Currently Browsing: Laos

The Great Escape: Month 12 Roundup

Since I left home for my Great Escape, I’ve been doing monthly roundups of my adventures. As this blog is not just a resource for other travelers but also my own personal travel diary, I like to take some time to reflect on not just what I did, but how I felt. I also like to remind myself of moments, incidents and random thoughts that never made it onto the blog! You can read my... read more

The Saga of the Stolen Motorcycle Part II

If you have yet to read Part I of my own personal Motorcycle Diaries, in which I describe how I became a victim of rental motorcycle theft, start here. It’s a doozy. Part II picks up a few days later, at which time my passport and I were safely ensconced back in Thailand. I’m sitting by the pool in Bangkok when I get a phone call recounting the most insane story I have ever heard in my life. I... read more

The Saga of the Stolen Motorcycle

It had to happen sometime. At some point, my good travel luck had to run out. And boy, did it go out with a bang on my last day in Laos. Long time readers might be all like, Alex, what about that time you almost forgot your passport? Or that time you were evicted from your apartment? Or the various times you’ve been injured or ill? Well, the passport thing was more like an averted crisis since all... read more

The Sights of Vientiane

I arrived in Vientiane with a mission. I had a to-do list, a carefully combed guidebook, and a curated list of must-have experiences. I was going to fall wildly in love with this capital metropolis. I was going to adore this city, so help me God, and nothing was going to stop me. Why? Because I like to root for the underdog, and I was sick of hearing people talk smack about how “boring,”... read more

Tourists Behaving Badly

Traveling — stepping outside your own culture and comfort zone — tends to come with a side dish of ethical and moral decision-making. Maybe you’re concerned about the environmental impact of a Caribbean cruise, or you’re fretting over what to wear in a conservative country like Egypt. Maybe you’re wondering how to help poverty-striken children in Cambodia without doing more... read more

Hot Air Ballooning over Vang Vieng

I did almost no research ahead of time for my trip to Laos. So imagine my delight when I learned that there was an attraction so new that it had yet to hit the guidebooks: hot air ballooning over Vang Vieng. Is there a more romantic way to explore a place than by floating thousands of feet high in the air above it? Balloons over Vang Vieng offers this experience at the bargain price of $70USD per person.... read more

Beyond the Tubing in Vang Vieng

Once upon a time, visitors came to Vang Vieng to explore the beauty and the peaceful setting of rural Laos through a variety of adventure activities. And while it is still possible to kayak, mountain bike, rock climb, and more; those pursuits have been overshadowed by the all-day river raves happening on the Nam Song. I was glad that even though I was traveling with a party-loving group of backpackers, my... read more

A Hamlet of Hedonism: The Town of Vang Vieng

Warning: The following post contains photos of people half-naked and showing questionable judgement. The easily offended or biologically related to me should not proceed. I’ve slept in a room in Malaysia that made me question whether or not the movie Hostel was in fact fiction. I’ve been on a cruise ship in Greece where I had a white-gloved butler with whom I felt so awkward we did not make eye... read more

Beyond Luang Prabang: Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si Falls

While there is plenty to keep you occupied within Luang Prabang, another round of beautiful sights lie just outside the city limits. Visiting the Pak Ou Caves is a popular half-day tour from Luang Prabang. This trip definitely falls under the whole ‘the journey is the destination‘ category. With two hours of river travel there and one hour back, you will spend a leisurely morning watching... read more

The Sights of Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang — the jewel of Indochina. That’s a pretty big title to live up to, and so I was surprised when guidebooks and fellow travelers described the city as a place you go to soak up the atmosphere rather than see the sights. While there is certainly plenty of atmosphere to be soaked, there is also a long list of exotic temples, simple museums, and vibrant markets to be visited. I set off... read more

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