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Published on August 26, 2021

Known for its beautiful sceneries, limestone formations, and dense forests, Lao PDR has become a must-visit destination for adventure seekers. You can traverse through the country’s rivers, such as the Nam Song River, by tubing or kayaking. For those that are daring, you can explore the jungles and waterfalls of Dong Hua Sao National from a different perspective by zipline. For one of the more iconic activities in Lao PDR, you can ride hot air balloons to experience the beautiful scenery of Vang Vieng from up high. With many thrilling activities to do, here are some of the best adventure activities in Lao PDR you should do on your next trip to Southeast Asia.

Cycling Along the River of Nam Ou | Instagram @antipode_sans_carbone_

Cycling Along the Nam Ou River

Take a cycling adventure along the tranquil river of Nam Ou and admire the scenery of tall limestone cliffs and vibrant forests. This route should be for medium leveled bikers who are comfortable riding on varied smooth and hill riding. The trail goes from Luang Prabang through amazing river and mountain landscapes. There’s nothing like experiencing the countryside of Lao PDR by bicycle, riding along the river surrounded by total serenity.

Floating By Inner Tube on Nam Song River | Visit Southeast Asia

Float Along Nam Song River

For an adventure that is invigorating and relaxing, float along the Nam Song River by inner tube. You’ll pass by the countryside, beautiful limestone landscapes, and dense riverside jungles along the river. This popular Lao PDR activity in Vang Vieng is perfect for cooling off while admiring the vibrant landscape of the Nam Song River.

Ziplining Across Dong Hua Sao National Park | Instagram @southernLao PDR_tourism

Ziplining at Dong Hua Sao National Park

Travelers that want a thrilling experience should visit the Jungle Hotel Paksong in Dong Hua Sao National. You can choose to trek through the park, but you can explore the jungle by zipline for the more adventurous types. There are a series of long zipline wires that are all connected by short treks from the resort. Each zipline has you racing past beautiful waterfalls and lush gorges throughout the forest. 

4,000 Islands | Instagram @laothiaolao

Kayaking the 4,000 Islands

For those who want to have a laid-back adventure, kayaking at 4,000 Islands is an activity you shouldn’t miss. With both gentle waters and some challenging spots, paddling through the Mekong River is perfect to both take in the stunning scenery and occasionally stopping at villages and islands to explore. You might even have the chance to spot the Irrawaddy dolphin during your kayaking adventure at 4,000 Islands. While many people visit 4,000 Islands to kick back and relax, the laid-back archipelago is one of the best spots in Lao PDR to kayak. 

Rock Climbing at Thakhek | Instagram @p3sc

Rock Climbing at Thakhek 

If you’re looking for a physical challenge, visit the karst limestone mountains at Thakhek, a small town in southern Lao PDR. The area is a developed sport climbing area with over 400 sport climbs and 100 boulder problems, with new climbs added every season. With many climb routes, it is perfect for both newcomers and experienced climbers. Plus, you can take in the magnificent views of the valley. 

Buddha Statues at Pak Ou Caves | Instagram @axtonsalim

Exploring the Pak Ou Caves

Amongst the natural wonders of Lao PDR are its limestone caves. One of the more popular caves in the country is Pak Ou, which dates back thousands of years. The cave is home to over 4,000 Buddha statues of all sizes and colors. You take a boat along the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to the two caves to get there. While the first cave is more popular, the second cave is quiet and uncrowded, which gives the cave a spiritual ambiance.  You’ll need a flashlight to explore past the cave’s entrance.  

Hot Air Balloon in Vang Vieng | Instagram @asianplaces

Riding A Hot Air Balloon Over Vang Vieng

One of the most iconic experiences to be had in Lao PDR, there’s no better way to enjoy the country’s beauty than by hot air ballooning over Vang Vieng. Take to the skies and drift over the lush rice fields, the pristine Nam Song River, and Vang Vieng to experience one of the more unique views of the country’s limestone mountains. It is also one of the economical hot air balloon rides in the world, which makes this one adventure activity that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Lao PDR.

Lao PDR is one of the best destinations for adventure seekers with its dense forests, limestone caves, mountains, and numerous waterways. From tubing and kayaking down rivers to riding a hot air balloon above Vang Vieng, make Lao PDR one of your stops on your next adventure in Southeast Asia.