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Looking for a laid-back adventure? Laos is where it’s at

It might have city tours, busy markets and multi-centre holidays, but countries don’t come more relaxed than Laos. If you want to explore South East Asia without the trademark frenzy, we highly recommend this captivating destination. Our ten-day Life On The Mekong is Laos trip packs in plenty of incredible experiences – from exploring the wats and markets of Luang Prabang to hiking to unspoiled waterfalls via island-hopping through the 4,000 Islands Archipelago – but we guarantee you’ll still feel de-stressed on your return home. Why? Blame the Laotians, who have patience down to a fine art. Tantrums and temper are seen as childish in the local culture and remaining calm is a way of life.

Even talking loudly is seen as improper, as you’ll notice when interacting with softly spoken residents. Consequently, the capital Vientiane is one of the world’s sleepiest, an enchanting melange of sleepy street food stalls, ancient stupas, crumbling colonial villas and grand temples that are still relatively tourist-light.

Even Luang Prabang, Laos’s biggest hitter, seems unfrenetic when compared with Bangkok or Hanoi – though it’s as packed with temples, monuments and street culture as any city on the continent.