We love discovering unique, quirky places on our travels and Asia is full of them, often creative interpretations of Buddhism like the extravagant White Temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand and the playful Otagi Nenbutsuji in Kyoto, Japan. On a recent visa run from Chiang Mai to Lao’s capital city Vientiane we discovered another weird and wonderful place.
We are back in South East Asia, settled in Chiang Mai for the moment, but we can’t help our thoughts turning to Laos, just six hours away and one of our favourite Asian countries.
Laos isn’t undiscovered but it certainly receives far fewer visitors than its neighbour Thailand. The strange thing is that everyone who does visit sticks to the exact same route – Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. While those places have their attractions, for us the highlights of Laos were found in less visited places further north, in quiet riverside villages overlooked by craggy green mountains. While there are some exciting activities we mostly enjoyed soaking up the very chilled atmosphere and beautiful views. We found Laos wonderfully relaxed, friendly and easy to travel around, without the hassle you find in more touristy countries.