Given a limited amount of time (app 2 weeks) which is best for flash/backpackers interested in local culture and food ? I dont travel in a hurry. Have the philosophy of seeing something properly rather than briefly ? Thinking of going in November , any comments here ?
#1 mudgeerambler has been a member since 11/4/2008. Posts: 10
I happened to be in Southern Laos November last year for about the same amount of time, and it was great!
I was originally planning to see both the North and the South, but like you I don't like to travel in a hurry, so just ended up spending 13 days in Si Phan Don, Pakse and the the more remote Southern parts (Sekong, Attapeu). November was a good time to be there, not many people even on Don Det (in the rest of Southern Laos there never really is), and the weather was not scorching hot. Some rain, but didn't bother me much.
Anyway, I'm sure both have their charms, and I don't really have experience of Northern Laos, but I'd definitely recommend the South. Beautiful nature, amazing waterfalls and fabulous people. Chilling on Don Det, motorbiking around the provinces and amusing Laotians with my dance moves in Pakse were my highlights, all highly recommended.
Very generally speaking, first time visitors to Laos tend to do the north, as that's where all the "big ticket" destinations are, while repeat visitors head south.
I prefer the south, primarily because it's less busy with travellers, and while I agree with your idea of seeing something properly rather than quickly, some of the southern towns don't really have all that much to see, but if your content on the riverbank with a good book, then I really think the south is hard to beat.
That said, a Travelfish regular who I had the fortune to meet up with in Bangkok a while back said she found southern Laos to be pretty boring -- I was surprised as I figured it would be right up her alley, but she explained she could take it easy back home -- in Laos she wanted to see stuff and found the north had more to do.
With two weeks you're best to decide between the north and the south -- if you opt for the north, perhaps angle over to the northeast for a few days -- it's very untouristed up there (Hua Phan etc)...
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,644
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Thanks for that Lother and Sontam2000. I agree that I'll have to choose between North and South,unless i spend three weeks there and not go to Vietnam again. May boost the air fare up from Oz though.
Have you ever done the journey overland from Vietnam from around Hue . Have been to Vietnam before but the only place I visited "in the middle" was Hoi An (may spend a couple of days back there).
#4 mudgeerambler has been a member since 11/4/2008. Posts: 10