Laos By The Numbers

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Laos by the Numbers

1 month and 29 days into our journey and we stumble into our most exquisite destination so far.

Welcome to Laos Laos land where everything runs on Lao Lao Time! (Lao Lao is slang for whiskey) In this country, everything slows down to a crawl. Need to go around? Take a slow boat. Want to take a dip? Swing from a tree! Tired of cruising on a motorbike? Grab a tube and go down the river!

We spent 432 hours in Laos and that was not nearly enough. We sulked when we had to leave. But just like what we did for Vietnam, we tell you all the juicy details in the end. It's time to do some number-crunching again (which Chichi has been dreading due mainly to the budget part).

Ready to get down and dirty with numbers?

1. Number of days: 18

2. Number of cities visited: 7

Laos Map 1
1 - 30-hour bus ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang for Chichi
2 - Dien Bien Phu: Lois' bus ride from hell
3 - Muong Ngoi, a sleepy little town that could trap you!
4 - Luang Prabang, the city that made even Buddha smile
5  - Vang Vieng, choose your own adventure: With Buckets or Without Buckets
6 - Vientianne
7 - 3-day motorbike loop around Tha Kaek (Watch out for the series!)
8 - Pakse
9 - Magical island of Si Phan Don
3. Days both Sole Sisters were in the same city in Laos: 0

4. Number of attempts both Sole Sisters made to reunite in Laos after going their separate ways in Vietnam: 3*
*Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and finally Pakse. We finally met up, not in Laos, but in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

5. Types of different transportation used: 6 (Bus, train, bicycles, motorbike, tubes, tuk-tuk)

6. Number of times motorbikes broke down while doing the 3-day loop around Tha Kaek: 4 (all in a  span of 3 hours)

Tha Kaek

7. Cost to repair 'Black Mamba', Chichi's motorbike after the crash in Tha Kaek: 200,000LAK(25USD)

8. Cost of enjoying the thrilling ride and beautiful landscape around Tha Kaek: PRICELESS

9. Number of times the Sole Sisters have taken a spill from a bike: Lois: 2 Chichi: 1

10. Hours it took to get from Vietnam to Luang Prabang via bus: 30

11. Number of guesthouses with hammocks: 4 (out of 6)

Mouang Ngoi, Laos

12. Cheapest price paid for accommodations:  10,000 LAK (1.23 USD)/person/night (Nok Noy Guesthouse in Don Khon, Si Phan Don)

13. Most expensive price paid for accommodations: 35,000 LAK (4.50 USD)/person (Pakse)
Sole Sister Tip: Accommodation is expensive in Pakse and there's nothing much to see around the area. Although. all buses heading to Northern and Southern Laos would pass by Pakse, it would be better to skip it entirely and just take the next bus leaving for your next destination.
14. Swing attempts over Kuang Si waterfalls in Luang Prabang: 3

15. Number of failed attempts: 3

Kuang Si Waterfall Swing
NO, that's not Chichi.
16. Quirky foods tried: 2 (crickets and frogs)*
*Applies to Lois only. Chichi would never dare touch those vile creatures

17. Bottles of Lao Lao and Beer Lao consumed: ~~~
*Chichi will get back to you on this.

Laos Laos

18. Cups of strong, hot, steaming Laos coffee consumed: 36

Laos by the Numbers
19. Milkshakes consumed after 2 days of 'tubing' in Vang Vieng (while watching Family Guy): 2

20. Cost of cheapest buffet meal: 2 USD (Bouphant Restaurant in Moung Ngoi, Laos. They serve buffet breakfast and dinner. Sadly no lunch, but 2 meals from here will last you an entire day. Trust us.)

21. Irrawady dolphins spotted around Don Khon: 7

22. Number of waterfalls/lakes/rivers/lagoons visited around Laos: 7

Kong Lor Cave

23. Cost of getting pretty in Laos: 0 USD (We figured we would hold out until Cambodia where haircuts and pedicures only cost about $1)

24. Strangers, who weren't strangers after a few hours, met all over Laos: Countless


25. Number of people crammed inside the 24-seater minibus to Mouang Khoua: 45

Lois Laos
Chichi Laos
Uh-oh! Looks like someone still hasn't learned how to handle her budget properly. Will Chichi be able to survive the Backpacker Bootcamp Challenge in Cambodia?

We're sharing our experiences and hilarious misadventures in Cambodia in the next coming weeks.

Infatuated with Laos,
Sole Sister Lois and Chichi

Main photo credit: Cara Lee
If you found this post helpful, you might want to Support the Sole Sisters While We're on the Road. If you have any questions about the Sole Sisters and our adventures, post on our Facebook Page and we will compile a massive Q&A post every end of the month.

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  1. at least chichi's expenses are lesser compared in Vietnam =) welcome back guys!

  2. nice. nice. beautifully recaptured in numbers and the route is perfect.

    3. Days both Sole Sisters were in the same city in Laos: 0 >> wow! galing talaga at may mga spots na kanya kanya

  3. That's the silver lining Supertikoy! Salamat.

  4. We made sure that we didn't do any backtracking Dom since our escape fund will take a strong hit if we do that :( Kanya kanya talaga, we didn't see each other for almost a month. We only reunited in Cambodia...

  5. Great rundown of the numbers.  Got to love guesthouses with hammocks.

  6.  We always try to stay in those that have hammocks!

  7. those water is soooooooo amazing :) Do you bring hammocks with you? I mean, there are travelers bringing their hammocks anywhere lol. just wondering. 

  8. love the way you guys presented your budget!  Now an avid reader =)


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