Blogs from West, Laos, Asia


Asia » Laos » West September 13th 2015

Getting from Hanoi to Laos was going to be about a 30 hour journey on a bus with no toilet, so we always knew it was going to be tough. From word go it was a carry on, with being collected almost an hour before agreed (I had left to buy food!) and to having to follow a man on a fast moped with our bags, rather than be collected. Anyway, we got the bus eventually and was quite surprised, it was a sleeper bus and we had loads of legroom so sleeping was easy. The border was a breeze too. No dramas. Once we got to Laos the condition of the roads deteriorated quite a bit though and became very windy. We looked at our map and were really confused because the final destination was ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane August 11th 2015

I spent two weeks in Laos at the end of July and the beginning of August this past summer. I spent the time travelling around three cities in the country: Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Vang Vieng. Vientiane is a very quaint capital city. It isn’t very big, and the city center provides a wonderful atmosphere. Its streets are lined with nice cafes and restaurants. I had the chance to try many of them. There are plenty of options regarding prices and types of foods from around the world. Patixai provides some great views of the city. The climb to the top is cheap and short, with lots of stalls to buy souvenirs. The walk from the city center to Pha That Luang is nice and not too congested with traffic. A wonderful respite from the city ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang August 1st 2015

Even though we live on a beautiful island, we still have jobs to do and need a break now and then. After working hard days and long hours for eight months we decided to take a well deserved holiday in Luang Prabang, Laos. We had been there before, maybe nine years ago, and remembered how nice it was and wanted to visit again. On our last trip we did many of the touristy things there are to do. Waterfalls, river tubing, temples, elephant rides and trekking were what we enjoyed then. This time our goal was to RELAX and eat! What we remembered the most about our last trip in Luang Prabang was our guesthouse near the river and across the street from a temple. We could hear the monks chanting in the evening just outside ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 24th 2015

Luang Prabang: A town that almost all travellers in Laos pass through, sometimes the only place in Laos some travellers on a 3/4 week South East Asia tour visit. Attracted by the Mekong riverside location, the abundance of golden glittering temples, the saffron cladded monks that causally roam the streets and the many activities on offer here; Luang Prabang is generally a place in South East Asia that is described as one not to be missed. Arriving in town, we were dropped off at the north bus station around 1.5 kilometres from the centre. As usual a couple of tricycle drivers waited for us patiently and instantly seized upon the opportunity to make money from some unassuming westerners. Unlike the rest of the group who willingly jumped in a shared large tricycle for 20k kip each, ... read more
Largest veggie buffet we've ever seen
Kuang Si falls

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 16th 2015

Nick: A quick 45 minute flight, and we had exchanged the relaxed atmosphere of Vientiane for the even more sedate town of Luang Prabang, located further north in Laos. By midday, we had already checked into our guesthouse; our lovely wood-panelled room had both air-conditioning and a fan, a real bonus given that the sun was out and the temperature was once again in the mid-thirties. The staff at our hostel were once again very friendly, with excellent English, and we were soon equipped with the standard issue photocopied town map, complete with highlighted points of interest. Attending to our stomachs before exploring the town, we popped into a nearby restaurant, a quiet little family-run place, and ordered in some grub: chicken noodle soup for Sarah, and a pork 'lahb' for me, which is a Laos ... read more
Enjoying the scenery
A bar we visited that looked more like a backpackers refugee camp!
Bamboo Bridge

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane July 13th 2015

Sarah: Ok, so, it's not that we didn't like Vientiane, or didn't try to get involved with the touristy things but there just isn't really much to say here. So sorry. But all must be recorded on the blog, so here I go! We arrived via the highly rated (by me) Lao Airlines from Hanoi. I think the rating was probably increased due to the amount of recent long buses and overnighter journeys. A little cheese and ham sarnie and drink provided on our 50 minute flight went a long way! This was on top of our last lunch in Hanoi before we left, where I took the chance to have one more Hue pancake (pork and shrimp pancake self-wrapped in rice paper with herbs) and Nick went for a bowl of rice noodles with all ... read more
That Dam
A brutally honest self-appraisal!

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang June 24th 2015

A serene evening greets me as my tuktukdelivers me to my guest house in central Luang Prabang. I’ve long wanted to go to Luang Prabang, Laos’ tourist epicenter, with its elegant old school vibe and temples and French cuisine. And now I’m here, asking the lady at the guest house lobby about my companions. Right on cue, CJ appears and finally seeing someone familiar in this foreign town after being on my own for the past few days, I feel comforted. Seconds later, Roxy emerges and joins us. The two have been here since this morning after an overnight trip from Vientiane, and have already explored much of the town, as well as the nearby Kuang Si Falls. Luang Prabang is a ... read more
Tak Bat
Lao Smile
Wat Pha Pai

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane June 22nd 2015

I’m having breakfast of croissant and coffee at La Benneton, a French bakery near my hostel in central Vientiane. From the bakery’s veranda, the classical music playing in the background and the drone of conversation of French expats at a nearby table make this section of Southeast Asia feel like Western Europe. Lingering elements of French culture are common in Laos – Vientiane features dozens of budget cafes serving European baked goods, and these establishments typify Vientiane’s relaxed pace. Smiles are pasted on the servers’ faces, and their charming disposition only makes you want to linger more and revel in the languidness. I have arrived in Vientiane 12 hours ago with no other plan than to explore as much as I can before heading to Luang Prabang. I’ve decided to dive in on my own terms ... read more
Luang Prabang-Style Sausage
Lao National Museum

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang May 22nd 2015

We cant feel our butts but we made it! Laos here we are. Starting in Luang Prabang where the boat drops us off we thought was a good idea. As we were talking to people on the slow boat however we began to understand the corrupt nature of this country The first of many scams started with where the slowboat dropped us off. Even though there are piers all through the city, we were dropped off at a pier with a hill, which from the bottom looked like everest, and we were greeted by what was later described to us as the "tuk tuk mafia". Apparently due to government standards (according to the tuk tuk drivers anyway ) the boat now had to drop us at a pier 10km from town. Not only is there nothing ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 20th 2015

With not much else for Vang Vieng to offer us, Kate and I decided to begin our descent of Laos. With not wanting to stop over again in the capital - Vientiane - the next obvious place seemed to be a small town on the west side called savannakhet. This would mean partaking in a 16hr coach journey to get there! So, after a lovely breakfast of my new favourite thing ( muesli and yoghurt) we booked our tickets at the tour company next door. Chilling out and buying a few foodie bits for the trip we got picked up at 1ish to be taken to the bus station - bus stations are rarely in the town centres here, instead anything up to 10-15km on the outskirts. Getting our seats on a coach along with about ... read more

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