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Photo Essay: Is Laos still a virginal beauty?

top photography Laos


At first, visiting the tourist cities of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, my spirits were a little low.  Vientiane was a bland-spirited, straight-faced urban player with few bones of humor to pick; and though, Luang Prabang was inviting as a foreigner-friendly, party-throwing mecca, convivial to tourists, its only dwellers seemed to be travelers, monks and those who work in tourism. Where was the virgin Laos I’d heard about from others?

Hitting the Laotian countryside, the facades of French colonial architecture melted away. Concrete turned to wood and earth, revealing a Laotian maiden. Small communities of bamboo hut villages, wrapped in the karst landscape that’s fed by the Mekong snake. Rice paddy fields stretch over the land like canvas and locals enjoy the simple unfettered existence of ‘village life’.

Outside of the cities, rural Laos is ‘purely’ refreshing...

rice paddy fields in laos

laos kart mountains

Photos of Laos landscape

Why should you visit Laos? My top reason for recommending Laos to anyone is that it’s because it’s just so damn beautiful! The view alongside the Nam Ou and Mekong River are landscapes that look like paintings and this country will go down in my archives as having one of the most visually spell-binding.

Photos: River life on the Mekong (slideshow of 13 photos)

Photos of Laotian People in their Environment

These are photos of people working in the marketplaces and in smaller villages, even hilltribes.

Photos: Laotian lifestyle and people (slideshow of 18 photos)

laos kitten

Is Laos still a virginal beauty? It would seem so.



  1. love the photos of the house and the lifestyle in particular! seems like in so many places, the best experiences are away from the “tourist zones”. ive heard a lot of differing opinions on laos as a travel destination, but its definitely still right up there on my list. it has a sense of mystery about it or something.

    • @Jamie: Thanks. Yeah, it seems Southeast Asia is currently hopping with travelers. Off-the-beaten path places are harder to find. For instance, how can you “fall off” the well-worn routes of Vietnam or Thailand? Kinda impossible. With Laos, if you go outside of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, a more rural Laos is there. However, with rural Laos, where can you stay or eat, right? Catch 22. We want purity but as travelers, how much can we handle bedding down in it? 😉

  2. Mica says:

    Nice to see it still looks lovely, I will be visiting there soon.

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