We made the deliberate choice to stick fairly firmly to the tourist trail in Laos. We wanted an easy few weeks and made the decision to primarily stay in only 3 areas during nearly a whole month. Laos is a beautiful country and the destinations are endless. You can jungle trek in the north, marvel at the bizarre Plain of Jars, motorbike through the Bolaven Plateau or relax in the 4000 islands.
We spent our time visiting Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane, not hugely intrepid but we had a great time and still got a good feel for the country. Laos is much more laid back than many of its South East Asian neighbours. The people are a lot more reserved, although no less friendly and with the most beautiful smiles. There isn’t the constant beeping and traffic noise that you find elsewhere and in most areas an up at dawn, early night culture prevails.
Stats for Laos
26 days on the road, our budget was £40 (474,182 Kip) per day.
£28.43 (337,024 Kip) TOTAL spend per day
£10.14 (120,192 Kip) per day on accommodation
£9.69 (114,961 Kip) per day on food
£3.48 (41,346 Kip) per day on transport
£2.47 (29,384 Kip) per day on activities
We were under-budget by £300.82 which is pretty incredible. Laos is exceptionally good value for money and the savings on accommodation and food really helped us save for our Vietnam budget which needed to be considerably higher.
Where we slept
26 nights in guesthouses – all of our nights in Laos were spent in guesthouses and they were of a very high standard for the price we paid. We had a/c, satellite t.v and the comfiest beds in the whole of South East Asia.
Top experiences in Laos
Kuang Si Waterfalls
A short journey from Luang Prabang lies the beautiful collection of waterfalls known as Kuang Si. We visited at the end of the dry season, which actually produces much more dramatic tiers of the falls, and spent a lovely morning wandering through the jungle and cooling off in the icy pools.
This is going to sound strange as you can do yoga anywhere but it was so much fun attending classes overlooking a river from an open deck. It really helped to calm us both down and it was great to have the routine of going to classes. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend it.
Our afternoon at the Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng
The Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng is about 20 minutes away from town along a dusty road. We visited to clamber up the rocks and explore the enormous Tham Phu Kham cave at the same site. After returning to solid ground, extremely hot and sweaty, the Blue Lagoon was the perfect way to relax.
Kayaking down the Nam Song
Paul and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on this trip kayaking, I don’t know why because every time we do we end up bickering about everything we’re doing wrong! Despite this we keep going back for more and laugh about some of the scrapes we’ve gotten into. On the Nam Song we ended up hitting what felt like every rock in the river and going down a few rapids sideways!
Sure, we could have done more with our time but it was exactly what we needed, a break from faster paced travel to deal with burn out and just enjoy the quiet for a few weeks. We’ve not visited anywhere quite so laid back as Laos so it was the perfect place to do just that.
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