Often said, it is the forgotten country but for someone who loves nature like me, Laos is simply beautiful. It absolutely describes its new tourism slogan “Simply beautiful”. Having said that about the country, I am very much excited to share with you guys about my experience in a country as attractive as you could ever imagine. From the laid-back lifestyle, the serene and impressive mountains, and the chance to watch the sunsets on the Mekong will simply describe the real meaning of Lao-PDR – “Please Don’t Rush”.
One fine day, I boarded the plane from Bangkok to Udon Thani and took the NongKhai border of Laos and Thailand. It was a bit of an adventure for me coz It was my first time to do that alone. It was not hard crossing borders anyway especially I am a Southeast Asian passport holder which means I don’t need a visa to enter the country. From the border (NongKhai) to the capital (Vientiane) It took me an hour by bus to finally arrive. I met my friends in Vientiane and the first thing we did was to find a place to eat. Relaxed a bit in an Indian restaurant and after a while, we roamed the streets
Must See Places in Laos
- Vang Vieng
- Luang Prabang
- Kuang Si Waterfalls
- Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
On the same day, we headed to Vang Vieng. A small town north of Vientiane. We took the last trip of the van around 5 in the afternoon. The price was 40,000 Kip each person. The journey took us 4 hours. It was a tough ride because of the conditions of the roads plus the vans don’t have enough space. So, it was really hard for us. We reached Vang Vieng at 9 p.m. Since we didn’t book any hostel at that time, we walked in few hotels and most of the hotels were fully booked. Thankfully, we found a place just for the night. We left our things and headed for dinner.
Things to Do in Vang Vieng
- Sakura Bar Hopping
River tubing is one of the main things to do in the country and it attracts a lot of tourists. With a not so good history of tubing in the country causing deaths of many tourists, we were skeptical at first but it definitely gave us an amazing experience. That awesome feeling you have when you are in a crystal clear water, it is best described in the photos.
Nam Song River is a small river in Laos that flows through the town of Vang Vieng. It is among of the famous destinations for tourists. We started ziplining in this area and ended our full day adventure kayaking in the river. It was very fun and everybody had a good time. The whole day escapade was tiring but everyone had so much fun and enjoyment.
After having a long day of an adrenaline rush, we finished the activities with so much pleasure and amazement. We headed back to our hotel and relaxed so that we could get ready for the night. At that night we had our dinner at a local restaurant and a little bit later we went to one of the famous bars in Vang Vieng. As what they say “You have never been to Vang Vieng if you didn’t visit this bar”. Sakura Bar is one of the most popular backpacker bars in Vang Vieng with the loudest music and the loudest crowds. I have got a shirt from buying drinks from that bar with a saying that is printed on it. “Drink Triple, See Double, Act Single”. 🙂
The next day in Vang Vieng we just spent most of the time chilling in lagoons. After that, I decided to have a walk alone so I can see the beauty and I was headed to a beautiful and private villa. It was a real photogenic place. So, I decided to go inside and asked if I could take a photo and it was stunning.
The next destination we headed was Luang Prabang. It took us another 4-hour ride by van to reach that place. It is located north of Laos. It is famous for its night market, temples, alms giving ceremony and the most popular of them all is Kuang Si Waterfalls which is located 29 kilometers south of Luang Prabang. The next day we woke very early to witness the alms giving ceremony. It only happens early morning so you have to wake up really early otherwise, you will miss the chance to witness the ceremony.
Kuang Si Waterfalls
Later in the morning, we hired a van going to Kuang Si Waterfalls. It was roughly an hour ride. Kuang Si is the biggest waterfall in Luang Prabang. It has trails so the tourists can climb up to the top to witness the streaming of water and to see the deep blue water and the natural pool. The trails are quite slippery so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
In the afternoon, we went to Phusi Mountain to witness the spectacular sunset. It was amazing witnessing the sunset by the mountains and the river. Don’t be fooled by my photo coz behind this beautiful photo is a mountain full of crowds waiting for the sunset. 🙂
The next day, we flew back to the capital (Vientiane). In the city, we did a day tour, went to museums, temples, and Patuxai.
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)
With so many places to see in Laos, Buddha Park also known as Xieng Khuan should not be skipped. Since I am crossing borders again, before heading back to Bangkok I decided to have a visit to the famous Park. It’s located near the border (Nongkhai). From Vientiane, I hopped on a bus going to Nongkhai and dropped off Xieng Khuan. It was less than an hour ride to get there.