Laos is still a largely undiscovered gem, with incredible jungles, mountain valleys, waterfalls and high altitude plateaus. It’s a departure from the mainstream and provides travelers with wonderfully rugged escapes into pristine nature and contact with incredibly friendly locals.
Here, travelers can enjoy mountain adventures in the north, explorations of cultural relics in the center, and more leisure and soft adventure escapes in the south. Along the way, the ethnic diversity and warm smiles from local communities here are guaranteed to inspire and move travelers.
The north of Laos is the true adventure escape of the country, with jungle-clad mountains and picturesque scenes that make any challenging cycling or trekking tour especially worth the while. It is also a place of wonderful ethnic diversity, home to humble and friendly tribes like the Hmong, Mon, Kamous, and more. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- Mountainous terrain ideal for challenging cycling and trekking adventures.
- Dense forests home to a wonderful variety of wildlife and eco-tourism infrastructure perfectly suited to nature lovers.
- Ethnic tribes are scattered throughout the landscapes, and colorfully-attired locals warmly welcome guests, allowing insight into life in the rural countryside.
As one moves to the center of Laos, the landscape changes, with towering karst mountains, dense jungles and braided river channels characterizing the environment. Here travelers will discover even more wildlife, explore hidden caves and perhaps come across the fascinating Plain of Jars, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- Challenging hikes and cycles are accentuated by an incredible biodiversity and emerald green jungles.
- The vast bodies of water are ideal for fun kayaking excursions.
Laos’ southern region brings travelers to the higher altitude Bolaven Plateau, which provides slightly cooler climates and a rich mix of ethnic minorities with a sprinkling of coffee plantations and waterfalls. Travelers will also discover the mighty Mekong River, the famous 4000 islands and Khmer temple ruins of Vat Pou in Champasak. What makes this region so great for active travel?
- With its gentler terrain, the south is ideally suited for soft adventure seekers interested in unhurried explorations of natural and ancient sites.
- In the Mekong and its 4000 islands region, languorous cycling activities and tours can be easily combined with relaxing riverside crossings.
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After university Matt saved up enough money for a one-way flight from the UK to Southeast Asia, and he hasn’t looked back since. He is a true outdoor enthusiast, and loves daring pursuits like rock climbing, mountaineering, slack-lining and challenging long-distance cycles. At Easia Active he’s able to incorporate his adventurous lifestyle with a career in tourism, and he loves discovering off-the-beaten-track places and creating unique and inspiring adventure products.
He recommends Laos especially for single-day hikes and multi-day trekking, and the northern mountainous region for challenging cycling tours. He says what makes Laos particularly special is its raw, authentic atmosphere and the warmth of local communities and ethnic minorities you meet on your journey. While travelers can challenge themselves here physically, Laos is also a wonderfully exotic destination for adventure enthusiasts. On his own inspection trips he’s discovered mystical jungles, abandoned temples, hidden caves and amazing secret viewpoints.
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