Laos

My Laos blog posts:

 

  

Laos may seem a little off the beaten track, but I think that as time passes this will become less and less the case. I thought it was very similar to Thailand in many ways: the food was very similar (you can find Pad Thai in basically every restaurant), the people were lovely, and the countryside is similarly lush. However the beauty of Laos is so much more raw; there is obviously less commercialism and tourism is yet to be exploited.

  • Capital: Vientiane
  • Population: 6.8 million
  • Currency: Laos kip
  • Language: Lao
  • Highlights:
    • Luang Prabang: with an obvious French influence, Luang Prabang was my favourite place in Laos. A perfect mix of scenery, good food and culture.
    • Vang Vieng: home to the infamous tubing, Vang Vieng also offers other adrenaline filled activities such as hot air ballooning and zip lining. A small town overloaded with backpackers.
    • The northern villages: the further north of Luang Prabang you go, the more remote it becomes – and quickly. Apparently it is jaw-droppingly beautiful though, with loads of cool hikes.
  • Did you know?
    • The people of Laos are the highest consumers of sticky rice in the world
    • Laos is the most heavily bombed place in the world. It is extremely sad. Back in 1964 (until 1973) the US dropped over 2 million tonnes of bombs over Laos, during the Vietnam War. Over 30% of those bombs still haven’t exploded – meaning a lot of Laos’ land is unusable, and it is a common occurrence that people stumble unexpectedly across a bomb and get blown up.
    • It is one of the few remaining communist countries in the world. One of its subsequent weird quirks is that Laos has a curfew of midnight – businesses have to shut and people are expected to have returned home by the time the clock strikes twelve.