The Essential
Laos, the "former kingdom of a million elephants", is opening up to ecotourism. The lavish nature of this very mild country has yet to be fully explored, but many marvels now await the tourist.
Hop on a boat at Ventiane, after exploring the last Asian capital suited to pedestrians, for a leisurely trip on the Mekong. Go up river as far as Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, without forgetting to stop at the spectacular falls of Kuang Si.
Before you head south, pause for a while at the enigmatic archaeological site of the Jarres plain, home to hundreds of megalithic specimens. Continue on through the Thakhek Region famous for its magnificent karst mountain ranges, and tour the grottoes, at the bottom of which run underground rivers.
Then stop at the Khmer Vat Phu temple, the most grandiose, before a final foray into the primeval forests of the Bolaven, refreshed by energetic waterfalls. Then take a seat and sample a bowl of sticky rice served with a host of aromatic dishes, as you review a day rich in unforgettable memories.

Must see

Michelin's recommendations for Laos

Vat Xieng Thong Vat Xieng Thong
Vat Xieng Thong
Luang Prabang
Pha That Luang Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang
Vat Phu Vat Phu
Vat Phu
Plain of Jars Plain of Jars
Plain of Jars
Vat Mai Vat Mai
Vat Mai
Luang Prabang
Tham Konglor Tham Konglor
Tham Konglor

Our reports

Si Phan Don: the 4,000 Islands of Laos

Warning: this is just the sort of earthly paradise one is loathe to leave behind. Rising from the Mekong River at the southern point of Laos, the 4,000 Island archipelago marries bucolic charm with the exotic beauty of South-East Asia.


Five must-sees of Laos

Mysterious and cut off from the rest of the world for many years, Laos is justly proud of its contrasting landscapes, dotted with caves, waterfalls and temples. Welcome to the Land of a Million Elephants!