Better known as Buddha Park, this little slice of Lao eccentricity is a pleasure to explore. Built in 1958 by a priest-shaman intent on merging Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and iconography into one, the park is home to a plethora of ancient-looking statues of the Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu and Arjuna to name but a few. Xieng Khuan is equal parts fascinating and bizarre.
Visit the wonderful Lao temples, such as the awe- inspiring Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Mai (the largest temple in the city) in Luang Prabang, the ancient and mysterious Wat Phou Khmer ruin at the base of Mount Phu Kao and the charming Wat Mixai in Vientiane. If that’s not enough head to the Pak Ou caves that are full of Budhha statues of all varieties in a cave system on the Mekong River.
The best place to ride an elephant in Laos is the Elephant village near Luang Prabang. It’s privately owned and is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of elephants – in an ideal setting amongst the waterfalls, jungle and cliffs of Ban Xieng Lom village.