TRIP TO LAOS – GUIDE & ADVICE TO ORGANIZE YOUR ITINERARY

Reminder of an itinerary for Laos:

Houay-Xai (1 day) → Luang Namtha (1 day) → Luang Prabang (3 days) → Vang Vieng (2 days) → Vientiane (2 days) → Thakhek (2 days) → Savannakhek (1 day) → Pakse and its loop (3 days) → Champassak (2 days) → Don Khône (4 days).

We spent 21 days in Laos, we could have done more by staying longer in the north but we had bad weather at that time so we preferred to shorten the duration of the stay.

BUDGET

For Laos, the post “transport” is relatively low. Knowing that we hitchhiked across the country, we made a lot of savings on this part.

On average, the rate was €1 for 8,880 kips. Once again we had planned 20€ per day per person or 840€ for both of us. In real terms, we spent 18.95€/day, counting the balloon ride at 80$ per person (or 15.52€ per person without the balloon). For both of us, the total expenditure amounts to €796.06, a small saving of €44 compared to the initial budget.

To this we must add the Laotian visa, made at the border it cost us 31$ per person.

Per day the average budget for a person is as follows: 3.42 € for transport (and yes, even though we hitchhiked!), 4.18€ for accommodation, 6.24€ for food, 4.73€ for visits and 0.39€ for extras.

TO KNOW ABOUT LAOS

The bus can be taken on the side of the road and not necessarily at the bus station

Sandwiches are everywhere! Yummy yummy for beef bacon cheese sandwiches!

Administrative signs are translated into French

Laotians love to turn up the music

It was found that Laotians drank a lot, especially the beer that runs afloat and all day long

There are bank charges for credit card withdrawals (40,000 kips for large withdrawals)

There are many pigs loose in the villages

There are a lot of big beautiful cars in Laos but apparently they get into a lot of debt…

We had a lot of trouble with wifi… what a headache!

The price of a tailor-made trip to Laos obviously depends on many criteria, such as the choice of accommodation, the duration of your trip, the period considered, etc.

HOW TO GET AROUND?

We only took the local bus once and the minivan twice. For the rest, we only hitchhiked. We found Laotian transport expensive and of very average comfort. Hitchhiking is easy to do as long as you have patience. We did it from north to south, but we think it’s easier to do the other way around because there are more big cities in the north and more cars going up there.

WHAT TO EAT?

Sandwiches, haha!!!!! What a joy to find good fresh baguette! In large tourist cities, European food is sometimes cheaper or equally priced with local food, so you can enjoy it. As for the local dish, as soon as you get away from the cities and eat in the little boui-bouis, you always find the same thing: the noodle soup!

WHERE TO SLEEP?

Housing in Laos is relatively cheap. The most expensive room was the one in Luang Prabang for 13.51€ and the cheapest in Pakse for 5.63€ per night. Overall we were rather satisfied except maybe in Vientiane where we had surprise guests in the bed (bed chips) which got us a complete cleaning of the room and mattresses at 11pm.

OUR IMPRESSIONS ON LAOS

Laos will have been a good surprise for us, indeed we kept hearing bad things (scams, robberies, assaults) about this country when in the end everything went well for us. We even found it a little unfortunate because we realized that when we got there we were apprehensive, that we were suspicious of people because of hearsay when we shouldn’t. We really loved this country by hitchhiking across it and we met some great people there, so what could be better? The landscapes are varied between the north and south and the welcoming population once they leave the tourist paths. In the end, we would have stayed a little longer in this country!