Journey Three / Chapter 23

Through Laos and North Cambodia

February 2019

Travelling down Laos from Vang Vieng, through the sleepy capital Vientiane and down to little travelled south to Pakse. Crossing border with Cambodia and tavelling through its north to Siem Reap.

After we departed from Luang Prabang we stop for few days at Vang Vieng, city oddly popular mainly for Korean tourists riding around in buggies. Despite that the mountains around the city is surrounded by spectacular caves and lagoons to explore. And then we hop on a ride to the capital city Vientiane, likely the most laid-back capital city in all of Asia.

In addition to very laid back culture and slow living style and the usual plethora of beautiful Wats (temples), there are many unique sights to see in and around the city. For us one of the main spots was Buddha statue park bit further away from the city - a modern statue park offering majestic depictions of famous gods and stories from Buddhism and Hinduism. Also a major experience, albeit rather different one was a visit to COPE Vistior Centre, a museum by a hospital that helps survivors of american cluster bombing of eastern Laos in Vietnam War.

When we are done exploring the capital we embark on a trip towards one of the wonders of the world - the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. However we decide not to take the quickest route through Thailand, but rather we take few lazy days to travel all the way down south through Laos, cross the border to Cambodia directly, and then travel on sparse and remote roads in northern Cambodia. Sparse region with only few cities (overnight stop in Pakse) but great natural beauty and largely untouched by tourism so far.