Top Ten Instagrammable Spots in Laos
Laos is a very photogenic place, offering great beauty and timeless landscapes. A great holiday destination for photographers with some magical opportunities for capturing those incredible moments. While this list could go for for much more, here are our Top 10 Instagrammable Spots in Laos.
1. Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang
Starting this list with a popular one, at the end of the climb up the 323 steps to the top of Mount Phousi you will find a small stupa and temple with stunning views of Luang Prabang town and the surrounding area. It is a great place for sunset (pictured), but it can become quite crowded. Head up in the morning for a much quieter sunrise view.
2. Kuangsi Waterfalls in Luang Prabang
One of the must-see sights around Luang Prabang is the multi-tiered Kuang Si Waterfalls, with multiple swimming holes, photo viewpoints and walks to explore. A regular feature of any Top 10 list of Waterfalls in SE Asia, Kuang Si is absolutely stunning. Visit early morning to avoid the crowds. Kuangsi Waterfalls are very near the Bears Rescue Centre, Butterfly Park and Lao Buffalo Dairy so it is worth a full day to explore this area properly. A suggested itinerary is here.
3. Nam Xay Viewpoint in Vang Vieng
The Nam Xay Viewpoint is about a 20 minutes drive from Vang Vieng town, located past Blue Lagoon 1. Just before you reach the entry point for Blue Lagoon 1, follow the road around to the left and continue for another 5 minutes. Here you’ll find a parking area and a small hut, which marks the start of the hike. A small entry fee is required to access the trail.
The hike takes about 30-45 minutes depending on your fitness level. It can get quite muddy in rainy season – make sure to wear appropriate shoes, since it does get very steep and slippery at times. There are handrails available for some of the more difficult parts. And yes, there really is a motorbike at the top for those brave enough to risk the photo op!
4. The Rice Paddies of Northern Laos
Food is at the heart of Lao culture, and rice is the foundation of that. Across the country, especially during the rainy season, the paddy fields turn green and the countryside takes on a lush richness that is amazing to see. With the mountains of northern Laos offering a great backdrop, these rice paddies make for iconic photo opportunities!
5. Waterfalls on the Bolaven Plateau in Southern Laos
The Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos offers at least two world-class attractions – it’s delicious coffee and its magnificent waterfalls. With more than ten amazing waterfalls dotted around the plateau, it’s good to spend a few days exploring – there’s plenty of guesthouses and lodges around the plateau, along with plenty of local coffee shops to enjoy some of the delicious Lao coffee grown here.
The stunning waterfall pictured above is Tad Pha Souam Waterfall. If you’re looking for an adventure on the Bolaven and the chance to zipline across a waterfall or two, then check out the Treetop Explorer with Green Discovery.
6. Hot-air Balloons over Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng features in this list a few times and for good reason – it offers some incredible photo opportunities, none more so that when soaring about the karst limestone peaks by hot-air balloon. Even for those sat beer the river enjoying a cold BeerLao, the balloons make for some great pics!
With both sunrise and sunset flights available, this is a unique way to see Vang Vieng.
7. Khonephrapheng Waterfalls in Champasak
Khonephrapheng Waterfalls lie along the southern border of Laos with Cambodia, and are part of the Four Thousand Islands area of the Mekong River. The widest waterfalls in the world (over 12km wide), they are also the largest in SE Asia and form an impressive sight!
8. The Rock Viewpoint at Phou Pha Marn, Khammouane
The Rock Viewpoint at Phou Pha Marn in Khammouane overlooks the Hinboun National Protected Area and offers ziplines, a spider-net and via ferrata! With accommodation onsite, including a stunning family-friendly tree-house, this makes for a key stop on the Khammouane Loop.
9. Sunsets in the Four Thousand Islands
The Four Thousand Islands at the southern-most tip of Laos are a must visit for travellers to Laos. The large skies and width of the Mekong River combine for majestic sunsets (and sunrises). Travel between the islands by longtail boats with several islands such as Don Khong, Don Det and Don Khone offering a range of accommodation, restaurants and tour activities like kayaking, biking and visiting the Khonephrapheng and Liphii Waterfalls. Its definitely worth 2-3 days of your time while exploring Laos on holiday.
10. Phadeng Peak in Nong Khiaw
Nong Khiaw Viewpoint sits atop Phadeng Peak, and offers incredible views above the clouds, down the Nam Ou River and the mountains of Nong Khiaw. The trek to the top takes 1-2 hours, is not too strenuous and the view from the top is incredible! Once you cross the bridge of the Nam Ou river in the centre of town, follow the road for about 200 metres and the start of the trek in on your left. Nong Khiaw is around 3 hours drive north of Luang Prabang and is well worth a couple of days to explore.
Have you got some great shots from your time in Laos? Tag us in your own Instagram posts and we’d be happy to repost.