A World Heritage is divided into 3 categories: Natural Site, Culture Site or Mixed Site. When you are traveling, you should take into consideration to visit the World Heritage of each country since it directly reflects its culture, lifestyle and reputation and understand why it is recognize as A World Heritage.
Is there any UNESSCO World Heritage in Laos? The answer is YES, ABSOLUTELY! Everywhere in the world must have some specialties and attractions, and Laos is not an exception. 2 destinations in Laos have been legitimated by UNESSCO as The World Heritage. They are Luang Prabang, the former city of Laos, and Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape.
These two World Heritages are famous for their cultural meanings, which give visitor the feeling of tradition and mystery, and also best represent Laotian’s architecture.
World Heritage Town, Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is situated in the North Central Part of Laos, the middle of mountainous region and is widely known as the former capital of this country. The reason why Luang Prabang became Laos’ former capital is originated from a Laotian Legend. People said that Buddha have smiled when he travel in this area, which aims Luang Prabang is a good place will increase its prosperity in the future. There are 58 villages and 33 of them are recognized as World Heritage Town for its preserved architecture, cultural and religious features.
- Year of Recognition: 1995 as World Heritage Town
- Suitable for: who loves architecture (especially Buddhism, French and Laotian Architecture) and anyone wants to explore nature beauty and rural area. The area is suitable for relaxing except for some mountain for waterfall which is not suitable for the elder. It is not only an old town but also the combination of tradition and modern style.
- Activities: Visiting fresh market, Royal Palace Museum, temple such as: Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Long Khoun, Climbing up to Mount Phousi to breath in the fresh air and see the town from a panoramic view, Visit Khoung Si Fall, Night Market, Alms’ Offering Ceremony, Elephant Village, etc.
- Best season to visit: Warm almost throughout the year, but cold in December and January. The wet season often takes place from April to December. The high season starts from November to December to avoid the heat.
- Transportation: Access to direct flight from Bangkok (Thailand) and Vientiane or Boat in Mekong River or travel by car within Laos. To travel all the attractions in Luang Prabang, you can use a car.
- Accommodation: there is variety of choices in term of hotels and hostel ranging from 1 star to 5 stars. Easily to book and make reservation.
- Entry Fee: usually small entrance fee for temples in Luang Prabang and so on.
- Appropriate Number of Days to Spend: 2-3 days (can be extended based on your interest)
- Tour Available:
Wat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape
In Laotian, Wat Phou means “Mountain Temple”. Vat Phou has been existed for over 1000 years and located in Champasak province, 500 kilometers away from Vientiane. Wat Phou still remains many features and buildings representing classical Khmer architecture ranging from 5th to 15th century. The Khmer Empire from here has expended to modern Cambodia nowadays. Wat Phu clearly expresses the Khmer religion and culture of the empire in the past.
- Year of Recognition: 2001
- Suitable for: especially for who want to discover Khmer culture and architecture. They will be amazed by Khmer’s Art and temple ruins and be reminded of the past.
- Activities: Discover Wat Phu, see Buddha’s Statue or Khmer decoration, Watching the Sunset on Mekong River.
- Best season to visit: February offers you a chance to take part in temple’s biggest annual festival with many ceremonies and activities. Additionally, the high season is from November to December (it is cold but you can avoid the heat and humidity)
- Transportation: Access of bus from Pakse or 2-3 hours on boat in Mekong River from Champasak
- Accommodation: A lot of hotel and service in Paske or Champasak with many different prices. You can visit Wat Phu during the day and come back to the hotel late afternoon.
- Entry Fee: No entrance fee, totally free
- Appropriate Number of Days to Spend: 1 day
- Tour available:
You might not know:
- Laos’ religion
- Laos’ transportation
- Laotian Architecture
- Laos’ Capital through period