Full transparency alert; when my wife and I were in Laos, we were broke as fuck.
I have had some success online since then. I even had some success online before then.
I don’t prefer to talk about my success. Or lack there. Because it takes away from the time I can use serving you.
But during a stretch of being a full time pro blogger I did not earn that chedda persistently.
Thankfully, things have turned since then. But at that time, I did not wish to preserve anything from our trip through Laos because it was a bit dark and terrible for me (yes these are stock photos).
This was also the period when I found out my mom had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. The Universe did not spare the rod but as always, I unearthed, explored and felt some wicked fears, during these experiences, that made me into the dynamo I am today.
Laos was gorgeous.
A step back in time, too.
The people were kind but muted.
Laos is a Communist nation. Individuals are inspired to be a part of the communal whole versus standing out on their own. This is not a good or bad thing but did seem to make the locals more reserved versus the neighboring lands of Thailand and Cambodia, where folks were conservative but more chatty and demonstrative.
Either way, I did enjoy our visit immensely. Even if I was as broke as shit 🙂
Kelli and I spent about a week in Vientiane.
This charming city reminded me of Phnom Penh Lite. From a size, scale and yep, from a “PP probably looked like this 10 years ago” perspective.
We rented a hotel in a quiet area of town. Meaning long walks to the riverfront for fine food and fascinating sites.
This is a walking city. Right up our alley, us pedestrian obsessed folks.
Vientiane is also where I found the coolest named restaurant ever: My Happy Special Choice.
Chicken nuggets, burgers and fries were served there. No idea how the branding worked. But hell, I remember the place 5 years after the fact.
This used to be party and puking central.
After enough tourists from Western countries died, Western governments pressured the Laos government to change things in town.
When we visited Vang Vieng Laos I loved the surrounding beauty but did not like the scene in town. Basically it was throngs of young tourists getting drunk and high at restaurants with the Family Guy and Friends playing on flat screen TVs. Those 2 shows. Specifically. It was weird.
Young white zombies stumbled through town in various states of undress. Meanwhile, kids were dying after getting drunk and blitzed and high by a river where folks were trying to swing into an inner tube, their drunkness and highness leading to their deaths.
Now VV is about the beauty and serenity of stunning karsts, rivers, jungles and panoramic views. Thrill seeking sports are popping up. The bars and drugs and alcohol have gone bye-bye, largely, which has made the town a much better place to enjoy.
Peaceful. Chill. Gorgeous. Laid back.
I dug my few days in Luang Prubang.
I recall enjoying the most delicious donuts in LP. We also feasted on $3 all you can eat vegetarian buffets in this quiet little place.
Outside of some walking around town we did not do much in Luang Prubang. Yes; we missed the waterfalls. But we did see plenty of monks, we ate some fine grub and took in stunning views of the mighty Mekong River.