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Laos Guides

This land-locked mountainous country is gaining a reputation as an ecotourist destination. Its many rivers criss-crossing the country and unspoilt national parks are ideal for activities such as trekking, kayaking and caving. The capital, Vientiane, and the other major towns have been spared major modern developments with traditional and colonial architecture still dominant.

The weather’s partly cloudyLaos has two distinct seasons — the wet and the dry.

Laos’ wet season runs from around May to October, and as with many Southeast Asian countries, the wet season is characterised by a downpour for a few hours each day rather than all-day torrential downpours. While the rainy season tends to strike Laos pretty much uniformally, there are a couple of regional oddities. Laos’ wet season tends to hit Phongsali a little early due to it catching a bit of rain from southern China, while Hua Phan and Xieng Khuang tend to get a little early rain from Vietnam.

Generally speaking, the higher you are, the more rain you get, and the towns along the Mekong River south of Vientiane get the least rain.

As with Cambodia, the most obvious effect of the wet season is damaged infrastructure. Landslides are common, as are severely rutted roads. While the road network is generally far better (that is, sealed) than Cambodia’s, the topography of Laos (pretty mountainous) lends itself to landslides, some minor, some not-so-minor. Also, with all this rainfall, the rivers can become beastly and delays due to bridges being down are not uncommon. Don’t be surprised if your trip takes longer than expected.

All in all, land transport during Laos’ wet season can be slow and soggy.

Get ready to loosen your belt, because there’s no way to avoid a few extra kilos when eating at Today Steak Bangkok at the Sam Yan market. Their steaks are some of the cheapest and best in town, and after eating the all-things deep fried platter you might just contemplate spending the night right there!
Bangkok rates as one of the better cities in the world to enjoy a go-crazy all you can eat Japanese sushi buffet for an affordable price. My favorite in town is Takumi Japanese Restaurant located within the Swissotel on Ratchada Road.
The infamous bug carts in Thailand that consist of a random selection creepy crawlers, are a novelty and sought after treat in Bangkok. Getting a sample of each form of deep fried bug is a memory building and entertaining thing to do!
Situated across the river, this charming spot can be reached after a short boat ride. The small district of Xiang men houses the once-important temple of Wat Long Khoun. Neither the most awe-inspiring nor grand of temples but definitely worth taking a look at. Few tourists and locals venture over so expect it to be a quiet affair even by Laos standards.
Formerly used for the worshiping of the River Spirit until Buddhism spread in to Laos. Frequented by locals for thousands of years, the caves can be accessed by taking a river boat some 25 km from Luang Prabang downstream. Alternatively, the more adventurous (and brave) can take the land route via a jumbo (an open air taxi) that will drop you at the small village. A short walk to the edge of the village leads visitors to a spectacular view of the Mekong’s chocolate-coloured streams. When you arrive, the striking limestone cliffs and thousands of Buddha images that have been…
South of Attepeu Take the ferry across to Ban Sekhaman – the ‘pier’ is in front of the Saysekong Hotel, ferries run all day, cost 1,000 kip per person, 2,000 kip more to transport a motorcylce. Ban Sekhaman is a pleasant village for a walk around, with a couple of noodle stalls and a crumbling wat. Phu Wong, 16km away is a fairly uninteresting town whilst the road continues onto a dam construction site. Lao officials really don’t like tourists wandering around down here, near to the dam and there is some controversial resettlement of tribal people (due to the…
The only temple in Vientiane to survive the sacking of the city by the Siamese in 1828, Wat Sisaket is the oldest and considered by many to be the most interesting of the Laotian temples. The interior walls of Ho Trai and the main hall feature hundreds of little niches and shelves containing a total of 6,840 Buddha images and Buddhist inscriptions from the 18th century. Over 300 hundred Buddha images varying in size and material reside on the shelves, amongst the silver and ceramic Buddhist images, most of which are from 16th -19th century Vientiane.
24km south of Vientiane, Buddha Park is in a field near the Mekong River. The park, as its name would suggest, is littered with religious sculptures and was built in 1958 by the philosopher Bunleua Sulilat who famously combined Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, mythology and iconography.The featured gods range from Vishnu to Arjuna and many in between, all allegedly crafted by unskilled artists who followed the explicit directions of Sulilat. The pumpkin-shaped monument has three levels, each representing heaven, hell and earth.Beyond these the roof area has a superb panoramic view of the surrounding park and river.

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