The morning’s first sun rays pierce the mist hanging over the Mekong River, the smell of smoke from wood fires permeates the air, a rooster croons while – in silence – hundreds of Buddhist monks in saffron robes walk in single file past womenfolk placing offerings in their alms bowls – this is a scene that occurs every morning in Luang Prabang, old Royal Capital of Laos. Laos moves in its own pace and time seems to have no relevance at all; people sit in front of their house, enjoying the cool evening air by candle light and enjoying each other’s company. It is as if the pace of life in Laos is measured by the pace of the water flowing down the Mekong River.

A vast country with a small population, Laos is the green oasis of Asia par excellence. If you enjoy a river journey through forested hills and walks to villages of minority groups, this is your destination. Indeed, the magical old city of Luang Prabang is best discovered on foot and to get there, no approach is better than to journey down the mighty Mekong River from Northern Thailand. The archaeological site of the Plain of Jars provides mystery while the Mekong River’s imposing waterfall of Khone Phapheng near the Cambodian border adds drama to your visit. The laid back attitude of the Lao people and their genuine friendliness will make you want to come back to explore more of this unspoilt country.