2. Week 2: Vientiane and Van Vieng

From Hanoi, hop a plane or navigate the railways south to Vientiane, Laos. Vientiane is the capital of the nation and home to numerous historic monuments and bustling street markets. No trip to the city is complete without visiting Pha That Luang, a centuries-old Buddhist stupa. Other attractions in the city include Wat Si Muang (Buddhist Temple) and Talat Sao (morning market), where you can find local silks, jewellery and other souvenirs at great bargains.

While in Laos, take the time to explore its beautiful natural surroundings. Vang Vieng is an easy day trip from the capital and allow you to view the Laotian countryside as it has existed for centuries. At Vang Vieng, you can explore local villages, trek through the jungle or go caving.