Your Laos Travel Guide! Whilst Laos ain’t the first country that is coming to mind when thinking of South East Asia, it definitely is a country that shouldn’t be left out of your itinerary. Laos has no beaches, but there is enough to see and to do that will make up for this. From the natural beauty of the Kuang Si waterfalls, to tubing in Vang Vieng or perhaps scootering through the country, Laos has a lot to offer to travelers. Even though some travelers will just use Laos as a quick pit stop from Thailand to Vietnam or vice versa, you will undeniably have a good time here.
Luang Prabang – a town situated in the North of Laos, mainly known for the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls. This town will probably be your first stop in Laos if you are coming from Thailand. The atmosphere in this town is absolutely perfect if you are looking for a bit more of peace and quite… Make sure to hang around a couple of days, there is more to do here then you actually think.
Vang Vieng – a small town situated along the Nam Song River surrounded by beautiful karst hill mountains. However, the beautiful scenery of nature are not the reason why so many backpackers visit this town… Backpackers will most likely describe Vang Vieng as the party capital of Laos; the town is known for it’s tubing down the river from bar to bar. Haven’t had enough to drink yet whilst floating down a river in a tube? Don’t worry! The party will continue in the main streets of the town during the evening with Sakura bar probably being the biggest… make sure you don’t forget to check out the happy hours!
Vientiane – The capital of the country. Many people will tell you that the city is not worth visiting… I kind of would have to agree. Besides the Buddha Park and the famous Patuxai Arch, there ain’t a lot to do in the capital. So still stuck here since you are waiting for your visa? Go around and explore the city and the riverside by bike!
Swim in the Kuang Si Waterfalls: Close to the town of Luang Prabang you can find one of the most beautiful waterfalls you probably will ever see. Catch a tuktuk or ride a motorbike to this magical place to cool down from the hot and humid weather or just enjoy the mind-blowing sight! Make sure to walk across the bamboo bridge and go up the steep path that goes along the waterfall. Roughly halfway the waterfall there should be a small path leading through the bushes, climbing over and under trees will lead you to what is called the “secret pool” (not so secret since every backpacker knows about it nowadays). However, if you are lucky, like me and my friends were, you have the opportunity to swim in a natural pool and enjoy half the waterfall without any other travelers around!
Go Tubing in Vang Vieng: Rent a tube, float down the river and stop at bars to play drinking games, what more do you want? Tubing used to be a lot bigger in Vang Vieng, however, due to accidents many of the bars were shut down. Many of the bars still exist, only they are not all allowed to open on a daily basis. Nonetheless it is still a lot of fun and worth doing. Don’t forget: you are floating down a river, under the influence of alcohol, in a tube… needless to say you need to be a bit careful.
Scooter Around Laos: For those who are keen for a motorbike adventure, head a little bit more down south to Thakhek. From there on backpackers do a 3 to 4 day scooter loop passing caves, waterfalls, cold springs and stunning sceneries. Definitely a recommendation for those who are ready to conquer unpaved roads and some difficult hairpin bends up in the hills. Maybe most important: Accidents do happen and hospitals might not always easy to find along the way; bringing a first aid kit on this trip is not be a bad idea.
Go Bowling in Luang Prabang: With the bars all closing at 11.30pm there is only one thing left to do in Luang Prabang: go bowling. You will find tuktuks gathering in front of the popular bar of Utopia to take you to the bowling alley where loads of backpackers are found drunk attempting to throw a strike. Undeniably an unforgettable experience when visiting Luang Prabang.
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