The Land of Laos
June 19 to July 11, 2017
The Land of Laos was next on our list. We met wonderful people, saw some beautiful sites and had a blast. We spent the most time in Luang Prebang, Vang Vieng and the 4000 Islands.
This is a two day journey with an overnight in Pakbeng at the Monsavanh Guesthouse. We crossed the border at Chiang Khong into Laos and then took a minibus to the slow boats. The seats were basically car seats dropped into a boat. We stayed away from the back of the boat to avoid the engine noise and enjoyed the sites along the Mekong.
As a UNESCO site, development has been very closely controlled in old Town. We had a great time walking around, climbed Mt. Phousay, enjoyed some wonderful sunsets and great meals at a small restaurant (Bounchareune Riverside) on the Mekong. We also went to the UXO Visitors Centre which is an eye opener on what happened here during the American War. The Traditional and Ethnology Centre, visited several temples and rode around on bikes. We rented a scooter for a couple of days and went to Kuang Si waterfall where we hiked up top and Paul found the secret pool.
Took the minivan through some beautiful mountain scenery to Vang Vieng. Had a great first night with an English couple who’d been traveling for months. They are at the end of the trip and after living and working in the middle east heading back to England. Had a great surprise meeting with Nok from Lipe. Decided to go tubing… had a blast with Ronnie and Sarah from Switzerland. I got second in water balloon tossing and Paul and Ronnie won some beer pong games. The next day we rented a scooter and headed to the country where the scenery was beautiful. Ate a lot of good food at the Green Restaurant and stayed at the Vang Vieng Boutique hotel.
Had an overnight in Vientiane. Had an excellent Indian meal at Jamil’s, saw the sights, then fantastic pizza at a place run by a Vancouver guy. Again, saw Nok! Our bedbug experience at the Vientiane Backpackers Garden Hostel (total dump) had us fleeing our hostel at 10:30 at night to the beautiful Hotel Khamvongsa.
We were all ready to do the famous motorcycle loop but weren’t able to as Paul got a bad sinus infection so we spent a week at the very nice le bouton d'or boutique hotel. We were able to spend more time with Nok. Had some nice food and went on a random somewhat questionable walk (that was me and I got lost in the country). Headed off on the local bus to Pakse. We had a great meal at a local restaurant, then the next day another bus ride plus boat to The 4000 Islands.
Went to Don Khone to start staying at the Dokchampa Guesthouse . Amazing food at The Garden, Chez Fred and Lea. Did two bicycle rides, on the first day flat tire and rain storm, second day a wipe out into a rice field and huge waterfall. Guess who was involved in the flat tire and wipe out? We rode over to Don Det where we re-connected with Nok, Ronnie and Sarah. Moved over to Don Det and the Little Eden Hotel the next day and had a great night playing some drinking games and having fun. We spent two more nights then over to Cambodia.