Tips and advice
This overview of budget backpacking Laos covers:
general costs, things to know, tips, transport, accommodation options and my overall experience of the country.
If you are looking to travel Laos Forever Roaming the World provides you with backpacking Laos travel advice and an overview of what to expect covering practical things to know, tips, transport and accommodation options and...
Sleepy as the Mekong river itself, stepping into Laos was like stepping into the land that time forgot.
While Thailand is geared towards and catered to tourism, Laos is still getting used to tourists wanting to come to this majestic country.
I once watched a documentary by the late Anthony Bourdain about Laos travel (Watch it here) and it intrigued me so much, right there and then I wanted to travel Laos. This was completely off the grid and I wanted – No; I needed to experience it myself!
Laos is not your typical tourist destination, it’s not commercially developed nor overrun by western franchises like Thailand. Laos is raw, it’s dusty, it’s misty, it’s massively underdeveloped and life move at a snail’s pace. However it’s landscape, the wilderness, it’s all breathtaking and the cities and towns like Luang Prabang and Vientiane will captivate you.
So, if you’re looking for a smooth ride well, then you’re in the wrong country for you. Things will go wrong and it will be a bumpy ride but there is a charm about the place, and if you’re like me you will fall in love with the country as you travel Laos.
A few tips when backpacking Laos:
- Eat freshly made baguette’s in Vientiane, You’ll think you’re eating them in France.
- Have an open mind, keep patient, and learn to be calm when you travel Laos.
- Like is the rest of South East Asia – haggle, haggle, haggle
- Play the game of haggling, don’t be rude – learn how to haggle well (post coming in the future)
- Prepare for things to go wrong and transport to be late – Time is not important to the people of Laos.
- Laos has so many hidden gems (Temples, ruins, waterfalls etc) – Don’t be afraid to explore.
- Renting a moped is cheap and a great way to get around but you will have to brave the potholes.
- Don’t expect good quality western food.
- Don’t expect any luxury, Laos is a world away from Thailand.
- Watch a sunset along the Mekong River.
- Be prepared for long bumpy journeys.
- Sitting in the middle of the bus will be as comfortable as you’ll be able to get.
- Keep your belongings close and be mindful of them when on public transport.
- Your clothes will always be dusty, even after you have them washed.
- Beer Lao is the local beer and dirt cheap.
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