Riding Dapper for a Cause...

Written by Juliana Guttierrez The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a worldwide event held annually to campaign and raise money for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer research and suicide prevention.   This year was the first time that the Gentleman’s Ride was held in Luang Prabang. Over 50 motorbikes with both foreigners and locals, women and men alike, participated in the event to ride around the peninsula and donate to the cause. Three of us from Fair Trek and MOTOLAO participated and MOTOLAO provided us with Honda CRF 250 motorbikes and safety equipment. The ride was a great success and was followed up with an optional extended off-road trip. 15 motorbikes took a 2-hour trip from Luang Prabang up to Kamu Lodge in Ban Gnoyhai. Along the way, we crossed the Mekong via ferry with our bikes, and drove through Chompet Village. The ride there was amazing- we passed by rice fields, valleys, and water buffalo with the beautiful views of the mountains. Since rainy season hadn’t finished though, the road was muddy which made it challenging to get to the destination. We as a group had to support one another in getting our bikes through all the mud. Eventually we made it to Ban Gnoyhai village where we stored the motorbikes in a local school and took another boat to finally arrive at Kamu Lodge.   After 2 hours of riding in the heat, it was a relief to get to lodge where they were waiting for us with a cold beverage and a refreshing towel. The lodge itself is in a beautiful rural setting, surrounded by flooded rice fields and featuring great facilities with luxury tents for accommodation and a restaurant. After we freshened up a bit, we took some time to...

Vang Vieng Travel Tip – Riverside Boutique Resort Laos...

Vang Vieng Travel Tip Exploring the stunning beauty of Vang Vieng. Riverside Boutique Resort recommendations for taking a tour up to Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng in central Laos, 3 hours north of Vientiane capital, has plenty to offer and truly unique scenery that could out of the  dream of most photographers. Yet, it is astounding that so many travelers end up visiting the dusty town center and the crowded Blue Lagoon only, missing out on what makes Vang Vieng so special and spectacular here in Laos. For those who want to be witness to the stunning beauty of Vang Vieng, and to bring home both lasting memories and gorgeous pictures, Riverside Boutique Resort has selected three activities.   1- Exploring the wild West of Vang Vieng, Laos How: by car (4WD recommended) or good bicycle. How long: This 33-kilometer tour can be done in half a day with a few photography stops; however, it is best combined with a picnic to become a full-day activity. For whom: by car this activity is perfect for all travellers and offers plenty of great photo opportunities. Exploring the wild West of Vang Vieng Starting from Riverside Boutique Resort, cross the 2 small bridges and drive west on the new paved road After 4 kilometers, at the first junction, turn left onto the dust road, direction Phokham and Patong Caves. The road goes through a series of small villages: Phathong (Lao), Namuang (Lao), Phonkham (Lao and Khmu), and Nalongkuang (Lao). Then, after about 14 kilometers, just before Ban Phonxay (Lao and Khmu), stop at the so-called “Blue Lagoon 3 – Pha Boun Cave” for a drink or a picnic. At the level of Ban Phonxay, take a right to go back to Vang Vieng. The road will go through a nice Hmong village called Ban Naxom. Three kilometers after Ban Naxom you will get onto a paved road again. You can then either go left for a visit to Blue Lagoon 1 (where many young tourists are) and Phou Kham cave, or continue straight through Ban Nathong (Lao) to return to Vang Vieng. This loop offers plenty of caving, photo and picnic opportunities. It passes over a couple of wooden bridges in bad condition but the river can then easily be crossed by any 4WD vehicle.   Visit Vang Vieng on a motorbike tour in Laos   2 – Laos, Vang Vieng from above – Pha Hon Kham cliff How: by car or bicycle to reach the climbing starting point. How long: half a day – 15/20 minutes by car or bike + 20/30 minutes climbing + photography stop at the top of the mountain + return time. For whom: while not technically difficult, this activity is only for physically-fit travellers. The climb is tiring but the view at the top is definitely worth the effort! Explore Vang Vieng from above – Pha Hon Kham cliff Starting from Riverside Boutique Resort, cross the two small bridges and drive or ride west on the new paved road towards Blue lagoon and Phou Kham cave. After about 6 kilometers, there is a junction. Do not take right on the paved road to go to Blue Lagoon and Phou Kham cave. Instead, continue on the dust road for about 2 kilometers until you see a sign that reads “Pha Hon Kham cliff – The viewpoint and cave”. If you came by car, leave your car there and walk for the remaining 150 meters to the starting point of the climb – this section can be very muddy during the rainy season. The climb will take 20 to 40 minutes depending on your physical condition. It is tiring and impressive at times but not technically difficult. Stunning pictures can be taken at the top from a wooden platform. As always, the best pictures will be taken at sunrise and sunset. However, be sure not to go up...

Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre...

Discover Laos through textiles     When I first mentioned that I was traveling to Luang Prabang, I had received a few recommendations from my friends in Vientiane to visit Ock Pop Tok, a very popular textile shop in Luang Prabang. With great reviews listed on Tripadvisor, I made a mental note to stop by their store as I strolled around this tiny town, visiting a few wats along the way. And although their shop was beautifully set up, little did I know that just a short bicycle ride out of town, Ock Pop Tok also has an equally beautiful a Living Crafts Centre (LCC) open to the public. The centre includes a fair trade weaving workshop, a restaurant called Silk Road Cafe that serves Asian fusion fare, and a villa nestled in a serene location overlooking the Mekong. To get the full Ock Pop Tok experience, I booked a night at the villa. The bed & breakfast has 4 bedrooms each styled with textiles from a separate tribe – I stayed a night in the spacious Hmong bedroom and had a very relaxing stay.     The villa is tastefully decorated with minimalist lines and colors that let the fabrics do all the talking. Beautiful batik lines the walls and throw pillows, giving off a modern yet rustic Lao charm. The rooms open out to a balcony overlooking the river, where one can comfortably sink into a mushroom chair with a book and some tea to sip, by the riverside. A night at the villa also includes these complimentary services: a free shuttle to the town centre between 8 am – 5 pm free bicycle rentals a free Fibre2Fabric tour of their weaving workshop wifi in the room and throughout property 24-hour, on-site staff available for assistance a free...

Top 6 Adventure Tours...

From trekking to kayaking to interacting with elephants, we’ve got it all here at Tiger Trail.  Here are our top 6 traveller’s choice adventure tours in Luang Prabang     1. DAY TREK TO KUANG SI WATERFALL AND BEAR SANCTUARY 1 DAY | HIKE, SWIM, EXPLORE AND RELAX   This tour is among our staples and offers the best way to see the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall. You’ll start your 3-hour trek walking through a lush forest trail. Along the way, you’ll come across stunning mountain landscape vistas while passing through orchards, rice fields, vegetable gardens, and local villages, giving you the opportunity to get a glimpse into Lao rural life. The hike ends at the stunning turquoise pools of the Kuang Si Waterfall, where you’ll have time to cool down, swim and enjoy the nature reserve there, with a butterfly park and a rescue center for moon bears. Total trekking distance is 9 km (5.5 mi) medium difficulty, slippery when wet.     2. FAIR TREK THIN PHA TRAIL, BOAT, AND TAD SAE WATERFALL 1 DAY | IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE LOCALS: TREK THE THIN PHA TRAIL   With this “Fair Trek” tour you’ll get the chance to help out the local communities that you hike out to visit.* Your guide will start by taking you on a boat ride to cross the scenic Nam Khan river before you begin your hike through rice paddies, jungle brush and up through the foothills of beautiful limestone mountains, grottos, and ridges that are typical in this part of the country. You’ll stop in local Hmong and Khmu hill tribe villages along the way, with the opportunity to say hello to all the curious and giggling kids and learn about local life and customs. If you visit...

Elephant Conservation Center Laos Visit...

Visiting the Lao Elephant Conservation Center A visit to the ECC in Xayabouri is a very special travel experience in Laos. Follow us into this exciting Elephant interaction program with a personal video review on the 3 day exploration program. In just 3 days you can learn all you like to know about the Asian Elephants here in Laos. If you come to Laos, the Land of a Million Elephant as it once was actually called, make sure you research your elephant interaction program well in advance. Seek advise, review and book in advance. We from Tiger Trail Travel like to help visitors to engage in socially responsible elephant interaction in Laos and we constantly review providers and camps in our surrounding.     As elephant riding is getting (finally) less and less popular, other interaction programs have been invented and offered to visitors from around the world. If you wish to visit Laos, you may like to visit the Elephant Conservation Center in the province of Sayaburi. The team behind this elephant center, about 3 hours away from Luang Prabang, is doing its very best to offer elephants a safe haven far from the dangerous logging industry where elephants are constantly being abused. It is also   one of the very few places in Laos where tourists can interact with the elephants in the most respectful and careful way… The 3 day Lao Elephant Conservation Center Exploration Program will give you the chance to fully experience the peaceful and beautiful world of the Asian elephant in Laos. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing stay in the Nam Tien protected area but you will also learn all you want to know about Asia’s most iconic creature! You will receive a ton of expert...

Baby Elephant Excursion in Luang Prabang

New Beginnings: A Baby Elephant Excursion in Luang Prabang   We at Tiger Trail Travel strive to engage in animal welfare and sustainable travel. We constantly look for ways to improve and increase the positive impact through tourism here in Laos. Now a new authentic therapeutic elephant interaction program has opened its doors to a limited number of visitors. Just a short ride outside of Luang Prabang a completely new and redefined Lao Elephant Experience has been created… It completely excludes elephant riding and simplyl concentrated on positive interaction between elephants and humans. Embark on a once in a lifetime experience and the only one of its kind in Laos. After coming to us from a logging camp in western Laos, our 10-month old baby elephant nicknamed “Kit” has become a key part of our vision for the future. In contrast to traditional training techniques where young elephants are separated from their mothers and broken by abuse and fear, this young elephant will be trained only with positive reinforcement and care. And you as a visitor can be a part of this. We invite you to participate in this new training process largely pioneered by Mr. Prasop Tipprasert in hopes that these techniques will be adopted throughout the region and in other elephant-inhabited countries. You will have an intimate and exclusive opportunity to get to know this baby elephant while hiking up a cool mountain stream in the jungles of Laos. This is a unique chance to participate in something entirely new with a potential to change the future of elephant welfare in Laos and abroad.   Elephant Interaction Itinerary Begin: You will leave Luang Prabang around 8:30 for the village of Xieng Lom after we pick you up from town or from your hotel. Upon arrival guests are invited to have coffee or tea as your guide for the day provides an in-depth introduction on elephant behavior, our new training techniques with baby Kit, and how we as humans should interact with him and his mother.   First Meeting with the Elephants: A quick boat ride across the Nam Khan River will deliver you to the waiting elephants. During this first meeting guests are urged to interact with and feed them—one of the best ways to ensure instant friendship. Trying to get a treat past mom and to Kit can often be a challenge!   Elephant Bath Time: Our bathing/spa experience involves using special materials found in the jungle that you can use to scrub down and rinse the elephants before beginning the trek. Guest are urged to join and help the elephants in the process and delight in their pure enjoyment of being in the river. The Elephant Trek: After crossing through a beautiful stretch of traditional Lao gardens you will arrive at the jungle-covered Huay Nok stream. As you walk alongside the elephants and crisscross through the cool water you will experience a profound sense of understanding, respect, and caring for these amazing animals. Additionally, your guide will show how our training techniques differ from traditional methods and how you being on tour supports baby “Kit.” As you prepare to start your walk back to MandaLao, you will bid farewell to your new friends with more treats and goodbye hugs.   Lunch near the Elephants: When you get back to MandaLao, you will head to the restaurant and enjoy a delicious fresh Lao meal made from our own organically grown produce. There you can relax, kick-back, and process the day’s experiences on the veranda overlooking the river and misty mountains.   Finish of the Lao Elephant Excursion: Following lunch you will take the short ride back into Luang Prabang and have one more chance to ask your guides any lingering questions. You will arrive back by approximately 13:30.   Book this exceptional program with a max of 6 participants...

A day on the Luang Say

Cruising the mighty Mekong in style Here I am, lounging in the shade, avoiding the hot, mid-morning sun along the Mekong as we slowly wind our way downriver to Luang Prabang. All is quiet and peaceful except for the sound of the boat’s motor slicing through the water, glistening as it rushes past us. Steep hilltops sitting lush and green from the rains, close in on us as the river bends and narrows, giving us a close-up glimpse of their sheer magnitude. The views are absolutely stunning.     As I sit in awe, I can’t help but notice that towering over the occasional sand bank and rocky crag, are these hill forests filled with trees climbing up their slopes interspersed by curious sporadic patches of a different kind of green, clear-cut through. Our guide, Kee, turns to us and explains that these are hillside rice farms grown by the Khmu people who inhabit this region. For generations, they have been defying gravitational odds as they’ve made these incredibly steeply inclined riverbanks their homes- growing rice, corn and vegetables, at 600-800m above sea level. We then break our leisurely chitchat and reading for a buffet-style Lao lunch of rice accompanied by coconut and eggplant beef curry, banana-leaf wrapped fish, and various veggies all wonderfully prepared. A Khmu Visit Shortly after lunch, we come ashore to visit one of the many villages lining the banks. Our guide takes us through a Khmu community and teaches us about their culture and life along the Mekong. Around us, villagers who aren’t out in the fields farming, go about their daily tasks as we walk through attempting to say samay leuh or “hello” in the Khmu dialect. Despite our terrible lack of Khmu language skills, the villagers are pleasant and friendly, especially given the fact that a bunch of strangers just washed up on their shore and are now proceeding to walk through their community on an otherwise normal day. After a half an hour, we leave the village and get back on the boat to head to our lodging for the night in Pakbeng – a set of beautiful bungalows nestled in the hills overlooking the river.   Ride and Dine This is all part of my trip on a slow boat with Luang Say cruises. The last time I attempted this trip- doing the opposite stretch – from Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai, Thailand, I took the night bus and it was wholly unpleasant. Besides breaking down 20 minutes outside of Luang Prabang and having to wait for 1.5 hours before changing to a less comfortable bus for the remainder of the 16-hour ride, the experience was just plain long and boring. It mostly involved switching between a series of uncomfortable sleeping positions on a half-reclining seat for far too long. And although a slow boat along the Mekong is double in time, at 2 days and 1 night (note: significantly longer than a plane ride from anywhere in Asia to LPQ), the cruise hands down beats out all other modes of transport. A ride down the river isn’t merely about the destination (even though Luang Prabang is a beautiful town) but the journey itself. Keeping that cliché in mind, picture yourself taking in the fresh air and beautiful scenery on the water, trekking through villages and caves, eating delicious food and staying at a lovely lodge. Rewind We started early morning by crossing the border to Laos from Chiang Khong in Thailand to at Huay Xai in Laos. After Thai border control, Luang Say provides transport to its passengers across the Friendship Bridge and once they gain visa entry, to the pier itself. It was all smooth sailing… without the sails. Once we boarded, we settled in for our journey. The boat itself is a beautifully constructed wooden-paneled ship with plenty of rattan furniture perfect for lounging, a bar for...

Lao-run eateries look toward international certification in Luang Prabang...

Lao-run restaurants and local eateries are increasingly flocking to The Mark to earn international certification on food and hygiene.

Weaving Classes in Luang Prabang...

  Weaving in Luang Prabang & Textiles in Luang Prabang Join us and enjoy some of the finest handicraft experiences in Luang Prabang, Laos. Living Craft Center is offering weaving presentations, weaving courses, natural dyes, Lao batic and more… Visit the Living Crafts Center, an interactive weaving center in Luang Prabang, and learn about silk worms, how silk is made, the natural dying process and weaving techniques. You can also meet our Hmong batik artist and learn about Hmong culture while taking part in one of our courses offered for our visitors.   The center is in a beautiful garden setting, overlooking the Mekong River, only 2km from the center of Luang Prabang. The majority of the textiles are made by the weavers working daily at the Living Crafts Centre (weaving center), so you can experience their work environment and enjoy learning Lao traditions     Classes in Natural Dyes, Weaving class, and Hmong Batik Drawing in Luang Prabang right on the banks of the beautiful Mekong river… This is an exclusive opportunity to work with a Lao artisan in Luang Prabang, Laos. English speaking guides are the link between you and your Lao teacher. Classes run for half days, full days or over several days.   You are invited to study, learn actually produce some hand made pieces made by yourself in our weaving center just outside of Luang Prabang.   The Silk Road: From Silkworms to Nagas Hosted by Ock Pop Tok’s cofounders, Veomanee 
Duangdala & Joanna Smith. This is a 1.5 hour presentation illustrating the journey of a Lao textiles from the creation of silk to the weaving process and the meaning of motifs. With co-directors: 
Prices start from 2,080,000 LAK ($260) per group (up to 10 people) Seminar Structure: Introduction to...

AirAsia: Direct flight from KL to LP! Oct01

AirAsia: Direct flight from KL to LP!...

AirAsia announced a brand new route connecting Luang Prabang, Laos directly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with four flights per week commencing on November 21st, 2016.

MOTOLAO CEO – Chief Exploring Officer a job on and offroad...

  Life as a Motorcycle Tour Manager Chief Exploring Officer in Luang Prabang (CEO)   Over the past years, Chris Corbett has covered 100,000km of Laos on motorbike. With a vast knowledge of Lao trails and experience under his belt, here at MOTOLAO, we’ve given Chris the title of Chief Exploring Officer, or for short, CEO. From leisurely rides to the toughest motorcycling adventures in Laos if you’ve got a question about riding around Laos, Chris has got you covered. Born in the UK, Chris left school at 16 to pursue a Motor Mechanic Apprenticeship. Upon completion, he worked as skilled mechanic and soon progressed to the position of a service manager for a prestigious car brand dealership. He then taught motor mechanics in London until 2009, when he was enticed by idea of exploring the Ho Chi Minh Trail here in Laos. And he hasn’t turned back since. He spent the following years moving back and forth between Laos and the UK, exploring more of the country and becoming involved with the clean-up efforts for Laos’s UXO problem. Along the way, he made friends who shared his passion and eventually met the MOTOLAO crew in 2012. They offered him a job as motorcyle tour manager and the rest was history. He embraced a completely new life in Laos, living out his passion by assisting travelers with their personalized trip itineraries and conducting tours with his expert team of local specialists. MOTOLAO loves Chris’s enthusiasm, drive and well-earned respect from many in Laos for all the work he has continued to do over the years. If you are interested in taking a trip with Chris and his team of experienced riders, contact MOTOLAO. It’s quite possible you receive the first answer from him directly… Interview and text by Janine...

Seeds of Culture – From Living Plants to Handicrafts at TAEC Luang Prabang...

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center Luang Prabang, TAEC, announces internationally curated exhibition   “Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts” The Luang Prabang based Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre (TAEC) has opened a new exhibit entitled, “Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts”. This exhibit features the Job’s tears (Coix) plant, indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia, to demonstrate the important relationship between humans and nature. It is guest curated by Dr. Yukino Ochiai, a Japanese ethnobotanist at Ryukoku University, who has researched Job’s tears for over 15 years, amassing an unparalleled collection of objects featuring the plant’s seeds.   This special exhibition provides insight into the clothing and changing lifestyles of the region’s ethnic minorities, including the Akha, Chin, Karen, Jinghpaw and Palaung. On display are unusual artefacts, including a Chin headdress that uses porcupine quills, and magnificent necklaces from 14 different countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. Visitors are treated to a visually stunning display allowing them to explore the meaningful role of the environment in the daily lives of rural ethnic communities. Also, with the addition of discovery corners, an extensive activity centre, and ethnobotanical garden, the museum is perfect for children and adults. TAEC Co-Director Tara Gujadhur says, “In the past, ethnic groups gathered different kinds of natural materials from the forests and fields, including cotton, plant dyes, and the seeds of Job’s tears. Nowadays, these natural materials are being replaced by those from markets, such as machine-made textiles, chemical dyes, and synthetic fibres. This is just one indicator of the upheavals these communities are undergoing – resettlement of villages, dependence on a market economy, and erosion of cultural practices and customs. We are looking forward to shedding more light on these issues through this exhibit.” The exhibition will be open through Fall 2017.   About the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre The Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre is the only museum in Laos dedicated to cultural diversity. TAEC is engaged in a broad range of museum and community engagement activities, reflecting its commitment to supporting living ethnic minority communities to preserve and promote their cultural heritage while looking towards the future.     TAEC Museum – Exhibitions and Museum Shop At the foot of Phousi Hill behind Dara Market Open Tuesday – Sunday, 9am-6pm Phone: 071 253364    Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) Phone: 071 253364 www.taeclaos.org information@taeclaos.org...

Fair Trek Eco Bungalow: Our 100th Visitor!...

The Fair Trek Eco Bungalow welcomes its 100th visitor! Today the Fair Trek team is proud to announce that the Eco Bungalow has just reached its 100th guest! With or recent listing on Airbnb, it is now easier to book the eco-bungalow than ever! We will strive to increase this number, connecting more tourists with local community members in the Hmong village of Long Lao Mai just outside of Luang Prabang. What is Fair Trek? Fair Trek operates under parent company Tiger Trail Travel, a leading destination management company based in Luang Prabang. Founded in 2000, Tiger Trail was one of the pioneers in tourism in Luang Prabang and has since proven to be a leader in sustainable travel in Laos. We at Fair Trek create authentic and educational travel experiences that directly benefit local communities in Laos. Our programs are built on the community-based tourism framework to empower local communities to use tourism, not be used by it. What is the eco-bungalow? The Eco Bungalow was built by student volunteers from Fair Trek’s partner, World Volunteer. The project’s concept was designed as a sustainable, income-generating initiative for the community. Construction was funded by the volunteers and private donors but the Eco Bungalow is fully owned and managed by the village. Since most villagers are subsistence farmers, they not recieve additional income in the form of accomodation fees from the eco-bungalow, service fees distributed to villagers directly working with the eco-bungalow, and a communal village fund from the program fee. Book now on AirBnB Book this authentic Lao experience and stay at the Fair Trek Eco Bungalow near Luang Prabang, now available for advanced booking on...

Travel Laos & Asia with Children – Laos Family Travel Tip...

  Travel Laos with Children Travel Laos with kids information blog. Taking on a family travel through Laos with your children is exciting and challenging – We prepared some travel tips from the Lao travel specialists perspective.       Visiting Asia with children is getting more and more popular and for good reasons, as the Asian, and of course also the Lao mentality, is very child friendly. If traveling with children in Asia, you will experience numerous times that local staff will help out watching your kids or giving them attention while you try to get some food or have troubles getting around. Indeed the Asian and Lao culture seems to be very child-friendly when it comes to traveling. Also traveling with Family and kids in Laos may build a great number of intercultural bridges, as your kids will eventually get into verbal or non-verbal communication and playing with other children, which again, for the parents will open doors to experience the local Lao life and culture, unspoiled and very direct…   We want to clearly encourage families to travel in Laos, since we have done so numerous times and supported other families from around the globe to make their way through Laos with children in an easy and child-friendly way,…which means fun for both, the traveling kids and parents.     1. First overseas trip with your children If you take little ones on your family trip to Laos or Asia, plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt and be realistic about what you can cover. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free the holiday – and you’ll be able to take the odd day indoors if the weather is bad or the kids need to rest. If you have older kids and teenagers, then a visit to Laos with your family is perfect as you can pack it all in and keep them on the move, make it adventurous and challenging so they don’t get bored. Of course, make sure you add in a couple of free days here and there to re-group.   2. Traveling with another family in Laos or Asia Think about traveling with children and another family, or other adults before you go. Discuss and level out on what each person wants to do and what expectations and interests each one is following. Find an agreement in advance on how to split chores or how to take turns in watching, playing, going out with the children, or more importantly going out without the children. Also talk about the balance of spending time together and apart. Come to an agreement about the way you split the bills when going out, which will help you every time you enjoy a meal together. Again, Laos is a perfect place and already comes with a pace that accommodates family travel very well. It’s about you then making the best out of it.   3. Family Travel with serious allergies If a family member has serious allergies, you might want them to travel with a card that specifies, in the language of your destination, what they’re allergic to and how serious the condition is. Allergy & Anaphylaxis from Australia has some helpful information at their website which we though may come handy if you travel to Laos with your children or in Asia in general. www.allergyfacts.org.au/living-with-the-risk/travel   4. Hotels & room shares with children and families If you’re on a budget family trip through Laos, 3-star hotels in countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are comfortable and clean, usually really fair priced rooms come with internal bathrooms, air/con or fans, bar fridges, free bottles of water, sometimes there’s coffee/tea facilities. If your family travel crowd uses digital enterteinment devices, make sure you ask for the free WIFI and TV (Asian TV can provide a good laugh…)....

5 More Recommendations – Bangkok to Vientiane with Night Train (2/2)...

Night train from Bangkok to Vientiane, Getting to Laos, the smooth way _____ 5 more recommendations for night train travel from our own travel experience: 1. Don’t worry on the train! Once you have left Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok there is a lot to worry about. At least we did. Don’t! You’ll arrive just fine. Here are some of our needless worries. Don’t worry about how your seats become beds. One of the railway staff members will come and prepare it for you. If you get tired early just go talk to him and he’ll do it right away. Don’t worry about the bathroom on the train. There is toilet paper and there are two toilets for each car. If you end up in one of the bathrooms with a Thai squad toilet just check out the one across. It’ll probably be a Western style one. There is also running water and soap. Just bring your own toothbrush and you’ll be fine. Don’t worry about oversleeping and missing either breakfast or even Nong Khai. Nong Khai is the last stop and the train will stand at the station for half an hour or so. Railway staff will waken passengers for breakfast by shouting through the car. If you hear others getting their seats back they are either getting off at an earlier station or just tired of sleeping. If someone wants to get up they just have to talk to the attendant and he reverses the bed into a seat. This is pretty loud but doesn’t mean you have to get up yourself. Don’t worry about all the noise at night. Well it’s annoying but nothing to really worry about. During all my night train rides through Thailand I had these moments...

5 Recommendations – Bangkok to Vientiane by Night Train (1/2)...

Night train from Bangkok to Laos, Leaving Bangkok the smooth way ___   5 Thailand to Laos travel recommendations: There is good information out there helping you to get from Bangkok to Laos by night train, but let me give you my 5 recommendations after taking the trip myself just recently. I hope it’ll make your journey into Laos an unforgettable experience – in a positive sense.  1. Try to book your sleeper train in advance. Sometimes night trains are sold out. You can even get a refund if you won’t be able to make it. I, however, lost half the ticket price returning the ticket on the day of the departure. But at least I got money back. 2. Buy your ticket directly at Hualamphong railway station. It’s a lot cheaper than having somebody do it for you. And once you’re there you can easily check out China Town which borders on the station. The easiest way to get there is by MRT. The Metro terminates at Hualamphong and is very cheap. On the day of traveling we even took the MRT with all our luggage, which wasn’t a problem at all. When you arrive there you will probably be approached by Thai information personell. They are trustworthy, not ripping you off and actually helping. Tickets for 2nd class sleeper express train with A/C to Nong Khai, the city bordering with Laos, are about 700 Baht (~23 US$) for a upper bed. Lower beds are slightly more expensive. Two notes on that: If you want to sit across each other before you go to sleep get one upper and one lower bed. The seats become your beds for the night.   And if you travel with children in the night train, be informed...

Bangkok to Vientiane – Night Train is the best option...

Bangkok to Vientiane by night train Why is the sleeper train to Laos on of the best options to come to Laos in a relaxed way? There are several ways to get from Bangkok to the Lao capital. I found the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Laos the most reasonable option, one filled with memorable experiences.  Why did I like to travel by train? The Night train from Bangkok to Laos is cheaper than flying! A lot cheaper, actually. The cheap airlines like Air Asia have received a lot of attention, but still the train is a better deal we believe. After all, this is REAL travel, and not just hopping on a plane and leaving it another place… For the night train you pay around 800++ Thai Baht, depending on your seat and where you booked the train trip to Laos The Night Train to Laos is more convenient than a crowded bus. Bus will be a little cheaper but it’s a lot more exhausting. In a train you can walk up and down, the bathrooms are so much cleaner and actually pretty nice. And I personally find going by train smoother than by bus. You save the money for a hotel. As the train leaves at night and you get to sleep in a real bed and not just on your seat you get a pretty good night sleep and save one more night in any hotel in Bangkok. Last but not least. It’s a nice way to meet other travels heading to Laos at the same train!   Also check out our other posts to get more information about how to actually do it. And if you are interested in taking a guided tour through Laos, here is where you like to...

The Tiger Trail Laos Team – Adventure Travel in Luang Prabang...

– Tiger Trail Travel – a team that builds outdoor adventures in Laos. One of the perks of working at Tiger Trail in Luang Prabang, Laos is the awesome people that you get to work with.    I had the honor of working with the wonderful staff who really run the show at Tiger Trail.  They are the drivers that come early in the morning and then pick up the kayaks and bikes, sometimes late into the night until the job is done.   They are all the Tiger Trail tour guides that endure the physical gauntlet of trekking, biking and kayaking day after day.  Our tour guides are the true ambassadors of Tiger Trail to all the visitors that choose to experience the adventures that are waiting beyond the mountains and in the rivers. And Tiger Trail consistently invests in their capacities and knowledge through ongoing training programs especially designed to our niche market needs.   They are the back office staff that work overtime to make sure every detail of every tour is prepared. This includes people working from mornings 6 A.m. in the kitchen to others handing over tour preperation work til late night, often til 11 P.M.. And they are the diverse team of “falang” – expats – who love Laos and have acquired an incredible knowledge of this country that helps the overall operation.   I got to know all of these people well, and they were gracious to me as I had to learn and relearn many things.  The team at Tiger Trail became my friends and family in Luang Prabang.  We celebrated weddings, new babies, birthdays and the accomplishments of a lot of hard work at staff parties. We supported each other through the stressful moments of mistakes made or problems that were out of...

Eco-tourism Adventure in Nam Et-Phou Louey

The community-based eco-tourism project at Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area is one of the few opportunities in Laos to view rare wildlife. It is designed to support alternative livelihoods for local villages and generate community support for the conservation of tigers and other rare wildlife species. Explore Nam Et with Tiger Trail Travel.

Air Asia Connecting Vientiane in Bangkok May12

Air Asia Connecting Vientiane in Bangkok...

New Air Asia flights are launched from Bangkok to Vientiane into Laos. Fly cheap into Laos,…now available with Air Asia. Visit Vientiane and the charming hinterland of Laos with the new connection made available through Air Asia. As recently only the connection Bangkok to Luang Prabang was opened by Air Asia, the next expansion into Laos has finally been opened for sales. Now, you can fly from Vientiane to Bangkok with all-in fares from 40 USD. Travel from 1 Jul 2016 – 30 Sep 2016. Or take even the connection from Luang Prabang to Bangkok with all-in fares from 45 USD, which applies to travel from 11 May – 30 Sep 2016. You have to book these journeys into or out of Laos from now till 15 May 2016 (which is like…day after...