Loving Lao Country

Now is around the time when I would start to plan a New Year’s trip with Sarita so I thought it would be a good time to look back on our incredible Asia adventure redux last year which consisted of three countries, eight cities/island/areas in eighteen days.  We have already been to Thailand and Vietnam but were going to explore different areas, and Laos was a new country addition altogether.
Per usual, Sarita did all of the planning so I didn’t really have any expectations with Laos.  Although a landlocked country, I heard the scenery was supposed to be beautiful.  And it was.
We flew into Vientiane and stayed at the Hotel Khamvongsa for two nights.  Since we only had one full day in the capital, we spent a majority of our time doing what we love to do:  forage in the markets.  A must-stop was Buddhist stupa and Laos’ national symbol, Pha That Luang, generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos.
The real beauty of the country was best revealed during our scenic bus ride with Green Discovery from Vientiane to Vang Vieng where we stopped for zip lining along the way to our next destination.
In Vang Vieng we stayed at the lovely Ban Sabai Bungalows, where we woke up to this view every morning:
Our final stop was Luang Prabang.  We only had one day there which was unfortunate because it was my favorite area of the three.  Looks like I’ll need to go back!  We stayed at the Mekong Holiday Villa.   This quaint little town bordered by the Mekong River and  the Nam Khan River is full of endless activities.  We spent our day drinking and dining on the side of the river overlooking the mountains, exploring the city’s numerous Buddhist temples, including the breathtaking sight atop Mt Phou Si and finally hit up the night market to graze through local artist and food vendors. Don’t dare leave without stopping in the street first thing in the morning when hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the town collecting alms.
So khawp jai lai lai, Laos.  I love you, and am sure we will see each other again soon.