In between Vietnam and Thailand, Laos is lesser-known and lesser-discovered, but no less interesting than its pair of famous neighbours. As a long thin country that also touches China to the north and Cambodia to the south, the landscape varies wildly; from thickly-forested areas to more tropical surrounds with plunging waterfalls and thousands of islands.
No trip to this country would be complete without a couple of days in former royal capital, Luang Prabang, so beautifully preserved that it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
Make sure you’re camera-ready as you take it all in; there’s a photo opportunity around every magical corner. Gilded temples with sloping roofs gleam in the sunshine, faded French colonial villas line the streets, and the rolling mountains and the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers lay just beyond the town.