With the world of travel finding its feet for the first time in a long time, I wanted to write a piece about one of my favourite countries. And to start off I have pulled together a list of the best hotels in Laos.
Laos was always on the bucket list, partly because as an avid nature lover and history geek, it offers the best of both. Challenging hikes with views like no other, peaceful walks through the greenest fields, small villages to explore with the friendliest locals, mouth-watering street food and markets galore, as well as museums to learn about the country’s rich history.
I owe some of my greatest experiences in Laos to the places I stayed and the people I met there. Whether you’re looking for a basic, no-frills room with hammocks overlooking the river, party hostels with pools attached to have a dip in on those hot days or simply a place located amongst the abundance of culture Laos has to offer, you’ve got it all to choose from below!
For those looking at travelling to Laos, here are some of the best places that my friends or I stayed at. For those who have been to Laos, welcome to a trip down memory lane…
*All prices are approximate and dependent on season*
Dorms from £3/night
Private rooms from £9/night
Everyone knows about Nana’s, and if you haven’t heard about Nana’s then you NEED to hear about Nana’s. If you stay as long as I happened to keep staying (extending and extending and extending) you even get a free t-shirt!
Although this was before covid so who knows that may have changed. Rooms are small, granted, but the bathroom is big for the amount of people who stay there – there is nothing more annoying than waiting at other hostels to brush your teeth. There’s a nice swimming pool to relax in when it’s hot, and at nights there’s free shots to take advantage of before you and your crowd move to the other bars dotted around.
You can also book your tubing here and staff are really helpful!
Private rooms from £40/night
Are you in paradise? Yes, quite possibly. Featuring panoramas of the mountainous landscape, free breakfast and a welcome drink on arrival, the Riverside Boutique Resort is a perfect choice if you prefer staying away from the town centre (which is only a short walking distance) and want to relax in the most tranquil environment.
Vang Vieng is almost too beautiful to somehow seem real – it feels at times you’re living in a real-life postcard and no I’m not kidding.
This gorgeous resort offer a restaurant on-site where you can choose from various international cuisine, and can give you a wealth of information about different local excursions. Enjoy!
Dorms from £5/night
I loved the atmosphere of Mad Monkey. It’s really popular during the evening for people to hang out and have drinks together. There’s an infinity pool which you can relax by in the morning (if you can wake up that is) and a free shuttle bus that can take you into town. The staff here are really fun too!
Private rooms from £39/night
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, have a look at The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel, which offers comfortable private rooms with gorgeous views for less than £40/night. Situated right in front of the Mekong River, this colonial-inspired building offers a luxury stay with an a la carte breakfast on your balcony, as well as typical hotel amenities and extra activities to book off-site. You’re welcome.
Private rooms from £6/night
I found exploring Nong Khiaw one of the highlights of my trip; it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.
The small riverside town has a handful of restaurants, and so the main attractions are really just small moments you have here, whether it’s walking around the small town and saying hello to the friendly locals, hiking the hidden trails or reading a book in a hammock overlooking the river.
The Sunset Guesthouse features basic rooms, which are clean and comfortable but it’s the view you’re paying for. Take a book and just relax by the river, surrounded by the mountains. Ps. The host is lovely, worked as previous translator and speaks English, Spanish, Lao, Hmong and French!
Dorms from £3/night
Private Rooms from £6/night
Dorms from £7/night
Vientiane is somewhere I stayed for a flying visit, in order to take the night bus onwards to Don Det. I wouldn’t personally spend a lot of time here, as there’s not much to explore – although I did enjoy walking through the Ban Anou Night Market near to my hostel.
To put it quite simply, if you’re a traveller who doesn’t mind where they stay for one night, to save money, to be in a good location near to bus stops and night markets, then The Lucky Backpackers Hostel might be the one for you.
I stayed here with a big group of people and it was cheap as chips – I’ve also seen that you can pay for a private room. It’s basic, but great if you just need a place to stay for the night – which I did. For those who would prefer something more luxurious, than Petit Espace offers modern accomodation, with cosy pods to sleep in and a cool cafe to relax in during the day.
Private rooms from £11/night
Phônsavan is a town, rich in history, that you can join onto tours to the Plain of Jars. I didn’t see many tourists here at the time, but the ones I did stayed at the same guesthouse as mine – and for good reason.
Sipanya Guesthouse provides private rooms with en-suites which are comfortable and affordable. You can also book day trips through them to find out more about the history of Laos.
Don Det, 4000 Islands
Private rooms from £5/night (walk-in price)
Private rooms from £5/night (walk-in price)
Don Det is split into the Sunrise Side and the Sunset Side. You can hire a bike to cycle to either one, and we stayed at the Sunrise Side which is breathtakingly beautiful and the side you disembark the boat on; more developed than the Sunset Side.
Guesthouses here line the Mekong River, and rooms are basic, usually offering fans and mosquito nets. I spent a very happy time at Riverside Bungalow where I relaxed in the hammock and took time to meditate at dawn, but it’s walk-in only, there doesn’t seem to be a website to book in advance (and it’s often better to just turn up and see what’s available as most of the accommodation isn’t even available online).
Author Bio: Emily runs the blog Emilys Eyes Explore. She has been travelling the world since September 2018, after finally being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Determined to change her life and mentality around, she moved to Spain for two months to learn Spanish, flew to South America, travelled around India, explored Malaysia, ventured around SE Asia and started life in Australia. Emily blogs to raise awareness of travelling solo as a female who suffers from depression and anxiety and it is her hope that people in the same position will be able to relate to the stories she shares and in turn feel less lonely and isolated as she shares her thoughts, feelings and emotions along this journey. Check out her Instagram too!
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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