Best time to visit Laos

Kayaking in Laos

Exploring Laos via kayak is a great adventure


There are many options for traveling across Laos, and a well-thought combination of several vehicles will provide the best sightseeing possible. If you are a fan of active sports and not afraid to get soaked, kayaking the Lao rivers is a must. Besides, due to poor road infrastructure in some regions, Lao rivers can take you to some places where roads cannot.

The best periods for kayaking are between October and March for beginners and average kayaker, and from July till September for professionals who are ready to venture on strong flowing rivers. Lao rivers are very distinctive from those in neighboring countries because their length allows multi-day journeys. While kayaking, you can find great views of Lao landscapes—sometimes plain and sometimes very mountainous. You may even find hidden caves in the Karst hills hanging over the water. Waterfall cascades and thousands of tiny islands also impress with their beauty.

Kayaking and canoeing tours depart from Luang Prabang, Ban Lad Khammune village, Nong Khiaw, and Vientiane.

Practical info

When is the optimal timeframe for kayaking in Laos?

Kayaking in Laos is best during October to March for average kayakers, beginners and professionals from July to September, when water levels are lower and the weather sunny and dry. Experts recommend avoiding the rainy season between May and September as flash floods can be dangerous. October to March is the low tide season and is suitable for those seeking something more challenging. Professional kayakers are advised to take on stronger rapids from July to September. Show more

What are some Lao rivers ideal for lengthy kayaking trips?

Multi-day kayaking tours can be enjoyed at the Nam Ou and Nam Tha Rivers in Laos. The rivers pass through secluded regions, making it the best way to explore hard-to-reach areas. Laos' beautiful landscapes, mountainous topography, and natural beauty can be seen throughout both river basins. Experienced kayakers can test their skills by kayaking along the Mekong River basin, a relatively challenging route with many waterfalls. Show more

What are some hidden caves present during kayaking in Laos?

Kayaking enthusiasts are presented with the chance of discovering hidden caves in Laos. The Kong Lor Cave is a renowned cave in central Laos due to its 7.5 km tunnel where a river runs through. The Pak Ou Caves located in the Luang Prabang region, is where you'll find the famous Buddha statue collection. Catfish, blind fish, and ancient rock formations can be seen in the underground lakes in the Pha Poak Cave on the Nam Ou River. Show more

Which regions can be accessed exclusively by kayaking in Laos?

Kayaking in Laos allows people to explore remote zones that cannot be accessed using regular means such as roads. Additionally to the Mekong, the Nam Ou River in the Luang Prabang region and the Nam Tha River in the Luang Namtha Province are also great options. These rivers are excellent for kayaking and offer remarkable limestone cliffs, waterfalls, and hidden villages to uncover. Show more

What villages or cities in Laos have kayaking and canoeing tours available?

A number of villages and cities in Laos have kayaking and canoeing tours available for interested people. These tour options include Ban Lad Khammune village, Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, and Vientiane. Adventurers and thrill-seekers can choose the right level of challenge in a kayaking trip through Mekong and the surrounding islands in the heart of Laos. Nong Khiaw is another great village to explore via kayaking, thanks to its panoramic limestone cliffs. The Nam Ngum river and Nam Lik have kayaking trips available in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin