TRAVEL TIPS - a few advice I find useful while travelling, they can also be used in everyday life :)


Try to travel as light as you can. If you are not sure if you will need something, leave it. As you travel, especially through Laos, you realize you don’t need a lot of things, but if you are sure you will need something, bring it with you, because Laos is not a place to search for a specific item ☺.

Here is my backpack content for one month of travels through mostly Laos and Cambodia, maybe it will seem a lot of things, but it all fitted into my 45 + 10 liters backpack and there was still a lot more space left for souvenirs:


8 underpants, 2 boxers (to sleep in), 4 socks, 1 shorts, 2 trousers ( comfortable thin trousers), 1 pareo (which can be used as a scarf, blanket, a dress or maybe even something else), a bra, 2 swimming suits (the top can be used as a spare bra), 8 T-shirts (1 for sleeping, 4 with sleeves and 3 without, depending what is the destination of the travel), 2 long sleeved shirts, warm sport pullover with a hood, 1 thin and warm jacket (try not to lose it ☺), comfortable shoes,  flip flops.

If I have troubles deciding which piece I want to pack, I weight them and then choose the one that is lighter - easy choice ☺!! I try to have enough clean clothes for about 10 days!


small shampoo, 50 mL of shower gel, 30 mL of detergent for washing clothes, 20 mL of Aloe Vera, small suncream, lipbalm, toothbrush, 50 mL of toothpaste, dental floss, 50 mL of mouthwash, wet wipes, good toilet paper (always carry one with you ☺), tissues, sanitary pads and tampons (or menstrual cup), ear sticks, cotton pads;


good knife, comb, inflatable travel cushion, sleep mask, ear plugs, spork, silk sleeping bag, travel towel, telephone with headphones and charger, portable charger, sunglasses, nail file, ginger (good for cold, nausea), small strong alcohol, Nasopure, good anti-repellent, small hand sanitiser, coconut oil + sodium bicarbonate (I use it as a deodorant), salt (I use it in Nasopure with sodium bicarbonate), drugs (antihistaminic, painkiller, something for sore throat), plasters, small sewing kit, pen, neck keychain, waterproof telephone case.

Everything on the list can be put in hand luggage, except knife and nail file - so if you are travelling with only hand luggage, like I was, you can buy this at your destination. My backpack weighed (without the things I wore, which were the heaviest) about 7 kg. I had also one small bag and money belt.

Trust me, if the list above was enough for me, it will be enough for you too, more adventurous can try packing like Handymanbananas ☺:!


It is good to have an approximate plan or idea where you will be travelling, but not too specific. Otherwise you will be too focused on following “the plan” rather than enjoying the moment, and you never know when one place charms you so much you want to stay there much longer than you anticipated.


Of course before you start your travel it is good to read some guides and travel experiences from others, but while travelling the most important thing is to listen to yourself and trust yourself.


Never assume that a travel will last as short as they tell you it will - it always lasts a few hours longer, especially in Laos, so keep that in mind, be flexible, don’t be nervous - the sooner you adjust to “Lao time”, the better - you will understand soon what “Lao time” means - it is different than time in Europe, everything is much slower and easier and much more relaxed. So unless you really have to hurry - just don’t, take it easy, enjoy the scenery, local people, smile and relax ☺.


You never know how long a trip will take, so be prepared - always bring something (some fruit, bananas are perfect, or rice crisps) with you and don’t be shy to give and receive food from locals, they have no problems sharing.


While travelling respect other culture and customs, which means appropriate clothes (everywhere, but especially around sacred object), be polite, calm and tolerant.

night bus from Vientiene to Pakse


Busses don’t go often, and when they come, they can get full quickly, so come a little early. Busses are usually vans, they can be quite good but some really bad, you never know what you will get and they can be overcrowded. This information is not to scare you, just to know what to expect ☺. Bus schedules are not really fixed - if there are enough people, a bus can (but not necessarily will) go unscheduled, but if there are not enough people, you can wait for it to get full or sometimes it doesn’t go, even it is scheduled ☺. Try to get a good seat, usually it is good to have a single seat, because sometimes on seats that are made for three people they can put 4 or even more. And usually the spare folded sits (that are put in the aisles) are a good choice, they can be comfortable and have more space for legs. We were  two girls travelling with very long legs, so sometimes we were quite tight ☺. I think it is better not to sit in the front or observe the driving, because otherwise you can freak out easily, because it doesn’t look like they drive really safe. Have some warm clothes and also something to eat close to you. Usually bus rides take longer then what they tell you. It depends on the driver, how quick or crazy he drives. Roads in Laos are not the best. Travelling North from the border to Luang Prabang can be challenging for your patience, but it is worth it - along the road you can see beautiful mountains, the nature is wonderful and you can see how people live  (a lot of villages are next to the road). I just wouldn’t recommend doing the ride from the border to Luang Prabang in one piece. Sure, if you look only at the distance, you think it is easy to do that, but sometimes it takes you 6 hours to travel 200 kilometres (from Luang Namtha to Pakmong we started at 8.30 at the guesthouse and arrived at 4 PM).


Chiang Mai  -  Chiang Rai: 144 BHT (3,5 hours)

Chiang Rai  -  Chiang Khong: 65 BHT (2 hours)

Thai / Laos border  - Huay Xai bus station: 20.000 Kip

Huay Xai bus station - Luang Namtha: 60.000 Kip (187 km, 4 hours) + 20.000 Kip to the city centre

Luang Namtha - Pakmong: 130.000 Kip (180 km, 7 hours)

Pakmong - Nong Khiew: 50.000 Kip (45 minutes)

Nong Khiew  -  Muang Ngoi: 25.000 Kip (1 hour by boat)

Nong Khiew  -  Luang Prabang: 40.000 Kip + 20.000 Kip to the city centre

Luang Prabang  -  Vang Vieng: 120.000 Kip (6 hours)

Vang Vieng  -  Vientiene: 50.000 Kip (4 hours)

Vientiene - Pakse: 170.000 Kip (night bus - 11 hours)

Pakse  -  Don Khone: 60.000 Kip (2,5 hours)