The New York Times named Laos the new hot spot of Indochina, with the capital city Vientiane and ancient temple sites drawing adventurous culture seekers. It?s a landlocked country and the Mekong River its main waterway, which you can explore by cruising or living aboard a luxury houseboat. The pace of life is slow even compared with neighboring Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and you can be certain of a warm welcome from relaxed and friendly locals.
Much of Laos is forest-covered mountains with the Mekong River Valley the other main geographical feature. The capital city, Vientiane, is proudly described as Asia's biggest village, where French colonial architecture stands next to gilded temples, and there are few modern buildings of any sort. On a Mekong river cruise you will see dramatic mountain scenery, jungle, farmland and some sandy beaches. The route takes in the town of Pakbeng and the ancient royal capital, Luang Prabang, onwards to the town of Houei Say on the Laos/Thailand border. Cruising from Pakse towards the Laos/Cambodia border takes you through a historically important area including the Vat Phou ruins at Champassak, the Oum Muong ruins at Huei Thamo, the network of waterways around the 4,000 Islands and the dramatic Pha Pheng waterfall.