$189 flight changes everything
First it was Vietnam, then Cambodia and now it's Laos' time to shine with the landlocked country straddling the Mekong River emerging as one of the "it" countries to see for 2019.
Plus it just got even cheaper for Aussies to visit with low-cost carrier Scoot launching a new route to the Laotian cities of Luang Prabang and Vientiane from an incredible $189 one-way.
"We are thrilled to welcome Laos to our network," Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin said. "We are confident that the addition of Vientiane and Luang Prabang will boost Scoot's proposition as a network carrier offering refreshing travel opportunities for those seeking authentic experiences off the beaten track.
"Travellers can also look forward to more extraordinary travel experiences with us as we plan to add even more new destinations to our network this year."
The sale kicks off today at 1pm (AEST) and finishes on Tuesday, January 22 at 1.59am (AEST) and is valid for travel before October 26, 2019.
Scoot's Laos sale includes one-way fares from $189 departing Perth, $199 from the Gold Coast and $209 from Sydney and Melbourne. Fares do not included baggage or meals and all flights have a stopover in Singapore.
Three weekly flights will connect to Laos from Singapore departing 9am Monday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into Luang Prabang at 11.10am and then on to Vientiane by 1pm.
The return flight departs Vientiane at 1.50pm, arriving back into Singapore at 6pm (all local times). FYI - there are no domestic flights available between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, which are around 230km apart.
The new route kicks off in April in preparation for the Laos New Year - or as the locals know it, Pi Mai. The two day water-drenched celebration from April 14-16 sees locals and tourists battle it out with water pistols, buckets of cooling water, hoses, cups and bottles. You might want to leave your camera at home.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO-protected, historic town which was once the capital of the province and is filled with gilt temples and French colonial villas. Encircled by the Phou Thao and Phou Nang mountains, tourists can hike, go caving or trekking, or sail on a relaxing sunset cruise down the majestic Mekong as it winds its way towards Vietnam. Swim in the extraordinary Kuang Si Falls or visit the elephant sanctuary and help bath these rescued gentle giants in the river.
Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is rich in history and full of French influence seen in its modern cafes, riverside restaurants and architecture. Take a leisurely tour around town in a songthaew (open share bus) before wandering through the National Museum for an insight into the fascinating city's history.
Surrounded by rice paddies, you can also visit Pha That Luang, a gold-covered Buddhist monument dating back to the 1500s.
The flights will be operated on Scoot's A320 aircraft and it will be the only airline offering direct Singapore to Laos flights from April 2019.
This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission