My 5 Favorite Pictures From Laos and Their Stories
Luang Prabang is definitely our favorite city in Laos. From the moment our plane landed and we saw the mountains covered in mist surrounding the city, we knew we would love this place. Yes, it's popular with many tourists and the bars and restaurants along the main street tend to aim at a more wealthy public but there's still a lot of authenticity if you look pass that. The surroundings combined with traditional and colonial architecture make Luang Prabang a fascinating destination.
This picture is taken from the top of Mount Phou Si. Not really a mountain but a 100m high hill that lies in the old town with the Mekong River on one side and the Nam Khan River on the other. Half way up the hill there's Wat Tham Phou Si, a buddhist temple. On the top you'll find another temple, Wat Chom Si and this is where people gather to see the sunset over the Mekong River. Honestly, I like the view over the city a lot more!
Kuang Si Waterfalls
Kuang Si Waterfalls is the main attraction of Luang Prabang. A three leveled waterfall a short distance from the city, famous for it's beautiful turquoise blue pools where you can swim. There's a trail that leads all the way up and along the way you can pick your spot to take a dip. It's a very nice place to spend a few hours but that's not why I picked this picture.
We like to look at the people around us. Sometimes, there's nothing more interesting than sitting somewhere watching the people that come and go and observing how they act and react. We both really enjoy this amusing activity wherever we are and we can stay entertained for hours. Touristy tourists are by far the most interesting people to watch and I'll probably post a photo series on that subject in a few weeks...
I chose this image not just because I like the picture itself but because we liked the city so much. Apparently, Vientiane is not popular amongst travelers. Most people will tell you it's enough to just spend a night there on your way to Thailand or another destination in Laos but we really enjoyed our time here. We only spent two nights in the capital of Laos and we wish we would've stayed a little bit longer. It's one of the most relaxed and laid back capitals we've ever visited and while it's true that there's not that much to see, the city has enough personality to tmake it an enjoyable place to stay for at least a few nights...
Vat Phou, Champassak
Vat Phou is one of our favorite temples in Laos. It's supposed to be older than Angkor and used to be a Hindu temple. Later they converted it to a buddhist temple and it's still being used today. The shrine itself is pretty small but it's the whole site that's worth a visit. It lies on a hillside and it takes some energy to make it all the way up but the views are amazing and there's a mystical atmosphere when you reach the top.
When we reached the shrine we encountered these monks and we thought they were locals living near the temple. However, after a chat with them, it turned out they were monks from Myanmar visiting Laos for a holiday. Tourist monks!
Don Det, 4000 Islands
If you want to relax for a few days than 4000 Islands is the place to be. It's a group of —I'm pretty sure not 4000 unless you count boulders and scrubs— islands in the Mekong River close to the border with Cambodia. There's only three islands you can stay on and we stayed on Don Det. The main attractions are:
Relaxing with food and drinks in plenty of bars and/or restaurants and riding a bicycle to explore Don Khon, the island to the South which is connected to Don Det with a bridge.
And that's basically all we did before heading back to our room every night at sunset where we could enjoy the view you see in the picture...