Landlocked between its more bustling neighbours, Laos presents a laidback alternative to its south-east Asian neighbours. With a plethora of Buddhist temples and outstanding mountain scenery in the centre of the country, Laos is perfect for exploring paths less travelled.
The sleepy capital of Vientiane is a charming introduction to the country and offers the chance to learn about the country’s tempestuous recent history, whilst the northern city of Luang Prabang is UNESCO-listed thanks to its archaeological sights. Blending Buddhist iconography with the French colonial influence, Laos offers some fascinating architecture in its larger towns and cities. Amongst the best times to visit are during the post-monsoon boat races, the Festival of Lights and the Lao New Year in April.