Backpacking in Laos

Here is my video about my backpacking and volounteering adventure in Laos. I spent in this country only three weeks but I fell in love with the people, the food and the lanscapes. Its a place where time time stays still, truely amazing

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Luang Prabang and hiking in the mountains of Laos

Luang Prabang  is really like everyone says- a fairly tale. The city is located just by the river. You have a lot of nice coffee places and restaurants. My favourite was the one recommended by my friend who lives there- called Secret Pizza. Please don’t judge me after one year living in Asia you sometimes really miss a good pizza and a glass of proper wine and this place had it all including my favourite tiramisu. On Fridays and Tuesdays all expats are gathering and having a social night. You won’t find this place by yourself you need to tell the tuk tuk driver to take you there and also not everyone knows the location but believe once you find it it is worth it.

Another great place I found for either coffee during the day or a drink during the evening is bar called Utopia, where all backpackers are coming to get a drink. Great music, if you lucky they have life music as well, drinks are ok a bit expensive but the atmosphere is very international and people are very friendly. Unfortunately like in the whole country all bars are closing at 11:30pm. After that everybody goes bowling, yes as funny as it sounds that is the only open place after this hour. And everybody plays bowling of course with some lao lao whiskey and music but it is definitely a must do in Luang Prabang.

At sunrise if you are very determined you can offer food to the monks. At little streets its much nicer as its not so touristic and crowded. The best time to go is around 5:30-6am.

Another must seen are the waterfalls –Kuang Si  and Tad Sae. You can get there taking a taxi and the best way is to share it with other people. Check the water level before you go to see Tad Sae but Kuang Si is always nice, doesn’t matter what period it is.

But the highlight of my trip to LP was definitely hiking in the mountains with my favourite guide- Ken. You get all those recommendations from Lonely Planet about Green  Discovery or Tiger Trials but it was almost double the price so I went to a company called Phone Travel and didn’t regret it for one second. I was one on one with my guide because the other person got sick so almost like a private tour and I payed for 2 days trekking only 55$ and it was so worth the money. We were hiking in the mountains of Laos, passing by local villages and we spent the night in one of them with the locals without electricity or bathroom. It was a challenge but what a great experience.  I have to say that trekking for 6h was not so easy as I expected especially in that heat but my guide was really funny so he made my trip really enjoyable. The next day we went kayaking on the river and after that we went to see the cave and played with elephants and finished with a tour in the whiskey village, where you could try the whiskey with a snake(not recommended).

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Volunteering in Laos

It is always cool to do something different while you backpacking. After a conversation with one of the new friends met in Cambodia, he convinced me to do some volounteering work in Vang Vien- Laos. I thought why not one week working in the rice field can’t be that hard. So I went there and met some really interesting people. The conditions were not so easy. We all slept in a wooden hat and sometimes you would wake up with ants all over you. The bathrooms were outside and it was raining for most of the time but this all doesn’t matter cause the atmosphere there was so warm and friendly. The manager of the Saelao project Songkao was very nice and funny. He made you feel like you were part of the family. During the day we were working mostly in the rice fields or at the farm and in the afternoon we were teaching English to children age 7 till 16. Me and my English friend introduced a dance programme as well. She was teaching hip hop and I was teaching salsa and the kids loved it. It was such a satisfying experience to teach them as they really appreciated it. They go to school and they work at the weekends, they don’t really have easy life.

But it was not just work we had 1 day off and on that day we were allowed to go to the city. So the whole group went out during at night with our local friends from the project. They showed us some cool places, bars and clubs that normally we would never find by ourselves.

Thanks to this project I met some really great people, got some experience in teaching and maybe I didn’t go tubing as everyone does in Vang Vien but I had the best time in Laos. Thank you Saelao project for a great time and everything I learnt from every participant!

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