Although I only had 2 weeks in Laos I felt it was plenty of time to explore this little country. It shocked me in many ways, not only was it more developed than I could have imagined but it was a mish mash of several cultures and drunken games. It swallowed me up and spat me out with cuts, bruises and the worst hangovers I’ve ever experienced. (Blame the lethal Whiskey for that!)
I also met the best travel buddies I could have hoped for, whipped out my top dance moves (nightly) and made some epic memories here.
This is what I learnt from my time in Laos…
1/It’s very French!
Breakfast will almost always contain bread, baguettes are served instead of Asian street food, French toast comes free at many hostels and there is a fancy bakery down every street corner.
2/It’s the most bombed country in the world.
The history of Laos is inspiring and how this tiny place pushed past the devastation caused by the American cluster bombs dropped here is quite amazing. Children and locals comes across un-exploded bombs every year and prosthetic limbs are made every month for those that lost body parts.
3/The roads are rarely finished.
You will need to get the motion sickness tablets out for most of these bumpy drives. Tarmac doesn’t appear often and most of the dusty roads are littered with large rocks and obstacles. Enjoy your bumpy rides though, they come with fabulous views!
4/You can get high from anything you like.
In Laos, the innocent country it may appear, drugs come easy. Although I don’t recommend you buy them, they grow A LOT of opium here and you may get a stronger high than you asked for. Regardless, if you decide to try it out yourself many cafes serve all kinds of edibles, from mushroom shakes to ‘happy’ pizzas. The 24/7 restaurants in Vang Vieng that play Friends on repeat are a great place to get the giggles… not that I know anything about that.
5/The natural beauty is quite extraordinary.
My favourite part of Laos was the stunning natural scenery. From the crystal blue waters of Kuang Si Falls to the rivers and mountains in crazy Vang Vieng, this country is undeniably striking with its natural wonders. The Mekong is the heart of this beautiful place and if you make it South to the 4000 islands you will be lucky enough to see it’s tropic side.
Laos is often overlooked in favour of it’s neighbours but if you get the opportunity to visit, don’t underestimate the crazy memories headed your way.
Watch my Laos vlog now>
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