It might not be one of the first destinations that springs to mind when you’re planning a honeymoon, but overlook Laos and you’ll be missing out on one of the most exciting countries to travel in right now. Isolated from visitors until recently, it offers a truly authentic slice of South-East Asia before the tourists arrived. Expect an unspoiled land of mountains, valleys and jungles, where villagers go about their life as they have for centuries, orange-robed monks line up to receive alms and tranquillity rules – the perfect antidote to hectic wedding preparations.
If you’re looking for an adventure on a road less travelled, in a land that is the very definition of laid-back, Laos could be the honeymoon destination for you.
Where to start
Luang Prabang is likely to be high on your list of must-sees, so head to the wonderful UNESCO-protected town first – it’s the ideal place to unwind after your wedding. Having spent three or four days enjoying the sights, you can either head north, to Luang Namtha, for some of Asia’s finest trekking or south, to Vang Vieng for caving and kayaking and Vientiane, the country’s languid capital city.
Further south still, top of your list should be Si Phan Done, better known as the ‘4,000 islands’, where you will be amazed by its natural wealth and the even more relaxed pace of life. There are several excellent properties for honeymooners there, ranging from the superb Kingfisher Eco Resort (elephant sightings guaranteed) to La Folie, on the opposite banks of the Mekong from Wat Phou in Champasak.