The Laotian capital of Vientiane is not a city often lauded as a tourist hub. Unlike Bangkok or Saigon, this lazy, tree-lined town is considered boring by many, and to be used only as a transit point for the rest of the country. We loved it.
Lao, one of our favorite countries in SE Asia, is a land of beauty, friendly people, and stunning architecture. Here, a scene from one of our favorite temples in Vientiane.
Luang Prabang is a place I loved, and yet am unsure if I ever want to return to. A UNESCO World Heritage Site of around 50,000 residents, the town sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. What makes it so appealing may also lead to it’s inevitable downfall, as more and more travelers flock to it’s serene banks. Inexpensive hotels and guest houses abound along with a variety of great restaurants, both international and of local Laotian cuisine. The thriving night market is made up of street after street of astonishing handmade goods, and the daily Alms offering to the monks is a highlight. All of this, combined with great natural beauty, makes Luang Prabang an easy to place to fall in love with.
Everyone knows about all the “must sees” at any particular destination but, while we’ve explored these as well, travel for me is all about the more personal experiences, the human interaction, the unexpected moments, and the side streets you happen upon, like this peaceful path on the edges of Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos as so many things going for it and it’s popularity is justified. But, in spite of the major sights, we most enjoyed the random moments of beauty around each corner.
We ended up spending more time in Vientiane, Laos than planned due to an Indian visa snafu. What we found was an extremely pleasant capital city, teeming with Buddhist temples and some fantastic architecture.
We always appreciate local, environmentally aware companies when we travel and, unfortunately, such companies are not the norm so were more than thrilled to find Green Discovery Tours in Laos. We had been hanging out for over a week in the delightful capital, Vientiane, when we found our Indian visas would not be ready for at least five more days. What better way to spend our time than on a trekking and kayaking tour in Vang Vieng. We signed on for a 3 night adventure with 1 night at the Ben Sabai resort, 1 night on the tour, and 1 night back in Vang Vieng at Ben Sabai.
Laos is one of our favorite countries, and one of the joys of wandering it’s back roads is the lack of mass tourism. Luang Prabang, an exceptionally gorgeous town in Northern Laos is certainly ON the tourist path, but is so amazing we, nonetheless, spent a fair bit of time there and enjoyed every minute of exploring this UNESCO World Heritage City.