Phonsavan is the capital of Xiangkhouang Province in Laos. The name means “hills of paradise”. Though it is a small city, there is plenty to learn about in terms of history and culture and the surrounding areas offer beautiful landscapes as well as plenty of outdoor activities.
Bolaven Plateau Waterfalls
Not to be mistaken with the Bolaven Plateau of Southern Laos, these falls offer a beautiful and tranquil place to relax. Come here for an afternoon and swim in the falls or enjoy a picnic with friends and family. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, so it can give you some insight into the lives of some of the people that live in the north of Laos.
Plain of Jars
The Plain of Jars is exactly what it sounds like — a vast expanse of land, scattered with ancient stones in the shape of jars. No one knows where they came from which makes the mysterious phenomenon even more worth the visit!
UXO Survivor Information Centre
Today, decades after America stopped bombing Laos, the repercussions of the bombings are still heavily affecting the Laotian people. Take a visit to the UXO Survivor Information Centre to learn more about the UXOs and their effect on the country and what you can do to help.
A lovely little town on the banks of the Nam Ou River, Nong Khiaw is surrounded by beautiful mountains and landscapes. It makes the perfect homebase as you set on outdoor adventures in the surrounding areas.
100 Waterfalls Trek
Starting in Nong Khiaw, trek along this beautiful trail that was historically used by locals to travel between settlements but was only discovered by tourists very recently! Along the way you will pass a great number of gorgeous falls of cascading water that give the trek its name.
Ban Sop Houn
Hike two hours, starting in Nong Khiaw and ending at the Ban Sop Houn viewpoint that overlooks the small town and the surrounding areas. The trail can be difficult, especially if it is muddy, so wear proper attire. The gorgeous view at the end make it absolutely worth it!
During the American bombings in Laos in the mid-late 20th century, these caves were used by villages and Pathet Lao soldier as a place to seek shelter and hide. The people survived the bombings due to the remote location of the caves in the surrounding mountains. Come visit the caves to learn more.
The Nam Ou River
The Nam Ou is one of the most important rivers in Laos as it serves along the Mekong River as one of the only two rivers in Laos that are suitable to transport large boats. There are plenty of water-related activities to do on the river as well as plenty of small towns on the riverbanks for travelers to visit.
No trip to Laos is complete without a river cruise on one of the many rivers located in this beautiful country. Cruise along the flowing waters and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Most cruises also stop in local villages which gives travelers a glimpse into the lives of the people that live along the rivers.
Stay with a family in one of the riverside or mountain villages along the Nam Ou River. Learn about their traditions and customs and the influence that the river has on their daily lives. Enjoy traditional home-cooked meals and become a part of the community for the duration of your stay. Truly a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed!
Instead of taking a cruise, choose the more adventurous option! Grab a life jacket, grab a kayak, grab a friend, and hit the waters! Paddle your way along the beautiful river, taking plenty of time to drift aimlessly and enjoy the beautiful scenery all around you.
Activities in Northern Laos
The north of Laos offers a wide range of hikes for active travelers. Make sure to hire a guide who knows the area and set out on your journey through the mountainous, jungle areas. Pass waterfalls and experience wildlife in its natural habitat while hitting all of the best viewpoints to make sure there are plenty of picture-taking opportunities to make all of your friends at home jealous!
Cycling is a wonderful option in the north of Laos. Some of the most gorgeous and interesting areas of the country are found in the wild mountainous north. Cycling through this area is a wonderful way to watch the world go by while enjoying the fresh air and exercise while you’re at it!
Want to take to the waters but long-boats aren’t for you? Grab a life jacket, grab a kayak, grab a friend, and hit one of the rivers! Paddle your way along, taking plenty of time to drift aimlessly and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Laos all around you.
News & Magazine
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