When people hear of the Indochina, they often imagine the tourist hotspots of Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia. The Indochina gains its name from its location in Southeast Asia: embedded in between China (to the north) and India (to the west). The peninsula is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Asia thanks to its vivacious and friendly culture, but more often than not, the three aforementioned countries tend to hog most of the attention. The Indochina rightly consists of not three countries, but of six countries – Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The latter three tend to be less popular as tourist spots, but the truth is that they have just as much to offer for the adventurous and curious tourist.
Laos, for example, is the only landlocked country of the peninsula (i.e. it is bordered by other countries on all sides; in this case, China to the north, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand and Myanmar to the west). Sharing a French colonial history with the rest of its neighbours, this beautiful country also has a similar affinity for Mahayanist Buddhism. Filled with dazzling temples and unspoilt nature reserves, Laos also boasts of an appetizing cuisine and welcoming people, making it a hidden gem eclipsed by the mere popularity of its neighbours. If you are not yet convinced here are some of the best reasons to pay Laos a visit in the near future:
- Vientiane – the capital of the country is found by the banks of the Mekong River that flows through most of the Indochinese peninsula, and is known by the romanised name of Vientiane. In terms of capitals of the peninsula, it is probably the most relaxing and laid back of all, making a trip to a spa Vientiane Laos definitely worth it. French colonial influences are amply evident amidst the historical edifices of the capital, which you can gaze at as you stroll about in the city.
- Affordability – the fact that it is often overlooked is also what makes Laos more competitively priced in comparison to its neighbours. Vientiane hotels near Thai embassy, the capital itself, is significantly cheaper than what you would expect from the capital of say, Thailand of Malaysia. Yet, this also does not mean that you will be getting any less in terms of services!
- Ease of travel – as was mentioned in the beginning, Laos is located in the heart of the Indochina, and this places it in a very advantageous position for travelling, as it can act as a gateway for every other country in the peninsula. If you are planning for a longer vacation in Southeast Asia, by all means, include Laos and through it, the other countries in the region!