Laos Articles

Laos China railway

When Will The Laos China Railway Open?

The Laos China Railway will connect Vientiane with Kunming in China. But when will it open? We dive into everything you need to know if this train journey is on your bucket list!

Vang Vieng Sunset View Over Town and Mountains

COVID-19: Laos Travel Updates

Can you travel to Laos right now? Get up to date with the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions for international travellers to Laos. Quarantine periods, visas, COVID-19 test requirements, face masks and more…

Thakhek Loop, Laos

The Thakhek Loop, Laos: A Legendary Motorcycle Adventure!

Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane. There’s loads more to see in Laos than these three places! Backpacker Michael Alty describes his off the beaten track adventure on ‘the loop’ – a four day motorbike trip starting from the small village of Tha Kaek in Central Laos.

Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng, Laos: A Must for Adrenaline Junkies!

Rock Climbing in Vang Vieng, Laos – A Must for Adrenaline Junkies!

Vang Vieng might be most known for its crazy parties but recent years have seen this backpacker Mecca change into an adrenaline junkies paradise! South East Asia Ambassador Will went to check out the rock climbing opportunities with Adam’s Climbing School to see what all the fuss is about.

Been There, Don Det | Laos’ Backpacker Paradise

When the mighty Mekong River flooded its banks, it created an archipelago known as Si Phan Don. It is translated as 4,000 Islands and, although the river swallows most of these islands in flood season, some remain above water level, boasting riverside bungalows, guesthouses and a refreshing tranquility away from the chaotic backpacker trail of Southeast Asia…

Beer to Mulberries! Did Vang Vieng, Laos, Turn Around Its Boozy Reputation?

‘Tubing’ was a phenomenon that spun out of control, an activity that made the sleepy town of Vang Vieng, Laos, a notorious hotspot on the backpacker party scene. However, in September 2012, the bars along the infamous stretch of the Nam Song River closed. The slides and the zip wires were demolished and the drinking was stopped. With a reported 22 deaths taking place over high season last year, the Laos Government decided enough was enough. Tubing was banned. So what has happened to Vang Vieng since? Are backpackers missing Laos from their itinerary? Writer, traveller and volunteer at the SAELAO Project, Linda Stansberry discovers an interesting ‘Eco-Tourism’ revolution taking place in the former party town…

Going Back to Nature: The Gibbon Experience, Laos

Just like out of a storybook. It was flying among the trees of the rainforest during the day and seeking shelter in our tree house at canopy level come night. Even the images I saw before embarking on this experience couldn’t do it justice. It was an experience I will forever try to match. An experience I don’t know if I can ever quite match. A journey they call, ‘The Gibbon Experience’…

The "olden days" of Tubing in Vang Vieng.

The Party’s Over! The end of Tubing in Vang Vieng

You’ve heard the rumours filtering from the Banana Pancake Trail and you don’t quite want to believe it. What’s that? Noooo! Frame and mount that ‘In the Tubing’ vest of yours… ‘Tubing’ is really over.

Interview with Vang Vieng Entrepreneurs, Greg & Owen

Undoubtedly the star attraction of Vang Vieng, a town on highway 13 between Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, is the Nam Song River lined with rope swings, zip wires and a multitude of cool bars – a veritable playground for backpackers! Karen Farini catches up with Greg and Owen, 27 year old UK twins, who own the coolest and quirkiest entertainment space in town to get the low down on running a business on a river bank prone to annual flooding, the locals’ view of the abrupt change in culture and of course the crazy and controversial phenomenon known as tubing…

Volunteering at Mr T’s Organic Farm in Vang Vieng, Laos

If you’ve been to Vang Vieng’s town centre you’ll be familiar with the alcohol buckets, 24 hours ‘Friends’ marathons and souvenir shops that compose the backpacker enclave. You’ll definitely be familiar with the popular ‘Tubing’ scene. You may not, however, have heard of Mr T’s organic farm. It’s only 4km away from Vang Vieng’s town centre, but feels another world away from the hedonistic tubing and party culture that the small Laotion town has become so famous for in recent years. Traveller, teacher and writer, Penny Atkinson describes a very different side to the popular Laotion party destination…

Joma Fair Trade Coffee: Helping Communities & The Environment in Laos

Joma Bakery is leading the way in Fair Trade, organic coffee in Laos and Vietnam. Working with the Jhai Coffee Farmers Co-operative (JCFC) to cultivate the unique ‘arabica’ coffee bean, Joma is able to serve coffee that is delicious, ethical and environmentally conscious. The local ethnic groups who work in the Bolaven Plateau coffee growing area are ensured a fair sale price and the plants are grown in an eco-friendly way. Learn more about where coffee comes from in Laos and why it is important to be aware of where your food and drink comes from!

Backpacker Video Diaries: A Traditional Good Luck Ceremony in Laos

After teaching English to local children in a small village outside Luang Prabang in Northern Laos, Courtney, Kaberly, Danielle and Jacqui are asked to take part in a traditional Laotion ceremony. They are thanked for helping the students and blessed with good luck for their onward travels. A ‘Baci Ceremony’ only occurs once a year and the girls were overwhelmed and honoured to be a part of such an incredible cultural experience. Watch the video of their special travel moment here!

Backpacker Video Diaries: Teaching English in Luang Prabang, Laos

Four girls backpacking in Southeast Asia visit a small village where they teach English to a group of local children. Flash cards, enthusiastic students, dancing and even a chicken in the class! Watch Courtney, Kaberly, Jacqui and Danielle at work in the classroom on their first few days. Take a look around the village of ‘Baan Phov Mok’ and see the children take Danielle across a river and to a nearby waterfall for an adventurous field trip!

Tubing in Vang Vieng in 2010.

Tubing! Vang Vieng, Laos: What’s all the Fuss?

Up there with the Full Moon Party in terms of a backpacking ‘rites of passage’, Tubing in Vang Vieng, (Laos) is known as the best party in South East Asia! A startling claim for a place described by the Lonely Planet just fifteen years ago as ‘far removed from the Western world.’ With backpackers flocking there in the thousands; it’s clear the excitement isn’t about to slow down soon! But can it really be as good as they all say it is? One backpacker tells his tale…

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