Asia 2024: Luang Namtha and Luang Prabang (Laos)

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Asia 2024: Luang Namtha and Luang Prabang (Laos)


Roadtrip into Laos: Luang Namtha (from Chiang Rai, Thailand)

So from Chiang Rai (Thailand; see previous post [open in new tab]) – we drove into Laos. Well, what supposed to be an efficient border crossing, became a nightmare. With a thai-car personally owned, it is required to have a “purple book” – which basically means a car-passport. The unlucky thing is that this “office” is in Chiang Rai and not open on sunday’s (which it happened to be) – so back to Chiang Rai for one more night…
Having gone through that hussle, we were at the DTP (Transport office) at 09:00 the monday following, only to hear that the purple book / car passport would only be ready by 14:00 that afternoon…

Finally arriving at the border with the purple book / car passport (having waited until 14:00 to pick it up); obtaining the nesessary stamps and visa was an additional significant hassle. We were deferred from booth to booth and it took us around 4 hours to get through.

Anyway – outside this not-so-well border crossing experience (note: with owned car) – we then had to get a new sim-card for Laos, which also proved to be tricky. We ended up eventually in the city of Chiang Khong, where luckily all travellers lodge to take the slowboat to Luang Prabang. So we managed to get a sim there and an overnight stay for our trip to Luang Namtha 🙂

Luang Namtha is not really on the list for travellers – but it was our stay-over point in the trip to Luang Prabang. Despite that being the case, the trip is really amazing – hence the pictures from the roadtrip. The kids alongside the road, the massive displayes of nature’s treasures, the small villages that you pass through with happy faces – fully worth the trip along the sometimes very harsh roads (a large part of the road is covered with holes and ditches, so you need to continuously be aware of the driving).

Luang Namtha itself is a central valley where you have the “Luang Namtha Valley Route” (link opens in new tab) with several small villages around. I took the opportunity to rent a mountainbike and ride this route, displaying massive rice fields, go to the waterfalls and really just a nice ride out in the sun along these villages. Also you will find the cutest kids everywhere and real traditional people working on the rice fields everyday. This really felt like a genuine glimpse in the life of Lao’ people!



Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is the go-to stop for travellers in Laos. Usually the first, as mentioned above – people taking the slowboat across the mekong-river. It really is a different experience from Thailand – as first off you will miss your 7-eleven supermarket… But also the vibe is rather different. Everything is a bit older and i would say – poorer… Not that this matters, but it just feels different. Despite it feeling different, it is nice in it’s own way.

In Luang Prabang we took a Rivercruise at SaSa (opens in new tab) and met up with some really nice people – JayJay, Lorenzo, Aria, Klaassie and Kimmie – which we had great fun with!

Together with majority of aforementioned, we also visited the Kuang Si Waterfall (opens in new tab)- which is a really nice place for the scenery – but also do some swimming. The car back from the waterfalls we visited a cafe with small houses right in the rice-fields where we had lunch, drinks and laughs!

Outside that, there is not really much place for partying – as everything really close at 23:00 – EXCEPT for the “Bowling alley“. So what happens is that basically everyone gathers at the bowling alley after 23:00 and it’s pretty much like a discotheque, but then shooting some bowling balls from the hip, whilst holding a sigaret 🙂



2 reacties op “Asia 2024: Luang Namtha and Luang Prabang (Laos)&rdquo

  1. Echt, oh my god m’n Dorus. Ik werd al gelukkig van je (en jullie) foto’s en verhalen, maar dit.. Geweldige foto’s, man man. Je moet de hartjes uit mijn ogen zien springen.

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