Last month I went thru all my travel photo folders and found out there are several countries I never talked about here in the blog. If you click Destinations Category and then Asia you’ll find out I didn’t post much about asian countries and the reason is that I backpacked Asia 7 months in 2011 + 2012 and this blog born in 2013 after my Central America trip. I just can’t keep these amazing World pictures in folders I want to have them in my blog, I want to share them with you and the World.
This being said, Laos is one of those countries I didn’t mention here yet. But how? This is the purest and more genuine asian country, it was such a relief from all the crazy traffic and busy life in Bangkok. Actually I was only two weeks or so in Thailand when I woke up and decided to get a bus ticket to Vientiane, capital of Laos. I was dying to explore North Thailand but I can’t explain, I think Laos was calling me. But I fell asleep in the bus and missed Vientiane, when I woke up I was surrounded by giant green mountains and curvy roads, I was heading to Vang Vieng. “Hmmm? Never heard about that place!”
Houses around Vang Vieng were made of wood with pilars so the water from the rain doesn’t fload the house. Around the house you find a bunch of plantations. 80% of Laos economy is dedicated to agriculture but I believe with the massive tourism (especially for backpackers) this percentage changed.
The bus ride from Bangkok to Vang Vieng took about 20 hours. Me and Michael were the only non israeli in the bus! There were almost 30 israelis who finished army and decided to travel Thailand and Laos, they were so crazy!! Always singing and laughing, it was such a fun ride. Me and Michael from Germany talked a lot during this long bus ride, since we got along so well we decided to stay together in the same hostel. He was my travel buddy for Laos :) Do you understand when I say that you can travel solo but you are never alone? Bang! By the way, does he look like 50 years old? Ahhh no! He was so peaceful, we had a great time together.
Vang Vieng is nowadays a touristic town, it’s perfect if you have been on the road for a while and need to rest. There are tons of caffees and pubs with giant TV screens with Simpsons and South Park on all day long. Some restaurants sell “happy” pizzas and omelettes, so it’s pretty easy to find food and drinks with cannabis and magic mashrooms. Because of this some tourists get too crazy and get arrested, robbed and found dead. Two years ago they stopped with the tubbing in the river because the beggining of tubbing you had some pubs where you could get cheap alcoholic drinks for the way and many backpackers lost their lives there. I’m glad I’ve been there on time ;)
Next stop was Luang Prabang, I thought would be a busy city but I needed to go there to apply to my Vietnam visa. It was a thought decision: one month in Vietnam? or 15 days in Vietnam and 15 days in Cambodia? I picked the first option. Something I’ve learnt is that the destination doesn’t matter anymore, the way is more important… So I started to go for quality traveling instead of quantity which means staying longer in a spot and appreciate more, explore more and learn more about the culture, instead of rushing like crazy just to go to as many countries as possible. I’m not judging anyone here, my motto is: Doesn’t matter if you are a tourist who travels for 5 days or a backpacker who travels for 5 months, the thing here is TRAVEL.
Luang Prabang is super chilled with beautiful temples, I was amazed! It’s part of World Heritage so you can consider a special place. I loved the charming pub and restaurant street and the banana + nutella baguettes for only 1 euro. I lost my mind in the crafts markets and bought a lot of handmade purses.
Along the town there’s Mekong River where you can go on a slow boat trip for few days and explore Laos in a different way. Don’t be afraid of the bridges, they look so sensible but never seen one breaking down ;)
I’m coming back with more photos of Laos, this time will show you the small villages I visit, where you find the essence of Laos, the real culture.
Have you been to Laos? Is it in your bucket list?