Laos – Sticky Rice, Beer Laos, and Caves
It appears the law making it illegal for a Laotion and a foreigner to enter a “relationship” has helped prevent the country from becoming an overly westernised tourist destination, as well as limit sex tourism – a surprising difference from neighbouring Thailand. The people are much friendlier, and while there are no beaches due to it being a landlocked country, there are plenty of sources of water to keep you entertained. There are stunning waterfalls such as those found in Luang Prabang, mysterious streams running through an endless array of caves, and hidden springs scattered throughout the country that you’ll usually just share with the locals. Of course there is also the controversial tubing in Vang Vieng where alcohol (amongst other substances), care free tourists and the river mix with often fatal consequences. This type of activity has been isolated to just the one river, so if you grab a motorbike and explore the country on your own, you’ll have no trouble discovering the beauty of real Laos.
Some of your best pictures yet!! Love these ones.
You’re inspiring me to try and be a better photographer!
Lovely pictures. Laos was by far my favourite SE Asian country of it, Cambodia and Vietnam. I wish in my month there that I had even more time to explore but with taking the relaxed Laotian attitude towards things it took a long time to leave any place. They are truly wonderful people, especially after all the western world put them through during the war.
I was in Luang Prabang for the Pii Mai celebrations this year and wish I had gotten photos of it but my camera had previously taken a swim in a waterfall.
Thanks Michael (I thought you were my brother at first, but realised you sounded too mature!).
I unfortunately skipped Cambodia as was spending a little too much time in SE Asia, but have heard similar things about the people there.
Pity you didn’t get shots of of Pi Mai in Luang Prabang, I got some of my favourite shots of this trip at the Pi Mai celebrations in Vientiane – will upload in a few days.
I look forward too seeing some more photos of Pi Mai, it’s such an impossible celebration to explain to anyone who hasn’t been there about just how fun and good natured it is. And just how crazy a full city waterfight can get! I don’t think I’ve smiled and laughed so much.
One of my best memories was of a man serving us noodle soup in an off beat market we found who spoke good English and talked about how he had to live in a cave for 9 years during the war because of the bombing and was confused as to why people would be bombing them. He said it all with a smile and the same good nature almost all of them have.
One of the few countries I’ve been to that I feel I need to go back to.
I hear ya!
My best memory of Pi Mai was jumping up on the back of a random truck with a dozen people in the middle of the city, and ended up 15km out of town past the airport. Ate freshly cooked fish with a large family, then we all went back into town.
I’ve just put the Pi Mai images up, hope you enjoy:
The new lot of photos are great! Definitely starts to capture the spirit of the festival, sounds like you had a similar experience that I did too. We found an outrageously flamboyant guy and stayed with his family and friends all day just watching and laughing with them. And constantly being fed Beer Lao of course. Then when the water turned off he went back to sensible and rode off on a scooter!
Looks you’re on to Vietnam next? I highly recommend buying a motorbike in Hanoi or HCMC and make sure you go explore way up north of Hanoi in Dong Van, Lung Cu, Meo Vac area. The roads and scenery are breathtaking. Just make sure to get a permit to stay there from the immigration office in Ha Giang first, you need one to be able to stay anywhere up there.
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Thanks a lot for the tops, though to be honest my blog is a little behind my actual movements, as it wasn’t until i arrived in Vietnam that I started this blog. I was in Vietnam for around 2 weeks and entered from the middle and went north – so couldn’t justify gettin ga motorbike but I was tempted (even went bike shopping with some Dutch guys).
Believe it or not it was the name for the blog that was holding me up starting this. But once I came up with this name and found the url was available, i snatched it up and got going! Actually now that I think about it, it was my last night in Vietnam in Sapa when I came up with the name and started this. I didn’t visit those other areas you mentioned though.
So I’m currently around 5-6 countries ahead of Vietnam, with a LOT of material to sort through/edit etc, including one or two videos. As you haven’t yet, if interested you can sign up your email for future blog updates by clicking follow bottom right, or like the fb page if you’re on it: http://www.facebook.com/CapturedAbroad