While most of our 2015 trip to Indochina was spent in Vietnam, we spent about a week at the end of the trip touring northern Laos.
View the slideshow for an overview of our entire itinerary in Laos and Vietnam, or read farther for details on our time in Laos.
Laos 2015 itinerary
Days 1 -3 Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is the cultural heart of Laos. It is also one of the most tourist-friendly cities in Laos, so it is a city of temples, but also a treasure trove of beautiful handicraft shops and excellent restaurants. While we easily could have spent all of our time in lovely Luang Prabang itself, we also ventured out on the Mekong and to nearby Kuang Si Waterfall.
- On the Mekong
- Pak Ou (Tam Ting) caves
- National museum
- Monks collecting alms
- Morning market
- Kuang Si Waterfall
- Sanctuary Hotel
Day 4 Mostly driving to the Plain of Jars
The mysterious Plain of Jars is a long drive from Luang Prabang. It is a beautiful drive, but a long one, often on really bad roads. Because of this (and the resistance of both my travel agent and guide to arrange for more time) we had less than two hours at the remarkable Plain of Jars. 🙁
- Driving through the mountains
- Plain of Jars Site 1
- Plain of Jars Site 2
- Cattle on the bridge
- Removing the deadly remains of war
- Vansana Plain of Jars Hotel
Day 5 Driving to and in Vang Vieng
This was another long day of driving, but (again) with few stops to actually enjoy the scenery. Vang Vieng is in a stunningly beautiful location, but it is basically a spot where backpackers come to play in the water – not what we were prepared for – so we spent most of the blisteringly hot afternoon in a riverside restaurant hiding from the sun.
- On the road
- Village walk
- Vang Vieng
- Inthira Vang Vieng Hotel
Day 6 Driving to Vientiane
A half-day drive from the mountains to Vientiane
Day 6 – 8 Vientiane
Vientiane is the capitol of Laos and we happened to be there while the country was celebrating 40 years of Communist rule.
- Wat Simuang (Temple of Women)
- Wat Sisaket and its thousands of Buddhas
- Patuxay monument
- City Inn Hotel
Day 9 Back to Vietnam
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