Group Size: From 2 to 16 riders
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TOP THINGS TO DO IN LAOS
Laos is a treasure trove of natural and architectural wonders. With a little patience and some time you can see incredible man-made and natural wonders from north to south in the Lao PDR. Don’t miss these top 10 things to see and do.
Wat Xieng Thong
Luang Prabang's best-known monastery is centered on a 1560 sǐm (ordination hall). Its roofs sweep low to the ground and there's a stunning 'tree of life' mosaic set on its western exterior wall. Close by are several stupas and three compact little chapel halls called hŏr. Hŏr Ɖąi, shaped like a tall tomb, houses a standing Buddha. The Hŏr Ɖąi Pha Sai-nyàat, dubbed La Chapelle Rouge – the Red Chapel – by the French, contains a rare reclining Buddha.
Fronted in lavish gilt work, the Hóhng Kép Mîen stores a ceremonial carriage, festooned with red-tongued naga (river serpents) designed to carry the golden funeral urns of Lao royalty.
Pha That Luang
Vat Phou / Wat Phou
Swim in the Mekong at 4000 Islands
Tat Kuang Si
Thirty kilometers southwest of Luang Prabang, Tat Kuang Si is a many-tiered waterfall tumbling over limestone formations into a series of cool, swimmable turquoise pools; the term 'Edenic' doesn't do it justice. When you're not swinging off ropes into the water, there's a public park with shelters and picnic tables where you can eat lunch. Don't miss the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, where wild Asiatic moon bears, confiscated from poachers, are given a new lease of life.
Many cheap eateries line the entrance car park at the top end of the Khamu village of Ban Thapene, selling everything from local snacks to grilled chicken and fish.
Visiting Kuang Si by hired motorcycle is very pleasant now that the road here is decently paved and allows stops in villages along the way. By bicycle, be prepared for two long, steady hills to climb. A tuk-tuk from Luang Prabang costs 150,000K for one person, and 50,000K per person in a group of three, so it's best to get a group together. A private minivan will cost 350,000K.
Plain of Jars
Kuang Si Falls