Many times when I ask people if they know the country Laos, the answer is usually a definite NO. Well, Laos isn’t popular, but it is a country with a very rich cultural heritage and amazing sites to see.
Lang Xang was once the name Laos bore. A long time ago, it was the cultural center (it still is if you ask me because the culture is still majorly unadulterated) and the land of a million elephants.
For every traveller, a new experience is always what we seek. Motorcycle tours in Laos are surely something different and out of the ordinary. Laos is an undiscovered jewel in South East Asia. Because it has had little exposure to tourism and western culture, it is a breath of something new, in terms of experience and adventure.
Planning a road trip to Laos?
When planning a road trip or motorcycle tours in Laos, you have to consider Visa. Don’t worry, it is not difficult to get. You can get a visa at the Laotian embassy or preferably, at the point of entry for 35 USD. This visa lasts for 30 days. So whether you are entering Laos by plane, boat, train or bus, the price and duration of the visa are the same. Meanwhile, because the Laos custom workers don’t like working on weekends, you may have to pay an extra 1 USD if you get there on a weekend.
Motorcycle tours in Laos…
I must warn that most parts of Laos are still underdeveloped, so the roads are sometimes just trails, but not to worry, the places you visit will soon make you forget about the road. For a road trip or motorcycle tours in Laos, you can start at the Luang Prabang.
Luang Prabang is a UNESCO world heritage site. This site is famous for the blend of old Buddhist temples and nineteenth venture French architecture. The daily alms ceremony (at dawn), the morning meat market in the south-east at Pothisalath, from where you can head to the stunning waterfalls and Kuang Si (where you find the Asiatic Black Bear), makes Luang Prabang a favorite site for most visitors. At Luang Prabang alone, you can spend many days and even weeks without noticing.
From Luang Prabang, you can get to the popular Phou Si Mountain. The view from the peak is breath-taking. You will find many visitors going there at sunset, you should too.
Vang Vieng is another stop you should make. It is popular because it is where you can get a tube ride in the Nam Song River (a 2km ride). During the tube ride, there are a dozen bars in which you should expect to find buckets, beers, loud music, mud football, mud volleyball, slides, jumps, and a lot of partying. Vang Vieng is definitely the most Thai like a town in all of Laos.
Apart from motorbike hike, you can also go rock Climbing, kayaking, rafting, trekking, hot air ballooning, or even just checking out one of the many caves to the west of Vang Vieng.
Your motorcycle tours in Laos will be incomplete if you do not visit Vientiane. It may not look exactly like the most exciting prospect on the face, but a little delving will reveal interesting things.
Vientiane is the 450-year-old Lao capital that sits on the side of the Mekong. Vientiane and Luang Prabang both pay homage to the French Indochina time period. While Luang Prabang has retained a lot of the buildings, Vientiane has retained a large portion of the Culture. A place to check out is the Xieng Khuan (the Buddha Park), Patuxai, That Dam, Pha That Luang, Thong Khan Kham Market, and the Mekong night food markets. A perfect day at Vientiane always ends at the Mekong waterfront at the center of the town.
Through a transit point for Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, Pakse is definitely a place to visit. It is home to the second UNESCO world heritage site – Wat Phou complex. This complex dates back 1,500 years. Because it is off the track, most travelers miss this amazing spot.
From Pakse, the closest place that is best to visit is Si Pha Don or the four thousand islands (in English). This area is up to 4km wide in sections and during the dry season, there are about four thousand islands.
There are many other undiscovered places that you should visit on your road trip or Motorcycle tours in Laos. These places won’t be difficult to discover because Laos locals are great guides. They will take you to the most exotic places in their country. So pack up, discover the beauty of Laos.