Skip to Content

Final Thoughts: Laos

A monk in Luang Prabang

Before arriving in Laos, I had mentioned it as part of my itinerary to a fellow traveler. He asked me what was there, and I said I didn't know, but was about to find out. I traced the Mekong River from 4,000 Islands near the southern border to the mountainous north. Along the way, I grew to appreciate the slow pace of life. If you see a driver swinging in a hammock fastened under the roof of a tuk-tuk passenger cabin, you know you're in Laos!

Highlights –

  • crossing the southern border with Cambodia
  • meeting Nicholas, Caroline, and Celene
  • walking across Don Det and Don Khon
  • meeting Noy
  • taking the Frankenferry to/from Champasak
  • bicycling to Wat Phu
  • my room at The Inter City Hotel in Vientiane
  • fine French dining at Le Central, Le Silapa, Le Cote D'Azur, and L'Elephant
  • visiting MAG and COPE to learn about the effects of UXO (unexploded ordinance)

4,000 Islands
  • my room overlooking the Nam Song (river) and limestone mountains in Vang Vieng
  • rock climbing
  • meeting Sandrine
  • tubing down the Nam Song
  • celebrating my birthday with a few Beerlao
  • walking around Luang Prabang
  • mountain biking
  • my first elephant ride
  • slipping into the very relaxed way of life
  • Lao massage at Aroma Spa

Hammock time in Vang Vieng

Lowlights –

Getting stung by a hornet after eating my last dinner in Vang Vieng.  It was black so I didn't identify it as a stinging insect.  It felt like a hot syringe was jabbed into the middle of my left shoulder and left there for a few hours.  As a consolation, the waiter applied some Tiger Balm and gave me Paracetamol.

Laap lao chicken

Eating –

Laap lao chicken, sticky rice, Beerlao, fresh fruits (banana, mango, dragon fruit, papaya), papaya salad, fried rice, cheeseburgers, filet mignon, foie gras stuffed ravioli, white fish with orange and tamarind sauce (not together!), chocolate mousses and cakes, croissants, Lao-style coffee (with condensed milk), cappuccinos.

Lobby at the Inter City Hotel in Vientiane

# of Days Couchsurfing –

0

Nicholas takes a turn cooking the bananas

Average Cost Per Day –

$61 (this would be about $10-15 lower if I didn't splurge on a hotel in Vientiane and a handful of fine French meals!)

Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:

Gary

Thursday 9th of October 2008

The best spots I've been to are usually the ones I had no clue about before I arrived.

Dave

Thursday 9th of October 2008

Agreed. I hope that is the case for the tiny countries of Lesotho and Swaziland within the borders of South Africa. I intend to visit both to keep filling up my passport!

Gary

Thursday 9th of October 2008

The best spots I've been to are usually the ones I had no clue about before I arrived.

Dave

Thursday 9th of October 2008

Agreed. I hope that is the case for the tiny countries of Lesotho and Swaziland within the borders of South Africa. I intend to visit both to keep filling up my passport!

Enlight

Thursday 9th of October 2008

Hey Dave I still cannot get over the cost, although what you did totally looks worth the extra cost.

Just to let you know Egypt is cheap. Last January I spent a month is the Oasis of Bahariyya (one week) and the Dakhla Oasis, including an overnight stay in the white desert I spent $250 for the whole month that was only my interest, crazy. In Al Qasr I stayed at a rest house. For breakfast, dinner and to sleep it was only 30 Egyptian pounds—$6.00 a day.

I did vote for you to go to Egypt, although South Africa I have heard is really nice.

Anyway, Laos looks great, I will have to be patient until I arrive.

Turkey is stunning, although more expensive then the Arab countries.

Dave

Thursday 9th of October 2008

It's not just you....even I know I spend a good deal each place I go but I'm having a great time doing it!!!!

Still, as my trip is in the final months, and my bank account far more depeted, I'm much more money conscious than I was earlier. So, hopefully Egypt will be a cheapie but good stop on my way to Europe. :)

Enlight

Thursday 9th of October 2008

Hey Dave I still cannot get over the cost, although what you did totally looks worth the extra cost.

Just to let you know Egypt is cheap. Last January I spent a month is the Oasis of Bahariyya (one week) and the Dakhla Oasis, including an overnight stay in the white desert I spent $250 for the whole month that was only my interest, crazy. In Al Qasr I stayed at a rest house. For breakfast, dinner and to sleep it was only 30 Egyptian pounds—$6.00 a day.

I did vote for you to go to Egypt, although South Africa I have heard is really nice.

Anyway, Laos looks great, I will have to be patient until I arrive.

Turkey is stunning, although more expensive then the Arab countries.

Dave

Thursday 9th of October 2008

It's not just you....even I know I spend a good deal each place I go but I'm having a great time doing it!!!!

Still, as my trip is in the final months, and my bank account far more depeted, I'm much more money conscious than I was earlier. So, hopefully Egypt will be a cheapie but good stop on my way to Europe. :)

Comments are closed.