Our time in Laos passed by with a blink of an eye. A drunken, half falling asleep, blink of an eye. Not to insinuate that our entire time in Laos was an alcoholic haze, but rather referencing the fact that we moved quickly through the country, yet the pace of travel seemed extremely relaxed. This is mostly due to the environment that the Laos people have created. Often unfairly stereotyped by some travel guides as ‘Lazy Laos’, complaining about struggling to get their attention and note the fact that they don’t seem overly concerned if you ‘buy now’, later, or even at all. I first noticed it in Luang Prabang when we were walking through the night market. In Thailand you can’t even make it out of your hostel without being prompted to buy something (What you do today? You want to go temple/waterfall/ride elephant/buddha/snorkel/dive? I have packages) and a stroll down the street requires a brisk pace and a flash card set of ways to say no (The first time put in use since D.A.R.E. class). While Laos offers you the ability to actually let someone know if you are interested in something. You can look at an item, analyze it, discuss it openly with the person you are with, and then decide if you want to engage in conversation with the shop owner. A majority of the guesthouses we stayed at had advertisements for the local attractions and sold bus tickets, but not once were we prompted by the owner to discuss it with them. They left the option of learning more about it up to you. Maybe I’m not like most Westerners? I don’t demand attention immediately and complain if I don’t think I got enough of it. I guess that’s why one of my favorite dining experiences was at Bubba Gumps. Sure the food is good, but what really does it for me is the fucking ping-pong paddle. One side is green and the other red. There is no dance of attention expectations between you and the waiter. They don’t have to waste their time interrupting your meal and you don’t have to let them know the everything is fine with a mouth full of shrimp and butter dripping down your chin.
Laos simply summarized, is relaxed. Isn’t that what we all want when we go on vacation?
Street food was brought to an all new level in Laos (Luang Prabang) with buffet style plates going for $1.50! Fruit shakes once again found their way into our daily life and the Laos ice coffee is freaking amazing. While lacking in potency, the thickly brewed engine oil mixed with condensed milk proved to be an awesome combination.
Top Rated For The Trip:
It’s hard to argue with crystal clear water (that shames that of the Caribbean) making its way down several waterfalls, filling small pools that are waist deep, and forming perfect swimming holes. That places Luang Prabang at the top of our list for Laos. Our time in Don Khone also proved to be quite amazing. The combination of its rural environment and laid back locals, proved to be just the R&R we were looking for.