Oct 23 2013

Laap, the national dish of Laos

Published by under Food

A large plate of duck laap from Lao Kitchen

Many of the standard dishes served around Laos are adaptations from Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food. One dish that is 100 percent traditional Lao though is laap, arguably the national dish of Laos; we would argue that a visit to the country simply isn’t complete without trying it. Laap (also spelled as lahp, larb and … read the full post

Oct 03 2013

Staying safe in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Mind the buffalo

On the whole, Laos is not a dangerous country and Vientiane is safer than most Western capitals. Gang violence and sexual assault of travellers is virtually unheard of. That said, Laos is still a developing country; widespread poverty and lack of infrastructure mean the roads are dangerous and petty theft can occur. Here’s what we … read the full post

Sep 03 2013

Holidays and festivals in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

A rocket in Thailand's version of the festival explodes over Yasothon. Obviously the Lao make them better.

Laotians enjoy nothing more than a celebration. An exceptionally sociable lot, the Lao will use any occasion to gather together to eat, drink and be merry; here are a few of the most popular festivals and holidays in Laos. Pi Mai Lao The biggest holiday in Laos is Lao New Year, or Pi Mai Lao. … read the full post

Aug 18 2013

Swimming in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Going for a dip in Luang Prabang's Khan River

Laos is hot. Being landlocked and far from the sea leaves many wanting for the refreshment of a cool breeze and splash in whatever water they can find. So what can you do when you get all hot and bothered? There are alternatives… Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’ve just got … read the full post

Jul 24 2013

A guide to social etiquette in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Shoes off by the door

With their laidback attitude and a deep aversion to confrontation, the Lao are pretty tolerant of foreigners failing local social etiquette. Yet while they may not vocalise their discomfort, they may still form negative impressions of visitors who unwittingly break cultural taboos, often bearing their resentment in silence until an opportunity presents itself to be … read the full post

Jul 08 2013

Tam mak hoong: Spicy Lao papaya salad

Published by under Food

Pounded and ready for a sample

Of the many dishes Laos has to offer, few epitomise Lao cuisine better than tam mak hoong,¬†or papaya salad; it’d be difficult to avoid tasting this delicious dish at least once while travelling in the country. The best place to get it, we reckon, is at a roadside stall, where you can watch the vendor … read the full post

Jun 27 2013

Tad Lo: A backpacker haven in Laos

Published by under Southern Laos

Tad Lo is a great place for a swim.

When you think of Laos and its typical backpacker destinations, you often think about such places as Vang Vieng and Don Dhet for partying or Muang Ngoi and Nong Kiaow for relaxing. But it’s a lesser known town in the southern reaches of Laos that we think is currently one of the better backpacker destinations … read the full post

Jun 26 2013

Vientiane’s Wattay Airport

Published by under Vientiane

The International Terminal

Vientiane’s Wattay airport is a very easily managed hub, often with short queues and swift check-in. Here’s some things that may nevertheless be useful to know if you plan on flying into Laos via the capital. But first up — how do you get here by plane? Laos has not embraced budget airlines quite to … read the full post

Jun 18 2013

4000 Islands, but which one is best?

Published by under Southern Laos

The sunrises and sunsets on Don Dhet are nothing short of breath taking.

Deep in the most southern reaches of Laos, in a narrow section of the country where it can feel like there is more river than land, are the somewhat mythical 4000 Islands. Held up as a rite of passage for those travelling along the banana pancake trail, Si Phan Don as it’s known in the … read the full post

Jun 13 2013

Fresh fruit in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Rambutan, the 1980's punk of fruits

Eating delicious fresh fruit is one of the great joys of travelling in Southeast Asia. Abundant and refreshing in the tropical heat of the day, a huge range of options can be found — small and sweet, cumbersome and stinky or large and luscious. Laos has them all. Here’s your guide to what you’ll find … read the full post

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