Oh Laos…Laos and I did not get on. That’s not to say I don’t want to re-visit and see the side of travelling Laos that everybody else bangs on about, but for now Laos and I have fallen out and here is why:
We visited Laos at the wrong time of year
This is probably the main reason why I didn’t find Laos all that great. We went during low season (May) and although the weather wasn’t too bad, it meant that there really wasn’t that many other backpackers around to make for a buzzing atmosphere.
Don’t get me wrong, Vientiane for instance was beautiful but well frankly, it was boring. We sat in one bar and kept seeing the same westerners walk back and forth, and back again looking VERY bored!
We went South to North
This sounds silly but most backpackers travel through Laos North to South, so we were going against the flow of the small amount of backpackers that were actually in Laos. It also meant that the slow boat from Luang Prabang back to Thailand was probably going to be empty…2 days on a boat without rowdy, drunken backpackers…no thanks 😉
We got sick
I’m not talking a little food poisoning here…this was a full blown 3 day onslaught virus (which I’m pretty sure I picked up whist Tubing in Vang Vieng!) WHILST taking a 18 come 26hr bus journey from Luang Prabang back to Chiang Mai (aren’t I glad I didn’t take the slow boat now!). Not only this but Greg also got a virus from Tubing, except he got a leg infection where he was in so much pain he couldn’t walk and almost lost his leg!
We were a pathetic pair and basically experienced the worst 3 days of our lives!!! Read the full story here
Our driver ran over a puppy!
Yes I’m not kidding, our Laoation driver between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang carried out a hit & run on a puppy!!!! I actually couldn’t believe it and he didn’t even acknowledge it 🙁 poor poor poor poor puppy…and I was in the offending van!!!!! The poor animals of Asia…I fear for you all.
Anyway there were a few things about Laos that I did like…enough to get me to go back after all:
– The scenery was spectacular
– Laos knows how to do waterfalls
– The people (apart from the puppy killer) were lovely
– It is still very, very under developed and so has such an honesty about it still – apart from Vang Vieng you aren’t often harassed like you are in other major Southeast Asian places
– It’s cheap as hell
So, I guess dear Laos…I will see you soon to see if we can patch things up xx
Have you been to Laos and had a better time than I did? Please do tell…