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1 Aug

LAOS: The Overrated + The Underrated

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Laos was nothing like what I had expected. I traveled alone this past April to Luang Prabang and Vientiane – the two major cities in Laos – and can tell you about my favorites, my not-so-favorites, and stories galore. I really just want to inspire YOU to go explore the world for yourself and see the way other cultures live – so read on below.

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Kuang Si Waterfall

I can highly recommend Luang Prabang.  The Kuang Si waterfalls were truly magical – such a surreal sight.

UNDERRATED

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Mekong River

Cruise down the Mekong River to see the Pak Ou Buddha Caves and stop by Whiskey Village too. My new Italian friend and I rented our own boat which was basically the same price as going with a group – honestly the caves were a bit underwhelming but still cool.

OVERRATED

lp-riverrluang-priver-lpluang-pppriver-entranceluang-prabang-rivertemple-laostemple-luang-prabangWhiskey Village in Luang Prabang – this place was desolate and clearly created just for tourists. It felt very unauthentic, had no restrooms with toilet paper, and was extremely hot.

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Le Sen Hotel

I stayed at the Le Sen Hotel in Luang Prabang and honestly- it was the best in Laos. I originally had reservations at another hotel which had pretty good ratings online but I arrived late night from Vietnam, was exhausted, then stayed up all night because I couldn’t sleep due to a series of events. When the taxi driver had dropped me off at the hotel there was a drunk man on the road so I freaked out because there are no street lights and the path to the hotel was dark. Plus the bathroom was dirty and there was a small crack in the door. I’m pretty paranoid when alone SO I booked the nicest hotel possible for the rest of my stay. Le Sen Hotel was extremely accommodating and even hooked homegirl up with the villa which came with my own wifi – MAJOR win. Honestly, did not want the villa because all of the glass windows but I felt safe here because they actually had security and cameras.

UNDERRATED

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Utopia Lounge

This is a photo from one of my favorite nights from the whole trip. There is a lounge called Utopia in Luang Prabang and I went here with my new Italian friend (here on the left) and we made friends with some Australians and Canadians. This was the only night I really had any wine which led to a fun night of bowling and then getting street food (Summer rolls) which definitely gave me food poisoning, but whatever it was truly a great time and unforgettable. All the friends I made in Luang were amazing humans and I met them either on the plane there or by the tuk-tuks. Travel with an open mind while being aware of your surroundings and you will have a life-changing experience.

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Vientiane

I wasn’t a huge fan of Vientiane – the power went out throughout the entire city for 30 minutes and Laos is HOT. There honestly isn’t much to do here and the shopping isn’t as great as in Luang Prabang where they have the best hand made items.

OVERRATED
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The Golden Stuppa – an impressive Buddhist building in Vientiane.
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The night market in Vientiane was not as great as in Luang Prabang but still worth checking out if you’re there.
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Amy Marietta
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