OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN NORTHERN LAOS

Where’s that, the most people asked when I told them we were off to Laos. And that about sums up the attraction—but specially I like getting off the beaten track at the home and abroad.

Laos is landlocked and developing country. Most of the people live in rural villages. Although the government is communist, religion is tolerated. The north is mainly Buddhist and Animist. In short, Laos is about as different from other countries. 

Laos shares its borders with China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. That’s a lot of neighbors to keep in with, which hasn’t always been easy. Laotian history, like its country side is dramatic. In recent times it has included colonization by the French, the Indo-China wars, civil wars, and the overthought of the monarchy, establishment of the communist regime and the ensuring dispora of the Mong people.

One of the first things I noticed is that there were children everywhere. Despite the poverty, despite the malnutrition, they spoke to me of the hope for the future.



There’s no getting around the fact that Laos is a developing nation, one of the poorest country in Southeast Asia. Many people rely on subsistence farming, food supply especially in rural areas in insecure.

Nevertheless, Laos is rushing as fast as it can into the 21th century and why not I don’t think it’s for westerners to criticized that

Rice distribution in Nong Khiaw

Sun set over The Mekong River in Northern Laos

Best boat trip

Travel by boat on the river is the easiest way to get around. Although, I would never have said at the beginning of our trip- actually, I am not boat lover. But it wasn’t long before I came to look forward to our time on the water. Each trip was memorable. The best journey was the seven hour journey up the Nam Ou River from nongKhiaw to MuangKhua

Nongkhiaw, Northern Laos

I thought I was in for a numb backside, a headache from the thrum of the engine and a chill from which I would never recover—it was very cold. What I got was all those things and said ok by myself.

Sadly, because of dam construction on the Nam Ou River, the river current was very strong in some places and was feeling afraid because of Boat condition. It was big enough and very old and some place almost broken

BOAT TOUR ON THE NAM OU RIVER

The most attractive and heart touching scenery I enjoyed on the boat trip, when I was crossing narrow water way of Nam Ou River. Bothe sides are full of green trees with high hills, animals calling sounds… its  seems like a small amazon forest….


The mountains of Nam Ou River

LAO BEST FOOD

Laos’s food has reputation for complex flavors with a strong influence but my favorites are very simple—noodle soup at the breakfast time. And in the evening for the dessert food and coconut dumplings . They are the best straight from the griddle—piping hot. All are readily available near the night market in Luang Prabang and luangnamtha

STAND –OUT SPIRITUAL MOMENTS

There were many prayerful moments during our trip. One of the most powerful was Tak Bat in Luang Prabang. The centuries old ceremony, during which the monks receives alms from the faithful, takes place every morning at dawn

After TakBak in Luang Prabang

BEST BUS TRIP

MuangKhua to Oudamxay

This was my first trip on a local bus. It was crowded, speed is very slow and road was so much bumpy. Time took about one hour to arrive to Oudamxay. Nevertheless, was glad to see the local daily rural life from bus. The most of us in bus were very grateful to the bus station manager in MuangKhua for his kindness, patience and his good attitude. Hewas eager for us to enjoy our time.

Bus Station inMuangKhua

Why Laos?

Since coming home people have often said to me: Oh, travel must be cheap in Laos and it can be, depending on where you stay and what you do? But that’s not a good reason to visit this country.

Go for the challenge! If you are the reflective sort you will see things that make you review your most basic assumptions.