There’s a lot to talk about Laos, the hidden treasure of Southeast Asia. Travelers come here for a simple reason: to blend into the pure nature and unique culture. And just look at the short and simple list below, to explore 5 things you will find nowhere but on your Laos trip.
The almsgiving ceremony at 6 AM
The former royal capital of Laos – Luang Prabang – is a magical gateway from the present to the past. The almsgiving ceremony is one thing which is very Luang Prabang, very Laos. Every morning around 6 am, on the streets of Luang Prabang, nearly 200 Buddhist monks collect alms (typically food) given by locals in a revered ritual. It creates a wonderful, photogenic scene, especially for visitors. The culture and history seem to saturate even into the atmosphere here.
Trying the Jack Daniel Lao version
Lao-Lao is a Laotian rice whiskey, one of the cheapest alcohols in the world. Yes, the world! A bottle of Lao-Lao costs less than a dollar. The taste may be slightly acquired, but it can be just as effective as Jack Daniels. Due to its “cost-effectiveness,” you might end up drinking more (and forgetting much more of the evening) than you’d planned, so be careful with how many shots you have.
Having a seven-course prix-fixe meal for less than $15
At Tamarind in Luang Prabang, you’ll find a set menu of well-prepared Laotian cuisine for the sum of 120,000 kips (around $14.90 USD). You’ll be served soups, Lao sausages, dips, steamed fish, chicken-stuffed lemongrass, sweet sticky rice, and more. Even beer and coffee/tea are included.
A more adventurous menu is available for ₭150,000. Not such a bad deal. Oh, and if you feel like splurging, sip on a basil gin and tonic. Get your money’s worth, because you won’t be finding this type of bargain back home.
Experiencing an “AYCE” meal for US$1
During your time in Laos, someone will surely tell you about the “all-you-can-eat” meal at Luang Prabang’s night market. You’ll probably forget about it until the moment you’re roaming the market, looking down an alleyway to your right before smelling fragrant spices and seeing a mass of people.
You’ll then walk over and recall the advice you were given. You’ll see heaping bowls of noodles, grilled meats pressed between sticks over the flames, and an assortment of soups. You’ll gorge yourself to the point of discomfort before trudging back to your hotel, belly bulging, to lie down.
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng, a town 3.5 hours driving from the north of the capital Vientiane, is famous for the tubing activity. Rent a big tractor inner tube and get a tuk-tuk to take you upstream. Float down the river, stopping at the riverside bars to play drinking games and volleyball, and sip a Beer Lao before getting back in your tube and heading downstream again.
Let Us Help You Plan Your Laos Trip.
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