Backpacking in Laos Part 3 of 3: Luang Prabang

Also read:

10 Days in Malaysia & Laos – Budget & Itinerary

A Weekend in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Backpacking in Laos Part 1 of 3: Vientiane

Backpacking in Laos Part 2 of 3: Vang Vieng

Day 4 (PM): Travel to Luang Prabang

Same with our travel arrangements to Vang Vieng, a van was supposed to pick us up at the guesthouse at 3PM. But we got bored so we decided to walk to the Wonderful Tours Laos office where we we booked our tickets. The van was spacious because there were empty seats. However, our companions throughout the whole trip so it was impossible to fall asleep. The road the Luang Prabang was full of curves and turns which our driver expertly navigated.

I really enjoyed sightseeing along the way because of the mountain views. We made 2 stops within our 5-hour trip. Our driver stopped at a gas station a few minutes outside Vang Vieng to gas up and to let us buy snacks for the trip. The second stop was for the wonderful view deck when we were halfway to Luang Prabang. It felt like we were so high up in the mountains and we could see the silhouettes of the mountains of Laos all around. The area was so cold so we didn’t stay too long.

Halfway point between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang

We arrived at a transport terminal in Luang Prabang around 8 PM. Our guesthouse was a few minutes drive away so we hired a tuktuk to take us there. After some haggling, the driver agreed to drop us off at our guesthouse for a reasonable rate. But even though we showed the address and the name of the guesthouse, we still a hard time searching for it. The driver dropped us off at the Night Market because he thought our guesthouse was located along the same street and vehicles can’t enter the Night Market. It was our first glimpse of the night market and we were a bit distracted by everything that was on sale instead of focusing wholly on finding where we would sleep that night. LOL.

Night Market

Our Accommodation: Jasmine Ville GuesthouseFinding Jasmine Ville Guesthouse was a challenge for us. I incorrectly assumed that tuktuk drivers were familiar with all of the accommodations in Luang Prabang, but this was clearly not the case. We only had the street name for the guesthouse and we didn’t print out the map. We entered the Night Market as our tuktuk driver instructed but we didn’t find Jasmine Ville Guesthouse. We asked for directions from the locals but they kept pointing us in different directions. Jayvee volunteered to search for it on her own and we waited for almost an hour before she came back for us. We were looking in the wrong area, and there were two Jasmine Guesthouses in Luang Prabang which made it more confusing. LOL.

Jasmine Ville Guesthouse

Once we figured out where it was, we were happy with the location. It was walking distance to the sites we wanted to go in Luang Prabang and it was located from the main street which meant that it was quiet at night 🙂

We were assigned 2 rooms during our stay. Jayvee left a day earlier so we got transferred to a room for 3 during our last night.

Room for 4

Room for 3

I loved Jasmine Ville Guesthouse for the same reasons as our stay in Maylay Guesthouse. Our rooms and bathroom were spacious and clean. The WiFi worked great. And the breakfast was hearty. Aside from the array of breakfast meals we can choose from, we were also each given a smoothie and a plate of fruits for our group. Continue reading

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Backpacking in Laos Part 2 of 3: Vang Vieng

Also read:

10 Days in Malaysia & Laos – Budget & Itinerary

A Weekend in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Backpacking in Laos Part 1 of 3: Vientiane

Backpacking in Laos Part of 3 of 3: Luang Prabang

Day 2 (PM): Travel to Vang Vieng

A van picked us up at Green Box Hotel just before 2 PM. We were supposed to transfer to a bus, but for some reason the van became our transport going to Vang Vieng. The travel time was around 4-5 hours without any traffic. I tried to rest on the way as much as possible because the scenery didn’t interest me much. It was so similar to what I see in the Philippines whenever I travel to the province. There was only one stopover where the driver gave us enough time for a bathroom break and a quick meal if we wanted.

We arrived at the town of Vang Vieng at around 7 PM. The van stopped somewhere in the town center and we just asked for directions going to our guesthouse which we could reach by walking in 5 minutes.

We passed by The Walking Street which is intended to be the tourist hub of Vang Vieng at night. But it hasn’t reached its full potential yet in my opinion. There were only a few shops and stalls along the whole street – far from the hustle and bustle of well established night markets like the one in Cameron Highlands.

Vang Vieng’s The Walking Street looked a bit deserted. It needs more shops and people!

Along the way, we saw the office of Wonderful Tours Laos from whom we availed our next day’s tour. We made a quick stop to confirm our reservation which I made via email, and to pay for our tour. Our guesthouse was only a block away from the tour office.

Our Accommodation: Maylay Guesthouse

We were most satisfied with our stay in Maylay Guesthouse ❤ I found them via Agoda and the great reviews along with the affordable price convinced me to book 2 nights with them.

Maylay Guesthouse

Here are the reasons why we loved Maylay Guesthouse:

Location. It was located right in the center of the town which meant that everything was within walking distance. We didn’t have to ride a tuktuk during our stay just to find some place to eat, shop or (in Jayvee’s case) to get a massage.

Our rooms. For around Php 1,200 or USD 24 per room, we didn’t expect much. But our rooms were spacious and clean, the beds were so comfy and the bathroom was huge. I also appreciated that there was a space where we could hang our towels and wet clothes for when we go swimming.

Maylay Guesthouse’s twin bedroom. We booked 2 rooms for our group and they had similar layouts.

Continue reading

10 Days in Malaysia & Laos – Budget & Itinerary

Also read:

10 Days in Malaysia & Laos – Budget & Itinerary

A Weekend in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Backpacking in Laos Part 1 of 3: Vientiane

Backpacking in Laos Part 2 of 3: Vang Vieng

Backpacking in Laos Part of 3 of 3: Luang Prabang

I was able to book affordable roundtrip tickets to Laos through one of AirAsia‘s seat sales. Laos has long been on my travel bucketlist primarily because of Kuang Si Falls. I was finally able to realize that dream. The only problem was that the flight to Laos would be from Malaysia as there are no flights to Laos from the Philippines. And so we booked roundtrip tickets to Kuala Lumpur from Manila and decided to spend a couple of days in Malaysia before flying to Laos. Since I and my companions have already explored Kuala Lumpur, we chose Cameron Highlands as our destination this time.

We spent 3 days in Malaysia and 7 days in Laos. I was able to record all of my expenses throughout the 10 days and thought to share it here. There are 3 different currencies you will see on the table below: expenses in Laotian kip (lak) while in Laos, expenses in Malaysian ringgit (Myr) while in Malaysia and expenses in Philippine peso (Php) for all the reservations and pre-bookings we did before the trip. I converted the overall total in USD at the bottom of the image.

The itinerary includes ALL expenses: accommodation, flights, food, shopping, snacks, laundry, etc. I hope this helps you out when planning for a similar trip 🙂

I’ll be writing about our trip in more detail in the upcoming weeks!

Please click on the picture to view the details more clearly 🙂