Tag Archive: Luang Prabang

Consider Sleepier End of Laos

Talk to people who have been to Laos and chances are they’ll share the travel experiences they had in low-key Luang Prabang or temple-rich Vientiane. Or both. After all, those two places are considered the main draws when it comes to tourist attractions in the country.

But talk to those in the know and chances are you’ll hear other names too, such as the Bolaven Plateau and Si Phan Don and Si Phan and Pakse. Places in the Southern part of the country that no one would argue are off the proverbial grid but rest at the crossroads of three other Southeast Asian countries — Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The region’s appeal also lies there. In and around Pakse, for instance, you’ll explore pre-Angkorian temples, coffee plantations and sustainable tourism projects in wildlife sanctuaries. And you’ll be struck by the lack of urgency.

Same goes for Si Phan Don, a collection of 4,000 islands scattered throughout the lower Mekong River. Here, it’s all about chilling out and breathing the world in — an activity made all the more easy thanks to the fact none of the islands have cars on them. By and large, locals farm coconut, kapok and bamboo, and only turn the electricity on in the evenings.

View of Vang Vieng, Laos

View of Vang Vieng, Laos

“I was born to Laotian parents, so I grew up hearing the language and listening to stories of the culture,” says Nouane Vorachak, a tour specialist in Laos. Six years ago she moved to Laos from France and says it was one of her best decisions ever.

Nouane now knows Laos like the back of her hand.

“I now get to introduce my beautiful country to travelers and to organize the perfect trip is my way of making dreams come true,” she reveals.

Nouane has experienced some splendid moments in this Indochina country. Her most unforgettable one was watching the sun set on the river in Vang Vieng after a long day of kayaking.

Nouane says she would next like to “cruise the majestic waters of the Malay archipelago,” Nouane says. “It’s the largest group of islands in the world and I know touring Indonesia by boat would be wonderful to see.”

Nouane is content to explore more of Laos until she is able to check that Indonesian journey off the list. She loves talking to others about what makes her home country so great.

“I always try to make the floating restaurant in Tha Ngone near Vientiane part of the itinerary,” Nouane adds. “There’s no better way to enjoy lunch than on a big raft cruising up the river.”

In addition to Vientiane, there are other stunning destinations to explore in Laos, such as Luang Prabang, widely considered the nation’s spiritual capital.