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A popular Asian holiday destination is Vietnam; there is a lot to explore in the country and it has a rich history. It’s also home to just about every holiday experience you could want because there’s so much variety there. Vietnam is so great, in fact, that many overlook Laos; a country just next to Vietnam that is just as spectacular. If you’re going to Vietnam or considering if you should go to Vietnam or Laos, then the answer is to do both with a combined holiday. Here’s a look at what you can expect when taking a vacation to Vietnam and Laos.
The capital city of Laos may not be as remarkable as cities such as Luang Prabang, but it is refreshingly peaceful and a great place to just relax and watch as life goes by. If you’re a fan of relaxing and watching people go about their lives, then settle yourself into a café and watch the city move around you.
The aforementioned Luang Prabang is an absolute must-stop if you’re visiting Laos. It’s a beautiful city filled with old-style houses and incredible pagodas. Not to mention all the fresh air. Enjoy the tranquil surroundings or witness the awesome force of nature by taking a trip to the Kuang Si Waterfalls. The city is also the place to be to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Laos. There are night markets during the evenings where you can pick up unique handcrafted goods and authentic local food.
Wat Xieng Thong is the most well-known Buddhist temple in Laos, found in Luang Prabang. The monastery has low sweeping roofs and a stunning “Tree of Life” mosaic set on the western exterior wall. There are some smaller chapels in the area including the HŏrƉąiPha Sai-nyàat, which features a rare reclining Buddha.
To learn more about the history of Laos, in particular what happened to the country during the Second Indochina War, then you should pay a visit to the UXO Laos Information Centre. UXO is short for “Unexploded Ordnance” as many bombs and mines remain in the old battlegrounds. The problem is so bad that many Laos people are still injured and killed by them even forty years later.
To experience more of the natural beauty of Laos take a trip to the Green Jungle Park. There is a café, a flower garden, and some natural swimming pools to enjoy besides the natural beauty. There are also plans to establish an organic produce market, and even an area for watching ex-logging elephants socialise. The park is a relaxing boat ride and short taxi journey away from Luang Prabang.
As beautiful as Vietnam is, the best way to enjoy your time there is to combine it with a trip to nearby Laos. Take the chance to immerse yourself in another country and culture, and see what Asia really has to offer.