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Overview to Laos: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Crumbling temples, deserted beaches, echoing jungles and bustling towns… Less visited (and consequently a fair bit more authentic) than many of its neighbors, Laos is the very definition of traveling in Southeast Asia.
Laos' infrastructure and rural communities have barely changed in the last century, with the country's borders only being opened up to tourists in 1988. This has allowed the country to preserve its unique way of life (and friendliness) occasionally missing in other destinations.
Laos is certainly not lacking in cultural and historical attractions, either. The Plain of Jars is a vast collection of jars whose origins continue to baffle archeologists, while the Tham Nong Pafa Caves in Khammouan Province is almost as remarkable.
The city of Luang Prabang is an impressive, UNESCO-protected assortment of palaces, monasteries and ancient houses; nearby, a short journey up the Mekong, lie the famous Pak Ou Caves another network of tunnels containing countless beautiful images of Buddha.
But, arguably, Laos' true appeal to backpackers lies in its remarkable natural landscapes. In Champusak Province, Si Phan Don (or ‘Four Thousand Islands’) is a wide section of the Mekong River that’s dotted with individual islands.
The Sekong Province is dominated by lush vegetation and some stunningly beautiful waterfalls in the Bolaven Plateau. As with the rest of Laos, whatever special allure there is to traveling in Southeast Asia, it’s amply demonstrated here.