Travel Photos of Laos via Instagram: Luang Prabang and Vientiane!

I just finished a 2 week trip through Laos but before I start writing about it, I wanted to share a few of my favourite snaps from my time there. While I’m sometimes bad at bringing my camera along when I go out for a walk in a new place, ever since I got Instagram I’ve been documenting more of my daily life wherever I may be. Here’s a little sneak peek at Laos through photos of temples, frangipanis and food!

 

Ahh, travelling down the Mekong River by slow boat proved to be quite the adventure. While the views on the last day of the trip were amazing, this journey also involved sleeping in a pink jail, going three days without a shower, and a whole series of scams. Let that be a lesson for me to not always opt for the most economical option…in this case a mid-range to high-end boat journey would have made a world of a difference.

 

Misty mornings over the jungle. I was reading The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux on this trip, and I couldn’t have asked for a better setting. “Under the bam, under the boo, under the bamboo tree…”

 

Luang Prabang’s Royal Palace Museum as seen from the steps that lead up to Mount Phousi. Rising 100 meters in the centre of town, Mount Phousi was a really easy climb that graced us with scenic views of the little colonial-era settlements below.

 

Sampling Lao food at one of my new favourite restaurants Tamarind. These two sampler plates included buffalo jerky, sticky rice in a bamboo basket, seaweed chips with sesame seeds, pork sausage, pickled greens, chilli paste with buffalo skin, pork and banana flower salad, aubergine dip and more. Add a tamarind cooler to that and I was a very happy girl!

 

On our first morning in Luang Prabang, Sam and I ended up going for a walk in the outskirts of town. We crossed this rickety bamboo bridge and followed a dirt path that led us to a small community. We also found a friendly stray dog who joined us for the walk.

 

The rooftop of one of the many temples we visited in the city. My personal favourite was Wat Xieng Thong, also known as the Temple of the Golden City. The temple grounds are home to 20 various shrines, pavilions and residences, and the structures were incredibly ornate. From the hand-painted scenes depicting stories in gold, to the bright glass mosaics on the walls, it was entrancing all around.

 

A lone fisherman on the banks of the Nam Khan. In the early mornings I would spot men quietly fishing on the shores, and in the afternoons the river became a playground for children looking to cool down by splashing around in the water.

 

After a relaxed week in Luang Prabang, I made it over to Vientiane where I had a couple of days to explore the capital. Unlike any capital city I have ever visited, Vientiane was really easy going without the rat race mentality you find in big cities. One of the places I was most looking forward to visiting here was the Arc de Triomphe monument, also known as Patuxai. A little tip, if you want to climb to the very top, make sure you visit before 4 PM! I got there a little too late, so I had to settle for a view at ground level.

 

A little sightseeing around Vientiane with frangipanis in my hair. I have to admit, I enjoyed the capital a lot more than I thought I would. While there isn’t a whole lot to do here, it’s the kind of place that you could “grow fond of over time” – that’s the way one of the expats I met put it.

 

And one last shot of the frangipani to wrap up my travels in Laos. I think I can say I found myself a new favourite flower!

To keep up with my current travels, you can find me on Instagram at thatbackpacker.

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32 Comments

  1. says: AkwaabaGolden

    Uh, that bamboo bridge looks like something I’d try to avoid… Possibly asking if there’s a weight limit 😀 Although bamboo is supposed to be very sturdy hehe

    Will look for you on Instragram now!

    1. says: Audrey

      It was a bit unnerving going across, but I just kept telling myself the same thing – “Bamboo is strong! Bamboo is strong!” The bridge is actually only open during the dry season. Once the monsoon comes and the water begins to rise, they close it down for safety reasons.

    1. says: Audrey

      That’s too bad you got sick while you were there. I had a fun time exploring for a couple of days, but I also ended up getting food poisoning towards the end of my stay, which was not fun.

  2. says: Rachel of Hippie in Heels

    I’ll have to add you on IG! Looks like a blast. Bummed I didn’t make it to Laos when I was in SE Asia. So many countries, so little time (I mean money) lol

    1. says: Audrey

      It’s hard to cover it all in one trip. I also wish I’d had a bit more time to go to places like Burma and Bangladesh, but I guess that gives me a good reason to come back to SE Asia in the future. I can’t believe my trip around this region is already starting to wind down!

  3. says: MollyG

    Frangipani flowers are the best, aren’t they? We never made it to Laos, but it looks fabulous (minus the boat ride). We will definitely make it back to SEA at some point!

    1. says: Audrey

      I highly recommend Luang Prabang next time you’re back in SE Asia. It’s such a charming little place – one of my favourite spots so far! 🙂

  4. says: Emily

    While I was least enamoured with Vientiane, I really really loved Laos – so I think your photos really capture it well. Makes me want to go back sooner than later!

  5. Nice Audrey! Can’t wait to hear more about your travels through there. It seemed like you only went to Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Any reason you didn’t check more of the country out? I guess I’ll just wait till you write about it… :-p

    1. says: Audrey

      I only had about 10 days in the country, so I decided to focus on visiting 2 places in the north rather than running around from one destination to the next. I’d love to make it to the southern part of the country, especially 4000 Islands, but that’ll have to wait for another trip! 😉

  6. says: Norm

    Luang Phrabang is my favorite place in S?E Asia! I visited in 2010 and had a great time. Much better than my 1972 one day visit 38 years prior. I observed a full scale fire fight on the old Bailey Bridge over the Nam Kang River. Too scary by far. The local Para Military Police told me to catch the next plane out the following day. I also saw a 114mm rocket totally flatten a huge plantation house. I didn’t need a 2nd day of that un-declared war … so I caught a plane for Houy Sai … but that’s another story. to this day I question why the Lao Airlines ever let myself & 2 German Guys on the Airplane from Vientiane to LP? LP wasn’t very touristy in 1972!

  7. says: Cliff

    Just did a private slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. If you can get 6 or 8 people together it’s almost as cheap as the public slow boats. Check with travel agents in town or if you’re really adventurous, negotiate directly with one of the boat captains. Private boat allows you to stop at any of the villages along the river. Not touristy at all. Very primitive Hmong villagers. Slow boat allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery at a relaxing pace. This was a highlight of a month long trip in SE Asia. And, Tamarind restaurant in LP is delicious! Don’t forget to see the amazing waterfall outside of town.

    1. says: Audrey

      I stayed at Oui Oui’s Guesthouse, which was affordable and cozy, but it was a little far removed from the centre of town. Something in the $30-40 range would be good if you’re looking for comfort and a great location in LP.

  8. says: Victoria

    Hi there, great photos…makes me excited for Laos. I’ll be in Vientiane in April. Do you happen to remember where you stayed in Vientiane? I’ve been researching hostels/guesthouse and I can’t find a stand out as reviews have been mixed. Thanks in advance!

  9. says: lisa

    I love your blog. Thank you!
    Do you think that a week is about the right amount of time for Luang Prabang? I am planning my first trip there.
    Thank you

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