Travel Laos With Kids; Travel Tips From The Lao Travel Specialists

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 Laos with kids 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 ….

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Inthy Deuansavan, One Of The Most Successful Local Entrepreneur In Lao Tourism

Interview with Inthy Deuansavan, Head of Green Discovery Tour Operator and Inthira Hotels
One of the most successful local entrepreneur in Lao tourism, Inthy is a rather outspoken personality in the country and speaks openly about opportunities and failures of Laos in its tourism development.
Inthy answer questions on the progres of the Lao tourism, how to promote the country and which are the upcoming places to visit in Laos…..

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Lao Airlines Operates Daily Savannakhet-Bangkok-Pakse Flights

National carrier Lao Airlines officially began daily Savannakhet-Bangkok-Pakse flights on August 1, after previously flying the route only three times per week.
The additional flights are to serve tourists and businesspeople in Laos and Thailand, who fly between Savannakhet, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand and Pakse, Laos ……

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Flash Flooding Hampers Heavy Vehicle Movement On South Road

Heavy vehicle crossings on the Namthone Bridge on the No.13 South Road have been temporarily suspended after heavy rains caused landslides and flash flooding in Borikhamxay province over the weekend.
Floodwaters created difficulties for those who use the No.13 South Road, one of the country’s main economic corridors, forcing commuters to take another route. Many areas along the road in Borikhamxay experienced heavy rain, particularly the Km 20 junction road, where flood levels reached about 1.2m, cutting off transport and affecting …..

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Is Laos Tourism Doing Sufficient Efforts To Correct Its Weak Image?

Despite having received over three million international travellers in 2012, Laos seems to suffer of an image deficit according to travel professionals working with the destination. Is it a time to rethink Laos strategy.
“Simply Beautiful- I love that slogan because this sounds so true. But unfortunately, it now lacks a strong campaign behind to promote Laos differently from other countries”. A rather strong opinion which comes from one of Laos’ most successful local businessmen in tourism, Inthi Deuansavan, Head of Green Discovery Tour Operator and Inthira Hotels.
Laos remains probably Southeast Asia’s best kept secret destination. “This is a wonderful place for someone who …..

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Party Over For Vang Vieng

Once the most popular place in Asia for drink, drugs and sex, the small Laotian town welcomes tourists more interested in a quiet break
Slowly, the Nam Song River meanders through Vang Vieng. A couple of kids are casting their fishing lines into it, while women wearing straw hats are pushing rickety old bicycles across the old wooden bridge. They are returning from their day’s work in the surrounding rice paddies, while beyond the karst cliffs, a red sun is setting.
A handful of tourists are enjoying the moment, sipping gin and tonics with quiet chill-out music playing in the background while they take in this Asian scene that looks like something out of a picture book.
Vang Vieng is ….

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Southern Laos: Time Out In The 4,000 Islands

It is 6.30am and a bright orange sun is rising behind the mountains. The twin hulls of our boat cut through water that shimmers like glass. Fish jump and buffalo swim. Villagers brush their teeth at the waters edge.
It’s another world, from another era, and I feel like Katherine Hepburn, except that my vessel is a raft strapped on top of two wooden canoes, on top of which, perching like thrones, sit two rattan chairs. It is a rather comical, Heath Robinson contraption, but that can’t detract from the beauty of the scenery and the empty, peaceful atmosphere.
It would be nice to spend the day just sitting and floating, but my destination materialises into view. Don Daeng is one of the many islands in the middle of the Mekong River, here in southern Laos where the river starts to ….

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Stay Another Day: The Green Revolution in Laos

There’s something terribly right going on in Laos. Engulfed in a green revolution, sustainable tourism is racing through the recently paved roads from the provincial cities to the remote edges of this pristine country. From organic farm cooperatives to ethnic fashion shows, the idea is pulsing and putting money back where it belongs – with the people.
At the heart of the revolution is Stay Another Day, a Luang Prabang based initiative that produces a veritable Lonely Planet of the country’s sustainable organizations. They ask travelers to buy local/fair trade products, get off the beaten-path, volunteer or make a donation (however small), learn a few basic words in Lao, respect the local culture, keep smiling, and stay another day. Not too much to ask…..

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The Secret To Buying Souvenirs

If you’re looking in the airport, you’ve left it too late. Your search for a beautiful, meaningful souvenir is going to end in the purchase of a tea towel and a bottle of duty-free gin. The airport is not the place to buy your souvenirs. In fact, any souvenir shop is not the place to buy your souvenirs.
So where is?
Everyone’s heard of “take only photographs, leave only footprints”, which is kind of a cute mantra, but not very helpful if you want to have a permanent reminder of that holiday you spent thousands of dollars on. So the hunt for the perfect souvenir continues. Do you go for kitsch and tacky, a miniature….

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Only Three Hotels In Laos Make 5 Star Grade

Laos has only three hotels of 5 star standard, with all of these located in Vientiane, according to the 2013 Official Hotel Classification Directory from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
“Only three hotels have met our guidelines for 5 star classification,” said the Director General of the ministry’s Tourism Marketing Department, Mr Saly Phimphinith. “Hotels in the provinces cannot attain these standards because they don’t have meeting rooms, car parks and other facilities, which are what we look for in the highest grade of accommodation.”
The 5 star accommodations are ……

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Laos Lauded As World’s Best Tourism Destination

A delegation from the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has arrived in Vientiane, where they will present Laos with the council’s award for ‘World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013.
The delegation also visited important tourism sites in Vientiane before departing for Luang Prabang World Heritage Site tomorrow to experience how amazing this city is and how traditional culture is preserved there.
Among the reasons for awarding the title are Laos’ promotion of free and fair tourism, the safety of tourists, the facilities offered, access to sites of historical and cultural significance, investment in the preservation of historical sites, and the benefits of tourism to …….

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Lao Air Plane Crashes On Takeoff In Huaphan

A Twin Otter aircraft owned by Lao Air (not to be confused with Lao Airlines -Laos’ national carrier) crashed shortly after takeoff from Nathong Airport in Huaphan province on Wednesday after failing to clear the end of the runway at the short rural airstrip.
The accident happened at 2:35 pm when the aircraft attempted to take off en route for Vientiane. Witnesses said it appeared that the 19-seat plane clipped the top of some trees before crashing into a canal about 200 metres from the end of the runway. Fortunately, no one was killed in the accident, but five people sustained …..

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Elephant Conservation Center – A Lao Travel Highlight With Elephants

No doubt, this can be a highlight of your stay in Laos, the visit at the Elephant Conservation Center in Sayabouri, in the western corner of Laos, just a few hours drive from Luang Prabang.
We have visited the center a few times and wanted to share our experience with you and give you a general outline of how your visit at the Elephant Center could look like, and more importantly, how it helps the Elephants in Laos and their future…

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Nok Air Calendar “Inappropriate” ?

Nok Air’s calendar shows the photo of 12 girls in yellow bikinis, posting in front of its aircraft. The girls appear on the front cover of its calendar, which will be distributed to 300 fans.
The Thai Culture Permanent Secretary attacked Nok Air for its controversial calendar. “They lack the sense of social and cultural responsiblity and ignore social and cultural repercussions – particularly female dignity.”

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Tubing In Vang Vieng Runs Aground

Controversial backpacker hotspot, Vang Vieng in northern Laos, has torn down the bars, slides and rope swings that made the riverside town so popular with bohemian travellers.
In 2011 at least 20 unconfirmed deaths had been reported by worldwide news publications, while seven people – including two Australians – had died in 2012 before the government crackdown. The dream was over, and in late August 2012 the Laotian government came through and destroyed the remaining bars along the Nam Song River, heralding the end of an era….

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Laos Lures Korean Golfers

A big jump in South Korean tourist arrivals in Laos is being attributed to the lure of new golf courses in Luang Prabang, the ancient capital, and in Vientiane.
Korean investors have built and now manage several golf courses in the land-locked communist country, where land and water are still abundant and labour is cheap.
Golf course fees in Laos are a fraction of what they are in South Korea, where the game is a national passion.

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See Vientiane’s Sights From New Heights

Visitors to Vientiane will now be able to enjoy sky high views of the city following the launch of a new helicopter service by Lao Air.
The helicopter service aimed to offer tourists a unique perspective on Vientiane.“This new service will offer domestic and foreign tourists a panoramic bird’s-eye view of Vientiane and the surrounding countryside”. Lao Air will use three AS 350 B2 helicopters each able to seat five people. Passengers can choose one of four different routes, all of which take them 400 metres above the city. Prices per person, per flight range from …

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Hot Air Ballooning in Vang Vieng

Visiting Laos was on my list for long, and I booked a tour through Laos with a local tour provider. BUT riding a balloon has always been my dream! And here in Laos, this dream unexpectedly came true one early morning in the mist of the sunrise over Vang Vieng in Laos. The day before I have already heard about the Lao hot air ballooning and together with my friends we found great interest. Screw it, let’s do it was the slogan!
So, we booked, paid and were just waiting for the morning to come…..

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A New Dawn For Tourism In Vangvieng After Tubing Tragedies

An extensive renovation project set to begin shortly along the Xong River in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, hopes to promote tourism after its image was marred by a few fatal accidents.
These events led government and district officials to appoint a taskforce committee to address the issue. As a result, 24 bars and entertainment venues operating along the riverbank were closed down….

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Luang Prabang Bus Crash Death Toll Rises

Seven people are now confirmed dead from a bus crash in Luang Prabang after officials reported a 23 year old man died in hospital several hours after the accident on November 22.
The accident happened on November 22, on Road No. 13 north between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province. The overnight bus left Vientiane at 7:30pm on November 21, carrying 32 people headed for Luang Prabang. Early the next morning, …

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My Paradise – Meung Feuang Island Getaway

Do you also have a dream of spending a few days on a lonely island surrounded by water and green nature ? Well, my dream came true when I decided to escape the “hustle and bustle” of the ASEM meeting and headed north towards the Nam Lik River.
I was invited by Adam, also a J&C team member, to join him and his friends to spend some time at their holiday house which is located on a small island on the banks of the Nam Lik River, about 110 Km north of Vientiane.
Arriving in the village of Muang Feuang, our first adventure was getting our luggage safely (and dry) to the other side of the river by using ……

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High Speed Rail From Savannakhet To Vietnam border; Contract Signed

Laos is to have its first high-speed rail link after a contract was signed yesterday to lay tracks between Savannakhet province and the Vietnam border.
It is estimated that the US$5 billion project, to be financed by a Malaysian company, will be completed in five years, at which point Savannakhet will have a direct rail link to Lao Bao on the Laos-Vietnam border. The project will form part of a planned railway that will eventually link most of Southeast Asia.
When the entire planned rail link is completed, it will provide a non-stop connection to Singapore, through Thailand and Malaysia, into Kunming province, China, and through Vietnam. At the moment, public transport on this route is …..

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Vat SiMeuang: The Liveliest Temple In Vientiane

“Mother, please help my son to pass the entrance exam and study in a good school. If he succeeds, I promise to give you two bunches of bananas, two coconuts, a wax castle and five pairs of lighted candles and flowers.”
This is a typical example of the prayers offered up at Vat Simeuang temple in Vientiane every day – a prayer to Nha Mae Simeuang, believed to be the city’s protector. People come here to make their heart’s desires known, and will return with offerings if their prayers are answered. Usually they bring coconuts, candles or money, all of which are laid in abundance at the main altar.
The temple was built in 1563 and houses the much venerated city pillar. Legend has it that the king at that time asked that a hole be dug to install the pillar and it must be large enough for …..

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Laos-China Rail Project Goes Full Steam Ahead

The Lao government will proceed with the construction of a US$7 billion Laos-China high-speed railway even though China has withdrawn from the joint venture.
Laos has now decided to assume sole ownership of the project, as it considers that transforming the country from being landlocked to a land link is central to the future of the nation’s development. The railway is now set to go ahead without any other direct stakeholders, but will be financed by a loan from China.
The ground-breaking ceremony is expected to take place during the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit on November 5-6 when top ranking leaders from ….

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Nam Phou Fountain Reopens To Public

After being renovated for almost a year, the Nam Phou fountain reopens to the public and international tourists. Being granted with a concession lasting 30 years, the developer, Asia Investment and Finance Service Company, confirms that the fountain will remain a public space where local people and tourists can come to relax and enjoy the facilities.
The developer had to modify the original design six times to accommodate the public fear of …..

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Riding A Motorbike Really Is The Best Way To Travel In Laos…

You’re free to travel at your own pace and speed, you can stop anywhere you like without arriving in a vehicle as big as someone’s house, and in a country like this, with so many remote places to explore, a motorbike can handle tracks that buses and cars don’t go to. (As long as you’re not worried about getting a little dirty or sweaty sometimes!)
When you have a good motorcycle in Laos, it’s like having an all-access pass to the best theme park on the planet. The roads become a roller coaster through stunning scenery and all of a sudden you are smiling from ear to ear and your brain is overloaded with every shade of green and brown and blue, as the dirt roads, the …..

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Tree Top Explorer – A Great Adventure !

The Tree Top Explorer in the south of Laos simply blows one’s head off! Deep inside a national park and away from bustling city life, this parcours offers excellent trekking that culminates in flying through the jungle on zip-lines, the most extensive and longest in the region. Canopy walkways and a ‘via ferrata’ add to the challenges to be mastered. If that’s not enough, the night is spent in romantic tree houses which let you easily forget the bravery of the day by the tranquillizing sound of waterfalls surrounding the visitor.
The Tree Top Explorer is an adventure everyone will enjoy without doubt. Fun is guaranteed – as are memories of an unparalleled experience of a lifetime and, for the one or the other, some inspiration for the future!.

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Lao Central Airline Campaigns Destination Bangkok and Luang Prapang

Lao Central Airline, the first private-owned airline based in Vientiane, is now ready for take-off according to their latest advertising campaign. Lao Central Airlines will fly 3 times a week to Bangkok & Luang Prapang (Monday, Wednesday & Friday).
The Airline is using mid-sized jet aircraft to target the regional market. Lao Central Airlines wants to position itself as a premium low cost airline by applying aggressive marketing strategy to gain market shares.
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I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Whether you are planning to be in the capitol for a year or a day there’s a great new way to become acquainted with city life and see the sights. So, leave the guidebook behind and saddle up for an insider’s view of Vientiane.

Aline, a former art critic, travel agent, and flight attendant shares her personal insights, history, and fun facts about all aspects of life in Laos while cycling the city on one of 20 high-end mountain bikes available to riders.Visits to various temples, markets, and monuments can be found by anyone with a map and a bike, but what makes this experience unique are the people and flavors that only someone in the know can show.

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Vang Vieng’ River Of Booze And Tubes May Be River Of No Return

Yesterday the body of Melbourne student Daniel Eimutis, 19, was found in a river in Vang Vieng, three days after he went missing while tubing with friends. Family said he had drowned.
The tragedy comes less than a fortnight after Sydney traveller Lee Hudswell, 26, was killed after jumping from a tower while tubing in the same area. Reports at the time said at least 22 people had died in the river last year.

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Joint Thai-Cambodian Visa To Be Issued, Laos To Follow Later This Year

In a significant first, Thailand and Cambodia have announced they will issue a single 30-day tourist visa to non-ASEAN visitors from February 1, with Vietnam and Laos to be brought into the ambit by end-2012.

Cambodia’s minister of tourism, Thong Khon, revealed that the next step would be “to include Laos and Vietnam, develop the road network well and offer our four countries as a package to foreign visitors, a unique concept offering in Asia”.

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Lao Central Airlines Ready For Takeoff

Fledgling airline Lao Central Airlines Public Company (LCA) wasted no time in getting off the ground after taking delivery of its second jet on December 27 and ran a special flight from Vientiane to Luang Prabang last Friday.
Flights cannot be offered yet because more time is needed to prepare ticket sales and organise services management, but now that it has two planes, as required by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the airline can offer flights at any time.

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PC Air Set For Laos Flights

Small private airline PC Air says it will begin operating charter flights this month with Bangkok-Vientiane service and will start serving China next month.
Last Friday the airline held its first trial flight between Bangkok and Hat Yai. PC Air is the first airline in Thailand to hire all genders. PC Air’s four transsexual flight attendants are believed to be the world’s first transgender flight attendants.

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Oudomxay – The Heart Of Northern Laos

The Oudomxay province was founded in 1976, as a split off of the much larger Luang Prabang province. In 1987 Muang Xay became the capital of the province.
Oudomxay province offers a large range of attractions. The provinces’ key characteristics are its nature, its people and its diverse culture. An overview of possible tours in the area can be found on the web sites of Samlaan Cycling and the Provincial Tourism Department.

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Toko Assurance To Provide Insurance For AirAsia Passengers

Air Asia has appointed Toko Assurance as the exclusive insurer for AirAsia passengers travelling from Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.
All passengers on AirAsia flights will have the option to be covered not only whilst on board their flights but also for the entire duration of their trip when they purchase AirAsia travel protection.
J&C Services, being one of the leading agents of Toko Assurance and their top agency in the “non-motor” insurance market, also attended the signing ceremony.

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Regal To Build Largest 5-Star Hotel In Laos

The US$100 million hotel is a joint investment between the Ministry of National Defense, which will hold a 25 percent shareholding and the Regal Global Investment Development Group. The project contract is for a period of 99 years and the hotel will replace the existing Rasavong Hotel at km5 area in Xaysettha district.

According to the group, the hotel will consist of 350 rooms, including 20 VIP rooms and 30 suite rooms, on a total area of 120,000 square meters.
The hotel will also contain a shopping complex, as well as restaurants, entertainment facilities and a cinema.

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Nong Khai’s Aquarium – A Closeup Look At The Mekong River Fish

If you’re looking for an interesting and educational experience not far from Vientiane, the little known Nong Khai Aquarium might be right up your alley.
Just over the border on the road leading to Udon Thani is the biggest aquarium in Northeastearn Thailand at Khon Kaen University’s Campus in Nong Khai.
The idea is to conserve freshwater fish in the Mekong River as well as to stimulate tourism in the province.

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Wattay Airport To Be Upgraded

The upgrade project includes runway renovation, parking space expansion, drainage system renovations and road upgrades.
The project aims to improve and expand apron 02 and apron 03 to provide 25 aircraft parking stands, improve the airport drainage system, and expand the turn pad of the runway to meet the requirements of Code-E aircraft operation.

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Wat Si Muang – Vientiane’s Corner Stone

Wat Si Muang is not as well known as Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Sisaket but Wat Si Muang nevertheless has a special attraction.

Founded in 1563 under the reign of King Setthathirath it was destroyed by the Siamese in 1828, like most other temples in Vientiane, rebuilt in 1915 and renovated in 1960. Wat Si Muang is currently in good condition and well maintained. The temple is situated at the junction of Samsenthai and Setthathirath road. A statue of King Sisavangvong is in a nearby park just next to the main entrance.

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Chao Anouvong – Last King of Lane Xang

Chao Anouvong or by most Lao people called Chao Anou (1767-1829) was the last king of the former Lao kingdom of Lan Xang. Chao Anouvong was ruling from 1805 to 1828 in Vientiane. He came to power after his brother’s death.

Chao Anouvong had long been an ally of the Thai monarchs against the Burmese invaders. Unfortunately his accomplishments and support of the Thai kingdom was not well recognized by them.

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Lao Experiences Cooking Class

I have long wished for some kind of cultural experience that could be had within the city limits, so I was excited to learn about a new half day cooking class called “Lao Experiences”.

The Lao Experience begins at 9:30 when you meet at Full Moon Cafe for pick up and a scenic ride out to the cooking school, which is on the Mekong in the Thaduea area. The cooking instruction starts at 10 am and the class concludes at 1, with 1:30 drop off back at Full Moon Cafe.

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French And Lao Colonial Buildings In Vientiane

While touring through Vientiane one will encounter French colonial Villas and administration buildings, old Lao town houses, hidden and forgotten shrines of Vientiane’s guardian deities, small spirit houses and famous temples.
Among those last ones are Wat Si Muang – where the city pillar of Vientiane is located -, Wat Sisaket – which miraculously survived the Siamese invasion -, or Wat Ho Phra Keo, the former temple of the revered Emerald Buddha.

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Roundtrip to Nam Ngum Lake

The usual spots for tourists to see in Laos are Vientiane for one night, then Luang Prabang and maybe Pakse. But there are many more places to visit. For example, Nam Ngum lake.
Leave Vientiane on Highway 13 east and follow then Highway 10. On the way, you can make some nice stops.
First is the Lao Zoo. It might be not as big as the ones in your home country, but it is actually worth a visit. They have crocodiles and deers, gibbons, bears, many different species of birds.

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