LAOS TOURISM GUIDE (Regions, Hotels, etc...)
Vientiane & Northern Laos
VIENTIANE: One of Asiaâ€™s most relaxed and quiet capital cities, Vientiane is nestled in fertile plains on the banks of the Mekong River. Many buildings reflect the countryâ€™s past links with Europe, such as the old French colonial houses and the capitalâ€™s Victory Monument, which bears a striking, if somewhat rococo, similarity to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. An important national monument is the 16th-century That Luang (Royal Stupa) that symbolises Buddhist and Lao union. Other interesting sights include the Lao Revolutionary Museum; Wat Ho Prakeo, a former royal temple; Wat Sisaket, one of the capitalâ€™s oldest temples; Wat Xieng Khouang (Buddha Park), situated 24km (15 miles) south of the city and displaying fascinating Buddhist and Hindu structures.
XIANG KHOUANG: Xiang Khouang province in the northeast of the country is characterised by lush green mountains and Karst limestone. The capital, Phonsavan, enjoys a favourable climate being at an altitude of 1200m (3937ft). The unusual Plain of Jars is accessible from the city and offers the mysterious sight of hundreds of stone jars, some weighing up to 6 tonnes, scattered over the landscape. The jars are over 2000 years old and legend says that they were used to ferment rice wine in the sixth century in order to celebrate a victory in battle. Some 52km (32 miles) north of Phonsavan, visitors can enjoy bathing in two hot springs: Bo Noi and Bo Yai.
LUANG PRABANG: This ancient royal city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. Located between the Mekong and Khan River, it is the cultural and religious centre of the country, boasting 32 large temple complexes. Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most impressive temples, decorated with coloured glass and gold. Testament to the fact that it had been the royal capital until 1975, the royal palace there contains fine artwork and gifts made for former kings. Nearby, in the town centre, visitors can ascend Mount Phousi for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding rivers. Also worth seeing is the Palace Museum (the former royal palace), easily recognisable by its golden-spired stupa, which houses an impressive collection of artefacts from old rulers of the Kingdom of Lane Xang.
Excursions: Close by is Ban Phanom Village, famous for its weavings, which offers the opportunity to visit a traditional community and to purchase bargain-priced silk and embroideries. Around 25km (16 miles) along the Mekong river lie the fascinating Pak Ou Caves, that can be easily reached by speedboat from Luang Prabang. The two caves, Tham Ting and Tham Phun, are full of Buddha images that have been left there over hundreds of years by worshippers. Further downriver is the small village of Ban Xang Hai, famous for its production of rice whisky. Also worth seeing are the Kuang Si Waterfalls, situated 30km (19 miles) from Luang Prabang. Visitors can swim in the lower pools.
LUANG NAMTHA: Situated in the far northwest of Laos, Luang Namtha province is a mountainous region, with areas of tropical rainforest and over 39 ethnic minority groups. An ecotourism project for the region has been proposed by UNESCO. Muang Xing is a small town on the river plains which used to be an outpost for an ancient southern Chinese empire. A number of guest houses can offer hiking trips starting from here.
KHAMMOUANE: Khammouane province is accessible from Vientiane by bus. The region is currently being explored for its potential as a place for ecotourism, and its amazing limestone formations, caves, rivers and jungle make it a unique environment. Its capital, Tha Kek, is a good place to reach other sights, such as the Tham Xieng Lap Caves and the That Skihotabang, a stunning stupa built by King Nanthasen in around the 10th century.
SAVANNAKHET: Within easy reach by bus from Khammouane is Savannakhet province. Positioned between Thailand and Vietnam, the province acts as a useful trading junction between the two. Most of the townâ€™s architecture is French colonial, including a large Catholic church, although there are several buddhist temple buildings worth seeing, such as Wat Sainyaphum. It is possible to walk the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a former clandestine route used by the North Vietnamese Army to transport military gear to South Vietnam. The trail was bombed by the USA during the Vietnam war and parts of this devastation can still be viewed. However, the trail must be seen with a guide as large parts of the route still contain unexploded bombs.
CHAMPASSAK: Pakse, capital of Champassak province, is easily reached by air from Vientiane. Pakse is home to many ethnic minority groups, much of the Bolaven Plateau and the famous, although relatively unvisited, Wat Phu temple. Wat Phu was constructed around the fifth century on a mountain top near fresh spring water by the Khmer Hindus, who went on to settle their empire at its former capital â€“ Ankor Wat (Cambodia). There are breathtaking views across the Mekong valley from the temple. The complex can be reached by chartered boat along the Mekong river. Other excursions worth making are to the Bolaven Plateau, where visitors can enjoy elephant riding and trekking, and to Sii Pan Dan (Four Thousand Islands), where islands are formed during the rainy season on the Mekong river. There is the opportunity to see spectacular waterfalls and the endangered irriwaddy dolphins.
HOTELS IN LAOS
Champasack (southern Laos, on the bank of Mekong river, near old Khmer temple "Wat Phu")
Champa Residence Hotel
Road 13 South (near Mekong Bridge). PO Box 504, Pakse, Champasack.
Phone: +856-31-212 120; Fax: +856-31-212 765, 212 649
Hotel, car & boat rental.
Ban Done Samsib, Pakse, Champasack.
Phone: +856-31-212 563; Fax: +856-20-530 778
Km 5, 13 South Road. Houyyangkham Neua. PO Box 89, Pakse, Champasack.
Phone: +856-31-212 755, 212 756; Fax: +856-31-212 792
Luang Namtha (northern Laos, hilltribes, China border) |
Hongtha Xaysomboun Hotel
Phomvihanh Road, Ban Saysomboun, Luang Namtha.
Phone: +856-86-312 078, 312 456; Fax: +856-86-312 079
The Boat Landing Guest House
PO Box 28, Luang Namtha.
An ecolodge located on the banks of the Namtha river and offering guests access to the Nam Ha Protected Area through rafting, kayaking, trekking and mountian biking.
Phone: +856-86-312-398; Fax: +856-86-312-239; Email: email@example.com
Web site: www.theboatlanding.com
Luang Prabang (Northern Laos, on the bank of Mekong river, museums, Lao style temples, weaving, waterfalls, hilltribes, boating)
Ban Lao Guesthouse
80/5 Ban Mano, Luang Prabang.
Phnoe: +856-71-252 078, 212 438; Fax: +856-71-212 438
Ban Thatluang, Chao Fa Ngum Road. PO Box 741, Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212 200; Fax: +856-71-212 577
Phouvao Street, Ban Pongkham, Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212 636
121/3 Phou St., Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212 250, 212 509; Fax: +856-71-212 508; Mobile: +856-20-570 666, 570 054
New Luang Prabang Hotel
Sisavang Vong Rd., Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212264; Fax: +856-71-212804
Hotel close to the famous tempels such as Wat Phousi, Wat Visoun.
Phou Vao Hotel
Domaine De Phou Vao, P.O. Box 50, Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212194; Fax: 856-71-212534
Hotel with 57 rooms and 2 suites.
Setthathirath Rd., Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212192, 212717-8; Fax: +856-71-212719
Rue Sakkarine, Luang Prabang.
Phone: +856-71-212267, 252157; Fax: +856-71-252158
Phongsaly (Northern province, hilltribes, Chian border)
Ban chommeuang, Phongsaly.
Phone: +856-88-412 057; Fax:+856-88-314 794
Vientiane (Capital city, temples, markets, bridge over Mekong to Thailand) | Back to top
01-03 Hengboun St., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-213630-2; Fax: +856-21-213632
Hotel in town center, Lao traditional cuisine.
Asian Pavilion Hotel
379, Samsanthai Rd., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-213430, 213431; Fax: 856-21-213432
$25 to $60 a room.
Darasavanh Guesthouse & Restaurant
Ban Houay Hong. PO Box 4614, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-450 403
Fangum Rd., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-214102, 214106; Fax: +856-21-214108
Hotel with 109 rooms, $22 and above.
Lao Hotel Plaza
63, Samsenthai Rd., Vientiane
Phone: +856-21-218800-1; Fax: 856-21-218808
Luang Prabang Road. PO Box 2161, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-212 938; Fax: +856-21-212 822
Ban Thinkeo, Keoudom District, Vientiane.
Hotel with 24 air-conditioned rooms. Located near Nam Ngum dam lake 80 km north of Vientiane city.
New Apollo Hotel
Luang prabang Rd., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-213343, 214462; Fax: +856-21-213245
Hotel, from $20 to $30 a room.
Unit 9, Samsenthai Rd., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-213570, Fax: 856-21-213572
Luang Phabang Rd., Ban Sithan Neua, Vientiane.
Mobile: +856-16-216244-6, 216231; Fax: +856-16-216231
Royal Dokmaideng Hotel
Lanexang Av., P.O.Box 3925, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-214455,214477; Fax: +856-21-214454
Manthathoulat Street, Xiangnyeun Village, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-212 116, 216 287; Fax: +856-21-216 287; Mobile: +856-20-518 258
Sene Souk Hotel
100, Km 2, Luang Prabang Rd., Ban Khounta Thopng, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-213 375, 215 567; Fax: +856-21-217 449; Mobile: +856-20-514 454
6, Pang Kham St., Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-=217581; Fax: +856-21-217583
2-12, Francois Nginn St., Ban Mixay, Muong Chanthabury, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-216 906 - 9; Fax: +856-21-216 223
Url: www.travelao.com and www.laohotelgroup.org
Tamnak Lao Guesthouse
That Luang Road, Ban PhonXay, Vientiane.
Phone: +856-21-413 562; Fax: +856-21-213 632; Mobie: +856-20-511 905