Southeast Asia 2023 – Laos: Around Vang Vieng

My original plan was to travel further north in Laos to visit more hill tribe villages, but an injury on my trek in Luang Prabang forced me to go in another direction. To rest and recover, I became a “normal” tourist, which was disappointing at first, but the spectacular places and activities I experienced in the following weeks will never be forgotten!

My next destination was the sleepy town of Vang Vieng in Laos, famous amongst Western tourists for its lazy tubing and kayaking on the Nam Song River, no fewer than six (6!) nearby “Blue Lagoons,” and its inspiring karst topography. I rented a motorbike to explore many of the roads and paths in nearby valleys and took a hot air balloon ride for sunrise. This may well be a popular tourist destination, but you couldn’t tell for the quiet and calm as you will see and hear in the video clips below.

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Southeast Asia 2023 – Thailand: Chiang Dao

After a few days back in Chiang Mai to clean up and dry out following my trek in the Mae Wang Area, I took a local bus north to the small town of Chiang Dao. I had heard that its namesake mountain, Doi Luang Chiang Dao, in the Pha Daeng National Park, offered some notable self-guided trails, and I was excited to get out on my own. It became the first of many instances on this trip that my plans didn’t pan out, resulting in some improvisation that yielded unforeseen rewards. I was reminded of my mantra in Namibia: “Expect the unexpected!”

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