Laos was the last stop on my two month break away and I still wish I had never left and here’s why….
Firstly, the Kuang Si Falls. It’s a must do when you visit Luang Prabang and even though I was squished into the back of a mini van and driven down the most dodgy ‘roads’ of my life I would do it again and again if I could. I would trade the walk around here for my classic Taylor’s Mistake walk any day if I could. Did I mention there’s even a bear sanctuary on the walk in? And the best part… swimming among waterfalls! Luang Prabang has so much more to offer than just the falls though. There’s something for everyone with morning markets, night markets, hikes and even social enterprises! The whole vibe of the place had me considering moving there. It’s so easy going and although the people clearly live in a much different world to mine go by their days seemingly happy. A lot of the Lao people practice Buddhism and there are places of worship scattered everywhere. Even in caves!To get to the cave we took a cruise along the Mekong river. I’d highly recommend visiting the caves just to do the river cruise. We were fortunate enough to see elephants (although being riden which is not something I support) and other animals along the way. I could have explored Luang Prabang for so much longer. Just walking around and across the river I was constantly in awe of the place. Luang Prabang was my favourite part of Laos however I also highly rate Vang Veing. The place is not as clean and is definitely more struck with poverty than Luang Prabang but it is set amongst some amazing scenery. It’s is known for tubing down the river with a couple bars to stop at along the way and then the party continues at your hostel or other bars around the place. It’s full of young people visiting from all parts of the world. We finished of Laos with Vientiane which is very different from Luang Prabang and Vang Veing. It is the capital of Laos and is clearly way more advanced. I personally preferred the earlier cities.
If you’re willing to give up a bit of luxury Laos is for you. It is so cheap unless you choose to spend more. For a decent meal you could pay as little as 4 NZD. The markets were also the cheapest we encountered on the whole trip and this was without needing to barter for cheaper prices.I loved Laos and I will definitely head back there at some stage. If I could drink beer I think Beer Lao would probably also be on my list of highs! Everyone I met who drinks beer was happy to drink it. The cuisine was similar to Thailand being on the border but did have its own twists to it and it was amazing. We also didn’t struggle to get by speaking only English either 90% of the time which was so comforting after the likes of China. The climate is warm. The people are lovely.
I strongly recommend getting there now while it lacks pretty much any western influence. There wasn’t a McDonalds or Starbucks to be seen. Add it to your next journey through South East Asia. You won’t regret it.
Peace and Love.