So what is Laos?

On 19 May 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

After more than 3 weeks in this country, here is my vision of it.

IMG_4077Laos is a country where time flies, you never think to stay long since there is nothing special to see, and yet… It‘s a good place to live, you move from a quiet town to another quiet town, from a cool coffee to a great restaurant, from a mountain to another, from one end of the Mekong to another part of the river. In short, travel in Laos following the thread of water, literally as figuratively!

Laos is the mountains. Wherever you go, you will see the mountains rise in the middle of nowhere. And it’s really beautiful. As if the Ha Long Bay had spread absolutely everywhere in the country, in different places. So, you‘ll never be tired of the landscape, whether you ride a motorbike, take a bus, do kayaking, fly with hot air balloon or float on a boat, there is always something to watch, to observe, a panorama which you can enjoy.

IMG_3991Laos is a place where you can reconnect with local traditions / authentic things. You can go to remote villages to meet minorities, take classes to learn how to make batik (and there are very few “master” batik left in Laos today so enjoy it while there is still time!), take small boats so fun.

Laos is the country where I celebrated my birthday. And what birthday… 3h of kayaking in the Mekong and swimming in the mountains, relax at the pool and in the hammock of the Silver Nagar Hotel, flying in a hot air balloon above the sublime panorama of Vang Vieng, having a great dinner at Café of Paris with wine and cheese, drinks (and shots for free) in different bars in the city. All in very good company. What else?

IMG_5899Laos is a country where you can eat very well. Between the excellent local food and many restaurants / cafes that you find on your way, there is plenty to eat! I found the best brunch eaten in Asia, the coolest / zen / relaxing bar of my whole trip, ate excellent French food with good cheese and other. Not to mention fresh fruit shake that you find everywhere in the streets, excellent snacks and so on. In short, a feast for the taste buds…

In summary, Laos for me is many swimming in the Mekong river in the 4000 islands including one evening under the stars when the lights went out, a short stay in Vientiane time to tour the city without great interest but to meet my friend, a big crush for Vang Vieng, its mountains and nature that really amazed me, a great birthday with this ballooning among other beautiful things, a peaceful life in Luang Prabang to do different things than my daily life, the time that goes on the boat to go to the Thai border.

IMG_4455And once again it’s the people I met on my way. Again beyond local encountered everywhere who are really lovely, there were these travelers. Firstly a big thank you to you Bichou who joined me in this distant country for an unforgettable vacation! Thank you to Alex & Veri, the French and his German girlfriend, this Brazilian seen several times, Asa / Mo and all their merry band of 8 travellers who made me laugh and with whom I spent a memorable evening at the bowling and of course Flo and Pit that I saw at the 4000 islands and in Luang Prabang to share more good times with them.
IMG_6006We meet people all the time. But I must admit that some mark more than others. I say this every time but these wonderful encounters make this trip something quite magical. So again thank you all for making these weeks in Laos a really cool thing!

Laos, this is not the first Asian country that comes to mind when you have a few days / weeks of vacation. However, from my point of view, this is surely one of the most peaceful and conducive to relaxation and to enjoy life, differently…

And finally, Laos is also the country where I celebrated the birthday of my half trip! 230 days since I left, 230 days yet to come, this trip is just fabulous… I enjoy every day, every day it happens to me something interesting and happy, every day I tell myself that this was the right decision. Every day I think that I’m more and more away of a return to France, or at least in this life I had which definitely does not match me anymore. This trip is a piece of my life, this is the journey of my life…

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