I am going to be in Laos for 3 weeks in Janruary, any recommendations? I have also considered breaking up my trip to 1 week in Cambodia and 2 in Laos. I have a flexibility of 20-25 days.
Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
I loved Laos, only spent just over a week there, wish I spent more time there seeing other places.
Here is what I did;
Started in Luang Prabang- great place, it's an UNESCO heritage town. There are a lot of up market tourists there, but don't let that put you off. The river is stunning, I would recommend chartering a boat just before sunset, great photo opportunities! The town is also full of temples, there's a palace, lots of lovely restaurants and also a night market. You can easily spent 3-4 days chilling out here, it's very laid back, well like the whole of Laos. I then took a bus to Vang Vieng, this took about 5 hours, scenery is spectaculour, little bumpy but so worth it!
Vang Vieng doesn't look much when you get there, but it's deceiving, the real beauty is down by the river. The town is like a backpackers shanty town, with lots of pizza places that show friends videos, that wasn't really my bag. I enjoying tubbing down the river! You can also do mountain biking, kyacking etc.
After Vang Vieng I went to the capital Vientiane, not really much going on there, some nice places to eat and drink and a few morning markets. There is a cool park (Budda Park) just outside the city which is worth a trip.
Make sure you sample some beer Lao, wow wishing I could get hold of some of that now.
While Luang Prabang is a must see place, why not make a trip to Muang Ngoi, and if you dont intend to back track to LP, take a bus ride to Sam Neua, and then down to Ponsavan, Vientiane, on to Pakse via Savannakhet, and cross into Cambodia at Stung Treng, from where you can head for Phnom Penh..and spread out...?
You will have a lot more to see as this gives you a good mix of scenery, culture, people, traditions as well as the "laid back parts of Laos and the developing parts.
if you want to see both Laos & Cambodia I'd recommend to take a domestic flight from Vientiane to Pakse and spend a few days on one of the "4ooo islands" of Si Phan Don in the Mekong River - the border to Cambodia is very close and the islands are so quiet and peaceful, we really enjoyed our stay there (Don Det and Don Khong).
Filika - Best regards,
[ Edit: sorry, no website promos please. ]