Our visit to Laos exceeded all our expectations. It’s beautiful, incredibly beautiful. This is a country full of surprises, heartwarming people, charming villages, stunning sceneries, impressive waterfalls, and hidden gems. Our 2 weeks in Laos itinerary covers all the highlights, the best things to do, our favorite places to stay, our favorite places to eat, and the best time to visit Laos. To help you visualize the route we’ve put it together on a map as well. Hopefully, this article will help you with planning your own trip to Laos.
The perfect 2 weeks in Laos itinerary
START Vientiane | END Huay Xai
DURATION 12 days
METHOD OF TRANSPORT Bus + boat
BEST TIME OF YEAR December-May
WHEN DID WE GO February
HIGHLIGHTS Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Mekong River Cruise, Pakbeng
How to get in Laos
Laos is located between Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand so it’s very easy to reach in many different ways. The most common ways of transport to get in Laos are by bus, flight or boat. We flew from Bangkok into Vientiane and after 2 weeks in Laos, we took a Mekong River cruise to cross the border again in the North of Thailand.
Many buses are available from all major cities as Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh, … towards Vientiane in Laos. We use the website or app of 12GO Asia as it is a perfect search platform for transport in Asia.
Best time to visit Laos
We traveled through Laos in February which is considered the best time to visit Laos and it was the perfect month in our opinion with blue skies and pleasant temperatures. In those 2 weeks in Laos, we had only 1 day of rain in the late afternoon. If you plan your Laos itinerary in the wet season, which is also perfectly possible, keep in mind that roads are extremely bad and rain showers can ruin your day trips.
High season: November – March
November to March are the best months to visit Laos. The temperatures are cooler in the mountains and rises in March and April. Many tourists are visiting Laos during this period so consider booking your accommodation in advance, especially during winter holidays.
Shoulder season: July & August
This is also a very good period to visit Laos. Temperatures are good, humidity is high and some rainfall in most parts of the country and landscapes are turning into beautiful green colors. Due to the summer holidays, this can be also a very popular time for travelers.
Low season: April – June, and September – October
Daily tropical rainfalls and temperatures rise to 35°C-40°C in April and May.
Rains are most of the time short and heavy but can last for days as well. Roads and rivers could be flooded in some parts of the country. In September and October, the temperature decrease, and nature are showing her beauty.
It is also not recommended to book a Mekong River Cruise in the wet season due to floods and heavy rainfalls.
Our 2 weeks in Laos started in Vientiane, the capital and biggest city in Laos. Vientiane is located on the border of Thailand and on the north-eastern bank of the Mekong river. The city is very easy to reach by bus and flights from Thailand, Cambodia, or Vietnam. We flew into the city from Bangkok and had an amazing stay in the most luxurious hotel of Vientiane, La Seine by Burasari.
Vientiane has such a relaxed atmosphere you won’t find in many capitals across the world. We loved to explore the old temples and wander around in the city but the nearby Buddha Park was our favorite highlight in Vientiane during these 2 weeks in Laos itinerary.
- 2-3 days
Where to stay in Vientiane
Things to do in Vientiane
- Have a walk through Buddha Park or also known as Xieng Khuan (15000 kip per person, by tuk-tuk or bus)
- Visit the hugely sacred temple Pha That Luang Stupa (5000 kip per person)
- Watch the sunset over the Mekong and chat with the friendly locals
- Stroll through the Vientiane Night Food Market and taste all the tasty cheap food
Where to eat
- Spirit House (facing the Mekong River, great menu & vegan options, all yummy)
How to get in Vientiane
Vang Vieng is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers. An idyllic village located between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. It’s a famous place for “tubing” down the river, taking beautiful hikes, and admiring some amazing scenery. This charming village surprised us a lot and we highly recommend adding Vang Vieng to your Laos itinerary!
- 2-4 days
Where to stay
Things to do
- Hike up the Phangern Viewpoint (10.000 kip per person + 15.000 kip per person for a tuk-tuk one-way)
- Rent a buggy (110.000 kip per hour) or scooter (50.000 – 70.000 for a full day) and explore the rural side of Vang Vieng
- Take a hot air balloon ride (650.000 – 750.000 kip per person for a 40-minute ride)
- Spend the day tubing on the Mekong River (60.000 kip per person)
Where to eat
- Green House Restaurant (facing the river, great sunset views)
How to get
Luang Prabang is a magical little town in northern Laos and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a perfect mix of nature, culture, shops, and restaurants all surrounded by the mighty Mekong River. There are so many incredible things to see and do, from chasing waterfalls and exploring beautiful temples to watching sunsets on a Mekong river cruise.
In the mornings we watched hundreds of monks collect offerings along the streets and in the evenings we tried the delicious local food at the food market. This amazing place is definitely worth to add to your travel itinerary of Laos
- 3-4 days
Where to stay
Things to do
- Visit the stunning Kuang Si Waterfalls (20.000 kip per person, open daily from 08:00-17:30)
- Stroll through the Night Market (daily from 17:00-23:00)
- Watch the sunset during a Mekong River Cruise (prices around 100.000 kip for a one-hour cruise incl drinks)
- Enjoy an authentic Laotian massage at the award-winning Spa of Burasari Heritage (we highly recommend the 60-minute Signature Massage which was 492.000 kip per person)
- Rent a bike and explore the cute little village of Luang Prabang
- Learn to cook traditional Laotian dishes and join a cooking class (Burasari Heritage organized a private one for us, which was great with stunning river views and a romantic setting)
- Climb Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang’s sacred hill to watch the sunset
- Visit the Royal Palace (open daily from 08:00-11.30 and 13:30-16:00)
- Explore the other beautiful temples like Wat Xieng Thong Temple (our favorite one)
Where to eat
- Utopia (our most favorite food spot with incredibly good food, cozy dining area, relaxed atmosphere, lovely river views, and a lot of vegan options)
- At the Night Market (delicious food buffets for only 10.000 kip per dish, vegan-friendly!)
- Manda de Laos (secret gem with a wonderful setting and serene atmosphere overlooking a beautiful lily pad, a bit more expensive but a lot of delicious choices)
- Café de Laos (best coffee in town, relaxed atmosphere, a good spot for reading a book, the cakes and pastries are heavenly!)
- Coconut Garden (located on the main street, excellent Lao food including a lot of vegan options, yellow curry here is the best!)
- Bouang (located on the main street, new trendy spot with a relaxed atmosphere, the veggie burger and buddha bowl so yummy!)
- The Terrace at Burasari Heritage (romantic terrace overlooking the river, yummy cocktails and food, try the massaman curry)
How to get
- Take the bus from Vang Vieng, most shops offer tickets around $8 or buy your tickets here in advance.
Mekong River Cruise to Huay Xai
No better way to end our 2 weeks in Laos itinerary by taking the two-day Mekong River Cruise with Luang Say, along the mighty Mekong River, which forms the natural border between Thailand and Laos.
During the Mekong River cruise, we sailed along jungle mountains, rugged forests, remote landscapes, charming small villages, and enjoy the most beautiful views that changed every second. Along the way, we stopped at villages to experience the daily life of the local people and visit some hidden gems. With the Mekong River cruise of Luang Say, which is the most luxurious and relaxed option, We spent also one night in a beautiful lodge in Pakbeng where we were surrounded by nature and the greatest views.
Read more about the best time to take the Mekong River cruise, the schedule, and some extra useful tips of the Luang Say Cruise here.
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