If you were to ask any backpackers who traveled through Southeast Asia, most of the time, you’ll never hear about Laos from them. This landlocked country sandwiched between Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and China is often skipped because of its lack of tourism promotion. But today, we’re gonna give this small country all the attention in this 1 week in Laos Itinerary, a 7 Days in Laos Travel Adventure.
Laos is the most heavily bombed country per capita in modern history, with over 2 million tons of bombs dropped by the United States during the Secret War. There are still a lot of remains of aftereffects from the war in the country. Don’t worry we’ll talk about that, read on.
We’ll start this Laos itinerary in Luang Prabang, as there’s an international airport here. From Luang Prabang, we’ll proceed down to Vang Vieng before arriving at the capital, Vientiane. Let’s dive in!
Laos Itinerary Day 1 – Luang Prabang
Getting To Your Accommodation
The main transportation in Laos is tuk-tuk. If you prefer to walk all the way from the airport, like me and my friends did, it will take an hourBut this one hour will give you an impression of the locals’ way of life in Laos. Luang Prabang is the cleanest town in Laos. Watch locals grilling their BBQ sticks after their work, kids cycling outside the road, dogs running around.
Everything seems peaceful here and kinda reminds me of how my parents’ lives were like decades ago.
Visit Royal Palace Museum
Built over a century ago, the Royal Palace was taken over by the government in 1975 and opened to the public as a museum in 1995.
The entrance fee to this museum is 30,000 Kip (around $3.75). No photographing allowed, all bags must be left outside in the lockers, no short pants and shoes allowed inside the building.
After your visit, don’t forget to see the Royal Cars Exhibition right beside the building. The entrance is free and you get to see the cars used by the officials in the past decades.
Watch Sunset In Mount Phousi
Mount Phousi is the best place in Luang Prabang to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, the only hours when visitors will hike up Mount Phousi is during the sunset hours. So you will have to squeeze with other visitors to enjoy the sunset.Plus, the peak itself isn’t big, so don’t expect too much or you might be let down. But rest assured that the sunset view on Mount Phousi is out of this world.The entrance fee to Mount Phousi is 20,000 Kip ($2.50). My advice is to visit around 5 pm to secure your spot at the edge of the peak before more visitors come up.Dinner In Luang Prabang Night Market
Luang Prabang Night Market is the largest night market in Laos after Vientiane night market. Every day at 5 pm, the street instantly got sealed off and the night market becomes alive.
Looking for gifts and souvenirs? You can definitely get them here, there are so many choices that’ll leave you unable to decide. But if you’re visiting Vientiane soon, I recommend buying your souvenirs there instead, because it’s cheaper in Vientiane.he highlight of Luang Prabang Night Market is the variety of food. Most of the street foods are grilled meat sticks and smoked meats. And it’s surprisingly cheaper than I expected.If you’re a vegan, no worries. There are a few stalls of vegetarian buffets at only 20,000 Kip per person.pSend at least one full night here to take everything in.
Day 2 – Luang Prabang
Watch The Morning Alms Giving Ceremony
The traditional Buddhist morning Alms Giving Ceremony, also known as Tak Bat is one of the holiest ceremonies in Buddhist culture. It takes place every morning as soon as the sun rises in the morning.
It’s a ceremony where monks from every temple walk into the streets, collecting foods for the day from the public. However, it’s recently abused by foreigners, so know the rules if you’re planning a visit. Ask your hostel manager if you’re not sure.
Watch the ceremony from a distance, and never use flash photography.
Hike In Kuang Si Falls
Kuang Si Falls is the most famous attraction in Luang Prabang. Located 40 minutes from the town by tuk-tuk, Kuang Si Falls will cost you around 200,000 Kip for a return trip.
Alternatively, you can rent a bike for 80,000 Kip per day and ride it there, with fuel excluded. I wouldn’t recommend renting a motorbike here because it’s much more expensive compared to other towns.
The entrance fee is 20,000 Kip per person. Right after the entrance, you’ll pass by a bear sanctuary, where the bears are rescued from ‘bile farms’. Feel free to contribute by buying the merchandises or donating in the donation boxes.
You’re allowed to swim in Kuang Si Falls, so don’t forget your swimwear. The tiffany-blue water will draw out your urge to swim. Changing rooms are provided on site as well.
On the way back, stop by at the Buffalo Dairy Farm and buy their ice cream! You’ll love it I promise.Relaxing In Utopia Bar & Restaurant
Utopia Bar & Restaurant is the most famous place for backpackers to escape to the crowd, while hungry for a drink.
It’s also the best place to meet other fellow travelers too. The environment is so quiet and close-to-nature, that you could literally spend a whole afternoon here reading your favorite book.
It’s open from 8 am to 11.30 pm every day. Pretty hardcore working hours, huh?
Have your dinner here and head to the night market for the second round of amazing street foods!