Travel Guide and Tips: Vientiane

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. Even though it's a big bustling city, there isn't much to do here unless you want see the architecture and food. If you want to see Vientiane, I'd suggest only staying here for a night or two. But you're better off somewhere else for activities. 

Things to do

1) Buddha Park

Buddha Park is a quirky place with a mix of Buddhist and Hindu statues. It doesn't make too much sense, but that's the best part about it. Walk around to explore the area and head up the giant pumpkin for a view of the park. 

To get there, take the Number 14 bus at the central bus station. It costs 6,000 kip one-way and takes an hour to get there. 

2) Patuxai Arch (Arc de Triomphe replica)

Located in the city centre is a replica of the Paris' Arc de Triomphe. Like the original, It even has the roundabout, but it's a lot less hectic. You can pay an entrance fee to walk up the stairs to see a view of the city. 

3) Pha That Luang Temple

The Great Golden Stupa is a national monument for Vientiane. There's a entrance fee of 5,000 kip to enter the gate to see the stupa. Other parts of the temple are free, so you can wander around and find the giant Buddha. 

4) Night Market

Opening at sunset, the night market has a mix of clothing, food and knick-knacks. Walk down the street if you want to find the food vendors. Some will have tables and chairs and others will just be the stand. 

Where to eat

Market by the bus station

Looking for cheap eats? Head to the markets across the bus station for a sandwich! They're only 5,000 kip. It makes a great breakfast or lunch. You can also purchase fresh fruits here too. 

Vieng Nem Nueng 

If you like Vietnamese Nem Nuong (sausage pork) and egg rolls, head here for lunch or dinner. It's pretty affordable at 20,000 kip per serving. The serving comes with noodles, nem nuong or egg rolls, fresh vegetables and dipping sauces so you can make your own lettuce wraps. It's makes a delicious and healthy meal. 

Where to stay

Mixay Paradise Guesthouse

It's a budget guesthouse with a feel of a hotel. The many employees work around the clock and are always there to help you out. They have free coffee and bread between 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. In the afternoons, if you sit at the tables, they'll give you a coupon for a free slice of cake and drink. They also clean your room everyday and give you fresh towels. 

  • Private room with fan and shared bathroom = 100,000 kip
  • Private room with A/C = 140,000 kip. 

Happy Travelling! 

Travel Guide and Tips: Vang Vieng

Located in central Laos, Vang Vieng is a small town located by the river. It's known for parties, river tubing and adventurous activities. 

Things to do

1) Blue Lagoon and Tham Phu Kham Cave

The beautiful blue water makes Blue Lagoon a popular attraction in Vang Vieng. There's also a tree you can jump off as well. We personally didn't like it too much because it was overcrowded. However, Tham Phu Kham Cave is amazing! There's a Buddhist shrine, but it was defaced when we got there. So please be respectful. You can rent a headlamp for 10,000 kip. 

There's an entrance fee of 10,000 kip. 

2) River tubing

This is the most popular attraction in Vang Vieng. Tubing costs 55,000 kip with a deposit of 60,000 kip. They drop you off upstream and pick you up down the river. It's the perfect activity for a lazy hot day. 

This used to be party central for backpackers, but now many of the bars along the river have closed down due to safety concerns. But don't let that stop you from having a good time! 

3) Caves

There's so many caves to choose from. Grab a bike and cross the bridge to the other side of the river. If you take a left and bike along the same path for Blue Lagoon, there are many signs for different caves along the way. If you take a right, then you'll head towards Lusi Cave - there's a lagoon in the cave, but it's pitch black. 

4) Adventure treks 

There's so many adventure treks to choose from: kayaking, caving, rafting, zip-lining, biking tours, tubing and visiting waterfalls. Head to any tour agency to learn more. 

5) Hot Air Balloon

For around $80 USD, you can go on a hot air balloon ride over Vang Vieng. Take a sunrise or a sunset ride for beautiful view. We heard it's about a half hour ride. It's also good to check the weather to see if it's hazy or not. 

Where to eat

Amigo's Vang Vieng

If you have a Mexican food craving, you can get your fix here. From tacos and quesadillas to fajitas and Chimichangas, Amigo's has it all. Try the supreme tacos and nachos! 

Luang Prabang Bakery

This bakery has everything you need: baked goodies, good atmosphere and reliable Wi-Fi. However, it does come with a price. A brownie cost us 30,000 kip and ice coffee was 20,000 kip. 


Food Stands

These can be found all over the streets in Vang Vieng. Make sure to try a sandwich before you leave. They're pretty filling and range from 10,000 kip to 30,000 kip. Fruit shakes are 10,000 kip. 


Local Restaurants

The local restaurants are pretty cheap. Fruit shakes are 5,000 - 7,000 kip and dishes range between 15,000 - 45,000 kip. The best part about them are the comfortable lounging tables you can sit at. They also play Friends re-runs all day, so we ended up spending a little too much time there. 

Where to stay

Dokboua Guesthouse

It's hard to beat the price for a private room at 60,000 kip. It's a small room with little space, but decent enough if you're on a budget. Just note that they advertise hot water, but our shower was cold. So make sure you check before committing to the room. 

Happy Travelling! 

Travel Guide and Tips: Nong Khiaw

The small town in northern Laos is probably my favourite. It's located by the Nam Ou River surrounded by limestone mountains. It's absolutely breathtaking, fairly cheap and filled with friendly locals. What's not to love? 

Things to do

1) Nong Khiaw Viewpoint

For a beautiful view, hike up to the top of the Viewpoint. The strenuous three hour hike is definitely worth the effort. There's a 20,000 kip entrance fee which includes a water bottle and a bamboo walking stick. 

2) Pha Tok Caves

Originally used as a hideout during the Indochina war in the 1960s, these caves have an interesting history. From the city centre, you can walk (45 minutes) or bike (20 minutes) to the caves. There are three caves you can visit, although the main one is much more impressive than the two smaller ones. There's a 10,000 kip entrance fee. 

3) Trip to Muang Ngoi Neua Village

The small village is located about an hour boat ride from Nong Khiaw. Some treks will offer to go there for a day trip. If you're looking to do it on your own, you'll have to spend a night there since there's no boat leaving from Muang Ngoi Village in the evening. However, I hear it's an amazing little village.

4) Different Treks

There's several different treks and tours advertised across the town. The popular ones are Tiger Trail's 100 Waterfalls Trek as well as the day trip to Muang Ngoi Neua (boat ride to the village, swimming in the waterfalls and kayaking back to Nong Khiaw). 


Joy's Restaurant 

Located by Sunrise Guesthouse, this was our go-to restaurant for Wi-Fi. On top of that, the food was pretty tasty and cheap. Get the ice coffee with sweetened milk! 

Delilah's Place

Located on by the bridge near the post office, Delilah's Place was a great breakfast and dessert spot! They also have pretty cheap accommodation (55,000 kip for a private room) and dorms. 

Deen's Restaurant 

This was our favourite place to eat. Eating delicious Indian food is such a delight after eating Laos and Thai food for weeks. It's pretty affordable at 12,000 kip for a vegetarian dish, 24,000 - 26, 0000 for a meat dish and 8,000 kip for naan. 

Places to stay

Nam Ou River Lodge

A little farther from the city centre, Nam Ou River Lodge is a an affordable place to stay. It's 100,000 kip for a private room with a washroom. It's a spacious room with a balcony. It has a pretty nice view by the river and its pretty quiet in the area. The wifi is a little spotty, but decent overall. 

There's no restaurant associated with the guesthouse, so you'll need to head to the city centre for food.

Sunrise Guesthouse 

Located next to the bridge, Sunrise Guesthouse is also an affordable place to stay. It's 80,000 kip for a private room with a washroom (flush toilet) and 50,000 kip for a room with a squatting toilet. 

It's located in the city centre, with restaurants, bars and activities just a short walk away. However, the walls are pretty thin between the rooms, so it can get kind of loud. Joy's Restaurant is part of the guesthouse, so you don't have to walk too far for decent food, drinks or Wi-Fi. 

Happy Travelling!