The simple Asia that I love: Luang Prabang reminds me of Cambodia, where the daily life is based on people’s smiles, kindness and their willing to help.
I’ve always wanted to visit Laos, as it was the only place I was missing in this part of Asia. I flew from Jakarta, Indonesia, where I currently live. Surprisingly to me, Jakarta is not very well connected to the other Asian countries (except for Singapore and KL), therefore my flight was a crazy journey with a super long stop over in KL of 10 freaking hours, for a total trip of 16 hours!! (Considering that with 14 hours flight I can go to Italy…)
Well, needless to say it was all worth it! 🙂
This time I was not alone: my sweet Japanese sister was waiting for me in Luang Prabang. She flew from Japan with a stop over in Hanoi, for a total of 20 hours flight. Pretty much unbelievable, but true.
From San Francisco, where we first met, to Shanghai, Fukuoka, Bangkok, Osaka and now Luang Prabang: our annual worldwide reunions!
Landing in Luang Prabang’s Airport is one of the top memories: we were the only one flying there on that day. The airport was completely empty and we could admire all the surrounding and stunning nature, breathing such a peaceful atmosphere.
As I come from Italy I could get a visa on arrival, around 40 Euro – I could pay in Euro, Dollars or local currency. Guess what? I did not have any, and payment with cards were not allowed. Luckily, I had some Chinese RMB in my wallet and could pay the visa with that. However I then found out that the Laos immigration authority lets you go out of the tiny airport to get money from the only ATM machine available and then come back to pay the visa on arrival. At least you are safe! (if the ATM machine works)
Going to the city itself from the airport is a shared ride on a mini bus that they call taxi. I had to pay a fixed amount of money and just told them the name of the hotel. they know everything, since it’s such a small place. The ride was super nice, very local and nobody was on the road.
We booked a villa/hotel in the city which was super! From hospitality to value and services offered. It was just in the middle of the nature.
We rent a bike for the day and went all around the city. By the way renting a bike can be very useful, as at late night there are no taxis around. So you either end up asking for a ride to random people or you walk till your hotel. We did both! XD (We decided to leave the bike at the hotel that night.. not that smart!)
The city was full of tourists which I don’t like much, however we could enjoy some great views, crystalline waterfalls, the night market and the delicious street food in downtown.
The colourful city is a mix of relax and adventure. Perfect for some travellers to rest after a long trip around Asia, as the only sound you can hear in the morning is the one of the birds singing around. 🙂
Coming from the noisy Jakarta, it was heaven to my ears.
Will have to visit Vientiane in the future, however Laos, you got me! And I’m giving you my number 51 ❤