A 25-day Motorbike Tour of Laos on a Honda FTR
Laos is one of the most beautiful and magical places in the world. This is a gallery featuring the highlights of each day during a 25-day adventure in Laos. The trip begins in Vientiane and then moves on up north to Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. A loop that began at Luang Prabang and passing Nong Khiaw, Vieng Thong, Vieng Xai, Sam Neua, Phonsavan and Muang Sui (or Nong Tang) before returning to Luang Prabang followed. After returning to Vientiane, the next two stops were down south in Hin Boun and Thakhaek.
The motorbike trip was filled with fantastic landscapes and spots worth visiting. There's nothing like sitting on the back of a motorbike and taking pictures without being hindered by walls or shut windows. All the pictures shown here are original and are mostly taken with a Nikon D5000 camera using kit lenses.
Day 1: Vientiane
Vientiane is the capital of Laos but it the atmosphere here is calmer than most Southeast Asian capitals. People here move at a leisurely speed. There maybe traffic during rush hour but people do not try to rush through it.
In the afternoon, there is a lot of activity by the Mekong river. Here, you'll find stalls selling food, drinks, clothes and trinkets.
- Nomadic Lenses: 25 Days of Laos (Part 1)
This is the beginning of a journal about a 25-Day motorbike trip around Laos.
Day 2: Vang Vieng
The Party in Vang Vieng
- Vang Vieng: Backpacker heaven or tourist hell? | CNN Travel
Booze, drugs, tubing and endless episodes of Friends is what awaits you in Vang Vieng.
- Vang Vieng, Laos: the world's most unlikely party town | World news | The Observer
Last year in the backpacker's paradise where there are no rules at least 27 travellers died, and many more were injured
Despite the beauty of this city's landscape, it is more well-known for a place of endless partying which includes a lot of alcohol, drugs, tubing and jumping. For this reason, there have been several reports of deaths and severe injuries in this lovely place.
For the tourists who are not after an unending party, the main attractions her are the Blue Lagoon and the caves in the area. Both are worth a visit.
In order to avoid the crazy party venue, you can opt to stay at Pha Thang Resort which is 17 kilometers from Vang Vieng. It's got charming bungalows and a lovely dining area by the river. This is where the photo was taken.
Day 3: Luang Prabang
Located at the confluence of the Nam Khan River and the Mekhong River, this charming World Heritage Site can keep you from leaving for your next destination. The days can easily be spent walking around the city, visiting temples and chilling in cafés. Nature lovers can visit surrounding areas and explore the Pak Ou Caves and Kuang Si falls.
Day 4: Around Luang Prabang
Day 5: Luang Prabang
This picture was taken while I was visiting Wat Pahouak at the foot of Mt. Phousi. Being slightly elevated gave me a good shot of this beautiful wat. It also helped that it was noon and the sun's light enhanced the structure.
Day 6: Nong Khiaw
This was taken while I was having lunch in a restaurant opposite our guest house. I thought that this picture captured the beauty of the Nam Ou River below. It was three in the afternoon when I took this picture. The rain was also about to pour. Both factors created the beautiful lights and shadows that gave this picture some character.
Although you wouldn't find Nong Khiew (or Nong Khiaw) on Google Maps, this place is worth visiting because of its peaceful and laid back atmosphere. It's a nice place to just chill after being in the city too long. And, even though it's a rural area, you still get to have some good grub.
Day 7: Nong Khiaw
With its dramatic karsts contrasting with the greens of the leaves and the reddish brown tinge of the road, taking a walk around Nong Khiaw with a camera in hand can be a real treat.
At the end of the street is a sign that points to a cave which was once used as a hiding place during the war.
Day 8: Vieng Thong
Although Vieng Thong was an unexpected stop over caused by the weather, taking pictures of the splendid sight made the delay a good thing. The picture was taken around five in the afternoon and I used the Silhouette Mode of my Nikon D5000 to bring out the steam that was rising from the gurgling stream.
Day 9: Vieng Xai
This is a beautiful sight opposite the guest house we stayed at. The setting sun, the dark karst formation in the background and the green and brown hues of the fields below made this picture pop out. For this shot, I used the Sunset Mode of my camera to bring out the shadows as well as the reddish orange tinge that the sunlight adds to the reddish earth and the blue sky.
Day 10: Vieng Xai
The Pathet Laos resided in the network of caves found around Vieng Xai during the Second Indochina War. These caves became their town as they hid from the thousand of bombs that were dropped during the war. The tour of the caves comes with an audio guide that identifies the function of each cave as well as accounts of the survivors who lived there.
In order to make the objects in the cave pop out, I turned off the flash when I took this picture.
Day 12: Phonsavan
We passed Tat Saloei on our way to Phonsavan. And, even from a distance, the waterfall looked like an interesting subject. So, we stopped an I got to take some pictures of it.
Day 13: Phonsavan
The Plain of Jars amidst dark clouds. It's indeed a lucky shot since all the elements seemed to cooperate that day. But, we didn't think the weather was that cooperative when we had to wait for the rain to stop before we could leave.
The origin of these jars remain to be a mystery. According to a myth, these jars were created in order to store wine for a victory celebration in honor of a king who liberated them. Several excavations, however, have unearthed artifacts that prove that this area is used as a burial ground.
Other attractions in this area would be the empty bombshells, guns and ammo that have been used to decorate houses, restaurants and cafes.
Day 13: Muang Sui (or Nong Tang)
Muang Sui or Nong Tang is a very small town half an hour away from Phonsavan. Since not a lot of people visit this location, we had the cave all to ourselves that day, making it easier to capture the atmosphere in it.
Day 14: Luang Prabang
This shot was hard to take. I was on a motorbike and had to take several shots as there was some vegetation on the side of the road that blocked the view. It was shot at the highest shutter speed since I was on a moving vehicle.
Day 15: Luang Prabang
Day 16: Luang Prabang
Day 17: Luang Prabang
Day 18: Stuck in Kasi
Day 19: Breakfast in Vang Vieng
Day 20: Hin Boun NPA
Day 21: Hin Boun NPA
Day 22: Moving on to Thakhaek
Day 23: Thakhaek
Not far from a Buddha Cave that we visited in the outskirts of Thakhaek was a lovely river that is enhanced by the butterflies that flutter around it.
Day 24: Back to Vientiane
Day 25: Xieng Khoane (Buddha Park)
In the Buddha Park in Vientiane, there's a big head that you can climb into. They say that the three floors in this head is the representation of heaven, earth and hell. Each floor has a compartment that showcases different sculptures.