Traveling in Laos with kids

To show a child Laos is to introduce a country that comes across slowly in waves of river travel, unexpected smiles and happiness – very unlike the West
The idea of traveling in Laos with kids fulfils every parent’s romantic notion of showing their little ones how others live happily, but modestly, thus filling them with a newfound respect for material wealth. But the clue is in the word ‘idea’ – the reality is that although the Lao people and their values are perfect for a family vacation, their healthcare is hard to reach and ill equipped, and a lot of travel is done by boat, or bus: not fun with a sick or squirmy toddler. Kids eight years and up will doubtless reap all of Laos’s cultural rewards and make loads of new friends, but any younger might be a step to far for any parent’s patience.

Activities for families in Laos


There are dozens of intricate cave systems dotted across Laos. The Pak Ou caves are filled with hundreds of carved Buddha statues and images to which locals pay their respects, while the Tham Kong Lo, is an underground lair that extends for 7km and can only be chugged along in small motorised boats.

Cookery classes

Half the battle of getting picky kids to embrace the fragrant Laotian cuisine can be won with a local cookery lesson. They’ll be swept away by the enticing array of colourful and unusual ingredients before them and be requesting extra lemongrass with their larb in no time.

Adrenaline sports

The Mekong River isn’t just a lifeline for locals, it’s a playground for their kids too and you can try river rafting and stand-up paddle boarding on its still surface. Bikes can be hired for less than £1 a day, so if you prefer land to water, head out for an exhilarating exploration on two wheels.

Our top Laos family Vacation

Laos vacations, tailor made

Laos vacations, tailor made

Explore the beautiful Golden Triangle area

From £3875 12 days inc UK flights
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Available all year. This suggested itinerary can be modified entirely to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used and how long you spend in each destination.
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Traveling in Laos with kids

Lesley Schofield from our supplier, All Points East shares her advice on traveling in Laos with kids:
“I think Laos is a great family destination if you’re traveling with kids aged 8 and over. It’s a very unspoilt place, so if you want your children to experience a very back to nature look at SE Asia as it used to be, Laos is very good for that. There are some great physical activities such as mountain biking that kids can get involved with and there’s a treetop canopy hotel you can stay at within an hour’s drive from Pakse that you only access via zipline. To travel with kids under the age of 8 from one place to another might be problematic, although kids do vary tremendously – some are exhausted after one lap of a park and some will happily hike to the top of Snowdon, but there’s not a lot of small child-orientated activities and it’s probably better to visit Laos with children that can ride a bike, who are stable on their feet and have enough patience to sit on a bus and be happy looking out of the window because you are going to be traveling quite a lot.”
Liddy Pleasants, Managing Director at our vacation supplier Stubborn Mule Travel, tells us why she thinks Laos works so well for families: “Laos is a wonderful place to take the family; the landscapes, the people, the food, the villages, the slow pace of life all combine to create a beautiful backdrop to a family vacation. Luang Prabang is one of South East Asia’s most beguiling cities, and children of all ages can be kept very happy here, interspersing sightseeing with swimming in waterfalls and relaxing in a café with an ice-cream. In the south there are beautiful child-friendly ruins that beg to be explored as well as family-friendly boutique hotels with inviting swimming pools in which to cool off. In the north the dramatic landscapes are home to picturesque villages that older children can explore on a trek or by bike, and younger children can enjoy on a more relaxed amble. And across the whole country are some of the most welcoming and friendly people in Asia, who will welcome you in with open arms, delighted that you have brought your family to visit."
Written by Polly Humphris
Photo credits: [Page banner: NICOLA MESSANA PHOTOS] [Intro: Paul Stevenson] [Caving: Tycho] [Adrenaline sports: Nick Hewson] [Lesley Schofield quote:]