Laos is fun-filled adventures, awesome activities, beautiful sunsets, stunning backdrops and gorgeous views. A 1-week itinerary through Laos shows you the stunning diversity of this country. Go buggy driving, water tubing or trekking in Vang Vieng. Enjoy the sleepy streets or go temple hopping in Vientiane. Explore Luang Prabang – the ultimate haven and one of the prettiest cities we have ever visited on our Laos trip. Here are the highlights you should see during a 1-week itinerary through Laos.
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1-week itinerary through laos
This 1-week itinerary through Laos is a day by day route taking you to the highlights of Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. If you have the time you could easily add more days, and please note that each day includes a link to a detailed article about that location. You are also more than welcome to download the Laos Route detailed itinerary in PDF-format at the bottom of this post.
Day 1: Vientiane
The sleepy capital of Vientiane, is a great start of your route through Laos. There are not that many must-see attractions here, but there are still a couple of things you simply can not miss. Enjoy a Lao Herbal Sauna and traditional massage in the middle of the forest, or visit the COPE Museum for a heartbreaking insight to the secret War that took place between 1964 and 1973. Eat crispy, local and delicious food or go exploring the town´s quirkier sides at the Buddha Park.
Check out the link below if you want to dive further into the must-do´s during your 1-week itinerary through Laos in Vientiane.
About Vientiane: Things to do in Vientiane
Day 2 – 4: Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng is filled with awesome adventures, gorgeous sunsets, amazing backdrops and jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery. You can explore the mountains for perfect picturesque views of the valley. Or you can go lagoon swimming, water tubing, zip lining, mountain climbing and kayaking. The activities on offer are endless, and the number of memorable experiences are countless. Make new travel buddies, or greet old ones. Or get to know the friendly locals at one of the hangout spots around town. Vang Vieng will leave you with awe-inspiring impressions and memories.
Make sure you read the post below on Things to do in Vang Vieng for the absolute highlights during your 1-week itinerary through Laos.
Must Read: Things to do in Vang Vieng
Day 5 – 7: Luang Prabang
This sleepy, yet vibrant town brings a new level of chill into your life as you roam through the streets. Watch the people and soak in the atmosphere in the restaurant street, or go bananas at the Buffet Street. You can rent a bicycle and go sightseeing, or perhaps you would enjoy a waterfall adventure to the Kuang Si Falls. This place is heaven on earth, and truly the ultimate zen destination on your Laos Route.
Make sure you click the link below to see more of what you must do in Luang Prabang during your 1-week itinerary through Laos.
Read More: Things to do in Luang Prabang
Getting around in laos
Laos´s transportation system is an adventure in itself, and is a real patience test for every traveler. Hard seats, crowded buses, long hours, bumpy roads and very small spaces are some of the words that describes the transportations modes in Laos. The most important thing to remember is not to be fooled by maps and distant charts. Short rides can take hours as old vehicles try to crawl up the bumpy, mountainous roads. Sounds fun, right? It actually is quite charming in some really weird way.
In the past couple of years the roads have been upgraded, and its easier to get around than it used to be. However, they only last one or two rainy seasons as they rarely get any maintenance. Breakdowns are also common, and often require a somewhat lengthy wait as the driver is the one who will repair the bus. You should therefore make sure to pack some water and food just in case your bus decide to break down on a lonely stretch of road.
The local buses provide cheap transportation between the major towns. However, these buses tend to be overloaded, where seats often have torn cushions (if you’re lucky). Also remember that these buses are designed for the smaller Lao frame.
We therefore opted for the air-conditioned VIP buses throughout our 1-week itinerary through Laos. These are a bit more pricier, but so worth it if you ask us. You can purchase tickets from your guesthouse/hotel or traveler´s cafés. For the local buses you may purchase the tickets from the town´s bus station. We prebooked all of our tickets through 12go.asia to ensure we got the best buses. This worked out perfectly fine, but was a bit more expensive than the options above 🙂
Kindly also note that the transport vehicle can be changed from bus to minibus, depending on how many passengers there are on the trip.
If you prefer to travel with a minibus or van, you can easily book this as well. The prices tend to be higher than for the local buses, but the travel time will usually be a bit quicker. Prepare to feel just as crammed as on the regular buses though. They really are designed for the Lao frame.
Self drive by Motorbike/car
You can also hire a car or a motorbike to self-drive across the country. However, it is highly recommendable to hire a driver as well due to the road conditions. This option might therefore cost a little more. I am guessing somewhere in between USD 40 to USD 100 per day, depending on which route your taking.
You should also try to avoid driving after dark and before dusk. Buffaloes, chickens, cows, dogs and thousands of people head to home on these unlit roads. It is really hard to see them, making them into a dangerous obstacle course.
TIP! If you are on the back of a motorbike, bring a face mask. The dust from the road is highly uncomfortable without one.
The domestic flights tends to get cancelled due to fog or other weather conditions. It is highly recommendable to confirm your flights departure a day or two in advance. Also, it´s best to book ahead of time, as the flights fills up fast.
when to visit laos during your 1-week laos trip
October until April are the best months to visit Laos during your 1-week itinerary through Laos. There is a year-round temperature of 25*C, although in the wet season between May and September it can get a lot warmer. Wet season is not as bad as it sounds either. It is daily heavy, but short rainfalls, where some days are cloudy and other days are gorgeous.
May – September: the rainy season in Laos runs from May until beginning of October, and can make a real mess of the countries dirt roads. The hottest months are in May and June, and the heaviest rainfalls are generally from August to September.
October – April: the dry season in Laos runs from October to April. November and January tends to be the best time to visit Laos, as the daytime temperature are warm, and evenings are slightly cooler. The countryside is green, lush and gorgeous in vivid colors after the rains.
Read more: Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang
how much does laos cost?
Your budget for a 1-week Laos route depends on where you stay, how you travel in between destinations and what activities you book. A stay at a hotel will range from 20 – 60 USD per night depending on the popularity of the destination. Its the same for eating, where Laos food ranges from 1 – 5 USD per meal.
Average prices in laos
⛺ Guesthouse: 15 USD per night (double room)
🏨 Hotel: 20 – 60 USD per night
🌯 Food: 5 – 10 USD per day (per person)
🚗 Transportation: 10 USD (per day)
🛵 Motorbike rental: 5 USD (per day)
📡 Sim card: 2 USD (6GB)
👖 Laundry: 1-2 USD (per KG)