I’ve just arrived in Ho Chi Minh and I have 19 days until I need to be back in Bangkok for my flight home. I’m torn over whether I should stay with my friend and do Vietnam for about 2 weeks, or if I should just smash through to Hanoi and go to Laos, only giving me around 9 days in each place.
Basically, how different is Laos from the rest of SEA? I would be paying for a flight (to save time over the bus) and visa which is around £100. Would you recomend staying in Vietnam or is Laos a must see destination? What factors should impact my decision?
Laos is definitely worth doing but………not if you’re leaving yourself only 9 days for Vietnam!
Vietnam is a massive country and you would be traveling nearly every day! IMO I would spend the 2 weeks in Vietnam and do Laos another time. I’ve only been to Vang Vieng Luang Prabang and Vientiane so others may have a different opinion but i thought Laos is a little more ‘untouched’ than the rest of SE asia, which is nice.
Laos is a bit cheaper than Nam but if you’re going to fly and the visa cost it probably won’t make much difference.
p.s When you get to Hanoi stay at Hanoi Backpackers on Ma may..its awesome!
Personally I preferred Laos to Vietnam but I seem to have had a very different Vietnam experience to most others as I really didn’t think that much of it.
Laos I thought was beautiful. I spent a couple of days on the Mekong, then stopped off in Luang Prabang before heading to Phonsavan. A lot of people skip this but it’s so worth it for the very unique Plain of Jars.
Vang Vieng tends to divide opinion between those who absolutely love it and those who think it’s been ruined by too many drunken/stoned tourists. My final stop was Vientiane which is one of the most chilled out capitals you will find in SE Asia. Every night I had dinner at a market on the banks of the Mekong whilst watching the sunset with the locals – it was amazing.
I didn’t make it to the southern part of Laos but I’ve heard that it’s even more beautiful, especially 5000 islands.
Definately, one of my favourite nations of south east asia, the north is especially breathtaking:cheese:
You HAVE to go to Laos!! Completely underated country. Luang Prabang is beautiful and charming, and tubing in Vang Vieng is the biggest party you’ll ever go to. DO IT.
I’m guessing you;ve already made your decision one way or the other, but agree with Rusty.
I loved Laos and would highly recommend it, but it’s better to spend the time in Vietnam rather than rush around to squeeze two countries in.
We had 18 days in Vietnam and it was definitely one of my favourite countries, this still felt rushed and would happily go back.
Laos was definitely more chilled and less travelled/ruined than a lot of SEA. Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng (personally loved it but can see why others dont) and Don Det were my highlights.
I visited Laos in January, it is a very beautiful place with full of natural beauty. The place is very cheap and everything is affordable. I visited two cities Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Vientiane is the capital of Laos, you will find magnificent Buddhist temples and you will find astonishing cement sculpture of gods and monsters of the Buddhist religion. The streets are lined with trees moreover, you will find noodles shop and some local clothes shop where people come to purchase local colorful clothes and bargain there. The best to do there is wander riverside and beer and enjoy the atmosphere. Though you will find many of tourists there but you won’t get disappointed with the surroundings and facilities. The city is parallel to Mekong River where you can boat, swim or relax. Luang Prabang has very beautiful Buddhist temples, the design and pattern indicate the ancient history of the Buddhist religion. The exterior and interior are very attractive as they are decorated with gold stenciling and multicolor lacquer. 5km away from the city, you will mountain valleys where you do can trekking, hiking, and mountaineering. There also Namkhan Eco farm where you can stay and have delicious Laotian food served directly from their farm.
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