Hi, I am looking to travel to Vietnam and Laos in June with one friend for approx 1 month. Having spoke to many backpackers while in was in Thailand recently, it seems that Laos is amazing and is a must do, however I am having trouble finding information on where to go and what to see?? I am 20 yrs old and am travelling on a budget, we are looking to spend approx 10 days in laos, though this can be extended if necessary. Ive been told that the tubing is a must do, but i want to get more out of this trip than partying. Where are some places to go to get a culture shock and really see what Laos has to offer. Any suggested itineraries would be greatly appreciated. Also how much should i budget for this leg of my trip?
#1 boydie111 has been a member since 11/3/2009. Posts: 1
You will be spoilt for choice about things to do in Laos, especially if you want to get more out of your trip than just partying and tubing. Remember that, whatever kind of trip you decide on, the best thing about Laos, and the what brings people back time and again are the Lao people themselves - they have some wonderful characteristics which are quite unique and if you are able to interact with them, you will come to admire and respect them too. Try, therefore, to search for places such as small guesthouses, ecolodges, etc. where you will be able to interact with Lao people who have some English. Avoid regular and large hotels. For budget travellers like yourselves, hostelworld.com is a good resource for cheap accommodation and late bookings. Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor also have a wealth of info to help you plan a wothwhile trip.
#2 agarlao has been a member since 13/6/2008. Posts: 30
Tubing is not a "must do" unless you want to associate with objectionable, stoned, drunk backpackers who disrespect Lao culture and watch endless re reuns of "Friends".
Must dos are a couple of days in Vientiane, 3 or so days in Luang Prabang, a trip to the Plain of Jars, Champassak and many other places. get a decent guide book and look out for what interests you.
I agree that tubing is not a must do. I was in Vang Vieng for a week and didn't find it appealing at all. If you do stop in Vang Vieng and want to try something really interesting and amazing, give rock climbing a try. Either Green Discovery or Adam's Rock Climbing can take you out on a wall safely, even if its your first time.
Luang Prabang is definately a highlight of any trip to Laos. It has a tonne of character for a city/town that size.
#4 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116
Personally, I don't much like the place. BUT, if you really are interested in the "real Laos Experience" then I recommend you head to Savanakhet. Here's a site with a program you can contact:
Frankly, I can't think of anything I would prefer to do less than eat terrible Laotian food (the worst I've had anywhere in the world - and that's saying something) prepared in some crappy village where the elements are determined to make you as uncomfortable as possible. Sure, the Lao are lovely people, but even they hate their lifestyle. I can look at the lights of Savankhet out my living room window, and I feel no compulsion whatsoever to cross the river and go visit. But if you want a homestay program and experience the "real thing", then Savankhet is the place for you.
If you go make sure you bring some prepackaged food and imodium.
And don't sleep with any of the local women over there (and you might well be hit on when in the city) because Laos has somewhat draconian laws concerning fornication between Laos and non-Laos (which they pretty much only apply to white people).