Laos – Never again

I don’t have a lot to say about Laos that is good so I will keep this short. The second half of the trip to Luang Prabang and Vientiane has put such a bad taste in my mouth, I’m not interested in this country anymore.

I’m not even talking about the steady, sometimes heavy rain we had the first three days in LP. That happens, you deal with it, and we did, finding seven hours on our second day to pack in as much touring as possible. There really wasn’t that much to see, however, except a waterfall bursting at its seems at least a half-hour south of the city on bad roads.

The Lao temples we saw were either in serious disrepair or just plain average. When you’ve been to Thai temples, most everything else is ordinary. A boat trip across the flooding Mekong River to see a string of temples sounded interesting, but what you found was very disappointing.

Lao food is not much better. Typically bland. Much the same ingredients as in Thailand (except the spices) but not as tasty. We did find one restaurant that served up some delicious selections but, generally with the Lao restaurants the food was uninspiring.

And then there was the mango shake.

You don’t use local Lao water, unboiled, in tourist drinks. You just don’t. But they did. End of vacation for me. Three days in bed. Vientiane a waste of time, although my traveling partner did take some photos of Trat Luang (below), about the only temple complex I missed on my visa run to Vientiane two years ago.

And then there was the confrontation with AirAsia over baggage fees, occurring while I was still feverish and nauseous (see ‘Something to Remember‘)

Next year, my travel will probably be inside Thailand, maybe Chiang Mai or a beach area not overcome by tourists.

Here’s a look at what we saw, with most of the Vientiane photo credits going to Sunanthra Sikaeo.


Hotel riverfront deck


Walking around in the rain


355 steps up, 355 steps down


Mount Phusi staircase



King’s creamation carriage


2nd day of water poisoning, tried to tour, nope


Some of the wall art is stunning



and, of course, the buddhas



and the temples



and the stupas



Boat ride across the Mekong Ricer to see absolutely nothing of interest on the other side.



On top of Luang Prabang



The textile coop’s display and loom hub.


One of the coop members



Ban Phanom


About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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