Image: Tim Wang/Fotopedia
The Wow: Surrounded by limestone mountains and terraced hillsides, the chalky brown Mekong river crawls through this serene and stunning UNESCO World Heritage site — a captivating Laotian beauty bursting with historical and natural attractions.
Why Now? The city was named “Top City in the World” in 2011 by UK-based Wanderlust. As the government continues to improve tourist sites and infrastructure, more and more visitors are likely to show up, turning this backpacker favorite into one of the world’s hottest destinations.