Friday, February 16, 2018

Things to do in Vang Vieng and Vientiane - Laos

Destination: Vang Vieng and Vientiane
Travel Companion: Solo
Duration: 3 days

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Vang Vieng

  is one for the books, still a very unspoiled land, very different from Luang Prabang. It's still raw and natural. Small and modest houses, vast lands with only a population of 25,000, most people don't speak English (reminds me of a funny story with the tuktuk driver I picked to take me to my hotel who I had to use sign language with). Anyway, it's a beautiful town, a must visit. If you somehow are able to rent a car, you will find even more fascinating areas to stop at on the way to Vang Vieng, such as the town called "Pha Tang", a quiet area, might be suitable for a retreat and just be one with nature! You will see plenty of school boys and girls commuting on their own mopeds, students no older than 14-15. On the way to the Blue Lagoon, I saw plenty of cows just roaming around the roads that sometimes we'd have to wait for them to move away so we can be on our way.

Beautiful Vang Vieng



On the way to the Blue Lagoon, Vang Vieng - Laos


Places to visit / Things to do:

I was only there for two days, so I was mostly just spending time flying the drone near the resort I was staying in, and when I went to the town center, I mostly walked around and just chilled. Here are some things and places I recommend:
  • Smile Beach Bar - very nice chill place overseeing the river).
  • EARTH Bar - amazing Bar, the decor is all made of wood and trees, super creative
  • Blue Lagoon - zip lining, swimming... slightly touristy though. 
  • From there you can hike up to cave Tham Phu Kham (steep, but the cave is quite big and beautiful and worth seeing). You can either rent a moped or a bike or a buggy or hire a tuktuk to take you there.
  • Tham Nam cave is a network of rivers inside the cave, you can do tubing through. Definitely a very nice group activity.
  • Kayaking / Tubing in the river
  • Hot Air balloon to see the city from above

EARTH Bar, Vang Vieng - Laos
View from EARTH Bar, Vang Vieng - Laos


Smile Beach Bar; End of tubing zone. Vang Vieng - Laos


Where to stay:

  1. Champalau Bungalows (in the city, and very close to EARTH bar)
  2. Phoxay Ngam Resort (15 Minutes our of the city) - this is where I stayed. It's gorgeous!

Morning Coffee - Phoxay Ngam Resort in Vang Vieng
That was my cabin for 2 nights! :)


Vang Vieng - Laos (Taken with DJI Spark)

Vientiane

As I only had less than 24 hours in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, I don't have much to say about it. It's more developed than the rest of Laos, although my favorite remains Luang Prabang.

I did visit few spots with the short time I had, and hopefully will be able to cover more in my next visit. You can  sense the french influence in Vientiane, from the names of places, shops to restaurants. Vientiane was the administrative capital of during French rule.

Fun fact, the original meaning of the name "Vientiane" is "city of sandalwood", Vientiane is actually pronounced as "Viang Chan", unfortunately the French were able to pronounce the "ch".

On a lighter (heavier?) note, a specialty dessert there that you can try is the Kao Larm (sticky rice and coconut). You can find that in the night market, along with many street food stops. The night market is by the bank of the Mekong River, if you look across you should be able to see Thailand! It's really a few minutes swim away.


Places to visit:

  • Patuxay Monument
  • Pha That Luang great sacred Stupa
  • Night market
  • Wat Se Saket
  • Buddha park
Kop Jai for your time, I hope you enjoy Luang Prabang as much as I did. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me on my instagram or facebook page. Or even comment here! For more inspiration, you can check my Laos photo steam here.

#FROMLAOSWITHFUNK (instagram).

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