• Riding a Slow Boat Down the Mekong: Traveling from Huay Xai in the north of Laos on the Thai border to Luang Prabang by slow boat takes 2 days, with a stopover for the night in Pakbeng. It's a great and relaxing way to see the dramatic scenery of northern Laos. Depending on the quality of your shipmates (because you can't change them once you have boarded), it can also be quite social.
  • Gibbon Spotting in Bokeo: In northern Laos, the indigenous gibbon has been under threat from slash-and-burn agriculture and deforestation. Now it is protected within the Bokeo Nature Reserve, 123,000 hectares (303,810 acres) of mixed-deciduous forest in a mountainous terrain ranging from 500 to 1,500m (1,640 -- 4,920 ft.) in elevation. Under expert direction you are allowed to hide out and observe these fascinating creatures going about their business in their natural habitat.
  • Driving Rte. 13: This route between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is one of Asia's most spectacular roads. Only 10 years ago, driving it solo was complicated by a problem of armed bandits. Those days are long gone and whether by motorcycle, jeep, or car it is one of the world's most rewarding journeys. Amazing limestone mountains, interesting villages, and a road surface that is no longer a bone-jarring nightmare all contribute to a blissful road trip.
  • Tubing down the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng: This silly but fun activity has become a bit of a trademark selling point in Vang Vieng. Backpackers consider it a rite of passage. Basically, you're driven a few miles upriver (all guesthouses provide the necessary transport) and then float back to town on the inflated inner tube of a tractor tire. There are little shops along the way selling food and beer. Some people get so hooked on this experience that they do it day after day, wallowing in a lazy, aquatic existence.
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  • Traveling on the Nam Ou: The Nam Ou River is different in character to the Mekong -- narrower, steeper on each side, and more intimate. A journey by boat, heading either north or south yields some of the most spectacular scenery in Asia.
  • Riding an Elephant in Luang Prabang: Laos is called the "Land of a Million Elephants and the Parasol." Going for a ride on just one of these magnificent and symbolic beasts is a pleasure not to be missed.
  • Climbing to Wat Phou: This Angkorian Khmer temple is built on the side of a mountain, so the climb may be sweaty, but the views are spectacular and the sense of history is palpable.
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    Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.