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IndoChina Adventure 2009 - Week 04 Chapter : 14 Oct ~ 20 Oct


Flag of Lao

Laos (Lao)

Flag of Cambodia




We all welcomed Laos on our journey as a place of peace and serenity. With a population one-tenth of Vietnam’s, this week brings a special calm to our riding experience. Buddhism is everywhere in Laos, and in Luang Prabang, we even get to take part of the dawn march of the monks. Every morning at 6AM, they collect offerings of food from tourists and locals alike, mostly sticky rice.

We visit Whisky Village and the incredible Buddha Cave on the shores of the mighty Mekong River. Our hotel is right on the shores of the river and every breakfast is enjoyed in the open-air restaurant overlooking the Mekong.

Our journey takes us south from Luang Prabang, passing over some of the tour’s best vistas. The weather is perfect, which makes for some beautiful pictures of the green hills and distant mountains. Small primitive villages, filled with kids and pigs and chickens along the road, remind us that we are very far away from home.

As we reach the capital city of Laos, Vientiane, we are on flat land, and so it will be to the end of our journey. The twisty mountains roads that we have enjoyed for the last weeks have been replaced with beautiful open roads surrounded by rice fields. We will be following the Mekong River on our way south towards Cambodia. Just across the river is Thailand and on the left, endless fields of beautiful green rice fields.

Enjoy the stories and pictures from this week, and travel safe wherever you are.

Helge Pedersen, Founder


Day 22 - Luang Prabang, Laos - Frank Baughman

This trip continues to delight, challenge and inspire . . . .

The Lao people are some of the friendliest, most humble, and therefore, truly delightful people with whom to spend time.

The geography of the country include many mighty rivers in addition, of course, to the world famous MeKong. Their great mountains of the North are truly that . . . Great! They are the Alps of Southeast Asia, only covered with jungle.

Moving into the lower lands toward the South, the ready-for-harvest rice fields portray a varied quilt work of shades of yellow and green. Outstandingly pastoral as well as beautiful.

Only one more day for Laos, then into Cambodia.


Day 22 - Luang Prabang, Laos - Helge Pedersen

More than on any of our tours, our GlobeRiders travels in Southeast Asia are the most exotic journeys on our menu, literally!

Among the many splendid meals consumed on this journey, one evening will always be in my memory and I believe that the rest of the group will agree with my assessment.

The whole experience from the time we entered the Blue Lagoon Restaurant in Luang Prabang, Laos, in had a special mood to it - we felt welcomed and special. Service was first-class and the dishes were outstanding, from the starter to main courses and deserts (three!). For each course, new dishes were served by seven waiters who came marching in from the kitchen, carefully placing individual servings in front of each of us.

I could not resist taking some pictures of the many dishes served that evening, and here are some samples, enjoy the meal.

Helge P.

Day 28 - Pakse, Laos - Pete Pawluk

Fond Memories of Laos

A perfect introduction to Laos was a big mud hole at the northern border from Vietnam.

For the next nine days I was smitten by the absolute charm of this truly unique place and the wonderful people who live here. It’s possible that, to many visitors, Laos could be considered a place of disadvantage: landlocked with an average yearly salary of USD$455.00; a 100-year history of war with the dubious claim to being the most bombed country on Earth; a literacy rate of only 75 %; a corrupt communist dictatorship political system; a Human Development Index rank of 133 out of 179 countries; the list could go on.

Yet what I learned and experienced in Laos just makes me want to return again someday . . .

  • A wild remote mountainous north country, a place of spectacular natural beauty. Vertical limestone karsts, cloud draped thick jungle.

  • Challenging dual sport roads that were not so busy that you couldn’t enjoy them. Throw in some narrow bamboo bridges and a personalized ferry. No horns honking. There’s no question Laos gave me the best rides of the trip.

  • Simple but colourful hill people, seemingly untouched by the outside world, unaware of all its dysfunctions.

  • Fabulous coffee, maybe some of the world’s finest, brewed to rich, thick perfection, enhanced with sweet condensed milk.

  • Hundreds of cleanly uniformed children holding umbrellas as they ride their bicycles to school in the morning.

  • Inexpensive and thirst-quenching Beerlao in the big bottles.

  • The serene and exotic town of Luang Prabang, a world heritage site. The morning procession of Buddhist monks and the night market. The temples. The vibe.

  • The mighty Mekong River, stretching 1,800 km through the country, nourishing the people and providing a major transportation artery.

  • Fabulous food that spans two great culinary cultures: Vietnamese and Thai.

  • The most polite, laid back people of Indochina, living in a low population density paradise, following peaceful Buddhist doctrines.

Laos just felt good.

Yeah, I could come back here again . . . .


Helge Pedersen - Images from Laos & Cambodia

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