Laos is an authentic Buddhist country in Southeast Asia, the country and its people hold tight to their tradition. Though the country has been emerging in the recent years, Lao people still live each day gracefully with a pleasant and laid-back attitude which they are best known for. Family travel in Laos fulfils every parent’s notion of showing their children how others live happily and modestly, thus filling them with a newfound respect for material wealth.
A private tour to the tranquil Laos will leave everyone with long-lasting and treasured memories, and everything become so easy for the whole family when you have your own tour guide and driver. Attractions and activities abound for family travelers visiting Laos, from elephant sanctuaries to silk making villages and Buddhist temples in-between, Laos is a truly destination to travel with your children. We have gathered here some family-friendly ideas for a family travel in Laos.
EXPLORE LUANG PRABANG
Located in the northern Laos, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Luang Prabang home to a unique blend of traditional Laos and French colonial architecture. Become a part of baci ceremony (the calling of the soul) where spirits are summoned for important events; births and marriages, entering the monkhood or welcoming guests after long journeys. Submerge yourself in the Lao culture with legendary tales and haunting melodies with colorful costumes during their traditional dances.
Visit Royal Palace Museum and Buddhist temples to learn about Buddhism and its central role in Laos’ culture. Join the Laotians in their daily alms giving ceremony, and watch hundreds of saffron-robed monks walking among centuries-old temples in Luang Prabang. This little traditional town is such a great place to be with family.
Spend some time exploring the town’s small and quaint streets which are lined with footpaths, the night markets and a cycling tour for a fun introduction to the architecture of the town.
Caving in Luang Prabang
The overall topography of Laos is hilly and mountainous with thick green forests, river valleys and steep terrain front its mountainous landscape. The highest point of Laos is Phou Bia whose summit peaks at 2,817m (9,242ft), while the lowest point is along the Mekong River at 70m (229ft). There are dozens of intricate cave systems dotted across the country, the most famous Pak Ou caves are filled with hundreds of carved Buddha statues and images to which locals pay their respects. The Tham Kong Lo is an underground lair that extends for 7km, which can only be chugged along in small motorized boats.
Kuang Si Waterfalls, Butterfly Park and Bear Rescue Centre
Kuang Si Waterfalls are the best trio of attractions in Luang Prabang, the cool and clear water pools are great to keep children happy for hours. Here you can also see the sanctuary for Asian sun bears, a local species endangered from poaching, take sometimes to learn about efforts to save them. Few steps away from the falls and the sanctuary is the Butterfly Park, take a break in the quiet jungle where you can see hundreds of species of butterflies. Your tour guide would love to show you a foot stall for a local treat, and a working rice farm along the way.
Visit Ock Pop Tok
Just a short 5-minute drive from the town, Ock Pop Tok is a living craft center known for silk-making, weaving, dyeing and batik techniques from various ethnic groups in Laos. The kids will have the opportunity to learn about the processes it takes to make a silk scarf, see real live silk worms eating green mulberry leaves as well as all the colorful materials used to make natural dyes. The center also offers a fun family class on tie-dying.
Cooking Class with Children and Elephant Camp
Follow a local chef to the market to shop for ingredients before heading to his kitchen to learn how to prepare quintessential Lao dishes, dips and their famous sticky rice. It’s up to you to have a hands-on class or a demonstration with a tasting at the end, and of cause dietary restrictions and allergies are typically accommodated for. Children will enjoy their time with the enticing array of colorful and unusual ingredients in Laotian cuisine before them, perhaps they would be requesting extra lemongrass for their parts in no time. After all, visit the Luang Prabang Elephant Camp to get up close and personal with these friendly and magnificent mammals.
STOP BY VANG VIENG
Some said that Vang Vieng has a reputation as a party town, but the town and its surroundings actually have a lot more to offer than the classic floating downriver in an inner-tube experience. Your personal guide and driver will unveil the charms of this little town with some great panoramic views.
Visit the Blue Lagoon
One of the most popular tourist attraction in Vang Vieng, Blue Lagoon is known for its blue waters and cool caves. It is where all ages have a blast jumping off its many rope swing and tree branches into the scenic swimming hole, a great spot to relax and cool off the afternoon heat. Here you can also visit Tham Poukham (Cave of the Golden Crab) named after a few stalactites and stalagmites look like golden crabs. Its first chamber is well lit, and it houses a bronze reclining Buddha illuminated by a ray of sunlight.
Kayaking, Climbing and Zip-Lining
There are some scenic river areas in Vang Vieng that are perfect for kayaking, your private guide will make sure you have kid-size paddles and life jackets. Incense Travel can also arrange a BBQ along the river and turn it into a special day-long private excursion. Beside kayaking, you can hike through rice paddies, rock climb up scraggly cliffs, zip line over treetops, and explore limestone caves around Vang Vieng. While you are in Vang Vieng, take a hot air balloon flight over the area to see beautiful rural sceneries, green mountains and its serene villages.
VISIT THE CAPITAL VIENTIANE
The capital Vientiane seems a bit like a city lost in time, though it is home to Laos’ unique culture and many regal wats. Explore Vientiane’s glittering temples, thousands of Buddhist images, interesting archeological sites and rich culture.
Wander past French colonial mansions, such as the remarkable Presidential Palace, and watch a fiery sunset over the Mekong River. Explore local markets, delve into Lao traditional textile arts at a workshop, and visit iconic golden That Luang Stupa – Laos’ national symbol built in 1566. Perhaps the best way to take in Laos’ scenery and hospitality is by slowly cruise along the Mekong, the river-bound journey winds through the country with stops at small villages for an up-close look at this fascinating country.
A private tour for family to explore the authentic Laos with Incense Travel features careful planning and expertise of professionals.