Travelling around South East Asia
Continued from Cambodia
Not imagining I could enjoy my travelling anymore than I had prior, it just got better and better.
If you are planning on going to Laos, I can't think of a better way to enter the country than from the south west and into Muang Champassak and the 4000 Islands bar.
4000 Islands Bar
Wow a boat ride, this seemingly lazy waterway leads into a land as if time forgot.
I stayed in one of the 114 villages dotted around with my accommodation room and balcony with hammock overlooking the river. I had three days to explore and just loved this place.
There is so much to see here and I thoroughly recommend hiring a bicycle to get around. The Lii Phii waterfall is spectacular and so widespread. you just stumble across so much as your cruise around this area.
Everyone there is so lovely, kind and giving and it is humbling to see.
You can see why so many travellers struggle to keep on track in their timings and it is very difficult to leave somewhere that is so lovely.
I bit the bullet and headed north up to Pakse.
Now in the time frame that I had allocated, I decided to keep to the west on my travels north, as this was the easiest way to get up by bus as far north as I could but Laos is so lovely and many I had met along the way recommended so much of the eastern side of Laos too.
I recommend spending at least a minimum of two weeks in Laos to fully immerse yourselves but I was on a mission to get as far north stopping at Pakse, Vientiane Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, before heading west into northern Thailand.
Each town or city I stayed at was more impressive the further north I travelled but each had its own beauty and would recommend two to three nights in each.
My favorites I had to say was Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang.
Vang Vieng is just so pretty with the limestone mountains and hovering mists are just so haunting and the pictures just do not do it justice.
You can walk for miles and find something new every second. This is a hikers paradise.
The town is rather spoilt with tourism although it is a great wind down from the daily activities around and this would not be a travel website if I didn't mention the "Tubing"!!!
If you love to go mad, then here is the place to do it.
It is however very dangerous and I believe some of the bars have closed down now.
Having said all that, I had the time of my life there and wouldn't miss the experience for the world.
Top tip here is let the local kids steal your tube at the last bar, for its deposit and float down to town in the river after dusk. The deposit is hardly anything and the experience is well worth losing your deposit.
If you are lucky like me, you might see in the distance a thunderstorm as you float down in the evening. It's like a firework display. What with that and the fire flies dancing on the water, simply amazing.
My last port of call in Laos was Luang Prabang and I found this to be Laos at its best.
The geographical location with its temples on mountains is a standalone place. This is where the Nam Khan river meets the Mekong and is for my money the jewel in the crown.
Apart from the cities many attractions, it is a great base to head out to neighbouring towns and is central to most of the north of Laos.
I may be a little bias as this is where I have completed some large voluntary projects in and around this area.
My tip for you is to spend some down time here and venture far and wide into the countryside. Explore and enjoy Laos at its best.
Sadly again it was time to leave Laos and head West into Thailand over to Chiang Mai.
Having the choice of a two day boat ride or a couple of hours flight and as I had already been on the Mekong for many hours and I decided to treat myself to a quick exit.