• Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    11 things to do in Luang Prabang

    If there is one destination in Indochina that deserves your time and money, then it must be Luang Prabang. This UNESCO World Heritage site was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom until the middle of the 16th century. Today, Luang Prabang is considered to be the heart of Laotian culture, beating the capital city Vientiane as the preferred destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can choose to spend just two nights, doing a whirlwind tour of its highlights, or take it easy and stretch your stay for a week (or more) and see it at your own pace. Either way, you will be richly rewarded with sights…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    Ride to the Pak Ou Caves and Whiskey Village

    Fancy a boat ride on the Mekong? And then a shot of a drink that is going to jolt your senses? Why not do a half-day trip to Pak Ou Cave. The tour is combined with a visit to Whiskey Village. The tour itself is roughly around four hours, with the ride to the caves taking about two hours. Once you arrive, walk up the stairs and you will come to the first cave called Tham Ting. Just be careful as it is dimly lit. Make your way higher and you come to the second cave called Tham Theung, which is larger and darker. Both these caves are full of…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    The old man by the river

    The center of Luang Prabang is small. It has got just four main roads. Easily covered by foot, one of these roads leads you to a small gated park, which is also a good vantage point to click photographs. Look carefully, and you’ll see a pathway leading to the bank of the Nam Khan River. There’s a lady sitting there who’ll collect a fee for you to cross the bamboo bridge to go to the other side. Once you’ve crossed the bridge, walk a little further to the small temple, and as you walk around, chances are you’ll see a small hut. I called out and the old man stumbled…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    Sunset over Luang Prabang

    After huffing and puffing for about 20 odd minutes, you’ve finally made it to the top of Phu Si Hill in Luang Prabang, an elevation of 100 metres. Once you have caught up with your breath, weave your way through the crowd of other tourists and see what needs to be seen. Then settle at a good spot and wait for the sunset. I suggest you make it to the top at least an hour before sunset as there will be others too who will have similar thoughts as you. So before it gets too crowded, I suggest you see what needs to be seen, and then settle down at…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    Kuang Si Falls: Luang Prabang’s hidden gem

    Strange that I missed it in 2007. This time however, on a friend’s recommendation, I was going to see it . And oh boy, no regrets. Kuang Si Falls is about 30 odd kilometers from Luang Prabang, and is about an hour’s drive, depending on conditions. It’s unlike any other waterfall I’ve seen. From the bright green colours, to the way it flows down across three tiers. If you are looking for Instagram or selfie moments to capture, you’ll have lots of opportunities. And if you fancy taking a dip in the pool, then by all means, do so. There are changing rooms. Just make sure to carry your swimming…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Resources

    Laos visa on arrival

    Applying for a visa on arrival at any Lao port of entry has has got to be one of the easiest and smoothest process I’ve gone through. I landed at Luang Prabang on my month-long tour of Indo-China. On entering the airport terminal from the tarmac, there’s a special booth directly in front of the entrance that you must head to. You’ll figure out which one it as there’s a queue of people standing in line, waiting their turn. Fill in the application form along with the immigration card and keep your passport sized photograph at hand, along with the fees. Fees vary for different nationalities. For an Indian passport…