Laos is perhaps a less popular destination than some of its other South East Asian neighbours but we were surprised to find it such a beautiful and fascinating country to visit. As we’ve continued our journey around this part of the world we’ve been happily advising everyone who hasn’t got it planned in to their itinerary to change their trip to include it.
By the time we did our cooking class in Laos we were fully committed to the challenge of completing a lesson in every country on the rest of our trip. The difficulty here was that we were on a very tight schedule and struggled to find the selection of cooking classes that tend to be on offer in other destinations. They were also very expensive with most advertised at 40-50USD and upwards per person which would have been a bit of a stretch with our backpacker budget.
There are few things worse than taking the bus from Vientiane to Hanoi. Scooping your own eyes out with a rusty spoon? Drowning in quicksand? Or watching the sequel to 50 Shades of Grey perhaps.
When it comes to our worst ever transport nightmare, nothing compares to our 25 hour, overnight sleeper-bus from Vientiane (Laos) to Hanoi (Vietnam).
I wish I could have spent so much longer here. We already had to extend our stay to spend three days in Vang Vieng as to be honest, given the stories about it being a bit of a magnet for travellers acting like dickheads and more of a party town than anything else, we were pretty sure we’d hate it. Whilst we’re not averse to a good night out we’re not exactly major party people, and at nearly (ahem) thirty years old we didn’t fancy hanging out with a bunch of wasted 18 year olds.
Turns out that despite reading many many horror stories about the slow boat from Thailand to Laos (and the reverse journey) it was actually not that bad at all. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s been one of my favourite long distance journeys on this trip.