I wasn’t too sure what we were all in for after the epic night out we had in the sleepy little town of Chiang Khong, our last stop in Thailand before we crossed the border to Laos PDR... It was a crazy night of shots, an epic electrical storm, power outage at the pub and an unbalanced bicycle ride back to our home stay along the Mekong!
We had departed Chang- Mi that morning and made our way to the boarder stopping in Chang-Rai to visit the most spectacular temple I have ever seen - The White Temple. Now we are sitting with our new Stray mates at the boarder holding our heads in our hands, not long now and we will be on our very own orange Stray bus!
Our first night and we were thrown straight into the Laos culture with an overnight stay with a family in a local village. We bathed in the river with the locals and were cooked the most amazing dinner by our host family. Luckily we had Lidia (our Stray guide) staying in our house who could translate for us instead of the grunting and hand gestures that come about when there is a language barrier between people.
The next few days we spend on the mighty Stray bus winding through mountains and dodging the abundance of pot holes we came across on the Laos roads. We pasted mountain top villages, streams and limestone cliffs. Stopping into local restaurants along the way to sample the local delicacies.
I could never have imagined do this on a local bus on Laos time! All the accommodation that Stray recommended to us throughout the whole trip was in great locations, cheap and what we needed. At one of our stops we had a private bungalow with balcony and hammock overlooking the river, nice!
Our last stop on our Stray journey was the UNESCO heritage listed town of Laung Prabang. This is a must see place in Laos where the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers meet and Laos tradition is still strongly visible.
On sunrise we witnessed the monks getting their morning meal off the locals and by night strolled the extensive night markets on the main street. Not too far out of Laung Prabang is the most spectacular set of waterfalls (Kuang Si) I have ever seen (and I have seen a few falls in my lifetime). Grab a tuk tuk and get them to drive you the 30 minutes or so through the beautiful mountain towns up to these breathtaking falls... You won’t regret it!
To tell you the truth going with Stray was a hassle free way to experience all Laos and Thailand has to offer plus making a few friends along the way.
Thank you Stray Asia!
Megan - Base Airlie Beach Resort Travel Guru