Laos flag

Laos flag

I'm off to Laos on the 12th November for a three week solo trip.  I've been looking forward to this for some time and only two weeks to go now.

Several months ago I managed to bag a flight with China Southern Airlines from Manchester to Bangkok, via Amsterdam Schipol, for the amazing price of £319 return.

I have three weeks.  I've been to Laos several times before and have decided to cover some ground I haven't before.  Particularly Phonsavan for the Plain of Jars and a trip up the Nam Ou river north of Luang Prabang.

So the itinerary looks some thing like this

View from looking over the Chaophraya river towards Wat Arun

View from looking over the Chaophraya river towards Wat Arun

I leave from Manchester on the 12th November at the ungodly hour of 05:55 routing via Amsterdam and Guangzhou to Bangkok arriving at 10:50 the next day.

I’ve always liked the area around Samsen Road, Pom Pra Sumen and Phra Athit Road so I’ve decided to stay at Sam Sen Sam Place for the one night I plan to spend in the Big Mango.

Nong Khai promenade by the Mekong

Nong Khai promenade by the Mekong

Monday morning I’m off to Nong Khai, a small riverside town in Isaan , in the North East of Thailand.  Nong Khai is a town I like, with a nice riverside promenade and good choice of restaurants.  It’s a great place to spend a couple of days.

I leave Bangkok from Don Muang airport at 12:25 arriving at Udon Thani.  From there I will get a minivan for the fifty-minute drive to Nong Khai.

I am staying at the Rim Riverside with a view over the Mekong River.

Tai Chi in Vientiane n the banks of the Mekong in the morning

Tai Chi in Vientiane n the banks of the Mekong in the morning

Two days later on the 16th November I’m off over the Friendship Bridge to Vientiane the capital of Laos fo a couple of nights. No real plan for my stay here just wandering around the markets and a few drinks on the bank of the Mekong in the evening.

Staying at Vientiane Star hotel which seems ideally located.

The Plain of Jars

Next up will be Phonsavan for a visit to The Plain of Jars.  I’ve decided to fly to fly wit Laos Airlines rather than the ten-hour bus journey.  They’ve messed around with the flight times and rather than a 10:30 morning flight it now departs at 15:00 but the flight time is only half an hour so I will still arrive in daylight. I just hope I can book a tour of the Plain of Jars for the next day otherwise it will be scooter time!

Accommodation will be Nice Guesthouse right in the centre of Phonsavan

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Onwards toward Luang Prabang on the 20th November at 09:00 for an six to seven hour minibus journey. There’s no flight so it’s the only option other than a “big bus” that seems to take another couple of hours.

Will be staying at Golden Lotus Guesthouse for a couple of nights. Not planning much here apart from a bit of kayaking and cycling.

Nong Khiaw

After a few days in town I’ll be getting a four-hour bus to Nong Khiaw on Nam Ou river.  It’s a small town set amongst dramatic limestone karsts and a place I am looking forward to.  You used to be able to get a boat from Luang Prabang to here but the joint venture dam building with the Chinese has stopped that along with god knows what environmental impact.

My two days here will be at Sunset Bungalows in a hammock overlooking the Nam Ou river

Muang Ngoi Nua

Muang Ngoi Nua

It will then be time to move on up the Nam Ou by boat to Muang Ngoi.  Its only a one hour journey. A tiny riverside village that has become a bit of a backpacker thing.  Not sure how I will find it but will probably stay a couple of nights at Riverview Guesthouse and walk to local villages and caves. There’s always the hammock and a good book along with a never-ending supply of Beer Laos.

Muang Khiaw

From Muang Ngoi it will be five hour boat trip further up the Nam Ou to Muang Khua another small town on the Nam Ou.  Muang Khua is usually just an overnighter for people coming from the Vietnam order near Dien Bien Phu.  I will give it a couple of nights before making my way back to Nong Khiaw by boat and from there back to Luang Prabang by minibus.

Another couple of nights in Luang Prabang at Golden Lotus then a 15:50 Air Asia flight back to Bangkok on the 1st December

Bangkok 

Bangkok 

Once back in Bangkok it’s a couple of nights at Tara Place and perhaps a day trip to Ayutthaya to former Thai capital and a half day trip to the Golden Mount.

My China Southern flight leaves Bangkok at 18:55 and arrives back n Manchester on Sunday the 4th December at 08:20

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