Small and nestled in the heart of Asia, Laos is one of the most authentic countries on the continent. Taking a trip to Laos will plunge you into a lush landscape that's home to several rare species.
1,500km from top to bottom, Laos stretches across 236,000 square kilometres. It's about the same size as the UK. With no coastal regions, Laos is nestled in the heart of Asia and shares borders with China, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Although Luang Prabang is the best known town, the country's capital is Vientiane, once called the Kingdom of a Million Elephants. Most of the country is taking up by plateaus, such as the famous Bolovens Plateau or the Phou Bia mountains, home to Laos' highest summit at an altitude of 2,850m. 1,800 kilometres of the country is crossed by the legendary River Mekong, where you can take a cruise during your holiday in Laos.
The monsoon season in Laos lasts from April to October. The downpours are heavy and temperatures can soar to above 35°C. But if it's any consolation, there are still dry spells during the monsoon...it won't rain all day, every day! It tends to rain in the evening and it is torrential. The monsoon is heavier in the south than in the north. Weather-wise, it's best to visit Laos between November and March.
Much of Laos is taken up by stunning tropical rainforests. Native trees include rosewood and teak as well as bamboo, banana trees, pines and kapokiers. You'll not only find numerous rice fields but also orchards lined with durian, coconut, papaya, jackfruit and mango trees.
Even if Laos' animal life is not its most famous asset, the country is, nonetheless, home to several rare species including gibbons, leopards, elephants, bears, snakes such a cobras and the increasingly hard to spot river dolphins of Irawady.