Before We Went: Laos
Firstly, how do you pronounce Laos? Is it 'Lay-oss' or is it ‘Lawe’ or ‘Lawse’ … I think its an ‘each to their own' kind of thing. We’ve spoken to different people about Laos and they all pronounce it differently. We have decided to pronounce it ‘Lawe’.
To be completely honest, we didn’t even know Laos was a country until we decided to go travelling and looked at a map. Its the country in-between Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is right at the bottom of Laos (which may be our next stop).
Laos from what we heard, isn’t as touristy as Thailand and the people tend to be even more laid back. They have some of the most beautiful waterfalls and are surrounded by stunning landscapes.
Apparently, the roads in Laos are awful so our bus journeys and transport from a to b are going to be sweet, I'm sure. *huffs*
The currency in Laos is Laos Kip. If you have £100 you are literally a millionaire. £100 gives you 1,110,000 Laos Kip… They also accept Thai Baht and US dollars, but its best to use the Laos Kip as you probably wouldn’t get a very good exchange rate and end up paying more for things in Baht or Dollars.
We’ve heard that the people are nice and are typically Buddhists, but they aren’t as big on temples as Thais are. It will be interesting to compare the 2 countries.
To get to Laos we are getting the slow boat from Chiang Kong (a small village outside of Chiang Rai) which will cost approx 1100THB which is about £25 and it takes 2 days to get there. You stop off at a small town called Pakbeng and then carry on on the boat the whole following day.
There is a choice of things to do in Laos which sound super fun, so we're going to try and do as much of it as possible...
1 - Tubing down the Mekong! - You basically float down the Mekong river in rubber rings and stop off at different bars on either side of the river.
2 - Kung Si Waterfall - One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world is in Luang Prabang, Laos.
3 - The Gibbon Experience - We aren't sure if we will get to do this as we seem to go straight past it on the slow boat, but its basically trekking, zip lining and sleeping in some of the tallest tree houses in the world.
4 - Eat loads of good Laos food - it will be interesting how the countries compare.
5 - Get cultured! - There are quite a few old temples and different history museums which would be interesting to see and learn about.
The both of us haven't done a huge amount of research on Laos and are mostly going by what we have been told from other friends/travellers. We're really excited to see what Laos has to bring!
Anyway, stay tuned for how it went in a few weeks time!
Pair of Plodders