“TRAVEL IS THE ONLY THING YOU BUY THAT MAKES YOU RICHER”
Laos is the only land-locked country in SouthEast Asia and has only recently allowed foreigners to travel into it’s beautiful untouched nature and to experience their traditional lifestyle. The locals are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and I guarantee you will be blown away by how wonderful this country is.
On my first visit to Laos, I was enthralled by its natural wonder. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature nut, you will fall in love. It retains so much simplicity and tradition in comparison to other Asian countries and appears so untouched by the western world – making it a rare and beautiful experience.
One of the most authentic ways to travel through Laos is down the Mekong Delta by boat. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and you have the opportunity to experience traditional village life.
We stopped in the little riverside village PakBeng for one night on our way through to Luang Prabang. We stayed in a local guesthouse and it was great to experience rural Laos living for a night. The village locals were delightful, the food was delicious and the views were spectacular!
Before arriving in Luang Prabang we stopped at the Pak Ou Caves along the Mekong Delta. These incredible caves are carved into the limestone cliff.
We visited the Tam Ting Cave and our local tour guide took us ashore and explained that this cave has specifically been used for centuries as a resting place for over 4000 images of Buddha!
Luang Prabang was definitely a favourite spot for me. This colourful little town has lots of character with old decorated temples, royal buildings and natural beauty.
Wat Xiang Thong, The Royal Palace and the night markets are the usual spots travelers will visit, but I encourage you to get out and visit the Kuang Si Falls for a swim and a spot of hiking. It is also the home to the Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center.
I also took part in a famous Laotian ritual ; offering alms (food) to Buddhist Monks.
The drive between Luang Prabang and and Vang Vieng is a very scenic one. The spectacular drive winds down to the riverside dwelling and is an area known for its spectacular rock formations.
Once in Vang Vieng, you’ll see for yourself why it is known for its stunning landscape. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers and adventurers with limitless options for activities. I opted for a caving and kayaking which I highly recommend. Hiring pushbikes and getting a little lost is a sure way to uncover secluded swimming holes and other natural beauties without having to go too far.
A trip to Laos wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Vientiane – the capital city of Laos. It is the home of the iconic Pha That Luang and Patuxai which are both are both incredible to see.
A visit to COPE is a must. This charity project helps victims of UXO (unexploded ordiance) use their new prosthetic limbs and train in new work skills. Here you will learn about Laos’ struggles as one of the world’s most bombed nations and what COPE is doing to help those in need – a real eye opening experience!
Although 10 days is just a little taste of what Laos has to offer, it’s still ample time to experience the incredible culture, marvel at the picturesque landscape and create unforgettable memories to share with friends and family back home.