Laos is one of my favorite countries in Asia. We backpacked through the Northern part of Laos where there are nice towns and beautiful nature.
We went to Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. From these towns we explored the nature around it. Northern Laos is breath taking and a paradise for thrill seekers too.
Practical tips for Laos
We flew from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Luang Prabang. At the airport you can buy a tourist visa. Depending on the country you’re from it’ll cost between 30 and 40 US Dollars. Make sure to bring a passport size picture and the money in cash.
The local currency in Laos is called Kip and even though Dollars are also accepted at most places, it’s smart to withdraw some Kip at the airport. In January 2020 10,000 Kip was 1€ and 9,000 Kip was 1$.
Luang Prabang is a very nice town in Northern Laos. You’ll need about one or two days for the town itself and minimally one day for the nature around it. One of my highlights of Northern Laos was the Kuang Si waterfalls, which you can find close to Luang Prabang.
I’ve written a separate blog post about what to see and do and where to eat in Luang Prabang.
From Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
I really recommend that you make a stop at Vang Vieng when you’re traveling between Luang Prabang and Vientiane. From Luang Prabang you can take a minivan to Vang Vieng. The ride will take around 5 hours and there’s one stop about halfway where you can go to the toilet and buy a drink and some snacks. I took the picture above during the pee break of our trip to Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng used to be a party town where drunk and stoned tourists would go tubing down the river to drink even more at the riverside bars. It got a little too crazy, resulting in several deaths each year. The government has made some changes and new rules so it isn’t the crazy town it used to be anymore. But it’s still a great place for backpackers to visit. There are quite a few nice bars and restaurants and some clubs for going out. And the nature around Vang Vieng is magnificent. There are all kinds of activities that are great fun; like kayaking, swimming in a blue lagoon and hiking.
Click here to read more about Vang Vieng.
From Vang Vieng to Vientiane
From Vang Vieng you can take a minibus to Vientiane. They’re leaving multiple times a day. You can buy your ticket at one of the many travel agencies in town. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and taken to the bus. Our bus left 30 minutes later as it waits until all the passengers are there. The drive will take around 3 hours and there’s a 15 minute break half way.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and for many it’s their point of arrival or departure. For us it was the last stop before flying back to the Netherlands. We had a little over 24 hours in Vientiane and I’d say that that’s all you need. There aren’t that many things to see in Vientiane, although there are quite a few nice restaurants. So foodies won’t be bored.
Click here to read all about Vientiane.
Below you can watch our 2 minute video on Laos, including beautiful drone shots.
We combined our trip to Laos with Cambodia. You can read more about our trip to Cambodia here.
Click here for all my travel blogs on Asia.