Laos is a little gem of a country I recently discovered …
" This Asian country is perfect for a getaway with its casual atmosphere that will leave you revitalised ".
The Mekong river, the veritable backbone of the country, is certainly part of it. The countryside along its banks alternates between plains and mountains, scattered here and there with temples, villages and encounters. In short, I fell for its charm straight away.
The best way to explore the country is to enter through Thailand.
In Nong Khiaw, I took a river boat. For two days, the journey became a break in itself. Imagine a landscape formed of karst mountains, natural caves and uncontaminated nature.
I spent the night at Luang Say Lodge, which can only be accessed by river. It's a simple, refined and cosy spot.
Then the boat set off for Pak Ou to discover the caves where a pilgrimage to Buddha is practiced..
The cherry on the cake is a town that would be worth the journey on its own ...
Its name is Luang Prabang, and it is one of the most beautiful towns in Asia. Lose yourself in its streets and enjoy the sight of the barefoot bhikkhu in their saffron-coloured robes striding across the town to lay offerings.
That night I stayed at the Amantaka Hotel, a beautiful place where the four-poster beds make you feel like you are in a fairy tale. I put my luggage in my room and headed out for dinner at Dyed Sabai, a wonderful restaurant hidden in the middle of a bamboo garden, where I gorged on fish cooked in banana leaf.
Some other great places not to be missed include:
- Tamarind, which serves an excellent sticky rice and coconut milk that is simply to die for,
- the restaurant at the boutique hotel, the Belle Rive. Its view over the Mekong is a treat in itself!
After three days spent wandering the streets of Luang Prabang, its daytime and night-time markets, alleyways, temples, the banks of its rivers and learning as much as I could about Laos' culture by taking a cookery course.
But, the Laos still hadn't revealed all its secrets ...
I needed to take a trip to the Bolaven plateau where the volcanic soil is covered in coffee plantations. My goal was to see the waterfalls. The verdict? Spectacular! They were quite simply incredible. Particularly Tad Fan, which was the tallest with water falling 120 m.
I left with my head full of images of these natural treasures. I decided to make use of the Mekong again to see the 4000 islands spread out over what they call the 'Mother of rivers', and to watch the Irrawaddy dolphins from the little boat, freshwater mammals that are both strange and rare.
So, are you ready for your visit ?
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