Laos

B.B.- Rating:

5 star -7 degrees

Laos is Maarten’s favorite country. All it’s nabouring countries have fastgrowing economies and access to coastel areas. How can this undeveloped landlocked country compete with it’s South East Asia counterparts?  

Let’s start with the people. Laotians are a friendly bunch and while Thailand is considered the Land of smiles, the Laotians often engage you in a friendly and relaxed way that has no commercial motivations. 

ການເດີນທາງແລະສ່ວນຫນຶ່ງໃນລາວ ມ່ວນແລະແດດ ການເດີນທາງແລະສ່ວນຫນຶ່ງໃນລາວ ມ່ວນແລະແດດ

Luang Prabang

Luang prabang is the biggest tourist hotspot in Laos by far. Testament to this is the daily nightmarket specifically for tourists. It also houses many beautiful temples all of which are in active use. In contrary to it’s neighbouring countries buddhism is still strong and very present in Laos.

So what’s fun in Luang Parabang? Apart from the obvious temples on a hill, plated in gold, built in a cave or on an island in the river, there is the scenic Mekong river that allows spectacular sunset views. 

Even though prices are somewhat set to tourists compaired to the rest of laos, It’s still cheap compaired to thailand. Also, apart from the capital Vientane, here you can get some western luxuries like good cofffee, french baguettes and sweet pastries. 

ການເດີນທາງແລະສ່ວນຫນຶ່ງໃນລາວ ມ່ວນແລະແດດ ການເດີນທາງແລະສ່ວນຫນຶ່ງໃນລາວ ມ່ວນແລະແດດ

Vang Vieng

The party capitol of Vang Vieng! Built along the Nam Song river with an impressive karst backdrop, this beautiful village mainly attracts young backpackers for the “tubing experience”. 

Let me explain!

You pay a guy 5 or 6$ and he’ll bring you (probably with a bunch of other travelers) about 8 km upstream along the Nam song river. Once there, you’ll get an inner tube of a truck tire to lazily float back to Vang Vieng village. Depending on how strong the river current is this will take a few hours, but that is not the biggest deal here. Along this piece of river, there are several bars that offer music and booze entertaining with beer pong and all sorts of other bar sports and games. 

 

This beautiful small village has seen backpackers partying and boozing till death! Grim as that might sound, these casualties all occurred when drunk people drowned while partying in the river. 

To prevent these accidents, the local government has had a total ban on tubing for years, but since a few years the ban has been lifted and the partying has continued. Only difference now is the lack of poorly constructed zip lines, slides and slingshots that caused the better part of the accidents in the past.

people floating in tubes

How I have fun in Vang Vieng

how I have fun in Vang Vieng

okay, I’ll admit I am vein. I love to work out and top off my tan from time to time. so when I am in a warm country, preferably I will be walking around only in swim shorts. In most asian countries however, this is frowned upon, but the influence of large numbers of party minded western travelers has made Vang Vieng much more liberal town in almost all regards.

like sheryl crow sings “I like a good beer buzz early in the morning” I can order a beer with my breakfast and no-one will find me weird (no more than usual). This cheerful town breathes a vacation atmosphere that will keep you guessing what day it is. Every day will feel like a Saturday or a Friday night if that is what you prefer. Here you can truly have a break from traveling. 

Hang out all day at one of the riverside restaurants that are all decorated with lounge areas surrounding a pool table and watch tipsy people float by in their tubes. “I’m going tubing too!, tomorrow

songkran

Songkran (13 – 15 April) is the traditional  New Years celebration for Thailand and Laos. even though since 1940 New Year is officially celebrated on the first of January, they still have the Songkran holiday that refers to the older Buddhist and Hindu solar calendar. This holiday lasts 3 to 5 days and many shops will be closed.

At Songkran people go into the streets with squirt guns, garden hoses and buckets of water to get each other wet accompanied by loud music. 

This festival is in the hottest period of the year with temeratures reaching up to 40 degrees so people don’t mind some cool water being thrown over them. As a tourist you are free to partake in most places, but do leave your camera at home because it will get wet.

Close Menu