Forbes Names Laos as SE Asia’s Most Charming Country

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Forbes Names Laos as SE Asia's Most Charming Country
A beautiful river in Vang Vieng, Laos (photo: trailsofindochina)

The American business magazine, Forbes, published an article on Thursday calling Laos the most charming country in Southeast Asia.

According to Forbes, while the country may lack a tropical coastline, it makes up for it with scenic mountainous landscapes, flourishing rice paddies, and the stunning Mekong River that flows through its land.

Forbes praised Laos for its “fascinating array of cultural attractions, outdoor experiences, and timeless charm,” as it is largely untouched by commercial development.

The article highlighted Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, as “an overlooked jewel of Southeast Asia” for its rich heritage and traditions, including the daily alms-giving ceremony where locals offer sticky rice, crackers, or cookies to monks, which remains an enduring attraction.

For an immersive cultural experience, the article recommended Orange Robe Tours, a social enterprise that employs former novices and monks as guides around Luang Prabang. Through their tours, visitors can gain a unique and insightful perspective into the life of a Buddhist monk and aid in their transition from monastic to regular life.

The capital city of Vientiane and the popular tourist town Vang Vieng were mentioned in the article as well which offered up food and hotel recommendations for the discerning traveler alongside interesting activities one could indulge in.

The Laos-China Railway which recently launched an app for online bookings also received a special mention for making travel within the country much more convenient.