Family holidays in Laos
Laos is a fantastic destination for a family holiday that's well and truly out of the ordinary. Laid-back, lush and well off the beaten tourist track, this is the perfect choice for parents hoping to give their children a real taste of adventure.
Indeed, this tranquil country is not only relatively free of the tourist droves, but it also offers a tempting mix of enchanting landscapes, fun-filled activities and fascinating heritage - plenty to leave kids and grown-ups alike utterly enthralled. Plus, Lao culture is very welcoming of children, making this place feel decidedly family-friendly, despite its tourism infrastructure still being in its infancy.
Give your children a unique holiday experience
There are lots of reasons to take your family on a tour of Laos, but perhaps one of the best is the fact that it will give your children a holiday experience that's totally different from the norm - and in more ways than one. For instance, it will be a rare chance for them to explore somewhere off the well-beaten tourist track - something that will also infuse the whole trip with a sense of adventure kids will find irresistible.
It is also the perfect way to introduce them to touring holidays. Laos itself is best enjoyed not by staying in a single destination, but by visiting several, which has the added advantage of keeping children interested and preventing boredom. For the ultimate touring experience, combine Laos with a visit to another country, such as Thailand, Vietnam or Singapore. These destinations all have more developed tourism infrastructures than Laos, which helps to provide balance to your break and give you the best of both worlds.
Mix relaxation with activities on Laos holidays
There are few places in the world better suited to relaxation than Laos, with its idyllic landscapes and slow pace of life. However, that doesn't mean a Laos holiday cannot cater for active kids; on the contrary, the destination provides an exciting array of activities, including cycling through unforgettable scenery, jungle hikes and fun-filled kayaking.
Among the best spots for both relaxation and kayaking is Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). Here, you can enjoy the magical island scenery and treat yourself to boat trips, swimming, cycling and even dolphin-spotting, in addition to relaxing kayaking opportunities.
If you and your kids love cycling, then Laos is especially perfect for you, as there are few better ways to explore this dazzling country than on two wheels. Pedalling around the countryside gives you the opportunity to explore as please, visit less accessible destinations, meet locals and, of course, spend quality time together.
Visit beauty spots
One of the best things about visiting Laos is that even in the cities, you are never far from the country's characteristically serene scenery. For instance, just outside Luang Prabang it's possible to admire the views of verdant mountains while trekking or enjoying a tranquil river cruise.
Among the most scenic spots near the city is the Kuang Si Falls. Reachable by boat, this incredibly beautiful spot is the ideal place for a quiet family picnic, a gentle stroll, and perhaps a quick dip in the water.
Laos is covered with amazing beauty spots - Si Phan Don, for instance, is particularly magical - so you will be spoilt for choice when choosing where to go.
Discover amazing heritage
While it's perfectly possible to spend a luxury holiday in Laos admiring the scenery and enjoying fun activities with the kids, there are plenty of opportunities for discovering local heritage too. Plus, there's scope for doing so in a way that really excites children - such as taking city bicycle tours, venturing into caves or exploring ancient ruins.
Vientiane is an especially good city to discover on two wheels. Along the way, you can visit museums (the National Museum, which traces the story of Laos from prehistory to the present, is a particular highlight) and impressive wats.
Alternatively, why not discover some of the incredible Khmer temple ruins in the Champasak province, or some of the nation's UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as Wat Phu?
When to go on a luxury family holiday to Laos
Laos holidays work particularly well as a festive or half-term break for families, as the best time to visit the country is from November to March. However, if it is not feasible to travel then, July and August are also possible - it is generally wetter and more humid at this time, but rain showers are usually short, meaning much of the time it's still possible to enjoy dry weather.
Family holidays in Laos
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Neil Murray, a writer from The Telegraph, has recently taken a tour with Voyages Jules Verne to Laos and Cambodia to explore the delights of south-east Asia. The tour stopped off at attractions in both countries, including the impressive Angkor Wat, waterfalls, a floating village, cruises on the Mekong River, night markets, and the Killing Fields under the guidance of professional tour experts.
Laos has recently reported a 10 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of international arrivals in 2014 with 4.16 million arrivals. In an effort to build on its current success, the Southeast Asian country recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China aimed at developing Laos' infrastructure and services.