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Laos Attractions & City Guide
 

Phongsaly  
Luangnamtha  
Oudomxay  
Bokeo  
Luang Prabang  
Xiengkhouang  
Vientiane  
Xayabury  
Huaphanh  
Borikhamxay  
Khammouane  
Champasack  
Savannakhet  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


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Phongsaly
 

General Information
Located : In the northern most of the country
Total Area : 16,270 square meters
Population : 174,000
07 districts : Phongsaly, May, Khua, Samphanh, Boon-Neua, Boon-Tai, and Gnot-Ou
Capital : Phongsaly

Phongsaly is situated in the northern most part of the country sharing borders with Chaina and Vietnam. The population comprises with 13 minority ethnic groups: Khammu, Thai Dam, Thai Daeng, Yao, Leu, Hor, Hmong, Akha, Yang, Bid, Lolo and others. Each minority ethnic group has their own identity, language and culture such as wedding ceremonies, handicrafts, silver wares and jewelry.

Phou Doychy is the highest mountain in the area, has a height of 1,842 meters and 77% of the forest throughout the province. A commanding view of the municipal area can be seen at the peak of Phou Fa Mountain. A height of 1,625 meters can be reached by road or for the energetic; an even better view can be seen by ascending additional 431 steps to the top of Phou Fa.

The weather in Phonsaly is well suited to the saying that it has “four seasons in a single day”. In the morning and evening the cold rolls in. the daytime is very humid and the afternoons are rainy, rendering the forest and surrounding vegetation a luscious green color throughout the year.

Wat Ou-Tai Temple
It is situated in Ban Ou- Tai Village, constructed over 500 years old by Praya Chakkawattiraja. Within the monastery, there is Hor Thane Keo (plac where Buddha Images are kept) which was constructed by mud and decorated with the arts in its ariginal form. Each wooden column of the monastery stands on stones, with beautiful drawings and decorated with daggers, swords, flowers and flags entirely crafted from wood. Besides the monastery, there is a shrine, constructed from brick. Tai Lue ethnic groups call this shrine “ Ou Bo Sot” which translates into a place where monks gather to undertake religion proceedings.

Wat Luang Ou-Neua Temple
An ancient structure, which had been built in the same time of Wat Ou Tai, located in Ban Ou Neua Village. All structures are very beautiful especially the double overlapping roof featuring Lue architecture. The temple is adorned with traditional fine art techniques and houses a large Buddha image and other smaller Buddha statue. This temple is widely revered by the Lue people.

Besides the pagoda, there is a stone inscription written in Chinese's relating to the construction of the temple.

That Phou Xay Stupa
Located at the top of the hill, Wat Luang Ou-Neua Temple can be reached by walking up 400 stairs. It remains a natural and cultural site where visitors can learn about the fine arts and architecture of the Lue ethnic groups.

 

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Luangnamtha

General Information

Located : A northern province bordering on China and Myanmar
Total Area : 9,325 square meters
Population : 140,000
05 Districts : Namtha, Sing, Long, Viengphoukha and Nalae
Capital : Namtha

Luangnamtha is a northern province bordering on China and Myanmar. The province’s combination of environmental, social, historical and development factors has made it a great location to develop sustainable cultural and eco-tourism initiatives.

Namtha National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA) was established where dense forest cover 90% of the terrain. A vast array of wildlife including wild cattle (guar and banteng), Asian wild dogs, tigers, clouded leopard, bears, monkeys and gibbons can be found living in the NBCA and surrounding area. The lush vegetation of the NBCA is also home to a large population of birds.

The area is populated by a variety of different ethnic groups including such groups as the Khamu, Akha (Eko), Hmong, Yao (Ioumien) and Lanetene. Lowland Lao people, Tai Lue, Thai Neua and Thai Dam also live in villages just outside the protected area and in the areas surrounding the historic town of Muong Sing.

Muong Sing District
Once a garrison town and the most northern outpost during the time of French colonial rule, the town was also the center of the Sipsongpana civilization now living in Yunnan Province in the southern China. The old barracks and other colonial buildings are unusual features worthy of visiting when in this area.

This district has a picturesque beauty with mountains and many old temples. Although many temples were destroyed during the war, one major attraction and several old temples remain which are noticeably different in style from the classical temoles found elsewhere in Laos.

Many tour itineraries include an outing to Boten, the Lao-Chinese border Checkpoint and to the west where speed-boats can be taken down the Mekong River through spectacular gorges and rapids to Houixay District and Luang Prabang Province.

 

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Oudomxay


General Information
Located : In the northern of the countr
Total Area : 15,370 square meters

Population : 250,000
05 Districts : Xay, La, Namor, Nga, Beng, Hoon and Pakbeng
Capital : Xay

Oudomxay is populated by some 23 ethnic minorities mainly Hmong, Ekor (Akha) and Khammu. Adventurous eco-tourism tours can be arranged from village to village with travel either by oxcart or on foot. Tad Lak Sip Et Waterfall at Km 11 in Muong Xay District, as well as hot springs and temples at Muong La District and Phouxay Mountain are among some of the outstanding natural scenery worth visiting when in the area. Oudomxay’s proximity to China has brought the province rapid economic growth and infrastructure developments, including good road access to the provincial capital, Xay District.

Muong La District
Located at 28 kilometers from the provincial capital, at Wat Ban Pakla Temple, known for its 400 year old Pra Xaek Kham “Gold plated Buddha Image”, which is considered very sacred and worshiped by the locals. It is the one of the oldest historical sites in Laos, which has presently become a tourism attraction within the province. Muong La also has a hot water spring, an old French bridge, natural scenery and the beauty of the Nam La River for all tourists to enjoy

 

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Bokeo

General Information

Located : In the northwest of Laos
Total Area : 6,196 square meters
Population : 135,000
05 Districts : Houixay, Tonpheung, Meung, Phaodom and Paktha
Capital : Houixay

Located within to the infamous “Golden Triangle” (the three-bordered intersection of Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand) and at the “Economic Quadrangle” where Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and China meet.

In Bokeo there are 36 townships, more than 400 villages and a total population of 135,000. The Province is home to a large number of ethnic minorities, each with their own lifestyle and customs

The named “Bokeo” means the pits of sapphires or called “Keo-Praseuth” because it is a rich mining center for gold and sapphire. Commercial mining for precious stones and gold is a special feature of the province. In particular, you can visit Ban Nam Khok (The Lue village), 6 kilometers from the town and Ban Houi Sala (The Hmongvillage), which is around 18 kilometers from Bokeo town.

If you travel approximately 26 kilometers north from the center of Houixay District to Ban Namkeung Kow, Ban Namkeung Mai and Ban Done Dang it is possible to visit traditional Lue villages. The residents migrated from the Muong Sing District in Luangnamtha Province. The villages can be reached by taking a boat trip upstream from province. Spectacular Mountain scenery, river travel and multi-ethnic groups make Bokeo a fascinating Province to visit.
 

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Luang Prabang - The world Heritage City

General Information

Located : In the northern of Laos.
Total Area : 16,875 square meters
Population : 450,000
11 Districts : Luang Prabang, Xieng Ngeun, Nan, Pak Ou, Nambak, Ngoi, Pakseng, Phonxay, Chomphet, Viengkham and Phoukhoune
Capital : Luang Prabang (the former capital of Lane Xang Kingdom during the 13th to 16th Century)

Located in the northern of Laos. Luang Prabang is around 360 kilometers from Vientiane, the capital of Laos. It takes about 8 hours by bus or 35 minutes by Lao Airlines to reach and it is one of the most attractive areas of the country

Nestled in the valley, surrounded by high mountains and situated along the Mekong and its tributaries, the town was once the former capital of Laos, during the Lane Xang Kingdom from the 13th to 16th centuries

Luang Prabang is renowned as the cultural and religious capital of Laos. On the 2nd December 1995, UNESCO inscribed the town on to it’s World Heritage List, ensuring the preservation of a mixture of traditional Lao and French colonial architecture. The unique character and charm of Luang Prabang helps to make it the one of the most popular tourist destination in the country. The magnificent temples in Luang Prabang are considered among the most beautiful in South East Asia

It is increasingly popular for both Lao and foreign tourists to visit Luang Prabang for Pimao Lao (the Lao New Year Festival), which takes place in mid April. The boat Racing Festival, which takes place in August, is also celebrated with an emphasis on features that are unique from other regions in Laos

 

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Xiengkhuoang


General Information
Located : Northeastern Laos
Total Area : 15,880 square meters
Population : 230,000
07 Districts : Pek, Kham, Nonghed, Khoune, Morkmay, Phoukood and Phaxay
Capital : Pek


Located 435 kilometers northeast of the capital, Vientiane. Xiengkhuoang can be reached by bus from Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Huaphanh or by direct flight (Lao Airlines) from Vientiane

Xiengkhuoang is a mountainous region full of caves and waterfalls. From an aircraft, you will observe how large the province is with its vast plateau

Xiengkhuoang preserves a fine collection of archeological riches, including the famous Plain of Jars. The surrounding mountains of Xiengkhuoang are home to several tribes of indigenous people with their colorful traditional dress and simple way of life. This province also has the dubious distinction of having been one of the most heavily bombed areas in Laos between 1964 and 1973

The mystery of the Plain of Jars
The mysterious Plain of Jars is situated about 12 kilometers from Ban Phonsavanh, the capital of the province. There are over 300 giant jars scattered across the misty plateau. The jars vary in size from 1 to 3 meters height and up to 2.7 meters in diameter with the heaviest jar weighting 6 tons

The purpose of the jars, thought to have been carved from solid rock around 3,000 years ago, remains a mystery. The landscape evokes thoughts of the grandeur, as the jars are the last remnants of an advanced Bronze Age civilization now long gone

Hot Spring
Apprximately52 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Phonsavanh in Muong Kham District there is a natural mineral hot water spring in a beautiful wooden area. Some people believe the water from the spring has magical properties to cure skin diseases. Visitors can enjoy a bath in natural hot springs however they should remain careful as temperatures can reach as high as 60 degrees Celsius

Hmong Village
On the way to Muong Khoun District, you will pass by Hmong villages where you can observe their simple daily life, which remains in touch with nature and its elements. There are many traditional activities: weaving, basket making, woodcarving and the never-ending daily chores of farming. On Sunday, there is an opportunity to attend the weekly market day where souvenirs and some hand made products are sold; usually at prices lower than on offer in Vientiane

 

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Vientiane - The Capital of Laos
 

General Information
Location : On a curve of the Mekong River, which shares its border with Thailand
Total Area : 3,920 square meters
Population : 610,000
08 Districts : Chanthabuly, Sikhottabong, Xaysetha, Sisattanak, Naxaithong, Xaythany, Hadsaifong, Sangthong and Muongparkngum
Capital : Vientiane Municipality

Capital Vientiane is the capital of Laos and shares its border with Thailand. King Saysethathirath constructed the city on the curve of the Mekong River in the 16th century

The old part of Vientiane is an attractive and interesting settlement along the Mekong River where ancient temples, museums, monuments and parks are all located just a short distance from one another

The cosmopolitan capital of Laos, Vientiane has galleries, boutiques, theatres, nightclubs and Internet cafes, making it a major attraction of visitors from all around the globe. Although small, the city offers visitors a great variety of restaurants serving both Lao and foreign cuisine

That Luang Stupa (Great Sacred Stupa)
Originally built in 1566 by King Saysethathirath, That Luang Stupa was rebuilt in 1953. The golden stupa stands 45 meters tall and is believed to contain a relic of Lord Buddha. Today it is the nation’s most important cultural monument. Symbolizing the coming together of all Lao people it holds a special place in the national psyche

The gold colored centerpiece of this stupa echoes the curve of an elongated Lotus bud. The shrine is the focus for the annual That Luang Festival. The festival is celebrated for 7 daysand nights during the twelfth full moon of the Buddhist lunar calendar where monks are presented with flower offerings and residents enjoy traditional cultural performances
That Luang Stupa is open from 8:00H to 16:00H, except Mondays and public holidays

Ho Pra Keo Museum
Previously the ancient temple, it was built in 1565 by King Saysethathirath to house the Emerald Buddha (lost to the Siamese in 1828) as his personal place of worship. For this reason and unlike other temples in Laos, monks have not taken up residence here. During the 1970’s the temple was converted from a place of worship into a museum and it now houses nation’s finest collection of Buddhist sculpture and artifacts

From the terrace of HoPra Keo a view overlooking the President’ Palace (former Royal Palace) and gardens can be enjoyed. The museum is open daily 08:00H to 12:00H and 13:00H to 16:00H

Wat Sisaket Temple
This temple is located in the center of the old city and was built in 1818 by King Anouvong and is Vientiane’s oldest remaining temple having survived the destination of the city by the Siamese in 1828

The oldest monastery stands intact in its original from and certainly is one of the most interesting in the country. Inside the main hall, the courtyard walls house hundreds of little niches and shelves containing a total of 6,840 Buddha images. Ho Trai is a hall containing many Buddhist manuscripts, which were published in the 18th century. The temple is also renowned after featuring as the Lao national emblem at the 1970 Expo Osaka in Japan

The temple is open daily from 08:00H to 12:00H and 13:00H to 16:00H

Patuxay Monument
The memorial monument of Patuxay is perhaps the most prominent landmark in the city. It was constructed in its prominent position on Lanexang Avenue in 1958. While the architecture was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris the design incorporates typical Lao motifs including “Kinnari”, a mythical birdwoman

Energetic visitors can climb to the top of the monument. Which reveals an excellent panoramic view of the city. The monument is open daily from 08:00H to 17:00H

Revolutionary Monument
Located near That Luang Stupa, this simple star-tipped monument was built as a tribute to those who died in the revolutionary struggle between 1945 to 1975

Wat Simuang Temple
The original foundation pillar of Vientiane can be found in Wat Simuang, which is located in Ban Simuang village along the Sethathirath Road. It was built in 1956 and is thought to be guarded by the spirit a local girl called “Si”. Local legend has it that Nang Si, who was pregnant at the time, leapt to her death as a sacrifice, just as the pillar was being lowered into the hold. A very colorful Phasat Pheung (wax pavilion procession) takes place two days prior to the That Luang Festival in November, which attracts large crowds to Wat Simuang Temple

Wat Ongtue Temple
Wat Ongtue or “the temple of the heavy Buddha”, houses a 16th Century Buddha image weighing an incredible ten tons. The temple was built by King Saysethathirath and is found on the street of the same name – Sethathirath Road

Wat Inpeng Temple
Wat Inpeng Pagoda is a historical landmark of arts and culture, located on the north of Wat Ongtue Temple. There are many historical elements of interest to those studying Lao art and culture including the rock sculptures, Buddha image and rock columns depicting Mon and Khmer cultures

Despite many of the original items in this temple having since been removed. The pagoda still corresponds to the King of Gods. It was once said that during construction, He transformed himself into an old wise man to assist with construction. Legend also holds that He further transformed himself into an old white monk to help construct the Buddha image. From then on, the temple became known as Wat Inpeng, which means “to transform”

Ta Lat Sao or Morning Market
Located on Lanexang Avenue opposite the Post Office, the Morning Market consists of 3 main buildings each with 2 floors. This lively shopping market has become the commercial center of Vientiane. A huge variety of goods are sold among including Lao antiques, textiles, souvenirs, handicrafts, jewelry, and products imported from abroad. The market is open daily from 07:00H to 17:00H

Suan Wattanatham Bandapao or National Ethnic Cultural Park
The National Ethnic Cultural Park is located 20 kilometers south from Vientiane near the Friendship Bridge. Visitors can follow shady paths past model-sized traditional Lao Homes, sculpture of Lao literacy heroes and through a small zoo. Afterwards visitors can relax at the Mekong’s riverside, where the view of Khau Midthaphab (Friendship Bridge) can be enjoyed from several bars and restaurants
The National Ethnic Cultural Park is open daily from 08:00H to 18:00H

Khau Midthaphab or Friendship Bridge
The friendship Bridge was officially opened in April 1994 and it spans the Mekong River linking Lao P.D.R. (Vientiane) with neighboring Thailand (Nongkhai). As one of Lao’s International Border Checkpoints, tourists can be obtained for entry at the Bridge
It is open daily from 06:00H to 22:00

Xieng Khouan Buddha Park
The Xieng Khouan Buddha Park is a religious sculpture park, which was built in 1958. A collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures is scattered amongst gardens and trees. Built about 28 kilometers south of Vientiane backing onto the Mekong River, the town of Nongkhai in neighboring Thailand can be seen on the opposite side of the river
The park is open daily from 08:00H to 16:3

Hinkhanna Waterfall
This small but attractive waterfall is situated in Naxaithong District about 25 kilometers to the north of Vientiane

 

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Xayabury


General Information
Location : In northwestern Laos
Total Area : 16,389square meters
Population : 330,000
10 Districts : Xayabury, Khop, hongsa, Ngeun, Xienghone, Phiang, Parklai, Kenethao, Botene and Thongmyxay
Capital : Xayabury


Travel to this rugged landscape will reveal many beautiful mountains and flower gardens. The local people earn their living via agricultural products such as growing rice, cucumbers, cotton, cabbages, beans and sugarcane. Elephants continue to be used for loading and transporting heavy items

Sightseeing includes;
 

Xayabury District
Tam Hine Cave
Wat Natonoy Temple
Ban Yao Village
Tad Chao Waterfall

Phiang District
Tad Namyal Waterfall
Tham Phaway Cave
Phangoy, Phakeo and Pha Heua Caves

Kenethao District
Tad Namphong Waterfall
Wat Siphoun Temple
Tham Seng Yeun Cave

Betene District
Tad Ham, Tad Malou and Tad Fanh Waterfall
Ban Leu Village

Hongsa District
Tad Itan Waterfall
Ban Tha Xuang Village
 

Ngeun District
Wat Xieng Ngeun Temple
That Mat Stupa
Khone, the weaving village

 

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Huaphanh


General Informati
Location : In northeast Laos
Total Area : 16,500 square meters
Population : 280,000
08 Districts : Xamneua, Xiengkhor, Viengthong, Viengxay, Huameuang, Xamtay, Sopbao and Add
Capital : Xamneua

Huaphanh is abundant with natural resources and beautiful scenery. It’s isolation and rugged landscapes led the Lao Peoples’ Party to use Huaphanh as its base during the war years. The province is also famous for its Limestone Mountains and Caves. In fact, more than one hundred caves are located in the area, some of the more well-known of these are mentioned below

Tham Than Souphanouvong Cave
The former residence and hideout of the revolutionary leader and later the President, Souphanouvong. He established the cave as a base in 1964

Tham Than Kaysone Cave
Established as a base and hideout in 1964, this cave became the residence of the revolutionary leader and later the President Kaysone Phomvihane

Tham Than Khamtay Cave
This cave, formerly the revolutionary hideout of current the President, Khamtay Siphandone. It consists of many compartments such as meeting rooms, reception rooms and a research room

Saleu and Nasala villages
Both of these villages well known for the high quality weaving and local handicrafts. Located in Xiengkhor District on Route 6 about 125 kilometers out of Xamneua District. These villages are well worth visiting

 

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Borikhamxay

General Information
Location : In the center of Laos
Total Area : 14,863 square meters
Population : 190,000
06 Districts : Pakxanh, Thaphabath, Pakkading, Borikhan, Viengthong and Khamkheuth.
Capital : Pakxanh

Borikhamxay can be reached by bus, leaving from the Morning Market bus station


Tourist sites include:
 

Ban Na Hin (Stone Forest)
Located in Phou Pha Mane Region, Ban Na Hin housed thousands of rock pinnacles, creating a stone forest reminiscent of limestone outcrops of southern China

Wat Phabath and Wat Phonsanh Temple
An important pilgrimage site between Vientiane and Pakxanh, with a huge “footprint” of Lord Buddha, colorful murals and nice view of the Mekong River
 

Lak Sao
A new town with a wild-west atmosphere, provides a border, Nampao Checkpoint for crossing to Vietnam and access to limestone Karats Mountains and the Nam Theun protected wildlife area

 

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Khammouane

General Informat
Location : In the middle part of Laos
Total Area :16,135 square meters
Population : 330,000
09 Districts : Thakhek, Mahaxay, Nongbok, Hinboun, Nhommalath, Bualapha, Nakai, Xebangfay, and Xaybuathong
Capital : Thakhek
 

Located in the middle part of Laos and it shares the northern border with Borikhamxay, the southern with Savannakhet, the east with Vietnam and the west with Nanork Phanom, Thailand

The natural resources are mountains and forests, for example: The Nakai Namtheun forest preservation area of the total 352,200 ha, the Hinnamnor preservation area 82,000 ha and Phou Hinpoun150,000 ha, These forests make the province very beautiful with many natural caves. The Xebangfay (239 km long), Hinboun, Namtheun and Namgnum are the main rivers of the province

Magical and Tourist Sites

Thakhek Town
The provincial capital, Thakhekis located along the bank of the Mekong River. It is very important border opposite Nakorn Phanom, Thailand. Historically this town has been a fare front in the war for national independence. In Thakhek we can see many buildings designed in old colonial style (French classic)

Sikhottabong StupaBuilt at the same time as That Inhang Stupa in Savannakhet and That Phanom in Thailand. These were constructed in the Sikhottabong Empire for keeping the Bones of Lord Buddha. At first, it was built by King Nanthasene for King Soummitham then it restored by King Saysethathirath in the 16th century

It’s a four square stupa, each side is 25030 meters long and the foot each of 14.33 meters, the high is 29 meters. The top looks like the banana flower

It is located along the bank of the Mekong River on the Route 13B, 6km from Thakhek. The Festival is preformed on the third month of lunar calendar

The Great Wall
Along the Route 13 (south) just at Km 8 before Thakhek on the West Side, the great rocky wall stretches from the Namdone River at Km 12, it’s about 15 km long. Some sections are in the area of Thakhek

Built in Sikhottabong Empire between the 19th century. Now this wall should be kept as a national heritage and a tourist site

Tham Khonglor Cave “Beauty in the Dark”
Tham Khonglor Cave is located in the Nation Protected Forest Area of Hinboun Mountain in Khammouane Province, 310 kilometers southeast of Vientiane and 169 kilometers north of Thakhek District, the west entrance is at Ban Khonglor Village, Hinboun District, whereas the east entrance is at Ban Natan Village, Nakai District

The cave is approximately 7,400 meters long, its width ranges from 10 to 90 meters. The wide and the height varies from 20 to 100 meters. The Hinboun River runs through the cave in all seasons. The most attractive area within the cave can be observed at Vang That and Had Xay Luang, where many decorative stones clinging to the ceiling can be view. Had Xay Luang (White Sand Beach) can also be visited, where an attractive beach od about 150 meters long and 100 meters wide can be enjoyed

There are two routes to get to the cave
From Vientiane along Route 13 (south) to Hinboun District about 160 kilometers then by boat along the Hinboun River about 120 kilometers

From Vientiane along Route 13 (south) to Ban Lao Village, turn left to Route 8 (Lak Sao intersection), at Km 37 Ban Khounkham Village after Theun Hinboun Reservoir turn right along the earth road about 38 kilometers to Ban Khongloe Village

Other attractive sites for visits in the Province include

Tad Kham Waterfall located 52 kilometers out of Thakhek District

Tad Nam Khengkam Waterfall, on the Route 13 (south) about 37 kilometers to the east to Thakhek District

Wat Pha Sokkhamsene Temple, an ancient temple located about 1 km out of Nongbok District and about 37 kilometers from Thakhek District

That Thumphavang Stupa located about 2 kilometers north of Nongbok District

Tham Nang Cave located 4 kilometers from Ban Na Village in Hinboun District

 

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Champasack


General Information
Located  : A southernmost province bordering on Thailand and Cambodia
Total Area : 15,415 square meter
Population : 600,000
10 Districts : Pakse, Sanasomboun, Bachiangchaleunsouk, Pakxong, Pathoumphone, Phonthong, Champasack, Sukhuma, Mounlapamok and Khong
Capital : Pakse

Fading French colonial architecture and ancient temple ruins make Champasack a place to see evidence of the rich cultural heritage of Laos. Rare freshwater dolphins and powerful waterfalls feature among the highlights to be seen in the province’s nature. Its geographical condition creates one of the most beautiful tourist sites in Laos

Champasack has a population of about 600,000 including Lowland Lao, Highland Lao, Khmers and many unique ethnic minority groups. The province is also famous for the production of Lao coffee, tea, rattan, and other agricultural produces

The distance from Vientiane to Pakse, the provincial capital of Champasackis 610 kilometers by Route 13 (south) via the provinces of Borikhamxay, Khammouane, Savannakhet and saravane

Pakse
Located at the confluence of the Xedone and the Mekong Rivers, Pakse links trade and travel between Thailand to Cambodia and Vietnam. Founded as an administrative outpost by the French in 1905, the town retains much of its colonial legacy and architecture. The Champasack Historical Heritage Museum offers a good introduction to Lao history, culture and art

Champasack
A small town located on the Right Bank of the Mekong River shares a common border with Thailand. It formed one of the three principalities of the Lane Xang Empire in 1349 and was under the region of King Fa Ngum. Visitors to the famous Wat Amath can observe treasures dating back to stone age

Wat Phou Champasack (The second World Heritage Site in Laos)
Certainly the highlight of any visit to Champasack Province is the ancient Khmer Temple of Wat Phou. Situated on the Phou Kao (mountains) slope 6 kilometers away from Champasack District and about 45 kilometers from south of Pakse along the Mekong River. It is also important as an historic and cultural site and was acknowledged by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a World Heritage Site on December 14, 2001 (the second World Heritage site in Laos)

Wat Phou, a complex of temple buildings constructed in Khmer style overlooking the Mekong is both impressive and inspiring. It is recognized as one of the most important Hindu sanctuaries of Cambodia’s Khmer Empire, which was in place between the 9th to 13th Centuries and is the largest example of Khmer Architecture in southern Laos. On the same site, ruins dating from pre-Angor times have also been identified

On the moonmoon of the third lunar month, usually during February and before celebrations at Angor, Champasack celebrates the traditional Wat Phou Festival at the ruins. Festivities include elephant racing, cock fighting and performances of traditional Lao music and dancing

Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands)
The breathtaking Si Phan Don or Four Thousand Islands are located in a section of the Mekong River just north of the border with Cambodia. Don Khong is the largest island and boasts a number of small villages, temples and caves. A French-built Bridge remaining from a now defunct railway connects the two smaller islands of Don Deth and Don Khon

Pakha, freshwater dolphins of the Mekong
The center for protection and conservation of freshwater Dolphins is located on the border of Laos-Cambodia. The freshwater dolphins are called “Pakha” in Lao, and inhabit only this part of the Mekong River. Tourists can observe the endangered freshwater dolphins by chartering boats from either Ban Khon or Ban Veunkham (located at the southern tip of the islands)

Liphi Waterfall
Located on Don Khon, west of Ban Khon Village, Liphi Waterfall is another amazing natural site to visit in Champasack Province. A calmer section of the river below the falls forms a natural habitat for the endangered fresh water dolphins

Khon Phapheng Waterfall
East of Don Khon on the Mekong River is the jewel of Champasack Province. Further downstream, the Mekong cascades across a wide mouth of rock which slopes in curvilinear pattern is sometimes tinted by rainbow. It’s the Lao Niagara, the widest waterfall of Asia, more than 20 kilometers width. A place where the Mekong River takes a drop before continuing its course into the South China Sea via Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s also renowned as a fish basin. These spectacular waterfalls render this section of the Mekong River unavailable

Tad Fane Waterfall
This natural tourism site is located within the Dong Hua Sao, a National Biodiversity Conservation Area at Ban Lak 38 along Route 16 from Pakse toward Pakxong District. The Champi and Prakkoot streams, which originate in the Boloven Plateau at some 1,000 meters abovesea level, come together to create the Tad Fane Waterfall. The real beauty of this waterfall stems from the two branches of the stream dividing town its steep cliffs. An endless flow of water is created and if windy, the mist sprays and rainbows are spectacular

The waterfall set among the blue skies and evergreen forest, creates one of most hypnotizing views. The endless cool breeze helps capture a full taste of nature. It is a deal spot for tourists to relax and enjoy nature. Although it is not possible to reach the waterfall to swim, the view is an unforgettable experience

Wat Phou Asa
Wat Phou Asa is an ancient Hindu-Khmer pagoda. It was built on flat rock on Phou Kao Klat Ngong Mount in Pathoumphone District. In recent times it has become a well-known National Heritage and Amazing Site. To visit this pagoda, travel along Route 13 (south) from Pakse. Once arriving at Km 38, turn left to Route 18B and travel about 8 kilometers to Ban Klat Ngong Village. It is then a further 2 kilometers walk to the pagoda

Historically, it was built by the Khmers with worshipping links to Wat Phou Champasack. Despite the pagoda being in a damaged stage, it is still an important archeological site where visitors are welcome. Archeologists have surveyed the site and are preparing for restoration. It is hoped that Wat Phou Asa will be preserved shortly so that remains part of Lao Cultural Heritage forever

Tormor Rocky Channel
Tormor Rocky Channel was listed as the 15th National Heritage Site in Laos receiving approval via Prime Minister’s Degree 174/PMO at the same time as Wat Phou Champasack. The Tormor Rocky Channel archeological site is located about 11 kilometers southeast from Wat Phou Champasack on the left bank of the Mekong River

The Tormor Rocky House, as is known by the locals, was originally built in the 19th Century with bricks and carved stone during the 7th and 8th Centuries. These were later destroyed with the Gopuya artwork now on display built with layered rocks in the 11th and 12th Centuries

Columns of sanstone rock stand along both sides of a walkway. Although in a ruined state, a large chamber with front and rear doors and windows on two sides can be observed on the site. According to inscriptions, historians have concluded that the channel is a close relation to Wat Phou Champasack

 

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Savannakhet
 

General Information
Located : In central part of the country
Total Area : 21,774 square meters
Population : 850,000
15 Districts : Khanthabuly, Outhoumphone, Atsaphangthong, Phine, Sepone, Nong, Thapangthong, Songkhone, Champhone, Xonbuly, Xaybuly, Vilabuly, Atsaphone, Xayphouthong and Thaphalanxay
Capital : Khanthabuly

Fine French architecture bears testimony to the importance of Savannakhet during the colonial era. The name Savannakhet means “The land of Fertility Suitable for Agriculture”

There are 11 ethnic minorities include Lowland Lao, Phouthai, Thai Dam, Katang, Mongkong, Vali, Lava, Soui, Kapo, kaleung and Ta-oi

Wat Inghang Temple
Wat Inghang Temple was built during the reign Sikhottabong of King Sumitatham about 2,000 years ago and is meant to mark the place where Lord Buddha rested while visiting the Kingdom of Sikhottabong. Rebuilt in 1548 by King Saysethathirath, the temple is located at Ban Thad Village on Route 9 between Savannakhet-Seno at Km 12 turns right about 3 kilometers. Festive rites are held annually and organized to coincide with the first full moon of the lunar calendar

Wat Xayaphoum Temple
Located at Ban Xayaphoum Village on the bank of the Mrkong River, Wat Xayaphom was built in 1542, the same period of Ban Thahir or Nakham. It is the center of the local Buddhist people with arts and architecture dating from the original Savannakhet. Festive ceremonies are held for Pimai Lao and the Boat Racing Festival

Ho Tay Pidok Library
These library houses a collection of 200-year-old palm leaves manuscripts written in the ancient Kham-Pali and Lao alphabets. It is located in Ban Nonglamchan Village, Champhone District

Heuan Hin or Stone House
It is a shrine built by the ancient Khmer to the glory of their “Sikhottabong” empire. The stone House is located in Ban Dongdokmay, 15 kilometers from Xayphouthong District or 66 kilometers from Khanthabuly, the provincial capital

That Phon Stupa
It is also another important religious figure found in the Province. Constructed between the year 557 to 700, festive rites are held annually and are organized in the first full moon of the lunar calendar to pay respects to Phra Shiva and other Hindu Gods

Dinosaur Fossils
Fossilized dinosaur bones were discovered at Ban Tangvay Village, Xonbuly District in 1930. They are now housed in the Dinosaur Exhibition Hall in Khanthabuly, the provincial capital

Route 9, GMS East-West Economic Corridor
Part of the Ho Chi Minh trail and remnants of American tanks and warplanes can also be visited in Phin District on Route 9, close to the Lao Bao border checkpoint with Vientiane about 250 kilometers

 

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