Laos

Laos

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  • Day10

    The main attraction in Luang Prabang has got to be the Kuang Si Waterfall and having visited I can now see why.

    Having heard lots about it, the waterfall certainly didn't disappoint. We got up in good time as we wanted to get to the waterfall before the rush of tourists. This was definitely the right decision when we saw the amount of people that had come by the time we chose to leave.

    Before heading up to the waterfall you walk through a bear sanctuary where bears are rescued and looked after. The reason they need to be rescued it due to people taking bile from their gall bladder and using it for Chinese medicine. The captivity they are kept in to do this is horrendous and this organisation has saved over 900 bears over all of SE Asia.

    For the first hour it was empty making the waterfall seem even more beautiful and peaceful. To walk up the waterfall took us around 20 minutes and each part of it was as stunning as the other. I've never seen anything with such blue water it was breathtaking. I can't say there will be another waterfall from my travels that will live up to this one.

    We then decided to hike up along the waterfall and ended up trekking for 3km to find a lagoon and cave. Covered in sweat and exhausted I can't say the walk was utterly worth it but it was once we got down and had a swim in the refreshing waterfall.

    Arriving back in the main town we headed back and treated ourselves to a yummy and well deserved lunch.

    Heading back to the hostel we relaxed then headed to night market which was huge and couldn't of had more choice. I had to hold back on many occasions to stop myself buying things I would never use. For dinner we found a vegetarian buffet for only £1 (absolute bargain) and then finished up for an early(ish) night after a tiring day.
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  • Day12

    For our last day in Luang Prabang we woke up in good time and enjoyed the last free breakfast.

    Due to the heat of the day approaching we decided to head out asap so we wouldn't melt away in the sun.

    We set off to Mount Phou Si which was only a 10 minute walk from our hostel and climbed the 400 steps up. Having experienced such a trek up on our last viewpoint escapade this one was significantly easier and quicker. After 10 minutes we were up the top and soaking in the beautiful views around us. With a nice breeze it made being up top bearable and worth the walk.

    Having been in Laos almost 2 weeks I'm certain many people underrate it and will skip it out if they are short of time. Visiting the country I think this is so wrong and Laos is one of the most beautiful places I've been to on my travels and being so underdeveloped everything is still very natural and undisturbed. I couldn't recommend Laos more and I can certainly say it's exceeded expectations.

    The evening was also a very sad one as it was mine and Simona's last night with each other before we went our separate ways after the best two weeks together. We both couldn't have loved Laos more nor had more of a laugh together and the weeks have flown by. We both agreed though that Vang Vieng was our favourite place (hence the long stay) and felt we could of stayed longer. However we promised each other we would both return another time and relive our week there.

    For our last meal we had the vegetarian buffet again, being so cheap and delicious it couldn't go a miss and seemed very suited to finish on a good food.
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  • Day9

    As our time in Vang Vieng carried on we fell more in love with the place. We didn't just extend once, but twice, totalling our stay to 7 nights.

    Most of our time consisted of enjoying the swimming pool down the road at a luxury hotel that cost only £3 to use, most of the time we even got the place to ourselves. The backdrop behind the pool was of the mountainous region of Laos, which was stunning as ever.

    After the pool we would head to our favourite chill place and relax watching Friends and usually ordering dinner or visiting our favourite restaurant, a vegetarian and vegan place which was delicious! The aubergine burger would have to be my favourite.

    As routine, at 8pm we would head to the first bar for the hour of free whiskey and at 10pm move onto the next bar, our favourite, called Viva.

    On the last day we headed to highly recommended viewpoint. The half hour trek to the top was along a very unmarked path. However the pano view of Vang Vieng at the top was definitely worth the trek up. But by the end I'm pretty sure I could fill a swimming pool with the amount of sweat I produced. After soaking up the views we headed back just in time to make it in time for our bus to Luang Prabang.

    We were both very sad to be leaving Vang Vieng after meeting so many people and loving it so much. However, couldn't tell if the the bar staff were happy we wouldn't be drinking all their free whiskey or sad to see their best customers go. Personally I think they should be grateful to us after all the free promotion we gave out about their bar and will continue to recommend it.
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  • Day13

    It was an early rise and mad rush to get our boat at 8.30am. We woke up, demolished our breakfast and gave Simona one last hug good bye. Despite it being sad saying goodbye, I couldn't wait to see what fun Thailand would bring me having heard so many good things about it.

    Luckily the two girls, Corrie and Luisa, who we had met in Vang Vieng and were with in Luang Prabang, were heading the same route so I had two companions to head to Thailand with.

    We all got on the boat and it wasn't busy at all so could each have a few seats to ourselves and spread out. The scenery along the Mekong certainly breathtaking and so peaceful it was like nothing I had every experienced. We would go through times when we we float for what seems like hours and see no humans and all, just wildlife. It was truly special. On the first day I was guilty of spending a lot of the time sleeping, I presume having to catch up on all the sleep I lost in the previous two weeks. Other activities on the boat included playing cards, listening to music and reading my book.

    Arriving in Pak Beng at 6ish we found ourselves a guest house for £2.50 and headed out for a bite to eat having not had a meal all day but also in need of stretching our legs. We enjoyed a nice Indian but still missing our 4th member, Simona.

    Another early rise and beautiful day on the boat despite some rain we arrived at the border in Huay Xai at around 7pm. With the border crossing fairly smooth we found ourselves a hostel in the town of ..... as we couldn't get to Chang Mai that evening. I enjoyed my first meal in Thailand which was a classic, Pad Thai, and only £0.80!

    But with a heavy day of travelling the next day we made it back for an early night.

    And finally... after 3 days worth of travel, 2 boat days, 3 buses and numerous tuk tuks, we arrived in Pai our first destination of Northern Thailand.

    Exhausted we checked in and headed straight out for food, another Pad Thai, costing a total of £0.80. Not having the energy to look around we decided to head back to the hostel and save ourselves for the next day ahead.
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  • Day11

    Woke up to the sound of it pouring it down with rain so we decided it would be a good day to explore the cafes in the town and sort out the rest of our time in Laos, flights and some diary writing.

    Mid afternoon we thought it would be a good idea to head back to the hostel and decided to go to Utopia, a bar / restaurant to watch the sunset. The bar overlooks the Mekong river and the hills of Laos, being a beautiful backdrop to enjoy some food and drinks. The food was delicious, I chose to have the fish and chips and it was not a disappointment. The fish was fresh from the Mekong and certainly hit the spot.

    After demolishing our food and drinks we decided to pay the night market another visit but ended up returning to Utopia later in the evening for some more drinks as only bar in the town that's open. Closing at 11.30pm, everyone heads to the bowling alley as only place that stays open.

    We played an intense game of 10 pin bowling and shockingly didn't lose, not remembering the last time I picked up a bowling ball.

    Tired after a good day we made our way back to the hostel to make sure we were awake for the free breakfast the next day. I've noticed when looking back on my blog entries a lot of what I do revolves around food, but I'm going to say that's not a bad thing.
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  • Day1

    By getting a slow boat at the border to Thailand for getting us shipped down the mighty Mekong River for two days. The daily journeys are going to for 6 to 7 hours and we gonna stop in between the two days at a little town which might purely exists because all slow boats stop there...

  • Day1

    Some pictures from our hotel / guesthouse in Pak Beng about 300 meters from the Pier where the slow boat is going to depart the morning again. In the evening we found some other travelers we spend dinner with and walked a bit up and down the only road of the town.

  • Day2

    We actually did not arrive in Luang Prabang! But 10km in front of the town so that we were forced to take a Tuktuk into the city. We knew that this was unavoidable, unless you would walk these 10km, but shows already some kind of mafia / scam habits of south east asia...

  • Day2

    After about 20 minutes in the Tuktuk we arrived in front of the night market of the city, which marked the tourist downtown. Corinna and I had already a guesthouse pre-booked since both don't like the hustle of walking from house to house, comparing prices and rooms, for the best price and quality.

    Our travel mates did, unlike us, exactly this and found after a couple of tries their home for a night as well and we agreed to meet later on for dinner.Read more

  • Day4

    Luang Prabang, like most tourist places, was full of accommodation and restaurant places. So we decided us for tonight to go to a nice place with decent atmosphere.

    We both were looking for a pizza and this restaurant had both: A nice restaurant and pizza. Unfortunately they made a terrible mistake with their menu creation: They had about 20 pizzas listed, but the ingredients just duplicated from the first 10 to the second 10.

    And so I was naively ordering a "Bolongese" pizza, assume I would get something with minced beef. While Corinna already warned me of the menu confusion, I ignored her smart warnings and got blessed instead of a Bolognese pizza with the most terrible pizza on earth: Hawaii...

    I tried to refuse taking it and complaining to the stuff. But the stuff didn't speak any English and just referred me to that what was written beside the Bolognese pizza: The ingredients of a pizza Hawaii.

    This is just one of many, many, many examples showing how inflexible und close minded the people here in the region are, since we encountered such and similar happenings pretty frequently.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Laos, ላኦስ, لاوس, Лаоская Народна-Дэмакратычная Рэспубліка, Народна Демократична Република Лаос, Layosi, লাওস, ལཱ་འོས།, ལ་འོསུ, Laos nutome, Λάος, Laoso, Laose DRV, لائوس, Lawoos, લાઓસ, Lawas, לאוס, लाओस, Laoska Narodna Demokratska Republika, Laosz, Լաոս, ラオス, ლაოსი, Laosi, ឡាវ, ಲಾವೋಸ್, 라오스, Pow Lao, Laotia, Lawosi, ປະເທດລາວ, Laosas, Laosa, Laôs, Лаос, ലാവോസ്, လာအို, Den folkedemokratiske republikken, Laòs, ଲାଓସ୍, República Popular Democrática do Laos, Lùaôsi, ලාඕසය, லாவோஸ், లావోస్, ประเทศลาว, Lau, Лаоська Народно-Демократична Республіка, لاؤس, Lào, Laosän, Orílẹ́ède Laosi, 老挝, i-Laos

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