Sabaidee ( Hello in Lao).
Just back from my 1 week trip to wonderful country of Laos. We started our journey from the capital city of Vientiane then proceed to Vang Vieng and Phonsavanh before ending the journey in 1 of the most wonderful city in the world, Luang Prabang, world heritage city.
There are not any Angkor Wat's like temple nor the famous Halong Bay but it is the charming and hospitable of the people as well as the serenity of the environment thats captured your heart. Everything was carried out on a slow pace and you won't get hassle if you are moving slowly either by foot or by motorized vehicles. Its a great place to visit if you want to be away from the busy and hectic environments.
The capital, Vientiane- most probably the most quiet capital in the world is a good place to start your journey, get to know the people and strolling along the Mekong river during sunset before setting your foot on the tourist area of Namphou Fountain for some good Lao food. Beer Lao-the national beer is a must. Try Makphet Restaurant, it hires and trains poor Lao youths. Part of the revenues goes to this purpose, they serve good Lao food, so enjoy the food while doing charity.
3 hours drive will take you to Vang Vieng, a backpacker's paradise.The Nam Song River is famous for kayaking, tubing and some other exciting water sports. The limestone mountains along the river provided a beautiful scenario.
Next a 6 hours journey through the zig-zag mountainous road can be enjoying or suffering to Phonsavanh , famous for the mysterious Plain of Jars. Phonsavanh, the capital city of Xieng Khuang, near the border of Vietnam has been heavily bombarded by americans during the Vietnam Wars to cut down supply of weapons. Fearing to land safety at their base in Thailand with "unlaunched" bombs on their warplanes, the americans drop millions of bombs along Xieng Khuang causing death of millions of Lao people. De-mining effort is still going on by MAG ( mines advisory group). You can visit MAG office in the main street of Phonsavanh for info and donations. Donate US10 and you get a t"shirt of MAG ( as seen on photo). Please help up whatever you can to clear the mess left behind by americans for the 'poor" Lao people.
Following day, we are on the mountainous road again to Luang Prabang. along the 6 hours journey , you will be able to visit some hill tribes along the way and looking at the conditions of living, we realized how lucky we are and yet we are complaining. The view along the road to Phoasavanh and Luang prabang are 1 of the highlights during the trip.
Luang Prabang is a small city and the best way to enjoy it is by foot or rent a bicycle and cycling along. There are temples everywhere ,so just enter anyone you like. Do not miss the Museum and the Pha Bang Buddha in the museum where the city took its name. Watching sunset along the mekong from Mount Phousi is unforgettable. A meal or drink overlooking the mekong or nam khan river cannot be missed.
Our stay at View Pavillion hotel is the best in our trip. The newly opened boutique is 10 minutes walk to center.I liked the room decorations and its teakwood furnitures.
Wherever you go , the young locals will try to talk to you not just to improve their english but to know the outside world more. I am really impressed by this positive attitude and i can only foresee this country is going to move forward with this young generations and thats is something we should learn from them.
I will for sure go back to this country again.
Kap Cai. (thank you in Lao)
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