Laos Countryside

Luxury Laos Travel – Seeing The Country In A Whole New Light

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In recent years the explosion of luxury travel opportunities throughout South East Asia has meant that it’s no longer just a backpacker destination filled with cheap options for bedding down for the night and street food. In fact South East Asia is now gaining power in the luxury side of things, particularly where accommodation is concerned, opening itself up to a whole new host of travellers and sun seekers – hoping to combine luxury with true cultural and awe-inspiring Asian experiences. Truthfully, parts of South East Asia – such as Laos – are still extremely economic in some instances with regard to even luxury accommodation options, offering up some truly luscious options without the high price tags. This article will look at some of the exceptional options throughout Laos for luxury seekers hoping to explore this quickly shifting, sometimes secretive and always beautiful country.

 

Seeing Monks Studying in Laos Travel

 

Luxury in and around Vientiane

 

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and depending where you’d be coming from, you’d likely come through here at least once. Most travellers – both backpacker and luxury seeker alike – come via Bangkok, where flights are found to either Vientiane or its Thai neighbour Udon Thani and then a border crossing by land. Regardless of how you get here, one thing is for certain – Vientiane is the new “hot thing” in East meets West. Wandering up and down the main strip which is Mekong adjacent, you will find the likes of a few Western brand names like Dairy Queen along with a couple of Laotian disco clubs. Wander a bit further back and you will find delicious dinner options ranging from Italian, Japanese, Western (think hamburgers, chips and the like) to traditional and local cuisine. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry. Vientiane seems to be becoming the home of many a classy and upscale dining establishment with a particular emphasis on brightly lit, open air steakhouses.

 

Vientiene Laos

 

For the true luxury seeker, Settha Palace Hotel is the prime pick in Vientiane for those truly looking for the ultimate in luxury experiences right in the heart of the capital city. Situated in a beautiful colonial building built circa 1932, the Settha Palace features pristine accommodation, a delicious gourmet on site restaurant and a swimming pool surrounded by such lush green foliage you will forget you’re in a city altogether. Massages and other luxury treatments are available to those looking to really unwind. Coming to the Settha Palace will make you feel as though you have stepped back into the charms of French Colonialism with an emphasis on true Laotian hospitality. There are not just rooms that focus on luxury and making you feel like a prince or princess, but if you’re doing business in the area or hosting a dinner party the Settha Palace also is home to immaculately decorated meeting rooms and the ability to book private dinners of up to 12 people in their onsite restaurant.

 

Luxury Laos Travel

 

Pushing North of Laos

 

Outside of Vientiane you will undoubtedly find that the countryside is rustic and basic in terms of what kinds of accommodation is available, but on the northern route towards the UNESCO World Heritage City of Luang Prabang you will find the quaint and quiet village of Vang Vieng. Once a bustling backpacker mecca, Vang Vieng gained notoriety as a party destination and inevitably this led to its own demise, causing many of the bars and party places to be shut down after it all became a bit much. The end result couldn’t have been better for luxury travellers though, because in the wake of the parties there are now a handful of boutique, luxury and 3-5 star guest houses that have popped up where there once were backpackers until all hours.

 

Laos Travel

 

Vang Vieng is a beautiful stop, right in the heart of a valley filled with countless karst mountains that seem to pop up out of nowhere, with a small river cutting right through the village. Caves and lagoons dot the area and it’s easy to book a tuk tuk or taxi to take you around to explore these natural wonders without much hassle or fuss. In truth, Vang Vieng is a very laid back and down to earth place with a few options for spa days along the main strip to be enjoyed and luxury accommodation to be had.

The Riverside Boutique Resort is one such place in Vang Vieng and is perhaps the number one choice for the luxury minded. Situated right on the riverbank with a number of tables and chairs placed in the garden with stunning views, an onsite restaurant, spa, swimming pool and gift shop, this hotel couldn’t be more perfect for the luxury seeker. Indeed, in Vang Vieng you will struggle to stress as it’s just really that laid back. For a truly stress free holiday you can even book transfers to/from Vientiane and to/from Luang Prabang to the resort, making this the perfect worry free choice for those looking to have a truly luxury getaway.

 

Luang Prabang and Beyond

 

The UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang couldn’t be more perfect for the luxury lover or have more to offer in terms of options. Depending on your preference you can have a city centre boutique hotel or you can opt for truly splashing out and book into the most prestigious and elegant of resorts – La Residence Phou Vao – a hotel that puts many of those in the west to shame. Ornately decorated with private villas and luxuriously appointed rooms, al fresco spa treatments on site and a large swimming pool with truly stunning views, this is the luxury seeker’s true crowning place to stay. It simply doesn’t get any better than this in Luang Prabang, making this the ultimate experience for those who love the finer things. An added benefit if planning to head to Cambodia is that this hotel has a sister residence in Angkor Wat, a perfect complement to your time in Asia.

 

Luang Prabang Temple - Laos Travel

 

Luang Prabang itself was formerly, as Vang Vieng, a bit of a backpacker haunt. The bars and streets would be filled with a younger crowd, come to see the dozens of temples strewn throughout the city alongside festivals and truly unique bars such as Utopia Bar, set on stilts overlooking the Mekong in some shaded trees with bombs from the Vietnam war having been deactivated and turned into beautiful things such as statues and plant pots. The numerous temples around the city offer opportunities to join the monks for evening chanting as well as the ability to enjoy the temple at your own pace throughout the day. If you’re a bit of an early riser you might be able to catch the alms-giving ceremony, which happens at dawn each day with the monks receiving their daily meals from the local people, lined up and down the main street of the city.

Luang Prabang isn’t just about temples and monks though – the peak of the central Mount Phousi is a must do for sunset (or any time of day, really!) giving commanding views of the city and the surrounding mountains, as well as the perfect location to catch sunset over the river. Go early for sunset to stake your claim to the perfect photo spot – it gets busy.

 

Mt Phousi Luang Prabang Travel

 

Below Mount Phousi as the sunset is going off, the bustling night market comes alive with almost literally hundreds of tented stalls offering everything from Laotian coffee (some of the world’s best!) to clothing, accessories, ornately decorated scarves, paintings by local artisans, carvings, and of course some of the best street food you can get your hands on. The market is truly alive in an array of sights, smells and experiences and it can be an enjoyable evening activity to just wander the stalls, getting lost in the hustle and bustle before heading back to your luxurious hotel to relax and unwind.

Laos is a perfect place for those looking for luxury in their holiday and for those who want to experience the best on offer without necessarily paying the high luxury price tag. Indeed, Laos seems to almost have the balance of luxury and culture – a perfect blend of each for those who want it, ensuring you get the most remarkable version of Laos possible. So come and explore the luxury side of this slowly awakening country. You really won’t regret it.

Recommend tours of for Laos travel & beyond:

For additional tours of Laos & Indochina, be sure to check out our Cambodia, Laos & Myanmar Vacations page.

 

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