Laos, Vietnam · 13 Days · 5 Moments · January 2017

Matt's (Lads) tour through Laos

3 February 2017

The last couple of days in Laos took a turn for the worst. My stomach had been playing up for a few days now, so I had to stop going out. Unfortunately I was really struggling to keep food down as well and was losing weight pretty quick! Most people from our little group and others we knew seemed to be pretty bad as well. We went tubing once more with the Swedish guys, but just enjoyed the day floating down the river, not going crazy! Jordan and Logan (who'd also followed since Chiangmai) had already had food poisoning/ a dodgy stomach by this point and recommended some tablets. Myself and Dan had decided we would fly to Hanoi rather than take the 30 hour bus and then check ourselves into an actual hotel for a couple of nights. We said goodbye to everyone, even Helge and Isaac who we'd been with for about 3 weeks by this point and headed for the airport in Vientiane. Our 10 days in Laos had been brilliant, such a beautiful country, however it had aged us horribly!!

26 January 2017

Vang Vieng is famous for its tubing, so the next day the 5 guys signed up and by 11am we're floating down a river, stopping at bars along the way and generally enjoying a day straight out of the inbetweeners! By this point everyone on the river that day seemed to know everybody. We played beer pong against people from the night before, Uno against some guys from Pai, had food with a group from the slow boat and waterfall etc. Most people seemed to be doing a similar route through Laos as far as Vientiane, it's almost like me and Glutes aren't the first people to decide to Travel! When we got back to our Hostel, 3 awesome Swedish guys had moved into our Dorm, so we headed to the nearest happy hour and followed the free whiskey down the high street.

24 January 2017

On day three in Luang Prabang we decided the best way to get rid of our hangovers would be to go to the waterfall that everyone had been raving about. We'd see a couple of waterfalls by this point and while they were cool, they were nothing compared to this. We spent 4 hours at the site, trekking up the side, swimming in the pools, genuinely not understanding how water could be that blue! It was pretty spectacular, although I think I'm going to spend the rest of the trip comparing any others I may see to 'that awesome one in Laos'. The scenery overall in Laos was constantly amazing, with buffalo free to wander the streets and sweeping views everywhere you looked. The weather was perfect as well which always helps 👌After another night out in Luang that night, the next day was spent on a short bus trip to Vang Vieng, re-meeting up with the group, before, yep, another night out!

23 January 2017

The plus side about day 2 on the boat however was that I sat next to Taka, a really nice Japanese/Canadian who's been traveling for years and has volunteered in Nepal a lot. Taka, along with Lucy and Grace joined us at the same Hostel in Luang Prabang as our two Norwegian friends were already staying in. Once we met Margaux and Sharon as well, we had a good group for a couple of nights out! The weird thing about Luang is that all nights out finish in the bowling alley! So while everyone's getting drunk, you also go and bowl, which was actually strangely fun, definitely different from your classic sticky nightclub! Unfortunately Glutes managed to lose his phone somewhere along the way and so most of our photos of Luang are long gone, but the place was pretty beautiful and the street food was fantastic.

21 January 2017

Day one in Laos just so happened to coincide with my 25th and what better way to celebrate than by getting up early and heading straight for the border! After a relatively straight forward crossing, our little tour group made it onto our slow boat ready for the two day cruise down the Mekong. It's not that I want to put a downer on the slow boat, but it really is seriously slow! Oh and so loud, pretty cramped and although the views are fantastic, after 10 hours, it all kinda looks the same! I know, I sound seriously ungrateful! Pak Beng, the village we stopped in that night was cool though. It made Barton Stacey look like a thriving city, but we found a guesthouse for £3 a night, Dan treated me to a bottle of whiskey which cost less than £2 and we drank with some locals and French people until early morning. The hangover made the second day on the boat absolute hell!!