4 Cool Backpacker Activities in Laos

Laos is considered as a laid back or a sleepy country but not in terms of travel and destination, for a backpacker traveler, Laos is the place to be, there is always a nearby café to relax and unwind besides having cheap and affordable accommodation options for you. There are many activities and places to visit during your entire vacation, from natural landmarks, religious centers, historic museums and galleries, rivers, lakes and waterfalls you will always get something that pleases you as a backpacker. Here are some coolest backpacker activities that you can carry out in Laos.

Xieng Khouang, Mineral Springs

Get to the hot springs at Muang Kham which is government owned and operated, you will to see a pool of hot natural bubbling water which you can get to by walking on a path thats parallel to Hot Spring Resort, however the pool reains strictly off limits to tourists and the genral public but you can still get good glimpses. You can grab a backpacker’s package if you want to stay at the resort. The mineral springs are surrounded by wooden bamboo rigs which have been built at a point where you can take a bath. You can also get to the smaller spring, Baw Noi where you can also take a bath as the water are cool due to the confluence of the stream and those of the hot springs.

Dong Natad Trek

Get to the protected Dong Natad and trek into the natural forest that’s close to Savannakhet town. The trek is located 15 km from the town center and 11 km past Mekong Bridge, you can also consider to get across to the salt mines. At Dong Natad Trek you will also enjoy to see red ants, gigantic spiders, some wild animals as well as birds. You can also get to the salt mines where you will get to learn about slat processing. You can further head to sacred lake that showcases the beauty of Ing Hang Stupa after long day of trekking. Dong Natad is a good place for backpackers and you can spend up to two days trekking.


Mountain Biking

If the rafting and trekking activities get you bored, you can try out mountain biking in Laos. The best place to experience this is on the countryside’s of Luang Prabang. You will get to old towns, rural villages, past rivers up to the stunning mountains. Adventurous riders can also try out some off road routes that cross four rivers and get past remote villages of the rural side of Luang Prabang, you will definitely love the experience.

Laos is a nice place to visit and has a lot of activities for backpackers, you will definitely love the vacation, you might also consider some other great backpacker favorite destination and try out some of the activities that are carried out in those regions.

Kayaking and Rafting

Get to Luang Prabang which will spoil you with its kayaking and rafting activities. You will also have some adventure trekking in these great places. You will also get to see local tribes and learn of their amazing river culture, while rafting, you will also love sightseeing the mountains and taking dramatic intermediate rapids. Yu can also consider trying out some paddling adventures on a two day kayaking trip which involves cliff jumping into the Nam Xeuang River. For those who prefer a gentle river ride, Luang Prabang cares for you too; you can enjoy full day kayaking activities on the slower Nam Khan River. (kayaking image by Abruzzo Rafting).

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Why Visit Vietnam?

Why Visit Vietnam?

boating backwaters in vietnam

Why Visit Vietnam?


There are so many countries I want to visit. Some of the top destinations on my list are Egypt, Thailand, Brazil and The Maldives. It wasn’t until I came across a travel review on Vietnam that I decided it was also a country I would have to visit at some point.

When I organize my holidays, I usually price flights to a number of destinations and choose the cheapest. At first I was surprised at how expensive it is to fly to Vietnam. After all, it is a long trip from the US to Vietnam. However, after looking long and hard I managed to find better airfares off-peak. I hadn’t planned to travel in March, but I am quite flexible with travel dates and am lucky I can do so. Plus, I figured it would be cheap when I got there.

I travelled with American Airlines from JFK airport in New York to Noibai Airport in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The flight was delayed for about 2 hours, but other than that there were no other issues. I have elite flight status with AA so at least I got to hang out in the airport lounge while I waited. After you arrive in Hanoi, you can take a bus from the airport to Hanoi city centre and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Before travelling I had heard that Vietnam is very scenic and cheap. I can confirm both of these rumors. Perhaps tourism isn’t as developed as in other Asian countries…but if you love an adventure, and our open minded and easy going, you are sure to love Vietnam. I spent three weeks in the country and tried to travel a bit. I enjoyed staying in Hanoi for a few days and paid under $20 per night for three star accommodation. Some of the tourist attractions I loved in this city were the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre, the History Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can a mummified version of Ho Chi Minh himself. I also had the chance to escape the city and see the natural beauty of Vietnam at the Tam Dao Hill Station. Visiting Vietnam was a once in a lifetime experience and every time I leave a county in Asia I want to return.

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The Story of the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh

The Story of the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh

The Story of the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh

The Story of the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh


In the south-central region of Cambodia, on the banks of the Tonlé Sap, Bassac and Mekong Rivers, lies Phnom Penh, the country’s permanent capital since 1866. Within the city sits the Cambodian Royal Palace whose complex contains, to the south, the stunning Silver Pagoda.

In a country with a troubled past, the Silver Pagoda remains as a monument to a different age and, despite much internal destruction at the hands of the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s, most of the temple remains for visitors to see. It is also a symbol of the country’s survival and continuing growth, and should be included in the itinerary of any visitor interested in investigating the links between past and present that are embodied in this gloriously significant structure.


The Royal Palace was built in the 19th Century as the abode of the King of Cambodia. It continues to be the residence of the restored monarchy and court, and remains a symbol of royal power throughout the country to this day. The Silver Pagoda, constructed in 1892, is just one of the formal buildings of the palace complex, and is the official temple of the reigning monarch, although it is not a monastic residence. Instead, it is now mainly used to house and display over 1600 of the country’s historical treasures, both cultural and religious – all survivors of the dark days of the rule of the Khmer Rouge.

Treasures of the past

The Silver Pagoda was originally constructed in wood and was rebuilt in the 1960s. The floor is made of 5329 silver tiles, which give the building its popular name (its official title is Wat Preah Keo, a reference to the Emerald Buddha which is housed within). It also contains other treasures and statues of Buddha in a variety of materials, such as the Maitreya Buddha – life-sized, made of solid gold and encrusted with almost ten thousand diamonds. These items are the relics of an earlier era, a brilliant and vibrant civilization that no longer exists, and which can now only be glimpsed in the spectacular collections of priceless treasures such as those housed in the Silver Pagoda.

Surrounding the Pagoda, the grounds of the palace complex are beautifully maintained and the cloisters are decorated with ancient frescoes. There is much to see for the curious traveler within the precincts of the Silver Pagoda, even though much of the Royal Palace itself is not accessible to the public, due to its continued use as a residence and official government building.

Travel information

Visitors can reach Phnom Penh by a variety of methods. Flights from international hubs in Thailand and Singapore, among others, arrive at the capital’s airport, which is serviced by taxis and a local bus service. Visitors can also enter the country by boat, sailing on the Mekong River over the border from Vietnam and, once in Phnom Penh, can continue by local transport or even rent a car.

Copyright © 2016 -2023 AroundSoutheastAsia.com

Cultural Things to See and Do in Bangkok

Cultural Things to See and Do in Bangkok

wat po, Bangkok

Cultural Things to See and Do in Bangkok


Visitors to Bangkok craving the authentic Thai experience can find themselves frustrated by the modern-day trappings of this thriving metropolis and leave yearning for more full immersion cultural activities. But little wellsprings of tradition still flourish in and around Bangkok where you can savor the exotic sights, smells, sounds and tastes of this fascinating culture.

Wat Pho

Escape the hustle bustle of modern Bangkok when you step into this space that’s been held sacred for centuries. Lovingly maintained and rebuilt when necessary, the 80,000 square meter complex is aligned to the cardinal points and houses thousands of artworks celebrating Buddhism, culminating with the impressive gold-plated reclining Buddha. The Northern section has always been dedicated to the healing arts is currently home to Thai massage classes with pavilions where students practice their skills on visitors. The southern compound also exudes serenity as home to a working Buddhist monastery complete with resident monks. The entry fee includes a bottle of water you’ll be grateful for in the oppressive heat and humidity — which is why it’s preferable to visit early in the day equipped with shade hats and hand fans.

Rose Garden in Nakhon Pathom

Treat your five senses to the delights of a meticulously landscaped flower garden just a 30 minute drive from Bangkok, making it a perfect daylong escape the frenzy of the city. Covering 75 acres, it’s idyllic for taking gentle strolls, relishing leisurely picnics, taking in traditional shows and shopping. And it’s not just roses in the garden, there are pavilions featuring elephant performances that are fun for all ages and there’s even an exquisite golf course. Guided tours complete with transportation are available, but if you’re traveling with small children it is recommended to hire a taxi cab for the trip.

Khon at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre

Although this classical ‘30s theater occasionally earned its keep as a movie house, it’s now restored to its original glory to offer authentic performances of classical Thai dance, music and theatre. Every Thursday and Friday night, the Hanuman Chakri Royal Courtiers perform traditional reenactments of courtly drama and divine providence. On weekends, the Khon Thai Masked Dance uses high-tech lighting and sound to enhance legendary storylines like Ramakien, the Thai version of the Ramayana epic poem. Open seven days a week, tickets can be purchased online or at the Grand Palace ticket office.

River Cruise on Rice Boat

Glide serenely down the Chao Phraya River through Bangkok on a lovingly restored antique rice barge that doesn’t skimp on the comforts. Romantic cruises include traditional Thai dinners complete with local entertainment and English-speaking guides that help you appreciate, and photograph, the City of Angels’ riverside icons like the impressive Temple of Dawn and the illustrious Royal Barges Boat House. Drift along under remarkable bridges outlined in tiny lights as night falls and the skyline of Bangkok defines itself against the darkness.

Tip! Must Try:

Thong Ta Resort And Spa – Suvarnabhumi Airport

Searching for hotels in Bangkok can be daunting was so many choices, so world-wise travelers look for full-service facilities like this one that offer well organized, convenient airport pickup and delivery service. Recover from jet lag in their hot tub, catch up on your laundry and indulge in the 24/7 room service. Relax in air-conditioned comfort at the bar and restaurant and use the free Wi-Fi or enjoy reading newspapers in their outdoor area on beautiful days. The friendly tour and travel desk can help you arrange car rentals or guided excursions into Bangkok or day trips to fascinating historical sites like Angkor Wat.



Copyright © 2016 -2023 AroundSoutheastAsia.com
The Top Cities And Towns To Visit In Thailand

The Top Cities And Towns To Visit In Thailand


The Top Cities And Towns To Visit In Thailand


Thailand is one of the most interesting and diverse countries in Asia, and with regions ranging from low lying river valleys to high mountainous areas, it is a great place to visit.  The majority of places to be found in Thailand are actually quite small, with only eleven cities with a population of over a hundred thousand people.  As a city, Bangkok dominates the rest of the country, but this is not to say that the rest of Thailand isn’t worth a visit, with many fascinating places to be found across the country.


As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is the only real city in the country to have a true metropolis style district of skyscrapers, yet the city still has a number of parks and green areas around the city.  One of the real experiences for people visiting the city is that it is one of the few places in the world which has a true water bus network, and a trip on one of these during rush hour is certainly an experience.  Bangkok is also particularly famous for its vibrant nightlife, with a series of nightclubs and venues to be found throughout the city, particularly in the popular tourist areas.

Bangkok is also well known for its exceptional Buddhist temples and the wonderfully ornate GrandPalace.  Although the palace is still in use for ceremonial purposes, it now boasts a museum and is largely open to visitors.


The city of Phuket is the largest city on the island that shares the same name, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.  The coastal city is within easy reach of many beautiful beaches and natural forests, and enjoys consistently warm weather throughout the year.  However, it is also known for its tropical monsoon climate that means the best period to visit the city is between December and April when the chances of being caught in the significant rainstorms are reduced.

The city did suffer from the effects of a Tsunami in 2004, but the hotels and tourism facilities in the city have all been restored.

Chiang Mai

The city of Chiang Mai is the most important city in the north of the country, and is set in a mountainous region that has some truly beautiful areas.  With over 300 Buddhist temples and religious buildings to be found throughout the city, there is a wealth of sightseeing to be done with Wat Chiang Man being a particularly popular site with visitors.

With so many high mountains surrounding the city, it is natural that many visitors to Chiang Mai do so to enjoy the surrounding countryside, with the DoiInthanonNational Park an important destination.  There are also many organized trekking groups that take visitors out into the wilds around the city and guiding them on visits to some of the hill tribes that still live largely untouched by modern civilization.

Buri Ram

Although Buri Ram is by itself quite a small town, it is the nearby PhanomRungHistoricalPark that makes it of great interest to visitors.  The exquisite temple at Phanom Rung was built during the period when the area was a part of the Khmer empire, and is located near an extinct volcano.  The large temple building has been significantly restored, and was a Hindu shrine dedicated to the god Shiva.

Udon Thani

Another city that owes its inclusion to its vicinity to an important historical site is Udon Thani.  The city itself does boast a number of interesting Buddhist temples, but it is the nearby archaeological site of Ban Chiang that gives it real significance.  The Bronze Age settlement was discovered in the 1960s, and some of the best discoveries of Bronze Age pottery were found at the site.  Many of these are on display at the BanChiangNationalMuseum, and include some particularly attractive pottery bearing distinctive swirl designs.

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