Holidays in Laos will take you to one of the most timeless, undiscovered and mystical destinations in Southeast Asia. From the architectural wonders of Luang Prabang and the capital Vientiane to the dense tropical jungles of the national parks and the relaxed southern islands, the country offers visitors a kaleidoscope of adventures accompanied by a genuine warmth and charm.
If you’re a first time visitor to Laos, then the UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang is an unmissable highlight. This charming city stands at the meeting point of the Nam Khan River and Mekong River. Luang Prabang’s architecture bears the influence of Laos’ French colonial past, which is juxtaposed with soaring Buddhist temples. Its tree-lined avenues are a hive of activity day and night; the scent of khao piak sen (rice noodle soup) and green papaya serve as an intoxicating beacon to feast on the delightful cuisine. At night you can rest your head in one of the many fabulous boutique hotels that are continually springing up in the former French mansions.
Laos holidays: the original Shangri-La
Just over 200 miles south of Luang Prabang is the timeless capital of Vientiane. You’ll quickly notice that the historic centre is dominated by serene Buddhist monasteries. In the sprawling streets your gaze will fall on colourful temples and the repurposed remnants of the colonial era. Nearby you can explore vast Pha That Luang, a stunning Hindu temple with an incredible history. As evening falls take a stroll down to the waterfront night market and feast on traditional Laotian delicacies like laap (a meat salad) and tam mak hoong (green papaya salad).
In the north of Laos are hill villages where you can witness the daily life that has remained unchanged for thousands of years. At Muang Sing you can become immersed in the cultyres of the Ikhor and Lantern Hill tribes. This is where you can discover the unique culture, language and traditions of the ancient residents of the region. Take a trip down to Southern Laos, where you can marvel at wild highlands, experience spectacular waterfalls, or charter a boat along the Mekong River to catch a glimpse of the elusive Irrawaddy dolphin.
Great sample itineraries
Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Laos holidays. With so many options for your tailor-made Laos holiday package, we recommend you talk to one of our Destination Specialists to make the perfect tailor made holiday just for you. Laos is in the centre of the Southeast Asian trail, bordering China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Experience the influence of these wildly differing cultures as you tour Laos.
Luxury Laos Tour
Mekong Luxury River Cruise
Our favorite hotels
Let us help you find the perfect accommodation in Laos. Explore our selection of luxury Laos hotels; from all-inclusive luxury options to uniquely boutique accommodation.
Best time to visit Laos
October and April is the best time to visit Laos as temperatures are warm but not oppressive - generally between 20°C and 30°C - and rainfall is low. The monsoon season is from May through to October. However, this rainfall tends to be intermittent and leaves vibrant greenery in its wake and is a much quieter time to visit. If you do choose to visit Laos in the monsoon then be sure to bring your raincoat for these occasional rain spells.
- Best Weather
- Good Weather
- Average Weather
Average Weather in January
Average Weather in February
Average Weather in March
Average Weather in April
Average Weather in May
Average Weather in June
Average Weather in July
Average Weather in August
Average Weather in September
Average Weather in October
Average Weather in November
Average Weather in December
“Laos travel is all about taking your time. It’s ideal if you’re looking to slow down and immerse yourself in the country's diverse and fascinating cultural heritage.”
“Take advantage of Laos' stunning natural beauty with an active, outdoor adventure - choose whether to explore by bicycle, hiking, kayaking, ziplining, or simply cruising the rivers and backwaters.”
“Laos is a hidden wonder of the Far East and is overlooked by many. What I loved most about this fascinating country was the authentic Asian traditions, as well as the unspoilt towns and villages.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Laos holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Pi Mi Lao Festival
Pi Mi Lao Festival takes place annually in April and is a New Year festival that is meant to last three days but can go on for as long as a week. This is a time when Laotians clean their homes, bathe Buddha statues and splash each other with water to purify and cleanse their souls. Why not visit Buddhist temples to see the festival in action?
Luang Prabang Boat Racing Festival
Luang Prabang Boat Racing Festival takes place in the month of August of September each year. Residents take to the Nam Khan River in hand-carved boats that are manned by up to 50 paddlers in a frantic race to the finish. As these sacred boats pass they are cheered on by the crowds on the bank enjoying the markets and music that accompany the event.
Boun Ok Phansa
Boun Ok Phansa is a religious festival held in October, which marks the end of Buddhist Lent, and the end of the rainy season. The atmosphere is electric, as candle-lit processions move through the streets and colourful floats drift down the Mekong River.
Boat Racing Festival Vientiane
In the days after the Boun Ok Phansa celebrations in October, the people of Vientiane, Champasak and Savannakhet hold their own Boat Racing Festival in Vientiane. These boat races celebrate the importance of the Mekong River within the community.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Laos holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
Khao niao, or sticky rice is the mainstay of the Laotian diet. The rice si typically steamed in a wicker basket and flavoured with herbs and spices like galangal, ginger and chilli. This dish is deceptively simple but incredibly delicious.
Depending on who you ask, this delicate minced pork salad is Laos’ national dish. The meat is spiced with mint, lime juice and powerful chilli pepper. Laap is served cold and is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day.
Our Laos destinations
You might also like these
We think you might also like to take a look at these destinations. If you'd like some advice, our Destination Specialists will be able to find something that is right for you.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.
How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.