Right next to Vietnam is Laos. Laos is another beautiful country in South East Asia that also is a great destination for adventurers who want to explore everywhere in this continent. Remember to visit this place after (before) Vietnam to fullfill your trip in Asia.
When I wandered on the Vietnam Broadband Forum, I read a topic about you about their trip to Indochina. So a small dream was born. I never thought I would drive out of Vietnam to explore the world out there. I have a worry, are afraid, have eager, anxious … many emotions.
Then 2 years later, when all the fear of the previous day no longer, I began to put his wheels out of Vietnam.
Let me tell you, the Lao are very friendly friends, walking along the road waving all hands to greet children on the road. If you are the person who likes to take portraits, ordinary life, go to Laos. Do not worry about being scolded or dismissed. Step into any restaurant you will hear the “go away” and “fishing”, they say hello and thank you that, very polite. It is also because of the gentle nature of the people that Lao transportation is extremely pleasant.
There are also traffic jams but there will never be a horn. For more than half a month in Laos, I was only afraid that my car horn was broken because I did not use it. Be carefree if you go as long as you do not go beyond. They will definitely yield to you. From the big trucks to the expensive Rangrover cars, when they reached the crossroads, they stopped giving up. Rare to see a red light. I still remember the strange feeling when in Luang Prabang, at every crossroads I saw everyone stopped and looked at each other laughing to invite the other.
About the scenery
Perhaps in the same climate, Laos is no different from Vietnam. But I am sure that Laos has many hills, most of the area of this country should also. Your journey begins in the north of Laos, and if you are here, you will no longer be afraid of the four great peaks of Vietnam. Laos Pass is long, very long and many are also many. Tips for you should not choose North Laos in the rainy season because the other “specialty” that will be a danger for your trip.
I have encountered a lot, sometimes even a few tens of landslide in just one day. The road is not good, tilt the side when the rain down, your wheels will be very easy to slip. The rainy season is not beautiful either. Rainfall, floodwater will turn the beautiful places like Kuang Si waterfall is famous for blue water became Mekong River, Red River only. Sit back and think about it, if you go to the dry season, you will be able to bring in more pictures, but whatever the fun, 7 days running rain in the water you are happy too.
Food and culture
This one just dared to say crab alone because I go to just enjoy the scenery only. Lao people seem to eat more sticky rice, they eat more or less. Smoked and grilled steaks are sold in Laos. Probably because I picky eat so I do not find attracted by Lao food. Well, it looks a bit salty and sweet. In Laos, they also worship Buddhism, a few Westerners like Christianity. But the Lao New Year is like the Cambodian New Year in Thailand, that is in April every year. You can go to Laos at this time to attend the water festival.
Preparing for the journey
There are many things to prepare, especially when you go alone like Tung. Only thing is to take off all alone. But there are some important things I want to note for you.
+ Offline map: my app is “Maps.me”. It is easy to use and has a Vietnamese interface for you who do not English as well. Just install, download the map you need to use, turn on the GPS, and then just go. Technology is the real time.
Currency Exchange: You can exchange at gold or silver shops. But it is best to change a little from home because crossing the border that you need is always available, even when entering the entry procedures. If you are in Hanoi, then through Ha Trung Street, Quoc Trinh jewelry shop. I bought and sold very well. For example, buy 650 baths sold 640, kip 2,800 sold 2,750.
+ You drive yourself like a motorbike, it is best to ride your own car. By driving an international car, this is changed at the driver’s license issuing center for a few hundred for motorcycles only. Remember when crossing the border asked to buy car insurance. Because there is no police they punish it. If you are in North Laos, you should bring a bottle of gasoline to reserve. Car repair is of course necessary.
+ Passport like passport has not expired. Visa waives because most Southeast Asian countries exempt Vietnamese visas except for East Timor granting visa on arrival.
+ What else do you need to bring?
If Cambodia is easy for you in the South, Laos will be easy for you to explore the North, but the problem is how much time and money you will get for the trip. There are many border gates that can carry vehicles through Laos such as Long Sap, Nam Can, Cau Treo. I choose Na Cèo because it is still in the mountains of Laos but not too difficult to go as Long Collapse.
Well, if you can not ride a motorbike, you can go by bus or plane. Airfare through Laos is quite expensive but the bus is normal. From the underground car station to Luang Prabang to Vientiane. I only remember the ticket price from Hanoi to Vientiane is 550,000 Vietnamese dong only.
Hope you enjoy your time in Laos!
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