Tag - Laos

Reasons to visit Laos

5 Reasons to visit Laos, where nature takes over

Posted on: May 24th, 2017

Laos is a small country stuck in the middle of Southeast Asia, perhaps overlooked due to its neighbor countries. It doesn’t have the size of China nor the popularity of Thailand. Maybe it doesn’t even have the excitement of Cambodia and Vietnam or the exotism of Myanmar. However, believe us, here are the Top 5 Reasons why you would be crazy to not visit this beautiful country and you will find many more during your trip!

reasons to visit Laos

Typical landscape you can find in Laos

1. Marvellous Nature

For sure one of the main reasons to visit this country is to marvel at its nature, explore mountains and its little villages, travel on its rivers or simply swim in them, explore the countryside and chill at gorgeous waterfalls.

You can travel along the Mekong by boat or visit the Kuang Si waterfalls near Luang Prabang. Regarding mountain areas, great villages to use as base to explore are Muong Ngoi and Nong Khiaw. Besides the mountains to trek, there is a special vibe in those places: relaxed environment that follows the river’s movement and cheap bungalows with hammocks on the balcony. Here you can fuel your readings or philosophical reflections (and perhaps taking a naps too!).

If trekking is your thing, a good base as well is Luang Namtha in the far north, near the border with China, with the advantage of being able to experience different ethnic communities and their cultures.

Reasons to visit Laos

River that passes through Muong Ngoi and Nong Khiaw.

Another great place in terms of nature is the area around Thakhek and Ban Nahim, with lots of caves to explore and even a famous climbing spot. Even if not 100% natural, don’t miss Laos vast amount of coffee plantations in the south, on the Plateau Bolaven!

Reasons to visit Laos

A cave waiting for you, a perfect place to cool down from Asian tropical climate.

2. Architectural Gems

Of course, being a Buddhist country, Laos is not only a natural wonder but has lots of architectural gems. The beautiful temples in Luang Prabang are a must see. Besides the capital, Vientiane, the whole country maintains a tradition of cute wooden houses that are wonderful to visit. Try some homestay in a village to get the full experience of living with a local family and experiencing their everyday life.

3. Smiling People & Street Life

Here is the other highlight of your Laotian trip: the population has a very simple and humble life. Especially in the south you will be greeted by countless smiles.

Reasons to visit Laos

Hello!

Also, as in other Asian country, it’s always interesting to pay attention to the street life happening all around you…

Reasons to visit Laos

Street manicure in Vientiane.

4. Laos Secret War – Viengxai

We cannot forget the past conflicts the country suffered, especially the American secret bombings during the Vietnam War that damaged both Laos and Cambodia. An interesting place to visit related to this dark historical period is Viengxai. Here thousands of people were hiding in a complex system of caves and tunnels, basically an underground city, built to survive the bomb and napalm attacks.

5. Chilling

Last but not least, Laos is the perfect place for some quietness and relaxation. For instance the 4000 islands in the south are filled with places with cheap accommodation and a chilling environment. You will probably want to stay for a while…

Reasons for travelling to Laos

View from a bungalow in the Don Det island, just a couple of meters from the mighty Mekong.

Hope we gave you enough reasons to explore this beautiful country! Check the Camboticket website: there are all the ways to go from Phnom Penh to Don Det (in 4000 islands), Pakse and Vientiane, and from Siem Reap to Don Det, Don Khon (also in 4000 islands) or Pakse.

 

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asian outdoor games

Asian streets are for playing!

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017

Some of the most memorable experiences on your trip will be when you get out of the “tourist bubble” and engage with the locals. If you do, there will be endless moments of unpretentious fun, innocent interactions and cultural learning. One interesting aspect in Asian countries is that its streets are, more often than not, used not only to commute but also as recreational spaces. Places where families and friends gather to have food or drinks, play or simply hangout. Moreover, considering the interest shown by the locals in games, a great opportunity for connection is to join every time you see them engaging in some sort of outdoor sport of hobby. Asian streets are for playing!

From some kind of version of checkers in Vietnam…

asian streets activities

… to chess in Cambodia …

asian streets activities

asian streets activities

… to normal checkers in Laos but played with bottle caps!

asian streets activities

Also in Laos, you can try petanque, a game left by the French during colonial times (and that you can also find in Vietnam and Cambodia, that were part of the old French Indochine as well)

asian streets activities

Going to Thailand for a bit, why not joining local kids and playing with them?

asian streets activities

In Vietnam, kids also seem interest to engage in some kind of king fu role play…

asian streets activities

… while in Laos they still use many times traditional and beautiful toys:

asian streets activities

In Vietnam, badminton is so popular that people don’t mind to set up the nets blocking the whole sidewalk…

asian streets activities

… while in Cambodia they love to play with something very similar to the object used in badminton but with their feet (you can see it in the air in the middle of the photo, they kick it from one person to another without letting touch the floor)

asian streets activities

If what you want is some exercise, why not joining some aerobic/dance classes that you can find in the streets of any Cambodian big city? (If you are in Phnom Penh check the riverside, the Vietnamese Friendship park and the Olympic Stadium)

The most important thing is to not only meet other travelers but also local people, learn their culture, have fun with them. This helps breaking the barrier that often is set by default between locals and tourists, the poor and the rich, the westerns and the “easterns”. Empathy and connection can start with such a simple thing as a game and, you know, Asian streets are for playing!

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Visit South Laos

Our Guide to Visit South Laos

Posted on: January 26th, 2017

Still pretty much undeveloped and with a tourism industry still based in simple accommodations and experiencing the local lifestyle, South Laos is a beautiful region to explore and relax a bit before you continue your trip. Read on to make sure you don’t miss out when you visit South Laos.

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laos-travel

A Week in Laos – Laos Travel on a Budget

Posted on: August 8th, 2016

After reaching Stung Treng from Phnom Penh by bus and then to Pakse in a mini van, we finally got to Vientiane on Sunday morning, after more than a day of travel. We dropped off our stuff in the hostel (Garden backpackers, pretty recommended), and then decided to hire motorbikes to see the city. Read on for our Laos travel story… ____

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Pakse

How to travel from Cambodia to Laos by Bus

Posted on: July 29th, 2016

As good backpackers that we are, we didn’t really plan this trip to get from Cambodia to Laos by bus to the minutest details. The only thing we knew was that we had a flight ticket on the 23rd July from Vientiane in Laos to Bangkok in Thailand. How to get there? We had no clue whatsoever. But it’s part of the adventure, right?

The journey between Cambodia and Laos is NOT straightforward. In addition to the difficulty in logistics, there is acute shortage of pointed and updated information about traveling from Cambodia to Laos by bus. This is why I’m sharing this with you, hoping someone will find it useful.

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