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Laos (Lao P.D.R.)

A Green & Tropical Paradise!

sunny 38 °C
View Backpacking on rachelk27's travel map.

The first thing that hit us when we arrived in Vientiane the capital of Laos was the heat. It was like stepping into a hot sticky sauna. Vientiane is like a small town more so than a capital city! Its a really chilled out place with very little traffic. We gave 2 days in Vientiane checking out the local sights. It reminded us of Thailand with a French twist. There were plenty of baguette sellers which made a nice change from all the sticky rice we had eaten! We went to a family restaurant by the Mekong river for dinner where we ate in the family s living room (which was the restaurant!). The family were all glued to some cheesy Thai soap so I was left holding the 3mth old baby!
From Vientiane we travelled by bus to Vang Vieng. It only took around 5 hrs so the journey was fine. Vang Vieng is nt the prettiest of towns, its full of little shacks but the location is beautiful. The town is surrounded by stunning limestone peaks and right beside the Nam Song river. So many travellers come here to try tubing! Basically, you just sit in a tractor tube and "tube" down the river with a beer Lao in one hand and paddle with the other! It was great craic and took us around 4 hrs to tube 3km down the river. Its a crazy place the river is lined with lots of bar shacks along the way. We parked our tubes and stopped at a bar where Ben did the flying fox around 30feet over the river and then jumped in! Id love to have done it but I was too chicken!
From Vang Vieng we hopped on another bus yet again. This journey was horrific!It took us nearly 8hrs to travel less than 200km. At least the scenery along the way was fab but we were so glad to get off the bus when we arrived in Luang Prabang. Travelling in Laos is unbelievably slow because of all the hills and winding roads.
Luang Prabang is a beautiful town set in a dream location. It is full of French colonial buildings, Buddhist wats and colourful markets. We gave around a week in LP chilling out and exploring the surrounding area. It was so hot when we were there so to cool down we shared a tuk tuk to Kuang Si waterfall with a few other travellers. The waterfall was fab full of turquoise pools with crystle clear water. I felt like I was in a Timotei shampoo add under the waterfall and Ben was like Tarzan swinging off a rope and jumping into the waterfall! We had a great day and it was the best way to cool down.
The following day we did a boat trip on the Mekong river where we visited Pak Ou caves. The caves are full of Buddha statues where many monks go to pray.
We had some great nights out in Luang Prabang and met some lovely people. One night we were out with a really sound Aussie couple and had the local Opium drug dealer hanging off us for the night. We just could nt get rid of him!
We were out til about 2am and I got up a few hrs later to watch the monks in the town recieve alms from the local people. At 6am around 300 monks passed our guesthouse all dressed in their saffron coloured robes. It was really cool to watch the monks and I was glad to jump back into bed for another few hrs after getting up so early.
From Luang Prabang we decided to save ourselves the 40hr bus journey to Hanoi so we got an a plane to the capital of Vietnam.

Posted by rachelk27 06:48 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking

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