What’s that, you’ve got 2 weeks to spend in Laos? Fantastic – that’s the perfect amount of time to spend there. Like our 10 days in Laos article, spending 14 days in Laos follows a somewhat similar itinerary with some differences that the extra time affords you! You can also add on an extra destination – Huay Xai.
Luang Prabang Days 1-2
As always in Laos, I prefer to start my trip right in the north of the city as it makes it a lot easier to work your way down.
You can start exploring Luang Prabang by visiting the Tat Kuang Si waterfall. The waterfall is known as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Southeast Asia and is really worth exploring!
There are so many different Wats that you can spend quite a long time exploring them all! As previously mentioned on the blog, my favourite temple is Wat Xieng Thong. There is an impressive rare reclining buddha inside which is an entirely different style to most of the Buddhas you’d see in SEA.
It would be best if you also climbed Mount Phu Si for a 360-degrees view over Luang Prabang. The views are spectacular and make any sunrise or sunset worthwhile!
Vang Vieng Days 3-6
Compared to the last itinerary we planned, I would afford an extra day in Vang Vieng. In reality, I would recommend way longer here; the place is just phenomenal. But as we only have fourteen days, we need to make the most of our time!
Vang Vieng is incredibly green and a refreshing place to be – must be that clean air.
One of my favourite activities is kayaking down the Nam Song. The water runs quick so make sure you’re comfortable in white-water rafting speeds! You can also have an adrenaline-filled zipline experience which will take you through the tree-tops of the jungle before plunging you into the river.
One of the best things about Vang Vieng is it genuinely has something for everyone. If you enjoy caving, then Vang Vieng will offer you some great experiences. There are four caves all in a very close area. Tham Xang is one of the main caves and is home to ancient Buddha statues, a Buddha footprint and an elephant-shaped stalactite.
Tham Hoi and Tham Loup are two more nearby caves which house Buddha statues. They also have names of over 100 people who hid in the caves during the Vietnam war. Finally, Tham Nam is a water cave which can only be explored by jumping in a rubber ring and tubing through the dark! The experience tubing through a dark, claustrophobic cave gives you a great insight into what it was like for the locals who were being bombed day and night.
The Blue Lagoon is another must-see place in the area! Here you’ll find most locals gathering here and enjoying the fine cuisine the region has to offer. If you grow tired of swimming in some of the bluest waters you’ll see; then make your way to the Phu Kham Cave; where there is another golden reclining Buddha hidden inside.
Vientiane Days 6-8
I enjoy the relaxed setting of the capital. Heavily influenced by its French past but mixed with its own identity. One of the best things to visit is the capitals very own Arc De Triomphe. The Arc is brilliantly built and has significant similarities to the one in Paris!
Pha That Luang is another must-see tourist attraction. It is said to be the most important national monument in Laos; this gold-leafed temple is believed to have a piece of Buddha’s breastbone encased in the stupa.
Visiting the COPE centre in the capital was a huge eye-opener. I love educating myself on the history and the politics of the country I visit. Although Laos was not officially in the Vietnamese War, more bombs were dropped on Laos per capita than any other country. Surprisingly, many bombs failed to detonate and therefore still injure thousands of people today, hence why it is so important to visit and support the COPE centre. This organisation educates visitors on the problem and provides victims with prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation.
As mentioned earlier, the capital is heavily influenced by its French connection. Meaning that if you’re a big foodie, you’ll have no issues finding some great dishes. For lunch, go to one of the many baguette cafés scattering the streets. For dinner, choose between a plethora of cuisines from high-end French and Italian restaurants to more authentic Laotian eateries and even incredible Indian food. The capital is more about education and enjoying the great food rather than enjoying the adventure of all places.
Si Phan Don Days 9-11
With 14 days in Laos, you’ll be able to afford an extra day in Si Phan Don, which is excellent news for you! The place is stunning and has some of the best natural hotspots in Laos. Si Phan Don is home to one of the most amazing waterfalls in the area; Khone Phapheng Fall is nicknamed the Niagara of Asia, and when you go you’ll see why! The cascading water crashing and smashing into the vast mountainous rocks makes for an excellent experience.
The area has so many great activities which you can do. As you have an extra day, it means that you won’t be pushed for time and also, can do all the activities on offer. Irrawaddy dolphin spotting, kayaking, and tubing are just some of the activities you can choose. The area is most adventurous than the capital and offers you a lot more to do in the form of activities. During your last night in Laos, you can sit on the shores of the islands for dinner to catch an incredible sunset over the Mekong River!
Huay Xai Days 12-14
One of my favourite places in Laos; Huay Xai is a place like no other. If spending your nights sleeping in sky-high tree houses alongside gibbons, and days ziplining from tree to tree is your idea of jungle heaven, then you’re in luck.
14 days in Laos allows you time to explore The Nam Kan National park – home to an abundance of wildlife and the most pristine forest. At 136,000 hectares you won’t struggle to find some impressive wildlife! Created to stop illegal logging, hunting and fishing, the national park has been a huge conservation success. The Gibbon Experience invests much time in reforestation programs, looking after old trees as well as planting a diverse range of new ones.
You will get to spend your mornings with the guides gibbon-spotting, seeing other wildlife such as giant squirrels and Asiatic black bears. If you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll love your two days here!
If you enjoyed this article on 14 days in Laos you might also like to read about the best backpacking route Southeast Asia.