Laos Travel, Transportation and Hotels, Cuisine
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Laos Travel Guide
Writing about faraway lands, now I'm writing about Laos next to Vietnam. The land with the land of Million Elephants and temples with unique architecture. Laos is sandwiched between the Mekong River and the Truong Son mountain range, so to reach this land you can go from many different directions.
The most attractive tourist attractions are the capital of Vientiane (Vientiane), the ancient capital of Luang Prabang (Luang Prabang), the town of Vang Vieng with stunning landscapes and adventure tours. In addition, if you have time, you can go to the Plain of Jars in Phonesavanh (Xieng Khuang), Southern Laos, do not ignore Pakse and the areas around Pakse.
Especially, you should not ignore the temples in Laos, if you look closely you will find it very special and not similar to Cam or Thai. If you go on the occasion of BunPimay Tet, you can also participate in a very fun traditional water festival. Now, Threeland will give you some information about Lao Travel, you will find many interesting and useful things.
How to go to Laos?
Going by air
From Hanoi, there is a direct flight HAN to VTE, Luong Prabang of VNair combined with Laos Air. Before, many of you said that Laos Air's price was cheaper, but I checked again and found that VietNamAirlines was cheaper. The price is about 2t8 for 1 way. But the plane and service of Laos is better than Vietnamair. You can see more information about prices and flights at: www.laoairlines.com and VNA.
Passenger car, bed to Laos
From Saigon to Laos
Normally, you in Saigon to Laos will go to Pakse first, then go to other provinces from here. Information about luxury cars Pakse:
From Saigon to Siphadon - Champasak - Pakse, there is Binh Minh bus station 9/8 Phan Huy Ich, Ward 14, Go Vap District (near Quang Trung) (800k/ticket – 0989475787) A. Son: 0918,714 679 A. Phuoc: 0918.770 397 /C. Trang (in Laos): 0085.6208446699.
Or go from Saigon to Gia Lai, then from Gia Lai to Pakse of Mai Linh. The fare is for reference only, you can ask the bus operator for a specific price. 16-seat car, departs at 5 am. The car is also ok, there is a load of goods under the feet.
Minh Vu garage: Pakse - Cambodia - Saigon. Contact: 020.99911838 / 02056424555 / 020 55130 550 / 84.989961239 (departs at 5:00 am Monday to Saturday and Sunday.
From Hanoi to Laos
There are many ways to travel by road from Hanoi to Vientiane. But usually you go by the following ways:
You can buy a sleeper bus ticket at the underground water bus station, priced at 500k VND/ticket. Buses run from underground bus station at 19:00 every day. Passenger cars have 2 types, 1 is a Vietnamese car with company 27-7 and company 14-Vietnam (recommended): running on 3-5-7 weekdays. Laos sea car runs every Monday, 2-4-6-Sun. The car will follow road 1 and turn to road 8 Ha Tinh through Cau Treo border gate (Vietnam), in Laos is Nam Phao border gate. The garage will stamp entry and exit to help passengers, so you don't have to worry about procedures. The bus runs from Hanoi at 19:00, to the border gate around 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., waiting until 7:30 a.m. to complete exit procedures. After exiting the country, the car goes to Vientiane bus station about 3pm. There will be many tuk tuk taxis to pick you up, you say the hotel they will take you there, many tuk tuk drivers can speak Vietnamese so you can rest assured, Lao people are gentle, honest and comfortable, so you nothing to worry about.
High quality car HAN – VTE: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, high quality Lao car 45c, Lao driver, safe, attentive and fast, air-conditioned car, drinking water, tour guide. Run straight, don't catch customers. Ticket price: $22.00/pax. Running time: 19.30h. Gather at 18:30 at VP No. 3A Nguyen Gia Thieu. Arrive at VienTiane at 16.00 the next day. Joint venture car, running all days of the week, Vietnamese drivers, 45c cars, air conditioning. Carrying goods, not changing cars, running straight. Ticket price: 17.00$/pax (~300,000d). Meet up: 18.00h at 3A Nguyen Gia Thieu. The bus runs at 19.30.
From Hanoi to Pakse
From Hanoi, take a bus to Dong Hoi, Quang Binh, then buy a ticket to Pakse from here. Information about the Dong Hoi - Pakse bus route: Huy Hoang automobile transport mechanic cooperative. Depart at Dong Hoi, depart at 6:45 am, every Thursday. Contact: 052.3828939, Mobile: 097.3700939. Laos Tel: 51463789.
Another bus operator is VietLaoBus, phone number 0914425788 (Mr. Luong), price 950k, departing at 18:30, not going on Thursday, running time 26 to 27 hours, route: Hanoi (25 Tong Duy Tan) - Nam bite ( Nghe An) - Xieng Khouang - Luang Prabang (Northern bus station, near Luang Prabang airport).
Vientiane to Bangkok
There is a new direct bus route that costs about 250,000kip, the bus has 2 trips about 5.pm - 6pm. If you go from the underground water bus station, if you are fast, you will arrive at Dong Doi bus station (Vientiane) around 3 pm, if you are late, about 5.30 pm. Then you have to take a tuk tuk to the morning market bus station (Ta Lat Sao) to buy a ticket to go directly to Bangkok or Nongkhai. If you're fast, you can only buy tickets to Nongkhai, but tickets to bangkok, it's too late now. From Nongkhai or Udon to Bangkok, there are quite a lot of cars, so buy a VIP ticket to sit comfortably at 700bath / 1 person, and a car about 350-400bath to park at many places is very time consuming and tiring (taking a car in Thailand for quality).
Bus from Xieng to Vinh City: contact Vietnam: 0913 382 200 – 0985 522 999 – 01234 898 898; Phone in Laos: 20506 8668 – 20259 8668 – 20518 7435.
Take a self-driving car to Laos
First of all, you need to do the procedure for the car. You need to go to the Department of Transport to do the Vietnam-Laos intermodal procedure (in Hanoi, it is at Cao Ba Quat or Tran Phu Ha Dong), the procedure is simple:
Vehicle registration certificate (must be the owner or company car, otherwise the owner must ask the person whose name is registered to sign the car).
Application for issuance of a license (if the owner is the owner, the owner will sign it, if the car is in the company's name, the director will sign and stamp)
Where to write the name of the border gate: should write all the border gates, and if you have to write it correctly, just write about 4 border gates, for example, in Hanoi, write the gate: Suspension Bridge, Lao Bao, Nam Ken, I'm worried…
The time to receive and return the paper is only 3 days.
Hotels in Laos
You should check prices as well as determine the location of hotels and motels through the reputable booking site Agoda.com, most people still book rooms through here. This will take the initiative for you in your stay, without wasting time looking for a room. Another thing is that motels in Laos have quite a few Vietnamese owners, so if you like, you can choose Vietnamese motels to be able to communicate smoothly. Some suggestions for you:
In Vientiane, some hotels are habitable such as:
Family Hotel and some hotels near Lao Plaza Hotel (5-star hotel) – Nam Phu this area is full of foreigners, comfortable. Hotels near the riverside, there are also many, the price is higher. Vietnamese people have a few hotels to stay at, namely Mina (lane :xang), Chaluenxay and Xayxonbun behind ANZ building near Thatdam (US embassy).
Some hotels speak Vietnamese
Long Dao Hotel – the owner can speak Vietnamese. Tel: 865-21-990-386;
RiverSide Hotel, Ban Mixay, 2-star hotel – P.O.box 2846 – Vien Tiane, Lao PDR Tel: (856-21) 244390. Check Room Rates at Agoda
Chaleunxay Hotel is on Khounboulom Road. See room rates on Agoda.
La Ong Dao Hotel 1, address Ban Phon Si Nuan, Nong Chan.
Some other hotels can refer to
Dragon Lodge Hotel (311-313 Samsenthai Rd, Ban Anou, P.O. Box 2892, Vientiane/ Tel: +856-21-250114) (reference price in February 2012 is 130,000K).
At a hotel near Thad Luong, you can stay at Villa Daraxay Guest House, address: 31321 Sisangvone Street, Nongbone, That Luang, Vientiane, Laos. Tel: +856 21 414640. The room is very clean with a garden, from here you can walk to Thad Luong and Patuxay, very close to the Vietnamese market called Naxay Market, here there are many Vietnamese restaurants. , including Hanoi rice noodle soup, full service money exchange, laundry ... but the inconvenience is that if you go to the center, morning market, you have to go tuktuk about 2km. Information on room rates of Villa Daraxay on Agoda.
There are also many other cheap motels in Vientiane, you can check on Agoda, a reputable and convenient booking channel.
Hotels in Luang Prabang
Kounxavan Guest House: beautiful campus, price from 7$-10$; SuanPhao Guest House 071 252 229, Vongpanya ($7-10) 071 212 039 a bit far from the center; Marry Guest House has a very nice room overlooking the Nam Khan River ($ 10 )071252 325. Room rates and bookings of Hostels on Agoda.
Located on a curve of the Mekong River, Vientiane Capital has a history that stretches back to around 1000 AD. This land is established by the development of the surrounding alluvial plain. Vientiane became the capital of Laos around the middle of the 16th century.
Vientiane is also a land containing many important national monuments in Laos such as: That Luang (Great Stupa) is a symbol of Lao sovereignty and a symbol of Lao Buddhism.
Going to Vientiane you should visit the following places:
Built in 1818, this is one of the oldest temples in Vientiane. It is located in the center of the old city where it was built in 1818 by King Anouvong. Inside the hall, the walled courtyard has hundreds of small houses and shelves containing a total of 6840 Buddha statues. Opening hours: daily from 08:00 to 16:00.
That Luang Stupa (Great Stupa)
Is was first built in the year 236 of the Buddhist Calendar (307 BC), by the first governor of Vientiane, Phaya Chanthabouri Pasitthisack. The Great Stupa resembles a furnace about 9 meters high and 10 meters wide. Originally built in 1566 by King Saysetthathirath, and restored in 1953. The golden stupa is 45 meters high and is said to contain a relic of Buddha. The golden centers of this stupa echo the curves of an elongated Lotus. Today it is the nation's most important cultural monument. Open daily from 08:00 to 16:00.
Hor Pha Keo Museum
Originally, this ancient temple was built in 1565 by King Sayasetthathirath to house the Emerald Buddha 1565-1779. It was then rebuilt in 1936. In 1970 the pagoda was converted from a place of worship into a museum. And now it is a museum complex containing many national collections, Buddhist sculptures and many artifacts. From the terrace of Pra Keo Lake, people can have a panoramic view towards the Presidential Palace (formerly the Royal Palace). Open daily from 08:00 -: 12:00 and 01:00 to 16:00.
The Patuxay Memorial Monument was built in 1957 and is perhaps the most prominent feature in the city. It is located on Lanexang Ave. Visitors can climb to the top of the monument, and from there can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Vientiane. Open daily from 08:00 to 17:00.
Xieng Khuang Buddha Garden
The Xieng Khuang Buddha Garden built in 1958 displays a collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, scattered among the gardens and trees. Buddha Garden was built 28 km south of Vientiane capital on the banks of the Mekong River, across the river is the town of Nong Khay in Thailand. Open daily from 08:00 to 16:30.
There are also some other tourist attractions such as: Wat Simuang, Tri Pitaka Library, and watching the sunset on the banks of the Mekong River.
The main means of transportation in Vientiane in particular and Laos in general is tuk tuk, like the Thai side. But pay attention if you go out late, it will be difficult to find a car because most Lao people travel by private car. The tuk tuk here is charged per person, not by distance, about 10,000kip/person/trip. However, if you go to many people, you can bargain from 50,000kip to 30,000kip for all about 5-6 people.
With the above attractions, you should spend the following time
Spend 1/2 day visiting That Luang, the most famous temple in Vientiane. Taking pictures will be very beautiful.
Spend another 1/2 days to go to Nongkhai - Lao Thai border gate, 25km from Vientiane, go very fast, immigration is very easy. Go to Nongkhai supermarket and then shop. If you have more time, take the bus to Udon Thani, a fairly large city in Thailand, shopping is no different from Bangkok.
Spend 1 more day going to other places.
Dining and Cuisine in Vientiane
It is highly recommended to try Lao dishes at Khua Lao restaurant - Vietntiane. Specialty Mon Lap (like minced meat mixed with chopped raw cowpeas, raw vegetables and chili) served with sticky rice. Other delicious dishes in Laos also have grilled dishes (chicken, pork, sausages...) which are also delicious. There are beef dishes here (make sure not buffalo meat) and Mekong river fish should try. The other dishes are prepared similar to Vietnam but more spicy and salty. The menu here is simple, just around beef, chicken, pig, fish .. rare to see frog crabs like in Vietnam, the way of processing is also much simpler. Drinks are mainly Lao beer and bottled soft drinks.
The dining area is two streets along the banks of the Mekong River, Fa Ngum and Setthathirath. Along Fa Ngum Street, there are eateries serving tourists, sidewalk shops, and night markets that are easy to eat here. Behind, parallel to Fa Ngum is Setthathirath Street, there are many restaurants serving foreigners who are also easy to eat with Vietnamese people. If you want to eat a nice restaurant with beautiful scenery, you can go to Kong View or Laos Garden to eat while enjoying live music after 19:30.
Currency exchange: Langxane main boulevard has many money changers, many Vietnamese people own money exchange counters, so you can easily change USD/VND to Lao KIP currency without having to know Lao language. Pay attention to change money mainly during office hours, until 5pm only.
Shopping: In Vientiane, the market is a good place to shop. Morning Market (Morning Market – Talat Sao) and Talat Sao Mall (newly built) are shopping areas that many Vietnamese people visit and shop when stopping in Vientiane. Morning market can buy things such as: 1st floor has pants, shirt, mobile phone, 2nd floor has gold and silver jewelry, 3rd floor has a dining area. In addition to the morning market, there are many markets where you can buy many different goods such as Khua Din market, Thong Khan Kham market, Chinese market. There is a new supermarket put into operation this year, D-Mark on Dong Palan Street, which also has quite a lot of reasonably priced items. But to go shopping, it is best to go to NongKhai, go through the Thai border gate and then go shopping there, the goods are diverse and cheaper than in Laos.
What to do in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is the ancient capital of Vientiane, located in the North, next to the Mekong River. In general, most of the major cities of Laos run along the Mekong River. As a tourist city, this place only sees restaurants, hotels and backpackers. The most attractive point here is the palace, the vestiges of an ancient capital (like Siem Reap or Hue of Vietnam). Besides, Luang Prabang also attracts tourists by waterfalls and caves (24km from Luangpabang).
To get to Luangpabang, you can go by bus from Vientiane or by plane. However, if you can't stand car sickness, you should not take a bus because the 400km long distance from Vientian to Luangpabang is more than 200km just hilly roads and continuous curves. Take a plane from Vientiane to Luangpabang about 600,000 Kip / 1 way. But taking a bus, you will have the opportunity to pass Vang Vieng, also a tourist destination to explore with many adventure sports tourism activities, this is also considered the center of Packbacker… Must-go attractions in Luang Prabang:
The ceremony usually takes place in the very early morning (around 6am), hundreds of monks from the temples in Luang Prabang start walking through each street and corner. Usually the monks will go for alms in the area around the temple. Although the ceremony takes place in the entire city of Luang Prabang, there are two streets with the most visitors: Th Sakkarin and Th Kamal. Each monk when going on alms round carries a large bowl, accompanied by a strap hanging over his shoulder. This is the unique culture of Laos in Luang Prabang, you should take the time to get up early to be able to see, take pictures, and feel this traditional culture.
Pak Ou Caves
Pak Ou Cave is located north of the ancient capital of Luang Prabang on the Mekong River and can be reached by boat or by road transport. Pak Ou Cave is famous for its small Buddha statues including hundreds of wooden Buddha images (which have been damaged quite a bit) displayed on the cave wall. The system of Buddha statues in Pak Ou is very diverse, showing many different forms of Buddha.
Tad Sae Waterfall
The waterfall has steps and is not as big as Kuang Si, but very beautiful. You can bathe there, participate in elephant riding. You will have to take a boat to reach the Falls.
Wat Xieng Thong
Built in the 16th century by King Saysetthathirath, the Wat Xieng Thong temple is one of the most interesting examples of Buddhist art and architecture in Luang Prabang. It is also said to be one of the most beautiful temples in Asia. The ornately carved and gilded funeral chariot of the king was previously kept in a building in the temple courtyard. This temple is used for the most important royal ceremonies. Opening time: 08:00 to 05:30. Open daily. Entrance fee: 20,000 kip (US$3).
The mountain is located in the center of town, visitors will need to climb 328 zigzag steps to reach the top. From here you will see the whole city. Mount Phousi is the Holy Mountain of Luang Prabang, at its top sites is the 20m-high Wat Chomsi Stupa.
That Luang Temple
Located behind the old stadium on the way to Kuang Si waterfall. That Luang Pagoda was built on a high mound in 1818 by King Manthatourath. Before 1975, That Luang Temple was used to organize funerals and cremations for the country's highest dignitaries.
Traveling in Luang Prabang
Traveling in the inner city, you should travel by bicycle or on foot, the traffic here is very safe for you. If walking memory prepare adequate drinking water. Moving from the inner city of LP to the attractions in the suburbs. There are two main points to visit in the suburbs: Kuangsi Waterfall and Pak Ou cave, each about 30km from the city center (taking the landmark of Mount Phousi). Tuktuk car for 200,000 kip / car / 7 seats. Small bus 50000 kip/person (apparently 7 seats). Note: this price has not been checked whether it is one-way or two-way. If you go, check again.
There are 3 main areas to visit in Luang Prabang: the inner city, Kuangsi waterfall and Pak Ou cave. Luang Prabang is recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage, so the old town is definitely worth a visit.
You can watching the sunset, panoramic view of Luang Prabang.
The night market was opened on Si Sa Vang Vong Street, the main street of the city extending from the foot of Mount Phousi. Here you can shop, play, watch, eat.
Watch the monks begging for alms in the early morning.
Visit the temple: Wat Xieng Thong is the most famous. In addition, there are many small temples and pagodas, which temple is convenient to go to.
Walking the streets: taking photos, sightseeing, eating and flirting with the locals.
Dining in Luang Prabang
The culinary characteristics of LP are street food, the taste is a bit like Hanoi and similar to Thailand, that is: Spicy, strong, lots of garlic, lots of chili, lots of fish sauce, with herbs. Some of the dishes mentioned are: Noodles at Xieng Thong restaurant near Wat Xiang. Tam_maak_hung salad (must be papaya salad), lao sausage (sai gog), grilled fish skewers, steamed vegetables with pork, fried coconut cake, butter fried pancakes, and Lao beer can be found at the night market. Daily dishes such as: popular rice, noodles, meat noodles for about 15000 kip/serving. In the morning, there are: rib porridge (6000 kip lak), banh cuon (10,000 kip), sandwiches (10,000 kip), sticky rice (9,000 kip). In general, just loitering around the inner city of Luang Prabang when hungry, stop at a roadside restaurant to eat.
Tubing in Vang Vieng
Tubing appeared in Vang Vieng a few years ago and has quickly become one of the top tourist attractions besides trekking, kayaking, cliff climbing and visiting caves.
What's attractive about Tubing? The attraction comes from simple things, you will be provided with a Float made of tires, and float yourself on the water, make small parties and admire the beautiful scenery of Vang Vieng along both sides of the river. Those wonderful feelings are spread over time, it will be very special if you go in the late afternoon, when the afternoon sunlight stretches on the river surface, the sun is light but not harsh, a scene with silver waves creates a beautiful scenery. into a wonderful scene. If you love to exercise, join groups of backpackers, you can jump from the trees into the river, have fun and feel.
Vientiane to Nongkhai and the northeastern provinces of Thailand
There are 2 bus routes, one is from Vientiane to Nongkhai, the other from Vientiane to Udon Thani. These two bus routes depart from the station next to Talat Sao market. The car runs for 2 hours and takes 30 minutes at Nongkhai border gate. The car is not very beautiful, but very comfortable, 1 seat per person. The bus will stop at Nongkhai border gate (after 30 minutes).
I entered the Laos exit declaration by myself (10,000 kip fee), then walked to the Thai Immigration side. After completing the procedure, the bus will wait for you on the Thai side (Thai car company), and run towards Udon Thani, the road is very good. The bus will stop at the bus station at UDT (2h total time). This bus station is also where you buy tickets to Bangkok (Xe Chan travel, 525 Baht, 8h), or car back to Vientiane. You should buy tickets 1-2 days in advance because the travel demand is quite crowded.
Next to this car there are some pretty good and cheap hotels such as:
Silver Reef (about 700 Baht, see on Agoda.com). 2 minutes walk from bus station. You can pull the luggage over easily. This hotel is about 5 minutes walk from Central Plaza and 3 night markets: Precha, Center point, UDT town. The room is large, new, very good.
Udon residence (about 600Baht). Newly opened hotel, 3 minutes walk from the night market. You look at Agoda and make a reservation. Udon Thani also does not have many visitors, so the room is empty.
At UDT, you can only change money (not VND) at the Bank. on the 3rd Floor of Central Plaza there are many banks. You need to bring your passport or driver's license with a photo.
Delicious food you can visit the night market, enjoy grilled fish, eat with vermicelli, herbs, Thai dipping sauce, sell in front of Central point market. The grilled pork loin is served with sticky rice, and the mango sticky rice is also quite delicious. Center point night market and UDT town are on both sides of Central Station, spanning 1 KM. Go tell me how happy people are at the night market.
Inside Central Plaza is very big, worth a visit, in the basement there is Food Park, mediocre food. You should try Sushi chain buffet at Oishi's Shabu shi, 5th floor (319 Bath, so delicious and cheap, Sushi, Grilled saba fish, shrimp tempura, chain hot pot, ice cream, drinks), with Robinson, Tops, Watson, Booths, … to buy cosmetics.
More information about Laos tourism
Contact: If you stay in Laos for a long time, you can buy a new phone SIM, but remember to call via VOIP (codes 118, 177..), it will still be about 2,000kip/minute, otherwise, direct international calling charges will be 10 times more. SIM here is also cheap about 50K kip with 25K kip account. There is also a network for free texting to Vietnam.
Cost: In Laos, in addition to cars, about 30% cheaper than Vietnam, the rest of the necessities are twice as expensive as Vietnam. For example, a Wall ice cream is 8,000 kip, equivalent to 16,000 VND. All spending should be careful and should ask the price, bargain in advance.
Taboos when traveling in Laos
- Do not hug a woman's waist, kiss her hand or make a move on a woman. This is a taboo action in Laos. If you want to be friendly, keep your distance and be polite. Even at massage service points where you also have a prank, the owner will report to the police and you will be immediately punished.
- If you want to be photographed with a beautiful native girl? that is entirely possible. However, when taking a photo together, you should put your hands behind your back or put them all in front, absolutely no violation, otherwise you will see "consequences" right after.
- Abstain from touching or patting a Lao person's head (especially a man). This is considered a very insulting act and can even lead to a fight.
- Don't beg when people don't want you to see or touch something. Because maybe they're special and they don't want you to touch them.
- Laos is a country that worships Buddhism. Therefore, when visiting temples, you must not cause disorder, dress revealingly or have vulgar or teasing words. You should not turn your back to the Buddha image, pay attention to the prohibitions and regulations here.
- In Laos, unlike Vietnam, the streets do not have to be honking loudly, you should know how to join traffic without using the Horn, only using it when necessary.
- The sense of obeying traffic laws in this country is very high. People also yield to each other while in traffic. You also need to know how to yield when entering the right-of-way or from a secondary road to the main road.When you pass through a village and you see at the entrance to the village there is a cotton rope stretched across or a symbol, a special symbol, the custom is called Ta-leo - depending on the locality, you must understand that the people in the village. This village forbids strangers from entering the village. It is usually because there is a strange illness in the village or an inexplicable death that can cause contagion, or it is a day of the village's abstinence.
- When sleeping at a homestay, you must not point your head towards the door.
- At night, you should not cut your hair or shave. You must abstain from cutting your hair on Wednesday and abstaining from washing your hair on Thursday.
- You are not allowed to pound mortars and drums in people's houses or go through ropes that hang women's clothes above.