Things To Do In Laos
Laos offers locals and foreign visitors a range of attractions, events, activities and entertainment all year round.
There are three major cities in the country, they are Vientiane which is the capital city, Luang Prabang and Pakse but all three look more like towns than actual cities for foreigners because they are small and not as busy like most typical cities around the world.
If you enjoy clubbing, relaxing at the bars, watching movies, shopping, sight seeing, a cruise on the Mekong river or playing sports, there are activities and venues of all kinds in Laos, all you have to do is ask around on the streets and someone will be able to point you in the right direction.
Most people who visit Laos usually go to see the That Luang Stupa, Pataxay Monument, Wat Sisaket and Wat Pha Keo all located in Vientiane, Wat Phu and the Khone Pha Pheng waterfall in southern Laos, the Royal Palace Museum in the old capital city of Luang Prabang, the caves in Vang Vieng and the well-known Plain of Jars in Xieng Khouang so all these should be given a tick as your holiday destination in Laos.
There are various buddhist events and festivals every year when Lao people celebrate. I won't mention all of them but the most popular buddhist events is the Lao New Year in April which is celebrated for up to a few days to a week, unlike the international New Year which is only celebrated for a day on New Years Eve. The Lao new year is called "Pi Mai Lao" or "Songkhan", they also celebrate during the same time in Thailand and they call it "Songkran" where everybody visits temples for prayers and then pour water on buddhist statues and family, friends and strangers to bring good fortune. Nobody stays dry, or really wants to during the Lao New Year.
The two other popular events in Laos is the Boat racing ceremony (Boun Soong Heur) in October and then followed by the That Luang buddhist festival (Boun That Luang) in November. This colourful festival takes place at the That Luang Stupa for prayers in honour to the That (stupa) for around a week. You will experience multi-cultural from different minorities in Laos, monks and novices will chant and pray while you participate. You are invited to participate in these colourful traditional festival and cultural show but women must wear the traditional Lao costume in the evening. A carnival held during the Boun That Luang festival offers food and handicraft stalls, bumper cars, a shooting gallery, all sorts of games and musical entertainment. The actual dates of the festival is different each year because it must be held during the time of the full moon in November.
Laos is very cheap to travel around and having a great time. It's not like Europe and America where total daily expenditure for a tourist including food, tansportation and accomodation is in the hundreds of dollars. You can get around Laos for $30 US a day, and you can use different currencies such as the local Lao Kip, Thai Baht and American Dollars to pay for goods and services. Some businesses in Laos will even accept other currencies if they are familiar with it, if they don't then you can still easily have your cash exchanged for a Kip or Baht at a currency exchange booth or bank located in many places. There are also ATM machines available to withdraw money from your credit card.
If you do get the chance to visit Laos, I'm positive that you'll find fun things to do, interesting places to go and meet new friends along the way. Lao culture is so beautiful and unique and it's something that you should experience in your lifetime and the best place to see it is in Laos.