Hi friends! Hoch and I are in Sapa, Vietnam now and though it is a bit rainy, the landscape is absolutely beautiful. We plan on going trekking through the countryside tomorrow and will be sure to take plenty of photos to share later! For this post, I will talk about the rest of our time in Laos and also have a video ready!
After our Gibbon Experience, we headed to Luang Prabang, Laos via slow boat. It was a 2-day trip with an overnight stop in Pak Beng. Both days consisted of about 6-7 hours on the Mekong River. The boats were crammed with people, mostly tourists, and as you can imagine had amazing views of the untouched regions of Laos. The seats were actually car seats (weird) and there was a bathroom (which I tried to avoid) and a mini bar with snacks and beverages including beer. Some people read and napped, while others were day drinking. We did a little bit of both. It was also a great way to meet fellow travelers that we are still running into in other cities.
Finally, we made it to Luang Prabang which is a popular destination in Laos. It is a small, chill town with a few touristy things to see/do inside and outside of the city. We spent 4 nights there and while we did do a few of the touristy things, the majority of our time was spent relaxing and recovering from the Gibbon Experience and the slow boat ride.
We walked to the top of Mt. Phousi, which is in the middle of the city and offers great views of the area. We went to see and swim in the Kouang Si Falls which is a must when in town and absolutely beautiful. We also walked through the night market, walked over the bamboo bridge, woke up early to see the Alms Giving Ceremony (monks walk through the streets at 5:30am every day and receive alms from locals, mostly sticky rice) and tried a yoga class at one of the popular bars (which ended up getting rained on just as the class was ending). We also met an ex-pat, a UGA graduate from Augusta, Georgia, who took us to a local bar one night which was also a plus. Overall, it was just what we needed to get us ready for Vietnam. 🙂
Side notes: The locals were not as friendly in Laos as I thought they would be. There were a few that were, but in general, most were sucked into their phones and didn’t seem to care about much else. Also, the food in Laos was OK. Some meals were better than others, but nothing to brag about in my opinion. It was also a little more expensive than I was expecting, though the portions were larger.
Laos is a great place to see if you want to get away from reality (wi-fi was pretty spotty in most places) and the country side is beautiful. We ended up staying 10 days total, including the Gibbon Experience, 2-day slow boat ride, and our 24-hour sleeper bus ride to Hanoi (upcoming post on that) and I think that was the perfect amount of time. There are other places to visit in Laos, but from what we heard and researched, we saw the majority of the highlights and decided to skip the rest and head straight to Hanoi.
For those interested in seeing more photos than what is included in this blog, check out the following link:
Also, Hoch and I FINALLY put together the South Korea video! We had a lot of footage so it took some time to narrow it down and it is still a bit on the longer end, so sorry about that.
Until next time!