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Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

Laos has a rich history stretching back 10,000 years. Most visitors begin their Laos journey from Vientiane. Depending on how much time you available, you might want to save your capital explorations until after you've seen other parts of the country. The former royal kingdoms of Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Champasak offer the most to be seen, be it Buddhist temples or French colonial structures. Laos is the best culture sites are located on or near the Mekong River.


The Lao people are known for their gentle polite nature and for their charming hospitality. The capital Vientiane, is one of Asia's biggest villages, sitting on the banks of the Mekong river. To the north, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old Royal City of Luang Prabang is home to dozens of temples and a way of life that has changed little over the years. In the south the Angkor era temple of Wat Phou is one of the jewels of the Mekong.

Laos boasts one of the least disturbed ecosystems in Asia, but access to creatures in the wild is correspondingly limited. Probably the two most rewarding areas for wilderness travel are the Nakai-Nam Theun NBCA on the Lao-Vietnamese border and the Khammuan Limestone NBCA east of Tha Khaek, both in Khammuan Province. The area around Si Phan Don is of major interest for its riparian habitats and waterfalls. Its southern most reach is also a fragile home to the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.
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