Hue was my first Vietnamnese city during this trip. Even though I had already been here in 2011, I was looking forward to coming back. Last time, I’d only had half a day to explore everything. It had been too short to see the city properly and at the same time long enough to realise there was a lot out there that I was missing out on.

And indeed, as I realised during my most recent stay, Hue is a city in which you can easily keep yourself occupied for a couple of days. These are some of the highlights you should not miss:

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I first visited Vientiane in 2011. Back then, we only stayed for one night. “It’s a very sleepy city,” other travelers explained to me. “Nothing to do there, so you better move on quickly.”

When I came back this year, in 2017, I could not recognise Laos’ capital anymore. What had happened to those empty streets? Where did all the bars, restaurants and hotels come from? Was the Scandinavian bakery, that I had loved so much on my previous visit, still there?

While Vientiane isn’t Laos’ most attractive city, it has come a long way and is well worth a visit. And yes, the Scandinavian bakery is still there, ready to supply you with original Swedish pastries.

 

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It’s hard to choose favourites, but Luang Prabang might be my favourite city in Laos. With a city centre that is easily walkable, a temple at every corner, monks walking through the streets and a huge night market, what is not to love about Luang Prabang?

Prepare to spend at least a couple of days here so you have time to take in the city and its surroundings.

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Laos often surprises travellers. Less known than the other countries in Southeast Asia, it has more to offer than people would guess. From golden temples to caves and waterfalls, all lacking the hordes of tourists that you encounter elsewhete in the region, the country does not disappoint. Come quickly before the world discovers this hidden gem.

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When people think of China, they often think of the Great Wall, rice terraces and pandas. The Silk Road, stretching from Xian all the way to China’s western border, is mostly overlooked. Too inaccessible, too remote, and why would you travel there if there’s so much to see in the East? But think again. Remote means less tourists and a chance to get off the beaten track. Plus, trains make it easy to travel in between cities.

The Silk Road has a lot to offer, from desert towns to Tibetan monasteries and natural wonders. Not convinced yet? Read on and I will show you the highlights along the Chinese Silk Road, from the Kyrgyz border all the way to Xian.

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