Laos Favorites

  • Beer Lao
    Beer Lao
    by Twan
  • Beer Lao
    Beer Lao
    by Twan
  • Favorites
    by Twan

Laos Favorites

  • Traveling Thai, Cambodia, Vietnam trio

    [Copied from my post to a forum question]I've been to all of the places you mentioned. And I've spent several months in a few of them too. I will agree with the posts above and say that your original plan is too much in too short a time. Five countries in 5 weeks leaves for 6 days minimum in each country once travel is taken into account. Land...

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  • mineral rich country

    For its wide variety of minerals and gem Laos could be rich country, if ... (you're free to end the sentence by yourself). Browse the shops (and sometimes markets) in cities such as Vientiane, Pakse and Luang Prabang and see variety of 'stones', the precious gems - these are hidden in remote and unaccessible, well guarded Lao mountains: the...

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  • boat trips on Mekong

    It is one of the Asia's largest rivers and a lifeline of the region. It makes it worth to travel some time by Mekong, the best by slow boat, the public one. You will pass diverse landscapes from mountains through plains - depends on part of river. We did quite often the trip between Vientiane and Pak Lay (Sayabouly province) by boat. I'd say best...

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  • rain forest, the very best of ...

    Visit jungle in Laos if you get a chance. Lots of areas with forest are being cleared yet some places are left intact. This also mean, when speaking on such place you need to know exactly where are you going to and it's thing one is not advised to do alone.Some adventure-like agencies from Luang Prabang or Vientiane now already organize such trips...

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  • Adaptor Plugs

    Laos uses 230V, 50HzLaos has a variety of electrical outlets being used. However, most common plugs will be the European 2-pin plug and the USA flat 2-pin:http://electricaloutlet.org/type-chttp://electricaloutlet.org/type-aIn remote corners of the country, a variety of outlets may be found.Old French 2-pin, and Old European 2-pin with ground lugs,...

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  • The Warmest Hearts

    Laos has some wonderful people. They wear their smiles openly and are genuinely happy to see you come through their streets and share an exchange even if it is just a wave and a smile.I personally think the people in the south of Laos, and those in the smaller towns are more sincerely openhearted, and the kids take this to the extreme.When...

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  • Cheap Accomodation on the go

    I did a bit of research on accommodation before coming and borrowed a friend's guide book. However, I would say that guesthouses in Laos open almost daily.There is no shortage of places to stay here. The true discount ones are the ones that have just opened up and have not yet been reviewed and made popular by things like the Lonely...

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  • Monarchy vs The Party

    The Royal Family (presiding in Luang Prabang) befriended the French and more or less invited their colonization in turn for support against attacks from the north (mostly coming from China). However, the communist propaganda centered in Vientiane shows the French to be cruel imperialists focusing on stealing all of the Laos' resources with...

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  • Good incoming travel agency.

    I work in Laos from time to time as a tourguide bringing in danish tourists and i have had some good experiences with Vansana travel & tours.I have had hotels, busses, flights and local guides booked through them and it always went very well and they have shown a good level of professionalism towards me.If you need an incoming agent then they are...

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  • money matters in Laos

    Some Lao banks such as BCEL and Lao Development will exchange A$ but many money exchange booths/kiosks or gold and jewelry shops won't. So it's best to have a combination of U$, Euros, or Thai bahts. With regards to TCs, Lao Development doesn't charge to exchange TCs into kip but BCEL charges nearly U$1 per TC regardless of the denomination of the...

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  • visa formalities for Indochina

    The only country you'll need a visa in advance of arrival is for Vietnam. For Laos or Cambodia, you can get a 'visa upon arrival' via an airport arrival OR via their recognized international border crossings. One may also get a Viet visa upon a fligh arrival BUT this needs to be pre-arranged with a Viet travel agency well in advance. They'll have...

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  • The Mighty Mekong

    The Mekong is the 12th longest river in the world. It stretches from Tibet to the South China Sea and flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Over 60 million people, many of whom belong to the poorest in the world, depend on the Mekong for water, food, transport or other aspects of daily life. The river is unique in many...

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  • getting KIP: from ATMs

    It's nowsadays much easier to get your KIP from ATMs - you need to find BCEL's ATMs as so far they're the only ones that accept foreign cards such as Maestro, Visa, Mastercard... The atm network grows rapidly in Laos and it's now possible to withdraw money in almost all bigger cities with many tourists and some provincial capitals. For the entire...

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  • Making your way in LP

    In Luang Prabang, you can find a lot of quiet, simple things to fill your days.It's a sweet place full of temples and unique views of a culture in transition. You may have read recently that LP has become overrun with tourists out to capture this transition, and thus hasten its down fall.It's a tough question and one worth pondering. There's a...

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  • Getting to Vang Vieng from VT.

    Hi there, You can easily take a bus to VV from VT. It takes about 3 hrs and costs roughly $6-$8. Once you are in VV you can head right down to the river and sort yourself out with a place to stay no problem. We had a room overlooking the river with a nice balcony and we paid $10/night. I believe the place was called.....shoot Im having a hard time...

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  • Lao Kip

    I did have a bit of trouble with getting cash in Laos. There were very few ATMs in Vientiane, and I only found one which accepted my card. I felt really akward entering 500,000 as the amount I wanted, and I was surprised when I saw the stack of bills emerge. In Luang Prabang, I found a few travel agents who would give you a csh advance against a...

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  • Internet

    The internet rates varying from 800 to 1,000 kip per minute. Service is pretty slow and unreliable, since all the computers run on car batteries during the day.

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  • Land of Smiels and Maybes...

    In Laos, it seems as if they have no concept of time so you need to be patient and just chill. Most of the time, when i was told that the journey would take 1 hour, it's actually 2 or 3 hours. And be patient if the locals do not understand your English. Speak slowly and use simple words even though it's not grammatically correct. I'd witnessed a...

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  • Hearing protection-no joke...

    For those people like me who have sensitive hearing and find sudden loud noises irritating think about bringing some ear plugs like those used in industrial work places. The need may arise for them if you are travelling by bus through the mountains where the roads are incredably windy and steep. Vehicles on the road use both lanes when going...

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  • Understatment

    I don't know where to put this so I will put it under general. I noticed some tendencies while traveling both times. First if someone says something is not hot (spicy) don't trust them and try only a little first, they like things hot. Second when someone says soemthing is sweet don't beleive them, they like things spicy they don;t have a sweet...

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  • Take it easy

    Don't be stressed, laugh, enjoy life and do not rush people. After taking the necessary medical precautions, you can drink and eat anywhere, swim in rivers and pools.You will have a very relaxing trip if you take the time to listen to the people. Take it as it comes and you'll have the time of your life. Lao people are very proud and very...

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  • Currency Exchange in Huay Xai

    There is a small little counter run by the Lao Development Bank at the checkpoint, just beside the immigration counter. The rate is good. You may change your KIP there. They accept USD and Thai Baht.

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  • USD and Laos KIP

    The rate is usually :10,000 KIP to 1 USDUse this conservative rate as a guide as you do your budgeting. You will normally get more KIP per USD. KIP is only acceptable in Laos but not elsewhere, not even at Thai Banks. [Tried to change back KIP to Thai Baht at Udon Thani Airport but it was a no no.]

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  • Huay Xai – Northern Laos Border Town

    Most travelers come to Huay Xai via Chiang Khong, North Thailand. Huay Xai is a small little town with a handful of guesthouses serving mainly those who reach there as a transit point to other corners of Laos.Huay Xai has a temple on top on a small hill. It is the main visible attraction there. Just walk up the steps to the top and catch a nice...

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  • Visas

    Are very easy to obtain at the border. All you need is a passport photo and 1600 baht. I arrived at chiang khong in the afternoon and my visa was ready for me the very next morning to get my slow boat to Luang Prabang

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  • Your personalized soundtrack

    In Laos (as in China, as I discovered later) there is music everywhere. You can almost always distinguish a gentle pop song in the background, even in the countryside.After a few days, you start recognizing the songs. One which you like best could become your "Theme from Laos Trip".

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  • Huay Xai border, very slow

    When you catch the ferry to laos from chaing khong its almost as if they opperate at a differnet pace and time zone even if its only across the mekong river. Be prepared to wait a while at immigration at at the currency exchange burreau. If you do change your money to Kip. Expect to become an overnight millionaire and come out with a bag full of...

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  • Be patient

    Time in Laos is not like in other countries. It is brutally chilled back. Try not to be anywhere in a hurray because quite simply you wont be there. Expect to get places 1 or 2 hours late then if you get there roughly at the designated time then its a bonus

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  • US dollars

    The currency in Laos Is Kip and in all honesty it is a poor currency. It is at times very difficlut to know what you are paying for as it is similar to monoploy money. Do yourself a huge favour and only use US dollars. They also prefer a strong currency so you would be doing both yourselves and the people a favour

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  • PURE LIFE

    I went to Laos in 1999 and it was the purest place Ive ever been. I imagine over the years more tourists have arrived and it has become more modernized. However, Im certain it must still be beautiful corner of the earth. Muang singh was the place to go to experience the hill tribe culture and enjoy the fruits of the golden triangle. THE MOON OVER...

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  • General thoughts about Laos

    Laos is a very quite and laid back country. Funny enough, Brits seem to love Laos. Laotians are quiet and reserved - not unlike most Brits. Americans tend to prefer Vietnam. The Vietnamese are open, friendly and agressive in business - quite like Americans. I love to remember the quiet mornings spent in this one paricular Luang Prabang cafe while...

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  • I left my heart in Luang Prabang

    If you come all the way to Luang Prabang, be sure to spend at least three days there.This small town is in a gorgeous setting, around a steep hill and at the junction of two rivers.L.P. is an important Buddhist center, and temples abound. Some temples are more plain and rowdy, with monks playing soccer. Others are just buzzing with...

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  • feeling cocky

    Feeling cocky after our escape, we soon realized we had no idea where the boats went from so hopped on the first tuk tuk that came our way. His cheap price seemed no bargain as we pulled into what looked like a big grassy lot with no water in sight. I mentally prepared for an altercation but he showed us the way to the dock, all for the bargain...

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  • on chartering a helicopter

    The second day brought only one small surprise. We had only bought a ticket to Pakbeng, partially to leave open the option of staying there another day or heading north by pickup truck. It was also rumored that when you bought the two-day ticket, some places would actually just write up a ticket for half the trip. In fact, many passengers did...

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  • on not being swindled

    We made our way easily down to the river on our own accord but even in so doing, nearly got herded into the mass of backpackers who had been sold into groups by local agents. This merely got them a higher price and the use of a woman to help them unnecessarily across the border. She tried to help herself to some of our money by asking for 200...

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  • that one is supposed to be a real...

    The river scenery was even more enthralling the second day though the trip not a second shorter. The kids were particularly photogenic and had not been spoiled into asking for money for these qualities just yet. Nevertheless, there was not a person on board that would sign up for a third day if given the chance, and we were uniformly elated to...

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  • a few bursts of light from our handy...

    It was dark in no time but after refurbishment, we decided to wander the one dirt road in town while the generators were still going. One extremely persistent beggar and little much on offer in the town itself had us back at the guesthouse in less than an hour. With another big boat trip early in the morning, we opted to forgo more beers and...

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  • heaving sighs

    All heaved a sigh of relief as the boat pulled into Pakbeng and were immediately pounced on by the local kids, understandable trying to make a buck. Though my guide said a particular guesthouse was best, I went with a friend’s suggestion and let its riverside location and the quickly setting sun lead me there. It was little more than a bamboo hut...

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  • meandering scenery

    The boat trip itself was uneventful as the beautiful scenery meandered by at a leisurely pace and fellow travelers did what they do best, exchange stories from the road. Those on endless trips seemed to feel sorry for those with a mere couple months to explore the region. Others looked more than ready to go home. Contrary to accounts that I had...

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  • Extortionate Offers

    Though Laos has its share of beautiful architecture and nature, the people are the true drawing card of this emerging travel destination. The trip down the Mekong River from Northern Thailand into Laos was touted as a bit of a rough adventure but as the boat pulled out from small village Pakbeng, the only rough part aside from getting a fair shake...

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  • Wat Xieng Thong

    With its golden facades and mural paintings, Wat Xieng Thong is a masterpiece of 16th century Buddhist architecture. The temple was used for the highest royal ceremonies and to temporarily house the bodies of the deceased kings.

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  • watch the sunset in Vientiane....

    watch the sunset in Vientiane. Photo: Sunset Bar, Vientiane the peace and quiet mixed with a bit of danger. note the dangert in this photo.

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  • Th Mekong Monster

    Legend tells of a dragon like serpent in these waters, whose length can be as long as 15 meters (45 feet). While on Dongsau island, I saw the attached picture posted on a wall of one of the huts there. Allegedly it is a picture taken in 1968 of a Naga that was pulled from the Mekong by some US Servicemen during the Viet Nam War.True or Hoax ??? Who...

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  • Donsau Island

    There is really nothing so special about Donsau Island, except mostly to say that you have planted your feet on Laos soil, I suppose. There are about 20 thatched huts with drinks and beers, and tourist type schlock which is not so different that what you can find over on the Thai side of the Border. So enough with shopping lets move onto a beer or...

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  • Take me to the Mekong..

    It was actually quite fun to quickly zip around in one of those overpowered long tailed boats between the three countries of Burma, Laos, and Thailand. Here the tree in the foreground is in Laos, where the hills of Thailand are in the backgroudn. Burma would be a few hundred meteres off to the right... (out of the picture..)

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Laos Hotels

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