside bars for volleyball, beers, dancing and mingling with other tubers. When you’re ready to continue, jump back on your tube and away you go.
Laos has some of the most magnificent caves in Asia. Some are major tourist attractions, with restaurants and bamboo bungalows outside and laser lights and concrete walkways inside. Others are pitch black and filled with water. Visitors sit in a tube or ride in a boat through caves illuminated with headlamps. Some caves are pilgrimage locations and are filled with Buddhist statues and offerings.
Kapok Flower Festival
The Kapok Flower Festival, also known as Dok Ngiew, is held in Bokeo Province in February or March when the Kapok trees bloom. Over 10,000 people attend the festival annually, which takes place at Don Sao island in Ton Peung district. It includes market fairs, dancing, a beauty pageant, sporting events and parties. The festivities all take place near the colorful blossoms, which bloom on 40 hectares in Bokeo.
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