Walking holidays in Laos

Despite having the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most bombed countries during the Vietnam War, Laos has left its troubled past behind. Nowadays it flies the flag for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, eco-tourism adventures, and cultural encounters. It might just be Southeast Asia’s most authentic destination, too. There are places here where rice is still harvested by hand and the oxen cart remains the favoured mode of transport. 

Ancient Wonders

UNESCO-listed Luang Prabang has lots to love – not least its gilded Buddhist temples, impressive palace, and compact size. Former seat of the Kingdom of Laos, the Royal Palace was built by the French in 1904 and gives a glimpse into Laos’ late-19th century colonial period. It’s also home to the Laotian crown jewels. Then there’s Wat Xieng Thong, the city’s best-known monastery, where early risers will be rewarded with scenes of orange-robed monks praying at the shrine’s ornate pagodas.

Natural wonders

Luang Prabang’s setting’s not bad either. Surrounded by green mountains and the banks of the Mekong River, it serves as a gateway to some standout experiences. Though Laos is landlocked, its jungle-covered countryside more than makes up for a lack of coastline. Carpeted in vast swathes of untouched tropical forest, Laos is home to six species of gibbon and rare flowers like the bamboo orchid.

Hikes through pristine rural lowlands and rice paddies in the central part of the country offer walkers the opportunity to refresh themselves in the jade pools of Kuang Si waterfall and meet the Hmong hill tribe people – an ethnic group known for their colourful dress, customs, and distinct language. There’s also the chance to spot wild freshwater dolphins during cruises on the Mekong River and see rescued bears at a sanctuary for endangered species. 

Experience Southeast Asia’s best-kept secret on an HF Holidays multi-centre guided walking and sightseeing holiday to Laos and Cambodia. 

Featured holidays

Laos & Cambodia Uncovered