The plan was simple:
10 days in Laos
Visit 3 cities (Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, and Vientiane)
No planes, just ground transport to see the sights
Must try Beer Lao
Table of Contents
While we spent only three days in Luang Prabang, this city was so refreshingly quiet and peaceful (after the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City) that we promised each other to come back for an extended amount of time next time. Staying in a place for a month is not something we normally do, but visiting the temples here, making ourselves regulars at Utopia (coffee shop/restaurant/the most chill spot in town), devouring super tasty food (who knew that unlike Koreans, Laotians have figured out how to do really spectacular Western food, since their native food lost its identity somewhere in the history of invasions) and drinking all the Beer Lao on draft that we can possibly fit in our system (because its seriously good, for a Lager!) – overall, sounds like a very productive vacation which doesn’t involve breaking the bank.
At night, the city’s streets are lined in lanterns (not as much as Vietnam’s Hoi An, but there also aren’t as many tourists, so Win-Win!). This makes it very romantic to walk around the quiet streets, while the nearby monks are sleeping and getting ready to wake up before the sun’s first rays in order to collect some alms.
Rent a scooter or rent a van to take you over to Kuang Si Falls, spend some time swimming, getting lunch or just wondering at the beauty of nature. Go in the morning to avoid the crowds of the afternoon (your own transport would come into handy at this time!).
Hopping on a super early van to take us to Vang Vieng, I made it a point to stay awake and hopefully avoid some of the motion sickness I’ve experienced while in route from Dalat to Mui Ne (apparently, I’m the most delicate vomiter, said my husband). And boy, was I glad I did! That drive rivals some of the National Parks I’ve driven through in the States and no, there aren’t any pictures. You’ll just have to drive through it yourself!
After reading horror stories about people drinking and drowning in the river of Vang Vieng, we were a bit apprehensive to join in on any adventure sports there. While we didn’t partake in tubing down the river, we did enjoy a few hours of Zip Lining near the cliffs that so famously make the background of most Vang Vieng’s pictures. This being my husband’s first time Ziplining, gave me, a seasoned zipper (probably not the term for it, but I’m going to go with it 😛 ) an opportunity to watch him go first. The heights were significant and the views were worth it as we climbed our way higher and higher into the trees. Compared to the other spots, I’d say Vang Vieng has got my vote!
In other memorable events, don’t be surprised if you find yourself flipping through a second menu in a cafe, just to find things like: “Marijuana Shake, Mushroom Brownies and Opium Tea.” Welcome to Laos!
While Vientiane was our least favorite city in Laos, we were still able to enjoy ourselves. We were able to rent bikes and roam around the city like locals (actually they were driving in cars, because it was so damn hot). We wandered through temples, got massages, ate some pretty tasty burgers (Ray’s Grille is awesome) and were slowly preparing to return to the real world while lounging around the pool. Was there more to see/do – probably, but at the end of five weeks of traveling through three different countries, you just gotta take a chill pill, sip on something refreshing and enjoy life!
Laos is inexpensive and very budget friendly
Beer Lao is fantastic and who cares that it’s the only choice on draft sometimes
The temples will haunt you with their beauty
Don’t forget to visit Cope Visitor Center (for those affected by bombs and those wanting to help)
Luang Prabang, hold that thought, we’re coming back next year!!!
Where to stay and what to do in Laos
Have you been to any of the cities in Laos? Which ones did you enjoy the most? the least? why? Comment below and let’s chat!