Photo: Scenery on the road to Luang Prabang.


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Sometimes getting off the beaten track doesn’t mean travelling for days off road. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting off the bus in the middle of a well-trodden route. Kasi is 60 kilometres north of Vang Vieng, situated on Route 13 between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.

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For backpackers making the commute between these two popular spots, Kasi is usually no more than a bus toilet break, or for those on multi-day cycling or motorbike trips, a necessary one-night rest stop. But Ban Pho Kham and Ban Sisangvone village make an inviting case for all to linger in this rarely visited place.

Get off the beaten track. Photo taken in or around Kasi, Laos by Cindy Fan.

Get off the beaten track. Photo: Cindy Fan

These two rural villages are home to two backpacker friendly accommodation, both located on the Nam Lik River. The villages are welcoming and a few nights here will have you immersed in the rhythms and seasons of traditional Lao life—as well as enjoying lazy time in the hammock. Pull yourself away from the hammock for walks through the surrounding rice paddies, a trek to a small waterfall (dry season only) and visits to neighbouring villages. End the day with a swim in the river. The experience is better than your typical one-night trekking homestay because here you can truly feel at home.

Kasi has a few sights such as Khounlang Cave, but the district not being on the tourist radar means the sights lack guides and infrastructure. It also means that independent travellers on a do-it-yourself exploration will be rewarded with the place all to themselves. North of town there are some breathtaking viewpoints of the mountains and if serendipity is on your side, perhaps you will find yourself in a village during a lively festival or an important ceremony.

More impressive scenery. Photo taken in or around Kasi, Laos by Cindy Fan.

More impressive scenery. Photo: Cindy Fan

Despite the lack of tourist services, there are burgeoning signs of life with Nola Guesthouse and Uncle Tom’s Trails. Welshman “Uncle Tom” does half- or full-day private motorcycle tours and lessons in Kasi. He can teach those with zero motorbike experience how to ride a manual bike before graduating you to a guided trip through Kasi’s stunning countryside. A half-day beginner’s tutorial ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Kasi.
 Read up on how to get to Kasi.
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