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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

Where possible, rail travel is our preferred means of transport on our various Southeast Asia tours – especially for longer journeys. It’s certainly more environmentally friendly than hiring private buses, it avoids traffic, passengers can walk around – visit the buffet car, chat to other voyagers etc – views are often better than roadside ones and, these days, most Southeast…

The relatively small capital of relatively small Laos slips under the radar in comparison to larger and more high-profile Southeast Asian capitals such as Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and even Phnom Penh but, while it is very much a low-key and laid-back kind of city, (so much the better), there are certainly enough things to see and do in Vientiane…

Probably the most frequently asked question in respect to this part of Southeast Asia is ‘when’s the best time to visit Laos’. In our opinion, there’s no simple answer so read on for a brief overview of Laos weather and a few of the pros and cons of travel at different times of the year. The landlocked, mountainous Southeast Asian…

Visitors frequently get confused between Cambodian and Khmer, aren’t always sure whether they should be saying Burma or Myanmar and we’ve also even heard people referring to the inhabitants of Thailand as Thailandese. However, the small, land-locked and mountainous country of Lao or Laos probably comes out on top of the name confusion charts. The country’s official name is the…

Haven’t posted a recipe for a while but here’s an absolute cracker – laap tord or spicy Thai-style meatballs. Great as a snack/appetiser or as a part of a Thai meal and surprisingly easy to make. (We realise not all ingredients will be available so suitable alternatives have been suggested below.) Ingredients for our Laap tord recipe: 300g minced pork…

Current Sites Laos’s latest addition to UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List – inscribed in 2019 and to our minds, long overdue – is the Megalithic Jar Sites of Xiengkhuang, commonly known as the Plain of Jars. Usually associated with adjectives such as mysterious or enigmatic the site consists of over 2,000 giant jars, carved out of solid rock and scattered…

A new online, Lao E-Visa system is now in place and valid for entry at the following immigration points: Wattay International Airport Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport, Pakse International Airport and land crossings at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge Vientiane and the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II Savannakhet. (Note it is not available at the Friendship Bridge IV which connects Thailand’s Chiang…

March, being the dry season, might not be the ideal time of year for Lao waterfalls but come May and June when the rains start they’ll be filling out, flowing fast and back to their lushest best so here’s a small selection of waterfall photos taken at sites included on our Mekong Adventure, Lao tour itinerary, beginning with the famous…

A brief country-by-country rundown of Southeast Asia’s various UNESCO Sites beginning, for no particular reason, with the list of Laos World Heritage sites. Well, it is an easy one to start with since the small, land-locked and sparsely populated nation has the grand total of 2 sites. Having said that a scan through the UNESCO list, (which does seem somewhat…

Well, mostly a Laos recommended reading list since we can’t find many movies set in Laos, half-decent or otherwise, and haven’t come across too many good documentaries either. There are numerous books on Lao history, the majority of which fall into either the 19th-century French explorers’ accounts or the Vietnam/Indochina war period categories. Studies of early history in Southeast Asia…

One of the best times of year to visit! We can only guess that the absence of visitors during the rainy season in Southeast Asia is down to their own preconceptions of what a monsoon period in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos etc must be like? Constant torrential rain, unbearable heat and humidity, impassable roads and permanent ankle deep (or worse) water?…

Incredible really is the word for the amazing Konglor Cave system, situated amongst the dramatic karst scenery of Hin Boun district in central Lao’s Khammouane Province. Reminded of us of the spectacular scenery of northern Lao’s Vang Vieng but without all the tourists since mass tourism is fortunately yet to hit this remote part of the country. Whilst the above-ground…

Now you will usually see adjectives such as mysterious or enigmatic preceding the name the Plain of Jars, Laos, with the reason being – since a stone jar in itself is not so mysterious –  that archaeologists can’t agree on their date or even their actual purpose so….enigmatic! The stone jars – up to 2m tall and carved out of…

The old fashioned rickety Champassak ferry that carts passengers, motos and trucks across the Mekong between Champassak and Ban Muang don’t run much anymore. The recent completion of the spanking new road to Pakse along the west bank of the Mekong has drastically reduced the need for the car ferry. Time was when ferries would sit at the ‘dock’ (well…

Lying just a kilometre away from Wat Phu, the small Angkor period temple of Nang Sida, Laos, does tend to get overshadowed by it’s prestigious UNESCO World Heritage neighbour. After hiking up and down the steep steps at Wat Phu few visitors are going to be bothered to head off into the dusty surrounding scrub-land to visit a ‘lesser’ temple…

Not quite sure why the ‘powers that be’, (guess that’d be TAT – Tourism Authority of Thailand?), decided to call this region – the area where the 3 countries of Laos, Cambodia and Thailand meet – the Emerald Triangle but they have done. Yes, it very green, but then so is most of Southeast Asia! Anyway, it’s got a ring…

Longest, tallest, widest, biggest….superlatives can be deceptive and statistics vary enormously but the little-known Khone Phapaeng Falls in Champassak Province of Southern Laos is certainly right up there on the list! Just downstream of the picturesque Four Thousand Islands‘ region – along the Lao/Cambodian border – the entirety of the Mekong River goes over a 65-foot escarpment so it’s definitely…