Two of the trendiest countries in Asia are Vietnam and Thailand, but their landlocked neighbor sandwiched between them often flies under the radar.
Travelers have been flocking to Asia all year long as 2023 has seen a strong resurgence for travelers everywhere.
Laos should be next on the list. This spectacularly underrated country has seen increasing tourism numbers throughout the summer and expects an even bigger increase next year.
Why it is often overlooked is anyone’s guess, but Laos rivals all the top destinations in Asia.
Here are 6 reasons why your next trip to Asia should be Laos:
The major city of northern Laos has been gaining popularity slowly but surely. You may find it in top 10 rankings often, but it hardly ever seems to crack the top 5.
It’s time for that to change. Most recently, Travel and Leisure’s World Best Awards had it ranked #8 for best cities in Asia, with Udaipur taking the #1 spot.
There we go…progress! Luang Prabang should be a household name like Bali or Bangkok, yet it is much less known than that dynamic duo.
This beautiful French Colonial city is set on the famous Mekong River and is an outdoor lover’s dream. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In fact, Time Magazine named this city a ‘hidden paradise’, largely in part due to its stunning scenery and romantic sunset boats along the river.
Southeast Asia has long been an escape for budget travelers. That has not changed for Laos, as it remains much more affordable than some of Asia’s best places.
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If you were to pick your next Asian getaway between, say, Tokyo and Laos, Tokyo would lose by miles!
It’s not unreasonable to budget under $40 per day and have an awesome trip, which would cover all the basics – food, shelter, and transportation.
While it’s cheap when you get here, it’s important to note there are no direct flights from the U.S., which typically implies the flight is on the higher end of the scale.
Stunning Nature Rivaling Asia’s Top Destinations
Many travelers don’t think twice about going to places they already know. If travelers want an Asian adventure, chances are Thailand, Japan, or Bali come to mind.
Laos rivals all of them. Waterfalls? You got it. Impeccable food? Check. Amazing culture? You bet. Elephant sanctuaries? Multiple. So what’s missing?
Laos is a landlocked country, so it doesn’t have a beach, but will you be complaining about that as an otherworldly waterfall is splashing down on you?
The postcard-worthy turquoise waters at Kuang Si Falls will only have you thinking about how much you love being here.
Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park
Named as one of the ‘Best Night Safaris’ earlier this year, the gorgeous Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park of Houaphan is a must-see.
The most common way to see is by river cruise. This park is one of the biggest and most biodiverse in the country, with a stunning landscape that you will remember forever.
While the night safari may be the most unique way to see it with a campfire dinner and searching for endangered species of wildlife, there are other awesome options, such as hiking tours.
The Perfect Solo Trip
It takes courage to venture off to another country on your own. Laos may seem like a faraway land, and it is. However, you will be welcomed with open arms as this is the heart of Lao culture.
Whether visiting a remote village or riding a scooter through endless roads of rice fields, you will feel free on your own in this amazing country.
Factor in affordability, plentiful hostels throughout the country, and ease of transport, Laos is a solo traveler’s paradise.
Southeast Asia has been known for ages for welcoming backpackers. Crime is relatively low, so solo trekkers should feel totally worry-free here.
Investment In Tourism
The bottom line is Laos wants you to come here. In a day and age where over-tourism can be a real issue, Laos is the opposite.
This country knows how great they are and what they have to offer. Travelers are coming from all over the world and being embraced with warmth and gratitude for putting Laos on traveler’s radars.
The latest reports say more and more Americans are coming here along with tourists from neighboring Vietnam and Thailand, plus the U.K. and France.
Laos’ tourism board has poured money into better quality service at hotels, restaurants, and even guesthouses, such as Airbnbs.
Travelers should expect top-notch service at many of the tourist sites as this has been the main focus to bring in more visitors.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com