Laos for Backpackers and Solo Travellers

As a solo and backpacker destination:

Laos is the solo traveller's secret, nestled in the heart of South-East Asia. From the dragon's tooth mountains of the north, across rolling jungle hills to the open river plains of the south, the mighty Mekong River guides travellers through the country.

Laotians are welcoming of solo travellers as they travel a great deal themselves, moving between villages on collective pickups and local bus. These gentle people always welcome the hilarious diversion of a foreign traveller to share their journey and copious provisions of sticky rice and chicken-on-a-stick, Lao's staple fare.

Accommodation for solo travellers :

Guesthouses and small hotels are the best option for meeting like minded travellers and local people. Accommodation typically ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 kips (US$1 - US$5). More guesthouses are springing up in towns and even in remote villages as Laos embraces tourism.

Budget for solo travellers :

Laos can be comfortably enjoyed on a budget of US$10 per day. Excursions to the waterfalls and mountains around Luang Prabang are likely to increase your budget slightly, but are definitely worth the extra five dollars or so for that day. On the

Thousand Islands in the south, life revolves around watching the Mekong flow by so your budget can drop to as little as US$5 per day for accommodation in a riverside hut, meals, fruit shakes, and the local brew, lao lao .

Trips and activities for solos:

Laos offers a myriad of activities for solo travelers, from organised jungle treks and waterfalls, to independent visits to wats (temples), museums and other cultural attractions.

Luang Prabang - visit the towns' beautiful wats and bustling night market, swim in the Kuang Si waterfalls, and hike in the mountainous jungle and valleys.

Muang Ngoi -a peaceful hamlet on the northern stretches of the Mekong.

Phonsavan - let local guides show you the Plain of Jars, an archaeological mystery.

Vang Vieng - a backpacker town geared for movie houses and rubber tubing along the Mekong.

Bolaven Plateau - get off the beaten track in this coffee region and visit Tat Lo waterfalls and the remote towns of Sekong and Attapeu.

Don Det and the Thousand Islands - stay in a hut overlooking the Mekong and travel the river in a long boat looking for the rare Irrawaddy dolphins and admiring the waterfalls before the Mekong passes out of Laos to Cambodia.

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