When winding your way through the many delights of South East Asia, don’t do yourself dirty and give Laos the swerve. This beautiful country is more than worth your time. While it may not be such a backpacker staple as big-hitters like its neighbours Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, really that works in Laos’ favour. Laos is a peaceful country, home to 6.9 million people, with a fascinating history, delicious food, ancient traditions and more riverside paradises than you can shake a travel guide at. Laos may be small and landlocked but it is truly stunning from every angle. Its lush countryside of winding rivers, waterfalls, lagoons, imposing limestone mountains, karsts and caves is something special. This is one of the rare few places in South East Asia where you can actually feel as though you’ve escaped the typical tourist trail. There may be no Full Moon Party, but you won’t miss that chaos when you’re soaking up the tranquillity of the Laotian landscape. Mark our words: your days or weeks spent lounging in a hammock as the Nam Song or Mekong River wind past your door will be some of the most memorable of your time in South East Asia.