Our Asia Travel Trip – Part Thirteen

Check out Part Twelve here!

It was Monday 12 December and we were in Luang Prabang, Laos. After our 27-hour bus trip from Hanoi, Vietnam, we were exhausted. We decided to take a relaxing day and explore bits of the old town. Kobie took a yoga class in the morning and I went to buy a SIM card. We wanted to buy a Unitel SIM card and looked up store locations, but when I arrived at the Unitel building it had somehow transformed into a Telecom store. Oh well; I buy a SIM card with data only (35 GB) for 75.000 LAK (€4). The rest of the day we planned our stay in Laos and searched for what we wanted to do in this country. In the evening we went to the night market to buy some delicious food! There are tons of food stalls and lots of places to sit and eat. It is our favourite eating place on our entire three-months trip yet!

On Tuesday, we rented a scooter and drove to the Kuang Si waterfalls. After a small entrance fee (25.000 KIP, €1.35) you first walk through a bear exhibition. Yes, bears. There are seven bears there that were rescued from poachers and were walking around in their exhibitions. After this, you get to the waterfalls. But these are not just any ordinary waterfalls. You first see rice field-like ponds that lead up to a bigger waterfall. But this keeps going up until you see a huge waterfall. Absolutely stunning!! You can also take a steep path up to climb to the top of the waterfall. The view here wasn’t that spectacular as there was lots of vegetation.

Afterwards, we took a lunch break and continued to the Pak Ou Caves. These caves lay on the other side of the Mekong river and can only be reached by boat. It is 13.000 KIP per boat ticket and this was a fun little ride. The cave itself consists of two storeys, a lower and an upper cavern. The lower cavern is filled with over 4.000 little Buddha statues! The upper cavern is bigger but more shallow. After taking the boat back, the sun was starting to set and we had a beautiful ending to this great day. 

Wednesday we visited the morning market. It was filled with local products like vegetables, meats, fish and fruit. We buy some croissants and orange juice for breakfast and continue to  Haw Pha Bang temple and the Royal Palace of Luang Prabang. The palace itself was pretty but quite empty. There were almost no decorations. There also wasn’t much English explanation for most items but that goes for most countries here in South-East Asia. 

Later in the afternoon, we went to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, but after finding out that the exhibition was inside we decided to skip it and stroll further through the authentic village. Somehow this road leads directly to Phousi Hill. On top of the hill, you find Phousi Stupa, and a great view over Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. We watched an amazing sunset and ended our evening with hotpot at the night market.But you can read about that in next week’s blog 😉


We booked a train to Vang Vieng on Thursday via our hotel. After a not-that-comfortable ride due to the disorganization, we arrived in the evening. These travel days always eat up a lot of our day so we try not to plan much and relax a bit. Although we arrived late, we immediately noticed the beautiful landscape. The place reminds us of Ninh Binh in Vietnam with loads of limestone mountains surrounding us. 

On Friday we had a full day of exploring! We rented a scooter via our hotel and went to the Nam Xay Viewpoint. It ought to be the most spectacular viewpoint of the region. The climb up was quite a challenge. But once at the top, WOW, what a view!

Afterwards, we went to Lagoon 1 (yes, such an original name but at least it is easy to keep track of them). We found it to be quite busy with tourists and the water didn’t seem very inviting as everyone was watching. Besides the lagoon, there is a cave. To enter you first have to climb up 130 meters. The cave itself is huge and very open, so it was definitely a beautiful sight to behold. 

We continued our journey of the day towards Lagoon 3. This lagoon lies fully in the shadow of a huge mountain. But there was another cave beyond this lagoon which we decided to check out. This time, the cave entrance is extremely tight and claustrophobic. As another couple joins us, we venture further into the cave, now in complete darkness except for the light of our flashlights from our phones. The cave itself is beautiful and we can see the crystals grow. 

After coming out of the cave again, we are filthy from dust and dirt and we take a refreshing swim in the lagoon. For the lagoons, there is an entrance fee of 10.000 KIP (€0.55). At Lagoon 3 there are free tubing bands, kayaks (although it is kinda weird to kayak in such a small place), bamboo rafts and some ropes you can swing and jump off into the water!

Saturday we rented a buggy. We basically did the same route as we did on Friday with the scooter but in the opposite direction. This was a perfect two-hour loop and extremely fun to drive! It was hobbly, loud and dust was everywhere but man was it fun!

On Sunday we rented a scooter again to go visit the Tham Chang Cave. This cave is right next to the city centre. We walked around through the cave, it’s quite big! Afterwards, we drove North to see a temple and a wooden bridge over the water. After driving for 40 minutes we arrived but the bridge was gone and the temple was empty. A bit of a disappointment. 

We went back to the city for a lunch break at some street food stands and we continued our trip to Lagoon 2. This time we arrived a bit later in the afternoon. The sun was just starting to get behind the mountains and the lagoon lies in the shadows now. We still decided to take a dip! After a swim, we decide to get out and call it a day. Enough adventure for today, we have another fun day planned tomorrow!

But you can read about that in next week’s blog 😉