Luang Prabang, Laos Itinerary

Luang Prabang was the former capital of Laos. As described by Travelfish:

“The charming city of Luang Prabang, once the capital of Laos and still considered to be its spiritual heart, breathes a rich meld of French Indochinese architecture, Theravada Buddhist temples and a magical atmosphere.”

Image credit: here

I totally agreed with the above statement. A “magical kind atmosphere” is the key term to describe Luang Prabang.

This is the place where you could find peace of mind and stay calm.

The local people remains humble, laid back and enjoying their own way of lifestyle. This is how the Laotion works.

I fell in love with this country at the first sight.  The feeling is hard to describe but you have to go there once to feel it yourself.

When to go?

November to February – this is the best season to go because it is the cool and dry season. I went during the month of December, it was lovely and chill weather. I liked it very much.

March to May – Hot season, temperature might up to 40℃

June to October – Wet season,  good to do some water rafting /kayaking during this period of time.

What to see in Luang Prabang?

Kuang Si Waterfall

I would say this is one of the must-see waterfalls in whole South East Asia trip! The water is clear and the view was spectacular:

Tips and how to go: It requires transportation to arrive at the waterfalls destination.  If you need a public transport, my advice is that do not shy to ask the other travellers in hostel whether they would want to share a “Tuk-tuk” transport fee together.

It will cost cheaper if compare you book a tour from the travel agency at the shop lots.

Tak Bat – The monks’ morning Alms 

“In Luang Prabang, this tradition manifests as a morning ritual where monks silently line the streets while locals (and interested tourists) put gifts of food into the bowls carried by the monks.”

Every morning at 530am, the Buddhist Lao’s monks will start the ceremony of food collection in Luang Prabang.

The Korean monks waiting for the Lao’s monks.

Don’t be surprised to meet and see a lot of travellers (some tourists even came by bus or minivan) waiting in the centre of the town, and people start selling and buying the snacks/food on the street.

This came up to be one of the To-do and to see lists in Luang Prabang.

Mount Phousi for sunrise

After the alms session, you may choose to go and climb up to the mount Phousi which is in the centre of the town.

The height of the mountain is 150 meters by walking the staircase and it requires to pay an entrance fee to go up.

Image credit: here

I skipped this (because have to pay to see the sunrise) instead I went to the morning market:

Morning market

The food, vegetables and fruits look really fresh and clean. I liked their market.

Volunteer at Big Brother Mouse  & Big Sister Mouse

If you want to do something meaningful during the trip, you may visit Big Brother Mouse (at the centre) and Big Sister Mouse (at the countryside- transportation is provided to go).

These two places are the place where you could help the local people to practice their English. Some of the Lao’s monks also came to the place for practising English.

Big Brother Mouse Info

Big Sister Mouse Info

Lao Red Cross

They provide traditional Lao body massages, steams, reflexology and aromatherapy.

I went to try out the full body massage, it was nice and the price is slightly cheaper than other places.

All the donations will go directly to improve the lives of the poorest villages in Laos.

Handicraft Night Market

You would not want to miss the night market. You can everything here. Food, fruits drink, silk scarves, t-shirt, bags, shoes, local clothing over here.

Do not miss out the vegetarian buffet at the night market. You may take as much food as possible in one bowl which costs around USD2 per bowl.

Yoga at Utophia

“Utopia’s zen-like garden restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy morning yoga, eat a healthy breakfast, and relax during the day. At night, Utopia becomes Luang Prabang’s most popular night venue… EVERY night!

Utopia’s attractions: yoga, tiki huts, beach volleyball, great menu, relaxing atmosphere, river view garden, great music, and community projects.”

 Photo credit: here

Where to stay?

Yaya Guest House aka Savanna Restaurant & hostel 

I stayed here for four days three nights. The location is great and the owner of the hostel was so friendly and helpful. Of course, the price for the hostel is cheap which breakfast included.

Reviews from the other guests:

” Nice staff, free breakfast, good location, easy to find, clean”

As a lone female traveller, I felt safe, welcome and very happy with all hostel facilities. Very affordable and staff very sweet! Would definitely recommend!!

The owner was really helpful and flexible. He allowed me to check-in earlier and take care of my luggage while I was out.”

You can book the stay via booking.com 

There are many many things to check out in Luang Prabang: Wat(s) , museum, national library, events, festivals etc.

And you could plan your trip to the countryside which is near to LuangPrabang. I heard Nong Khiaw is really worth to check out but I did not manage to go this time.

As usual, it gives a reason to come back to this country.

Next post, I will be talking about how to go from Luang Prabang to North of Thailand which is one of my favourite journey during the whole Southeast Asia trip. I will share with you more on next time!

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Related posts:

Kanchanaburi Thailand, close to Bangkok

Dalat, the highlands of Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Itinerary 

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Kanchanaburi Thailand Itinerary, close to Bangkok

Kanchanaburi

All of us like to travel to Thailand especially for food and shopping purposes.

Of course, Bangkok (BKK) is in our top priority list, because it is such an affordable, cheap and a food paradise for everyone.

Lately, I just back from Bangkok Thailand. Since I have been to Bangkok many times and I will be there for workaway about a month. I have decided to explore a new place which is near to Bangkok: Kanchanaburi.

Kanchaburi just takes about 3 hours train/van journey from BKK. In the total of 129 kilometres away from BKK to Kanchanaburi.

What is this place about?

It is a historical place where it is known for the Death Railway, built during World War II.
Numbers of Southeast Asian civilian labourers (Burmese, Chinese, Thai etc.) workers were recruited to build on the Burma railway and has been estimated more than 180,000 labourers, sacrificed and died in its construction.

Sadly to say that as a Malaysian, I only got to know about the history after I have visited this place. I know I am a bit outdated but on another note, is it a time to concern and think about our Malaysian education system?

How to go to Kanchanaburi?

From Bangkok

Taking the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, it only costs 100THB one way.

I will recommend you to take the old train from Thonburi station in Bangkok to arrive here. Alternatively, you may choose to go by bus or minivan.

There is only two trains to go Kanchanaburi from BKK (per day) :

07:45 am  and  13:35 pm

Check out more here:  Kanchanaburi info

I would recommend you to go by the morning train where you would be able to enjoy the morning fresh air.

Furthermore, the old train is only provided fans.

In addition, the morning train arrives at Kanchanaburi around 11 am morning time.Hence you will have extra time to walk around.

Where to stay?

I chose my accommodation which is close to the train station. It only takes 5 minutes walking distance from the train station. The hostel name is Asleep Hostel.

If you are on budget and a solo backpacker like me, it is a good place for you. You may book from here

home cook kanchanaburi

The host, Mimi from the hostel is very friendly and generous. During my stay, she was invited all the travellers to have dinner at home. It was a home cooked and it tasted good! Home away from home.

Night Market

The night market is just next to the hostel which is way too convenient.

Have you tried foot massage at night market before? 🙂

I always like to try out something new 😛

What to see here?

The Bridge over the River Kwai – I liked this place and recommend you to walk over the bridge

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187700889851.jpgPhoto credit: here

DEATH RAILWAY MUSEUM : Very informative, but the entrance fee a bit costly which includes one free coffee/tea during the visit.

You may check out Hellfire pass museum which is free of charge if you happen to go there.

War Cemetery – it is just next to the  death railway museum, a place to give some respects to the heroes and victims

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ERAWAN WATERFALL – I skipped this because I have seen many waterfalls throughout my SEA trip. I heard it was similar to Kuang Si Waterfall in Laos

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187724273181.jpgPhoto credit: here

HELL FIRE PASS – this is a bit far from the town, you have to take the public transport to go. During my visited, I was lucky enough to meet a good Irish uncle and he offered me a ride to go together with his friends from Scotland.

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The museum is free entrance.Afterwards, you may start to track the hellfire pass (in the jungle) :
http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187728607561.jpg

http://www.goodian.space/images/catalog/5633/20180216_15187729312231.jpg

Along the hell pass fire trek, you will start to relate  and understand how suffered the labourers were (without food and water) when building the bridge.

 

I have visited hell pass fire with the three of them. They gave me a free ride and treated me for free lunch and sent me back to the bus station to BKK.

I was blessed enough to meet them and they did not want anything in return.Nice people are everywhere indeed.

NAM LOK STATION: Taking the train to the last stop, Nam Lok. I did not manage to go this time.Hence there will be some reasons to come back this place?

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Kanchanaburi is one of the places  that I recommended my friends to visit. It is a lovely and peaceful place. If you’ve ever been here before or planning to go soon, share with me your experience and stories.

Planning a trip to Asia? I have been using this website to book for my Thailand trip -Flight, Bus, Train tickets:  click here

Book a flight ticket to Asia with Qatar Airways:

Related posts: why should you own a blog?

Itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Other posts: Home Page

Till next time!
Cheers!

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Dalat, the highlands of Vietnam

After Ho Chi Minh trip, I continued and heading my journey to the south central highlands of Vietnam. The next stop was Dalat city, which is the highlands in Vietnam.

The distance was around 308 km and it took about 6 hours to arrive at Dalat. Since it’s at Highland, prepare yourself with the warm jacket.

The average temperature was around 21 Celcius when I was there during the month of November.

Dalat is a great place to enjoy the nice view, nice coffee and feel the cold weather.


What you can see and do in Dalat:

Sightseeing around Dalat town:

Rent a bike and ride around the town. Have a look at the unique buildings there such as:

Sunflower Architecture Lam Vien Square –watching a movie on Wednesday (half price)

Doha Cafe

it’s just next to sunflower shopping mall, such a unique design of the shop.

Dalat has been influenced by European culture since a long time ago. According to my research, Dalat got discovered because since last time many Europeans wanted to escape the heat from Saigon (aka HCMC).

Xuan Huong Lake– It is a peaceful and relaxing place.The restaurant next to the lake is high-end scale and mainly for foreigners tourists, the price was slightly expensive.

Image from Panoramio

Crazy House – It is worth to go once

Initially, the house was named “Hang Nga guesthouse”, but was then changed to “Crazy House”.

It was originally built as a personal project by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga, who received a PhD in architecture from the University of Moscow.

 

Dalat Waterfalls – check out 3 main waterfalls in Dalat:

  • Pongour Waterfall – this is the largest waterfall in south Vietnam

Image from dalatrip.com

It was a rainy season when I was there, hence the waterfall was a bit heavy with water.

  • Elephant Waterfall

Dantala Waterfall

St. Nicholas Cathedral – also known as roaster church, spot the chicken on top

Canoeing

Coffee farm – taking a break and enjoy the nice coffee at coffee farm

Or try some exotic food?

There are many more things you could do in Dalat including walking at the  night market, water rafting and taking cycling tour to Mui Ne.

Cycling from one city to another one is something that I wish to do the near future.

Hope you enjoy reading and happy travelling to you!


 

Other Posts:

Itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

Luang Prabang, Laos Itinerary

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Itinerary for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I started my trip from Vietnam since it always has good deal flying to Ho Chi Minh City and I stayed there a month for workaway/ voluntary service.

Anyway, here are the places you should visit there and some of my feedback as below:

  • Independent Palaceworth to check out once
  • Saigon Notre-Dame BasilicaI only managed to take pictures from outside

  • War Museumworth to go but there are still many other museums along the journey

  • Bến Thành Marketgood to window shopping only, mainly for tourist to try local food and expensive souvenirs. Do not recommend to buy things there
  • Bitexco Financial TowerI missed out this, just saw from far
  • Saigon Central Post Office – it’s free to go and it’s good to buy postcards and post it to friends and relatives. Remember to check out the working hours!

  • Next to the post office, do not miss out the book street

  • Tan Dinh churchcatholic church with a pink facade, I only took picture and from far

  • District 1: a lot of Pubs, Clubs for tourists. Good to check out Glow Skybar and my favourite club is still Apocalypse Now Bar.
  • Taking Uber Ride: You should experience to take Uber motor ride in HCMC. It is convenient and cheap to go around the city.

Click here to sign up Uber Ride

Food to eat:

  • Banh Mi (baguette sandwich)
  • Pho (noodles)
  • Bun thit nuong
  • Oc (Vietnamese Shellfish)
  • Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)my favourite
  • Banh Xeo (Crispy Pancake)my favourite

  • Banh Cuon (Rolled Cake) 
  • Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli Noodles with Grilled Pork)

There are so so many nice foods in HCMC, in fact the whole Vietnam. I eat everywhere.

Besides this, if you have more time, you can take a tour to the places which a bit far from the town:

  • Cu Chi Tunnel1 and 1/2 hours from HCMC, and I booked from this tour agency (recommended by my local friend):  The Sinh Tourist: overall my feedback was good with this half-day tour, comfy bus, good tour guide.
  • Mekong River TourI booked a 3 days 2 nights tour from this travel agent:   Daily Travel Trading Service Company Ltd– price 1150,000 VND. Why I booked 3 days tour instead of 2 days? Because my friend and I wanted to see the Tra Su Forest, where most of 2 days tour did not cover that. Below is the picture taken in Tra Su forest:

  •  Phu Quoc islandI did not go but hear it’s nice and commercialize, cost and expense slightly expensive. Full of Foreigners
  • Vung Tau – fishing village I heard, did not get the chance to visit this time.I think mainly for local people staying (which I like)


 Places to do gym and Brazilian jujitsu:

  • I practised BJJ at  Saigon Luta Livre in district 3, not far from town, take uber bike / grab bike to go and the coach was awesome, professional and funny.

  • I went once to star fitness gym for BJJ and using the gym facilities including swimming pool for one whole day, cost me 100,000 VND. I liked the experience.

These were all my experiences and own reviews for each place and food in HCMC. Do I like there? Yes, I do despite the crazy traffics and polluted air over there. People are so nice everywhere and I met most of new local friends who willing to take me to try some nice food and toured me around.

See you next time, HCMC!

Other Posts:

Luang Prabang, Laos Itinerary

Tips to get money for travelling

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东南亚之旅后@感言

这是个充满惊喜的旅程
很多的冒险和刺激
身边没有熟悉的家人朋友陪伴

所有所遇见的人事物都由你自己来应对

好玩吗?
真的很不错
如果你再问我是否想要再一个人自助旅行
我的答案还是一样

会的

虽说一个人旅行很潇洒
可是做足好功课是必须的
特别是女生的我们
要背起重大的背包到处跑
适合的衣着还有那舒适的鞋子
是非常非常重要的
过重的背包让你腰酸背痛

一双不适合的鞋子让你去到那里都不自在

从头到尾所需要的物品
该带的应该都得写下来
这次的旅程我准备是大约一个月的背包
从衣物,护肤品,鞋子
都一一精心准备
虽说可以在当地买衣物
可是当你是穷游时
基本上你是没有什么需求去购物
因为你的目标一致
想用最经济的预算费用走完整个行程
 
四个月回来我没填很多新衣服
也没购买新鞋子
因为还很耐穿
这是我本身的个人体验
即使没有血拼
可是旅游得到的心灵满足
是从物质上体会不到的
 
当我回到土国马来西亚
很多人问我学到和得到了什么
老实说很多
可是无法从表面具体表达出来
我知道我思想上我体会到了一些东西
而这些是外人无法体会到的
 
所以我每次发新文章
重复又重复鼓励读者去旅游
如果无法做到长期旅游
至少一个人短暂的旅游
这与平时的两三天旅程无法相比的
最好像别人有幸到国外求学
正如广东话所说的:浸过盐水的果然不同
 
 这不是说你回来后
到处炫耀
这是你个人体验
全部所学到的是归于你自己
 
也许现在的你无法
体验我以上所说的
如果有机会做到
日后记得再与我分享你的经历
另外分享一下:
很幸庆这次选对和带对了
舒适的鞋子
我选择带上FUFA 台湾休闲鞋
这四月里它陪我走偏四大国家
手工制造和厚的垫底让我无忧的走看世界
最重要的是价钱很合理
直到泰国曼谷最后一站
我将这双鞋赠送给一位当地友人
因为她说很喜欢这款式
好的物品是需要很别人分享的 🙂
若知更多FUFA牌手工制造鞋,请游览:

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Asian’s life…are you willing to travel long term?

Many Asians like travelling, however, it is mainly for short-term travelling. Because for us we cannot (aka not willing) to put down all our commitments. We used to follow the social norms, follow whatever it supposed to do in our entire life. When you are reaching the age of mid-20, many people including your family members (parents, uncle, aunties) rushing you to get married and to settle down. Even though the pressure might not come from your family, however, you will start noticing that your bff, your friends are going into another stage. At one point, you wonder am I the awkward one?
Well, sad to be true that there are a lot of people did not know what exactly they want in their life…
Despite they knew, there are many reasons (excuses) to pull them back .. “I do not think I could do that..I wish I could do this but let’s see.”
I would not tell you how enjoyed I was for last long trip in Indo China. By the way, I was there for almost four months (only). However, I would say this is pretty normal kind of culture for westerners. They choose to have a gap year either from university or working life. I have met some travellers where they have even been travelling for a couple of years.
Asians and Westerners are totally different kind of mentality.
These are some questions and doubts from most of the Asian friends:
a) How dare you just quit your job and started to travel?
b) You must be very rich..you must come from the rich family…you must have a SUGAR DADDY
c) Don’t you scare that you could not find any job later on?
d) Is it very dangerous to travel alone?
e) Is it safe to go these countries?
f) Do you get money by doing volunteering?
Sometimes it is hard for me to explain in details to people. Some people just would not understand why you chose this way. A lot of jealousy, doubts, negativity from different people. Of course, I am glad that there are still many people and friends that supported and encouraged me throughout the whole journey.
Especially my family members, my parents. When my relative was asking my mum, didn’t she worry me since I travelled alone plus I am a girl…well, my mum replied her steadily: “She used to do that way.” which means she trusted me and of course one thing she knew that she couldn’t stop me. Thanks to mum and dad!
If you are reading my post now and you are an Asian, I would encourage you to try solo travel once in your lifetime (no matter you are a guy or a girl). Of course, before going you must do some homework and preparation.
Feel free to message me if you need some clarification and details. I am willing to answer all above-listed questions 🙂
Cheers,
The Traveller Su
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