Posts in Lao PDR
homestay highlight: Vanvisa At The Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos

As a total surprise to me {and I can count the number of times I’ve actually been surprised on two hands}, I was told only to pack an overnight bag and swimwear, I was at an absolute loss for what to expect. Whisked away on the back of a motorbike, I was more and more confused as we got further and further south. Surely, we were heading to the waterfalls? But…there’s no place to stay the night at the waterfalls? I WAS CONFUSED. We pulled up near the gate of Kuang Si and took a turn down a dirt alleyway. Pulling up to an area filled with open seating and pools of teal water I’d never seen before, Luke jumped off the bike and said, “We’re here.” And that’s how our time at the hidden hotel I’d never heard of in all my time in Laos started— the Vanvisa At The Falls Homestay Resort.

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Mekong Kingdoms Sunset Cruise: the sunset cruise in Luang Prabang you cannot miss

Right before the daylight dips behind the jungle-covered mountains of Luang Prabang, tourists sit on the banks of the Mekong to witness the end of the day that was. Basking in the golden light of the low-hanging sun, Luang Prabang steps fully into its best self. It’s because of this, its “unspeakable beauty” as the late Anthony Bourdain put it, that sunset cruises along the Mekong River has become a “must-do” for most travelers visiting this tiny UNESCO town.

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Tamarind Cooking School in Luang Prabang, Laos: what to expect from the community-minded cooking class

Long-time readers of this blog will know, ya girl is a fan of cooking classes. I think there are so many benefits to learning about the cuisine of a culture. So, when I was asked to check out Tamarind cooking school to see what they’re evening classes offer guests in Luang Prabang, I was over the moon.

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an expat's guide to non-Lao food in Luang Prabang

I’m all for eating the local cuisine. For one thing, it’s delicious and a door to deeper cultural understanding. Finally, it’s much cheaper! Where you might pay USD $5 for falafel pita here, you’ll pay USD $1.66 for a heaping plate of yellow noodles with veggies and chilis. However, when you live or stay anywhere long enough you need a little variety. This post promises to provide a comprehensive list of eateries where you can get your non-Lao food fix!

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should you visit Pak Ou Caves: what to expect + why I was underwhelmed

Pak Ou Caves are one of Luang Prabang’s most famous tourist attractions. Limestone caves sitting alongside the Mekong as a place of pilgrimage for over a thousand years sounds like magic, amirite?

But, I simply wasn’t as dazzled as everyone else.

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renting a motorbike in Laos: questions to ask + things to consider

Wind in your hair. Dust on your face. Sun at your back. Freedom as far as the road extends. That’s the beauty of a motorbike. Renting one is popular with tourists, but there are many things they should consider before they hop on two wheels for a joy ride through a beautiful country like Laos.

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a dairy doing good: Laos Buffalo Dairy in Luang Prabang, Laos

For such a small little town in the middle of a country no one talks much about, there are a number of social enterprises doing big things in Luang Prabang. One of these important businesses is Laos Buffalo Dairy.

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a local’s cafe guide to Luang Prabang: where to find the cutest cafes + the best coffee

This cafe guide includes local joints, social enterprises, and some of the more expensive but aesthetically pleasing spots in Luang Prabang to grab your morning caffeine intake— something for everyone.

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Nahm Dong Park: the secret oasis you never knew about in Luang Prabang, Laos

An eco-tourism haven, Nahm Dong Park is an oasis you’ve probably never even heard about right outside the city limits of Luang Prabang. Don’t worry, I knew nothing about it either! Until one day, paint fumes of a newly renovated office space dizzying my head and fingers hurting from whipping out writing work, it was suggested that I hop on the back of a motorbike and head to Nahm Dong.

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gyms, spas, + yoga retreats: a wellness guide to Luang Prabang, Laos

Staying fit, healthy, and well while traveling can be a challenge, but it’s also a vital part of being a happy traveler. When you feel better, you have more energy to explore! Working on {consistent} wellness has become more of a priority for me recently. If you’re in Luang Prabang and unsure where to start, look no further— I got you!

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how to celebrate the Festival of Light in Luang Prabang, Laos

Every October, the little UNESCO town of Luang Prabang lights up in celebration of Boun Awk Phansa, the end of Buddhist Lent. The city becomes impossibly beautiful, illuminated by wax candles melting to pagodas and crepe paper lanterns hanging from temple roofs and the windows of local homes.

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learning about Laos through art: handicraft workshops with Backstreet Academy

Laos is ethnically diverse and has a rich cultural heritage that truly stands out. So much can be learned about a culture through the art its people create. The 49 ethnic groups that make up Laos all have varying ways of weaving, sculpting, and cooking. I felt extremely lucky that I got to learn about Lao culture through handicraft workshops— the work it takes, the precision and the craft.

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secret Kuang Si: every tip + trick travel blogs don't tell first-time visitors

Let’s be honest: a large majority of travel blogs are written by first-time or one-time visitors to a place, and heaps of that information is gathered in a limited amount of time {we’re all guilty of this}— a major reason why slow, diligent travel {post coming soon about this} gets a big “thumbs up” from me, as someone who doesn’t like to get rushed. It gets a bit boring to see the same posts about what to do in Luang Prabang being written time and time again— night market, the Bowling Alley, Utopia, Mount Phousi, and Kuang Si. So here’s a post filled with insider scoop.

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from farm to table: a tour of Living Land Farm with Backstreet Academy

Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Maybe you make the effort to buy organic fruits and pesticide-free vegetables? But what about your rice? Do you know where it comes from? I didn’t. More than that, I didn’t know how much work it was to grow it, harvest it, and get it on my plate.

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a guide to free fun in Luang Prabang, Laos

People come to Southeast Asia for a variety of reasons: the gorgeous natural landscapes, the exotic food, the unique cultures, and, it goes without saying, the low cost. Months in certain destinations can cost you as much as days or weeks other places, especially if you’re a tight budget traveler. Despite the already low cost of Laos, I’m always looking for the best deals and free attractions, events, and general goings-on happening in the city.

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