3 New Experiences From My Day in Vientiane

I may have had only one day in Vientiane, Laos’ capital, but that didn’t stop from a few unique experiences:

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I happened to be in Vientiane on Election Day.

Before I left on this trip I reached out to get an absentee ballot but wasn’t able to, unsure as i was where to have it sent. I just figured I could always pop into an embassy close to the election to vote.

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Enjoying the Vibe in Laos

My time in Laos has felt slightly different from the rest of my trip. I can’t quite put my finger on it but whether it was bouncing back after the long bus ride to get here, the laid back nature of the country or me hitting a wall, I just haven’t felt as motivated in the last week to be on the go exploring things.

Of course Laos is one of the best places to stay in one place and do as little as you want while enjoying the beautiful scenery, temples, delicious food and friendly people.

So instead of weaving together a narrative of my time here I will offer up some highlights and observations instead from my time in Luang Prabang and Nong Khiaw.

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From Hanoi to Luang Prabang: A 26 Hour Plus Journey

How should I get to Luang Prabang? I wrestled with this question from the moment I decided that it would be my first stop in Laos.

On the one hand, I could fly from Hanoi and on the other hand I could take the bus. The pros and cons for each were pretty simple.

Flying would only take one hour but would cost $160-$200.

Taking the bus would take 24-32 hours on notoriously bad mountain roads through a sketchy international border but would cost less than $50.

Of course I opted to take the bus for ~$43. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this.

Below is a running diary from the journey. While the trip is chock full of gorgeous scenery of green Laotian countryside and mountains (we traveled through Vietnam during the night so i cant speak to the scenery during that part of the journey), it is a very, very long trip.

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