Laos Roundup

A tuk tuk in Luang Prabang

A tuk tuk in Luang Prabang

I spent 21 days in Laos and an average of $25 per day. I have been slowing down considerably, largely due to travel fatigue as well as budget constraints. I only saw four places in Laos: Luang Prabang, Vientiane, the Kong Lor Cave, and the 4,000 Islands. Highlights include learning about the Secret War, taking a cooking class, and simply relaxing and not worrying too much about my next steps.

I had some difficulties in Laos, most notably losing my ATM card on my very first day in the country. Entirely my fault, I simply forgot to take my card out of the machine after withdrawing money. The experience wasn’t too terrible, though, as it gave me an excuse to linger in Luang Prabang longer than I might have otherwise, visiting sights like the Tad Thong waterfalls. I also had my faith restored in Schwab (the only bank you should use if you are traveling abroad) and FedEx, miraculously receiving a new card less than two weeks after I lost it, virtually halfway around the world.

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Relaxing on the 4,000 Islands

Sunset viewed from Don Det, 4000 Islands

Sunset viewed from Don Det, 4,000 Islands

The 4,000 islands at the southern tip of Laos on the Mekong are known for sucking travelers in and holding them far longer than they’d anticipated. The easy lifestyle, good food, and gorgeous sunsets account for this, as well as the beautiful scenery and friendly locals (both Lao and expat). I spent nearly a week here, enjoying some long walks on Don Det and Don Khon as well as fishing and kayaking trips. There are some impressive waterfalls in the area, too.

The biggest attraction, though, is probably the sunsets. Every night I saw colors that are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, even rivaling Iceland’s summer sky. Grabbing a hammock in front of a bungalow on the sunset side of Don Det, lemonade in hand, was the best part of my day.

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