National Geographic Lists Laos as Breathtaking Travel Destination for 2023

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The tourist town of Vang Vieng, Laos
Hot air balloons above the scenic Nam Song River in the tourist town of Vang Vieng, Laos.

National Geographic, one of the most widely-read and respected magazines in the world, has selected Laos as one of the 25 most breathtaking places one should visit in 2023.

Laos is the only ASEAN country featured in the ‘annual list of superlative destinations’ and it is placed under the header of ‘Community: Where conservation benefits everyone’ with specific experiences in other countries like Greece, the US, Canada, and Ghana.

“Board a new high-speed train that makes lesser known regions of Laos accessible to tourists and brings economic opportunities to locals,” says the article about the Laos-China Railway whose bullet trains can clock up to 160 km/hr.

Through the Laos Travel Guide on its website, the publication introduces Laos and its numerous travel destinations to readers and travelers.

“Laos is Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, yet, paradoxically, life revolves around water. Running the length of the mainly mountainous country is the mighty Mekong River, which floods rice fields, creates vital fish habitat, and serves as the main highway and water source.”

“Villages clustered along the river regularly host backpackers drawn to the country’s exquisite French colonial architecture and stunning palaces and temples, but, the rugged terrain keeps Laos blissfully off the typical tourist trail,” says National Geographic.

Also this week, a prominent UK-based travel magazine has cited Laos as one of the 20 best places to visit in January 2023. It is the top ASEAN country on the list, ranking sixth, while Vietnam was featured in the No.8 position.

Laos has already seen over one million tourists this year, including 644,756 international visitors. The government expects to attract at least 900,000 foreign visitors in 2022, which could lead to over USD 218 million in revenue.