A Travellerspoint blog

April 2017

Laos Laos Land


View South East Asia on Travel__Tease's travel map.

I flew from Vietnam into Luang Prabang in Laos.

I got a taxi into the city and found my way to the hostel DownTown Backpackers in the rain. It was monsoon season so this was really to be expected. I didn't have any of the currency yet and everything was closed at the airport as it was a late flight so it was a bit of a drama and all the ATMs at the airport were out of order. I met another backpacker who was very kind and offered to pay for my fare. I offered to pay him back but he said not to worry.

In the morning, I came out of the hostel and it looked like I stepped out somewhere completely different to the empty ally I had arrived down. There was a food market, loads of stalls, people, animals, fruit and veg and it was busselling.


Just a short walk away was a hot food market with noodles, rice, vegetables, fish, meat and all sorts were cooked right in front of you. It was delicious and so fresh, you piled your plate and paid one fee.


The water festival of Songkran was on in Laos and everyone was involved, all the children, families, foreigner armed with water bombs, super soakers and hoses. No one was left unscathed. You got wet, whether you wanted to or not. People on buses, riding scooters, on their way to work - whoosh - water in the face. No fucks were given haha.


My favourite bar was Utopia a night, a hidden hippie paradise with music, drinking, dancing, food the works.
It had such great ambience, candles, bean bags, overlooking the water, and shisha. But make sure you have mosquito repellent with you!


I met a few lovely people at DownTown Hostel, a group of french backpackers who I played cards with every night. We went to the local bowling alley and played archery, which was quite dangerous considering there was a lot of alcohol involved. haha


I got the boat across Mekong River with some lovely backpackers that I met at the hostel (trust me to find another Brit!). We went to visit a local village and a temple. We trekked uphill to explore the island and got caught in the rain, again. We were soaked through, but we soldiered on. At least it was warm! When the storm really brewed and there was lightening, it was our cue to head back to the hostel to get cleaned up.
We saw some monks along the way which are so fascinating to watch. I loved how he had a matching orange brolly to go with his outfit lol.


At the local village we saw a man taking his pet chicken / dinner for a spin on his scooter lol!


The next day I headed to Vang Vieng, I spent 2 nights there but couldn't see too much without the freedom of a scooter. I met a lovely american girl called Seiko who walked miles with me to a water festival, over the rickety bridge to check it out. We met some very strange drunk local people who kept trying to kiss our faces. The festival was secured by armed guards and there was a huge gazebo with lots of tables and chairs in the river. You had to wade your way through water to get there (as you do). Seiko was leaving the next day so we hit some of the bars before heading back to the hostel. I was feeling a bit gutted when she left.


I got a message from Drew that he was coming to meet me in Laos, I headed back to Luang Prabang as there was so much to see and do there and to see him. Back on the bus around the mountains, it was like driving up in the clouds or through an unfinished painting. It was great to be back somewhere I knew my way around and now I had someone to share it with. Yey!


We headed to see the wonderful waterfalls of Laos. We climbed to the top where there was a river and such good views. I was so proud that I climbed it without causing myself an injury, I wouldn't have done it without Drew's encouragement lol. I am such a liability.


We stayed at a lovely authentic hotel called Villa Oasis on Sethatirath Road. It was filled with quaint little apartments overlooking a pond filled with lily pads. You could hear bull frogs and crickets so loudly at night giving that great holiday vibe. On arrival the staff presented me with my keys, a cocktail and some fruit. It was the first time I tried dragon fruit! It was a bit suspect at first, trying this weird white fruit with black bits in it, but I ate it anyway - it was alreeet. I got lost on the way in to Villa Oasis, it was down some long path at the side of someone's house. It felt like walking through their back garden to get there. They had a little black goat tied up in the garden. I was so tempted to free him and keep him in our room lol. The next night he was gone...


One thing I couldn't get over was how blue the water was in Laos. It was so clean you could (almost) drink it!
You feel like you're in another world. It's like paradise! So many different sounds of the birds in the trees, so many new shades of green and blue, walking round like a wild child in barefoot. It's all fun and games until you hoof a rock and break your baby toe on the other foot. That's 3 broken and swollen toes now. The lagoons are filled with local children jumping and swinging from the trees into the water and sliding down waterfalls.
It's bliss.

Drew finally found Crystal's Recycling Buddha haha

There was also lovely little birds in cages that you set free at the top of a mountain where the temple was. I chose the pink one with two birds in. One looked like he was trying to peck the other to death, so I wanted to free him from the birderer. It felt good, although it's a proper tourist gimmick. I did wonder if they were secretly homing birds that just flew back to the seller to be sold to the next tourist mug, but that's just the cynic in me.

We soon headed back to Vang Vieng together and visited the local lagoons by scooter. That's the only negative with Laos, there's no sea!
We met another Andrew from Australia along the way and we quickly became a travelling trio.

This was the bridge I dropped my phone off the back of the scooter on. I don't know how it survived haha.

On our second to last day we went tubing down the river. Tubing is basically floating down a fast river on a rubber ring with other backpackers, stopping at bars on the way to get bladdered and hoping you don't drown. Drowning isn't as likely now as they have reduced the amount of bars along the way and stopped mixing speed with alcohol in the fishbowls. Some of the parts of the river were pretty slow, meandering round the bends, clucking for that next drink and a fag. We played some drinking games with our group and went down some crazy high zip-line into the river. I felt brave after a few drinks and went on it, although heights aren't really my thing but YOLO! So I went for it... flew down the line and fear stopped me from letting go in time of the handle bar before the jerk of the stopper at the end. I hit it with such force I went flying backwards and almost got whiplash. What a numpty lol! But I did it! I just couldn't bring myself to let go when everyone shouted jump! It's much easier than it looks, lol.
On the way down we passed some water buffalo just bathing in the river. We had to paddle with our arms and legs in the water to make sure we didn't accidently float into them. Not sure they would take to kindly to us bouncing off them on the way down, disturbing their bath.
Tubing was awesome and so worth doing!


That night we went to check out Space Bar. It was nuts, you could order drinks or any drug off the menu!

We headed to Vientiane the next day and stayed there one night. There wasn't much there to write home about.


Posted by Travel__Tease 01:41 Archived in Laos Tagged waterfalls laos vientiane luang_prabang asia vang_vieng Comments (0)