Laos is the most enigmatic of the former French Indochinese states, as it offers travellers an unparalleled glimpse of traditional South-East Asian life along the Mekong River, which runs the length of the landlocked country. Luang Prabang, once the heart and soul of the ancient kingdom of Lane Xang, is Laos's most enticing destination, with a spellbinding panoply of gilded temples and weathered shop-houses The city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The nearby Pak Ou Caves along the Mekong River, house thousands of all styles and sizes of Buddha images. The Plain of Jars offers an amazing moonscape of bomb craters dotted with very ancient funerary urns.The wild highlands of the far north give you a chance of trekking to nearby hilltribe villages lost in the misty mountains.
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