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Arkiv for oktober 2016

My little guide to Laos

Hi lovelies!

As you might know, a lot of traveling has been on my schedule lately. My last trip was to Laos and I want to share my experiences with you. So here it goes, a long post this time! For me, Laos was a country I knew nothing about, and had no dream of visiting. However, after talking to a few backpackers and people here in Thailand they managed to convince me that this is a country worth seeing. And weren’t they right? I went to Laos with no expectations, and was just stunned when I came out from the airport. High mountains and green forest raging over the little city of Luang Prabang was an absolutely amazing sight. Something refreshing from busy Bangkok.

LUANG PRABANG

Air Asia recently opened routes to Luang Prabang from Bangkok which makes it easy to visit the country. Luang Prabang is a city located north in Laos, and is a part of UNESCO´s world heritage. The city has a lot to offer, everything from culture and heritage to experiences in the nature. Actually, if you don´t have a lot of time, or do prefer to stay in just one city, Luang Prabang is a great option.

 

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Mount Phousi

Climbing Mount Phousi was a must do in our stay, and because of the easy access from the city center we just went for it. An easy hike up 355 steps gives you a great 360 degrees’ outlook across the city and the Mekong river. Google suggests to spend several hours on this hike, but to be honest, I’m not sure if we even spent 1 hour in total.

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Kuang Si Waterfalls

Rent a tuktuk and go on a hike to see the waterfalls! It takes around 30 – 60 min to get there (we didn’t actually pay attention to the time), but the trip in itself is very entertaining as you are driving on a bumpy and muddy road. Ok, someone would maybe not call that fun, but hey, it’s all about finding those small pleasures in life, and everything that is different from Scandinavia is exciting! Put on your trainers and walk all the way up. The last part of the trip is a bit challenging as it is very steep, so maybe don’t bring your old grandma up there (even though I’m sure mine would have been the first one to the top!). On the way you can choose to have a swim in the different waters, so it’s up to you. We, however, chose to wait until the top before we could enjoy the ice cold water. On the way down you can choose to take another route where you actually have to walk down some stairs that are placed remarkably close to a waterfall, leaving you soaking wet before you get down. Kuang Si is a perfect half-day trip you can combine with something else.

 

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(Wat Mai)

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(Wat Xieng Thong)

Temples

Luang Prabang has an extensive concentration of temples, Wats, which are homes to more than 1000 monks. Even though we have visited lots of temples in Thailand, we still felt it was a must because of their history in Laos. We decided to visit Wat Xieng Thong, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang, and Wat Mai (because of convenience).

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Alms Giving Ceremony

This tradition is the most sacred Laos tradition, and I’m very happy that I was able to experience it. When the sun rises, hundreds of monks walk down the main street of Luang Prabang to collect food for their only meal of the day. We participated in the ceremony after guidance by the locals, and it was a great pleasure. However, very sadly, as with many other things, I felt that the tourists were destroying this beautiful moment by running around with their cameras. I chose to take a quick snapshot, but if you wanna se some really great pictures from this ceremony just google «alms giving ceremony Luang Prabang». Put your alarm at 05.00 and observe!

 

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Lao Cuisine

As with all travels, a big part of the adventure is to try local food. Luang Prabang actually have a lot of good restaurants and friends suggested us to try Tamarind restaurant and 3 Nagas for good authentic Lao food. Because of full houses we ended up with the neighbor restaurant Bamboo Tree, and it was nothing less than amazing. Try the tasting menu, and I challenge you to go for «Lao spicy».

VANG VIENG

200 km away from Luang Prabang you find backpacker Mecca Vang Vieng. On European highways you could be able to go to such a distance around 2 hours, but here however… If going by minivan at daytime (which I recommend), it will take you about 4-5 hours, or if choosing the night bus 6-8 hours. And no, it is not the rush traffic that will stop you, but the non-existence of roads some places. No lights are to be found, which is why it takes almost twice the amount of time to go there by night. Nothing for those with heart problems or a rational mindset. When our driver chose to take a short cut down the mountain the only thing to do was to praise Jesus, Maria, Buddha and everyone else at once. Maybe this is one of the reasons there seems to be only young people in Vang Vieng…

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Cave Tubing

Tubing is a much discussed activity here in Vang Vieng which has caused the life of many young people, which is why Laos decided to shut down many of the bars surrounding the river. It is not how it used to be before, thus we chose to go for another activity; Cave tubing! Together with a local guide you put one a head light, jump into a tube and go into a deep dark cave. Such a scary but adventurous experience. I think that this might actually be one of the coolest things I have ever done. To get there you need walk for a little while, but look at the amazing nature you are surrounded with!

In Vang Vieng you also find numerous activities to do as hiking, waterfalls, zip lining and such. However, we were restricted by our time and had to choose one activity.

And for those who like nightlife; Vang Vieng, due to its small size, actually have a bar and a club where there always is something going on. If you are traveling by yourself this is the perfect place to go. We made a lot of new friends during our party night 🙂

I hope that you now feel a bit tempted to visit Laos!

Fashionhyper

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SKIRT: EBAY// SHIRT: VINTAGE // BAG: BALENCIAGA // SHOES: ZARA

 

Stalk my blog on Fashionhyper!

Dragon trail

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Im going to give you a little tip of what to to in Hong Kong that does not involve shopping; Hiking! Most people don’t go to Hong Kong to go hiking, but I would really recommend this little hike on the Dragons back. You start your hike by taking the bus only a short 30-40 min ride from the city center, up to the mountains. From there you start your journey on the dragons back, a trip that google suggested to be 4 hours, but in reality it was only two. Maybe if you go all Asian and stop to take pictures everywhere it will be 4 in the end.. The hike is fun, as it has a lot of different terrain as stairs, open hills, and paths hidden in craters. And the best about the whole trip is the spectacular view you are able to see every time you reach a height. If you want to, and what we did, was to extend our trip a tiny bit and walk all the way to a nice little beach. In my opinion, the best way to relax after a hike.

 

And by the way, a lot of traveling these days. As we speak I’m actually in Laos! The computer is staying home, thus some late updates. But better late than never. For more updates from my travels follow me on Instagram @idakjoh or Snapchat: Idajohlol.

HONG KONG

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The past few days I have been visiting Hong Kong, and omg what is not to love! The city is uber modern in many ways, and sky scrapers are popping up everywhere. Hong Kong has everything to offer when it comes to shopping and restaurants. It is very easy and convenient to get around, so it doesn’t matter if you stay on the mainland or the island. One of our main destinations, as of any other tourist, was the Victoria peak. The place is crowded, and it takes forever to get there (ehm..2 hours to buy tickets to the tram), but even after fighting with targeted Chinese people, the view that awaits you is spectacular. As the spartan Norwegian I am, I was expecting a normal lookout post, maybe with a little telescope, but no way José. The Hong Kongers have of course created a fancy little shopping mall with restaurants and even a Madame Tussauds.  Do I need to remind you that Hong Kong is a shopping mekka?

More about my trip to Hong Kong in later posts!