Laos holidays will give you no other choice than to kick back as the pace of life, even in the sleepy capital Vientiane, is languid. Mountains and the Mekong River dominate this sparsely populated country and most towns and villages have been spared modern development.
More of a large town, enchanting Vientiane is home to wide boulevards, faded colonial architecture, picturesque temples and riverside cafés. With an exquisite temple on every corner, saffron-clad monks silently collect alms in Luang Prabang, Laos' religious centre. From here cruise the Mekong to tribal villages and caves stuffed with Buddhist images. Laos has a reputation as an eco-tourism destination so combine trekking with a home stay in the north and join in the daily activities of the villagers. Stay in a tree house in Bokeo and fly through the treetops on a zip wire looking for Black Gibbons.
Join in the adventure activities around Vang Vieng and ponder the mystery of the enormous stone jars littering the Plain of Jars near Phonsavanh. From the faded colonial charm of Pakse head out on elephant back across the Boloven Plateau, cruise the Mekong on a converted teak barge to visit Wat Phu and look for freshwater dolphins.
Add an extra element of relaxation to your Laos holidays with a river cruise. The might Mekong Delta is the lifeblood of the country and an ideal way to spend a day here is to take a boat trip down it, gazing at the ancient temples that dot the riverbank as you go.