Pha That Luang, Vientiane, Laos

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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Rice field, Laos

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.…