Taking family holidays in Laos is becoming a popular option, as this laid-back corner of South-East Asia continues to create a thoughtful infrastructure, providing plenty of unusual and exciting kid-friendly experiences.
The capital, Vientiane, makes a great alternative starting point to the bustle of Luang Prabang to help ease the littlies in to your Laos adventure. Take relaxing strolls together along the banks of the Mekong and let younger kids run off some energy around the spacious Buddah Park while you admire the impressive statues.
Though once infamous as a party destination, Vang Vieng has shed its wild reputation and become a prime location for adventure sports, such as kayaking, caving and tubing, making it a perfect stop-off for restless teens. The Vieng Tara hotel, set against a dramatic backdrop of misty and forested mountains, is a peaceful place to recharge your batteries between activities and take some much needed relaxation time.
To explore the river at a gentler pace, a kayaking trip from Luang Prabang is an exciting challenge for families with older children. Staying overnight in Ban Lan Khammune with a local family, chatting with kids their own age, helping to prepare meals, and joining the traditional evening storytelling is a wonderful way to introduce children to Laos culture.
Just outside Luang Prabang is another fantastic hands-on experience: a farm-stay at Living Lands Organic Farm. Here even the youngest are encouraged to help care for the rice harvest, which is a fun and engaging way to give children some rare insight into where their food comes from. One experience that will charm children of any age is a stay with the dedicated team at Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Centre. This exceptional chance for kids to get up close to these magnificent animals and help the rangers care for them will be something they will remember for many years – an experience to treasure.
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