Chasing waterfalls in Laos - United Hub

Chasing waterfalls in Laos

By The Hub team, March 30, 2016

Sculptures in the Quirky Buddha Park Travel story and photos by: HNL City Ticket Office Agent, Dusty Loffarelli

I traveled to Laos back in October of 2006 and instantly fell in love with it! The food and people are awesome, the infrastructure is good and it's a small country so you will not get lost. I did a lot of awesome outdoor activities that did not require anything hard core, yet were very rewarding.

Luang Prabang (LPQ) is the best place to fly into or, alternatively, out of Laos. It is located in the top of the country, so everything else is south.

Luang Prabang is also located near the so-called "golden triangle," where Myanmar (formerly Burma), China and Laos all meet. You can usually travel in this area to have a taste of all three countries without a visa. However, it is rather touristy so prices and treatment may be likewise. The city is also the cultural capital of Laos and is easily the most visited.

South of Luang Prabang is a town called Vang Vieng. This is where the outdoor action really comes alive. You'll hear about a lot of trips down the famous Mekong River, but in Vang Vieng there is a tributary of it called the Nam Xong (pronounced "song"), which has some great water sports like rafting, tubing and rapids or tours, if you prefer. Also, this is where the Kaeng Nyui Waterfall is - which is awesome. It is really large and spread out all over a park-like setting. You can swim in many places here. I even climbed to the top, which takes several hours. In Vang Vieng you can also explore many caves located right off the river.

The south of Laos is also good but a bit farther out. It's great to explore if you continue on to Cambodia or Vietnam (which requires advance visa) or if you are doing a full Mekong River journey (I have done parts of the Mekong by boat, but I don't recommend the longer journeys unless you are on a high speed boat). Alternatively I've done some great bike trips along the Mekong to complement being on the water.

Overall, my experience was culturally beautiful and visually amazing. I never take for granted that our travel benefits are a privilege. For this, I am forever thankful.

*Travel tip for this trip: You can fly United into HKG (Hong Kong) and travel with Thai Airways, our Star Alliance partner, from HKG to LPQ.

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