textiles

Jordan: A Bedouin Camp In The Wadi Rum Desert

Ali thumbnail sml.jpg
 

As I'm sure you well know, we are avid fans of travelling on a budget.  With only £25 between us per day, we usually opt for the cheapest accommodation possible, eat with the locals, and pick and choose our activities carefully.  We started doing this out of necessity, we had saved up enough money for 10 months and needed to stick to the budget carefully or risk going home early!  But after a few months of doing this, we decided that it was our preferred way to travel.  You meet so many more people when you are trying to save money, whether that be through hitchhiking or eating in cafes with the local folk.

 

But when our friends Dom and Elly came to join us in Jordan on a 4 day holiday, it seemed like a great excuse to take a holiday ourselves away from the paired-back travel life we had grown so accustom to.  We booked a cool-looking Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert on Elly's suggestion, and crossed our fingers that it was going to be worth the splash out.  For 25JD (£26) per night, this is what a Bedouin camp in the Wadi Rum desert looks like......

 

Jordan 85 wadi rum.jpg

The journey in......

Our host picks us up from the visitor centre in an open-air truck and we bump along the sandy desert floor, marvelling at our first glimpse of Wadi Rum.  There are a few other 4X4's speeding around, trying to find the best spot for sundown.

 

Jordan 125 wadi rum.jpg

The camp

We arrive at our camp just before sundown, the shadows are long and the sands are a stunning shade of orange in the low lighting.  We had booked the cheapest double possible with a shared bathroom, but on arrival we were told that we had been upgraded for free into one of their luxury tents with a panoramic desert view.  It really was our lucky day!

 

Jordan 124 wadi rum.jpg

Geometric dreams

No curtains.... just this view for the next 14 hours.  We feel as though we've hit the jackpot.  I don't know about you but I've never stayed anywhere quite as epic as this.  The oversized window makes you feel as though there is nothing between you and nature, that the desert sand almost continues onto your bedroom floor.  

 

Jordan 97 wadi rum.jpg

A sunset to remember

Before feasting on a Bedouin dinner, we climb up onto the rocks nearby and silently watch the sun go down.  What's better than nature, the sunsetting, and our friends to share it all with.

 

Jordan 103 wadi rum.jpg

Morning meditation

The sun comes up and we are keen to make the most of our time in this incredible place.  We head out for a walk to the mountains ahead, and on our return spend the next 15 minutes meditating in front of this stunning view.  No one's around, it's just us and the landscape.

 

Jordan 126 wadi rum.jpg

Bedouin hang out

The central focus in the camp is the fire, and everything else works around it.  There is always 3 pots of tea brewing on the flame; lightly sweetened mint tea, sweetened mint tea, and crazily sweetened mint tea.  I opt for the least sweet option, thinking that it's going to be bearable, but it's so disgustingly sweet that my teeth are furry after only a few sips.... I think I'll pass and avoid any future decay!

 

Jordan 104 wadi rum.jpg

The happy traveller

Mark's enjoying the comfort of the open-air camp after 9 months worth of slumming it! Goodbye damp dingy rooms, and welcome tribal fun camp.

 

Jordan 94 wadi rum.jpg

Quiet time

On the other side of the camp behind a huge rock, is more seating for those looking for a quiet spot to read in.  In the afternoon this will be flooded with sunshine.

 

 
Jordan 122 wadi rum.jpg
 

ethnic textiles

The Bedouin people make up over a third of the population of Jordan, and are known as animal breeders and herders.  Some even adopt a nomadic way of life, moving at various times of the year for the benefit of their livestock.  It is common to see ethnic textiles like this in hotels and camps around Jordan, and these days it is mostly mass-produced.  Traditionally women would have hand-woven textiles in designs similar to this, and they would have been used to make shelter for their families.  Bedouin camps used to be called 'Beit Al-Sha’ar' which means 'house of hair', for the fact that it was all woven from goats hair.  

 

Jordan 127 wadi rum.jpg

Eggs and zataar

For those of you that don't know, zataar is a delicious spice mix popular in Jordan and the middle east.  The locals love to eat it on everything, and after visiting Jordan we shared the same love for it.  For our breakfast we got to eat it with eggs, flatbreads and cheese, lucky us!

 

Jordan 108 wadi rum.jpg

A quick tour

We book in for a quick tour of the surrounding area, and try to squeeze in as much as possible before getting back to Amman.  2 hours in the 4X4 sets us back 35JD (£35) between the 4 of us and we get taken to some sand dunes, a viewpoint, to see some ancient rock inscriptions and a carving of Lawrence Of Arabia.  It isn't the best tour we've ever been on, but it's pretty fun riding round the desert at high speeds.  

 

What we say....

A trip to the Wadi Rum desert definitely isn't the cheapest thing to do in Jordan, but actually we think it's worth the splash out for spending at least a night there.  The scenery is just unworldly, the camps are very relaxing, and it's one of those experiences that will stick in your mind for a long time afterwards.  This is where they filmed the 60s classic blockbuster 'Lawrence Of Arabia' and the less classic 'The Martian'.  We were half expecting Matt Damon to pop out from behind a rock and shout..... "Matt Damon".

 

costs involved and how to get there

If you are trying to visit on a budget then just bear in mind that there are a few hidden costs involved; dinner is around 10JD (£10) per person at the camp, but you can bring your own if you want to.  A taxi back to Aqaba costs around 35JD (£35) where you can catch a local bus to Amman.  There is no direct bus to Wadi Rum from either Amman or Aqaba, but you may be able to jump out on the main road if your bus is passing.  On leaving Wadi Rum, you could potentially get to the Desert Highway and try to hitchhike to Aqaba or Amman from there.  Tours cost around 35JD (£35) for a 2 hour ride in a 4X4 and that's to see 4 tourist sights.  Breakfast is free at the camp.  

We stayed at one called 'Wadi Rum Dream Camp' but there are many more around that you can find on booking.com.  We had a free upgrade to stay in their luxury double room tent with a bathroom, and it cost us only 25JD (£26) for the night.  We heard about a couple that booked somewhere to stay online and sadly the camp didn't exist, just make sure there are plenty of reviews and ratings before you book somewhere.

If money isn't an issue for you then we would recommend staying for a few nights unless you are one of those people that gets easily bored.  There are plenty of walks to do around there for free, 4X4 tours, camel riding and just generally chilling out at the camp.  We would love to go back and spend some more time in Wadi Rum.  There is something very special about being in the desert and at the mercy of mother nature.  All in all, it's a very invigorating experience.

If you have any questions then just hit us up in the comment box below!

 

Friends...

All of the articles on our website are free but if you can support us by viewing, sharing or even purchasing from our travel-inspired shop, you'd make our day! Every share, like or sale gets us closer to our dream.....you guys rock.

Pin It!

(so you can find it again)

 
Jordan - A Bedouin Camp In The Wadi Rum Desert, by Studio Mali
 

 

You might also like.....

China: Exquisite Textiles And Embroidery In Baisha

China220.jpg

BAISHA

Ali thumbnail sml.jpg
 

The sleepy town of Baisha rests at the bottom of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in western China, and is known for the ethnic minorities that live there, and the exquisite embroideries that they produce.  We were lucky to stumble onto Baisha, after cycling out of Lijiang without a fixed destination. We ended up staying there for a week to soak up the chilled out atmosphere and to explore the rich array of textiles.  We had finally found our 'beach' after 5 months of travelling.

As a clothing designer, I was in my haven.  There were tens of shops selling both new and antique textiles, and every day I would look at the embroideries in awe, chatting to the owners to learn about the pieces they had collected.  Many were made by the local ethnic minorities, which have great tribal names like Yi, Dong, Bai, Yao, Naxi, and Miao.  

The hundred of antique embroideries for sale in Basha, all priced at a few hundred dollars a piece

The hundred of antique embroideries for sale in Basha, all priced at a few hundred dollars a piece

 

Embroidery

The level of detail on the antiques is extraordinary, and many would make fine examples of Chinese ethnic embroidery in any museum or gallery.  I couldn't believe they were just there, hanging up for anyone to touch and see!

So I took as many pictures as I could, to share with you the wonderful embroideries that exist in this tiny town in rural China.  

Cotton appliqué technique embroidery, made by the Yi minority.  Cotton appliqué technique

Cotton appliqué technique embroidery, made by the Yi minority.  Cotton appliqué technique

Sequinned silk embroidered baby carrier, made by the Dong minority

Sequinned silk embroidered baby carrier, made by the Dong minority

Many of the pieces on display were baby carriers, and this is still how young children are carried around today on their mothers backs, wrapped in beautifully embroidered pieces of fabric.  The mothers don't tend to use the antique carriers because I would imagine they are too valuable, but there were many mass produced options with machined embroidery, which are more popular.

Double needle embroidery, made by the Dong minority

Double needle embroidery, made by the Dong minority

Embroidered decorative neck collar

Embroidered decorative neck collar

Horsetail embroidery - this is where horse hair is bound by threads to form a rope, and is then stitched onto the top of the fabric in a decorative arrangement

Horsetail embroidery - this is where horse hair is bound by threads to form a rope, and is then stitched onto the top of the fabric in a decorative arrangement

This is a new piece of embroidery stitched onto an oversized necklace.  The lady in the shop told me that her sister produced this by hand

This is a new piece of embroidery stitched onto an oversized necklace.  The lady in the shop told me that her sister produced this by hand

Some very 3D hand embroidery, using beads.  Probably one of my favourite pieces because it was just so heavy and chunky

Some very 3D hand embroidery, using beads.  Probably one of my favourite pieces because it was just so heavy and chunky

 

Tie Dye

This is a speciality of the Bai minority that still live and work in Baisha.  They make tie dyed pieces on cotton fabric, and sell them in this area of the Yunnan province.  Each piece takes hours to make due to the intricate tying of the fabric, and one of the ladies showed me a work in progress in the courtyard of her shop.

Tie dyed fabric for sale, hand produced by the Bai minority in Baisha

Tie dyed fabric for sale, hand produced by the Bai minority in Baisha

A local making some tie dye pieces in her shop.  These take quite some time to prepare and tie before the dying process

A local making some tie dye pieces in her shop.  These take quite some time to prepare and tie before the dying process

After dying, she has to untie the threads to reveal the un-dyed sections

After dying, she has to untie the threads to reveal the un-dyed sections

The final piece... the one on the right is dyed a second time to get the additional colour

The final piece... the one on the right is dyed a second time to get the additional colour

 

Embroidery Work Of The Masters

One of the most incredible things to witness was seeing the workshops where the finest level of hand-embroidery was still being produced to this day.  A handful of incredibly skilled women are still in training to become master-level embroiders, and work long hours every day to hone and develop their skills.  We were shown around the on-site gallery which displayed hundreds of their works, all exquisite in the level of skill and detail.  All of the pieces they produce were photo-realist in style, and traditional in content so imagine an image of an oriental woman in a garden, or a fish swimming in a bowl.  Despite the content not appealing to me, you can't help but appreciate the level of work involved.  Some pieces even take the master a year and a half to complete!

The embroiderers hard at work in one of the institutes and there is always one master who is the most skilled embroiderer.  At this particular institute, the master had been commissioned for a year an a half's worth of work, for a private customer

The embroiderers hard at work in one of the institutes and there is always one master who is the most skilled embroiderer.  At this particular institute, the master had been commissioned for a year an a half's worth of work, for a private customer

Work in progress - an exquisite hand-embroidered artwork being produced by one of the masters.  Something of this quality will take months to hand stitch

Work in progress - an exquisite hand-embroidered artwork being produced by one of the masters.  Something of this quality will take months to hand stitch

 

New Embroideries

If you couldn't have afforded the vintage pieces like me then not to worry!  There were hundreds of newly produced embroideries available that had been mass produced by machine, how very China.  Lots of them however look quite cheap and brash due to the colour combinations, but if you hunt around you can find some nicer ones that look a bit more vintage.  These are more around the £10-£40 mark, so get negotiating. I managed to get prices down to under half of the initial price on most sales, so start low and work your way up.

This is an example of typical mass produced embroidery in Baisha, Yunnan.  This one is quite a nice design and relatively good quality, but some look cheap and brash.  The colours of this one help it to look more vintage in style

This is an example of typical mass produced embroidery in Baisha, Yunnan.  This one is quite a nice design and relatively good quality, but some look cheap and brash.  The colours of this one help it to look more vintage in style

Newly produced hand cross-stitched coasters.  These are very quick to produce for the skilled locals. They were 75p each

Newly produced hand cross-stitched coasters.  These are very quick to produce for the skilled locals. They were 75p each

Hand-sewn brocade throws, made by the Yao minority.  Believe it or not, all stitches are sewn by hand on a cotton base cloth. I negotiated down to £37.50 per blanket

Hand-sewn brocade throws, made by the Yao minority.  Believe it or not, all stitches are sewn by hand on a cotton base cloth. I negotiated down to £37.50 per blanket

 

Clothing

Along with the embroidered baby carriers and antique pieces of fabric, you can find a few minority tribe garments including vintage floor length dress jackets from the Miao minority, pleated flared skirts with hand cross-stitched trims, and some cropped jackets in denim fabric with embroidery.  

Many older women of the minority tribes still dress in traditional clothing even today, and you only have to walk down the street to spot them in their unique attire.

Traditional Naxi women's clothing, with embroidered detail on the back.  Many of the older members of the Naxi tribe wear these jackets daily

Traditional Naxi women's clothing, with embroidered detail on the back.  Many of the older members of the Naxi tribe wear these jackets daily

Close up of a vintage Miao dress jacket that I purchased.  With beautiful hand embroidery and fastenings.  Some of these were selling for £400!

Close up of a vintage Miao dress jacket that I purchased.  With beautiful hand embroidery and fastenings.  Some of these were selling for £400!

Newly produced clothing from the Miao minority, the cross stitching is done by hand but is quick to produce.  It is typical to find this embroidery detail on the hem of a batik print garments like this one

Newly produced clothing from the Miao minority, the cross stitching is done by hand but is quick to produce.  It is typical to find this embroidery detail on the hem of a batik print garments like this one

 
Me wearing a new Maio batik jacket.  The pink trim on the neckline is embroidered

Me wearing a new Maio batik jacket.  The pink trim on the neckline is embroidered

 

The reason why I loved Baisha so much was mostly down to the pure creativity and skill of the people that lived there.  Seeing textiles of this level really inspired me to want to get making and using my hands.  An amazing quality of the Chinese is that they work so hard, regardless of everything else they get on with whatever they put their minds to and get the job done.  Whether that be selling, building a new home, or producing beautiful textiles like these ones, they are brilliant at working quickly and efficiently, and some are incredibly skilled.  

I feel so privileged to have spent so much time looking at these exquisite pieces of antique fabric, to me they really demonstrate Chinese minority embroidery and textiles at it's finest.

 

Friends...

All of the articles on our website are free but if you can support us by viewing, sharing or even purchasing from our travel-inspired shop, you'd make our day! Every share, like or sale gets us closer to our dream.....you guys rock.

Pin It!

(so you can find it again next time that is)

 
China - Exquisite Embroidery And Textiles In Baisha, by Studio Mali
 

 

You might also like....

Laos: Top Things To Do In Vientiane

Ali thumbnail sml.jpg
 

Laos capital city Vientiane is known for its chilled out pace and cafe culture, sitting itself next to the Mekong river.  The size of it makes it feel more like a town rather than a city, and can be explored in a couple of days by foot or bike.  

That Luang Tai Temple

That Luang Tai Temple

A Grey Start

After a wonderful month spent in China’s scenic Yunnan Province with only a handful of tourists in sight, arriving in Vientiane was a huge culture shock for us.  We were unfortunate to visit when the weather was dull, the sky was grey and the mood felt a bit flat.  The city feels unloved in places; litter scatters the banks of the Mekong River and even though it's not very busy there is a constant stream of cars.  What surprised us most was the sheer number of tourists!  For the first ten minutes we didn’t see a single local, only foreigners strolling the streets.  We couldn’t believe it!  We know that Laos has been on the tourist trail for quite some time, but it was honestly like visiting a holiday destination in Europe.  As a result, the streets are full of western-style restaurants, French bakeries and English signs everywhere.  We would have to search a bit harder to see the Laotian culture we were hoping for.  

Our first view of the 'scenic' Mekong River.  Surely things can only get better than this!

Our first view of the 'scenic' Mekong River.  Surely things can only get better than this!

Top Picks

Below is a list of things we did enjoy during our time in Vientiane.  If you are into temples then there are plenty to visit for free, and of course the plethora of cafes and restaurants to dine in.  If you have a bit of extra time and cash then there are lots of places to explore in the surrounding area such as caves, treks, river trips and more.  Here are our top picks:

 

Get A Bike

As far as capital cities go, Vientiane isn’t actually that big but if you want easy access to exploring what the city has to offer then cycling is the way to go.  With a bike you can visit all of the temples in one day: Wat Sisaket, Way Ho Phra Kaew and Wat Sokpaluang, and then onto the famous That Luang golden stupe.  You can cycle to some of the many markets: Talat Sao in the morning, followed by the Mekong riverside Night Market or the Ban Anou Night Food Market.  We would recommend stopping off in one or two of the many French-style cafes as you go, munching on a croissant or some freshly baked goods, and then continuing onto the Mekong River for a quick snap.  With a bike, it is also possible to cycle out of town to the Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre For Women where you can learn to weave and dye silks, or if you are feeling fit then head out 25km to the unique Buddha Park Xieng Khuan.  Bike rental is really cheap and hire for the day starts from 7000 kip (63p).

Bike rental

Bike rental

Visit The COPE Museum 

Unknown to us any many others, we discovered that Laos is the most bombed country in the entire world.  A shocking 270 million bombies were dropped on Laos during the Vietnam war between 1964 and 1973, and 30% of those bombs are still unexploded today.  That means that the people of Laos are still living under these horrific conditions of having unexploded bombs on their doorsteps. The bombs were dropped by the American army to stop the Vietcong's supply route through Laos. Although much international aid has been given to Laos it has not been enough to remove all the unexploded bombs. 

COPE is a charity which helps those who have suffered injury relating to a UXO/landmine, by providing those in need of prosthetics and rehabilitation.  They have set up a museum in Vientiane which explains what happened during the Vietnam war, how people have been affected, and what their role is of supporting victims in need.  We would strongly recommend a trip to this museum, it's pretty tough going but it's important to raise awareness of the terrible situation Laos has suffered and is still suffering.  Entry is free, but after seeing the horrors for yourself you will be hard pressed to leave without putting a few notes in the donations box.

 
Red marks the places affected by US bomb strikes on Laos during the Vietnam war

Red marks the places affected by US bomb strikes on Laos during the Vietnam war

 

Taste Lao Coffee

Walk down any street in Vientiane and you will see tiny stalls stacked high with cans of condensed milk.  Why you might ask?  Well this is the sign of local Laos coffee, served with this intensely thick and sweetened milk.  A cup of this stuff is almost like having a pudding, or a hot chocolate... rich and moorish. Laos coffee is of an incredibly high quality and is one of the countries main exports.  Local farmers can make a far more sustainable living selling coffee beans  than grains and vegetables which are of lower retail value.  Laos produces two main types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta, and the one that is featured in this punch packing cup is the latter.  So grab a coffee, take a seat and watch the tourists go past.  Expect to pay around 5000-7000 kip (45p-63p) for a cup.  This coffee is sold anywhere in Laos and not just Vientiane.

Laos coffee

Laos coffee

Haggle At The Talat Sao Morning Market

This cavernous mall goes back for miles and here you can find anything from a fridge freezer to a tailored Laotian pencil skirt.  This is a proper locals market, shabby round the edges and packed to the ceiling with goods for sale.  Here you can pick up clothes, antiques, jewellery, electricals, souvenirs, silk scarfs and much more.  Most things are reasonably priced although expect to haggle as much as you can.  A good starting point is dropping to a third of the original price and then going up from there. Don’t expect to pay more than two thirds of the original price.  The Laotian people are very friendly so remember to haggle with a smile on your face.  The market is open from 7am - 4pm daily and is based at Lane Xang Avenue at Khu Vieng Street.

Talat Sao Morning Market

Talat Sao Morning Market

Marvel At The That Luang Golden Stupe

The gleaming golden roof of Vientiane’s biggest stupe stands at 48 meters high and is Laos most important sacred monument.  It is also the countries national symbol, being featured on the official seal.  This is one very important Buddhist stupe you might say, so visiting is a must! Entry for a closer view is a mere 5000 kip (45p), and once inside you get to see the handiwork up close: hand carved stone dragons on the bannisters, ancient stone buddhas, and bucket loads of gold paint.  Buddhist tradition says to walk clockwise around the stupe three times, so you had better get walking!  Next to the stupe is also a number of other temples you can go inside for free, just remember to take your shoes off outside and dress appropriately (that means long skirts and cover exposed shoulders for women).  To get there you can cycle or jump in a tuk tuk.  Open Tuesday to Sunday, 08.00-12.00 and 13.00-16.00. 

That Luang Golden Stupe

That Luang Golden Stupe

Eat Your Body Weight In Croissants

Who doesn’t love a buttery warm croissant; crunchy on the outside with a deliciously soft centre.... mmm yum! Well you will be very happy to hear that Vientiane has a plethora of bakeries and French-style cafes, all stocked with fresh bread, cakes and more drinks than you could choose from.  Lao was part of the French colony until the 1940s which might explain why the quality of the baked goods is so high.  Croissants are a particular highlight and are as good as the ones you will find in any European store.  For those of you who have been on the road for a long time, this is a little taste of home.  So grab a drink, take a seat and munch on a croissant or two.  We would recommend eating at Le Banneton.  

Croissants in Le Banneton

Croissants in Le Banneton

Watch The Sunset Over The Mekong

By day the Mekong River is unassuming, a wide expanse of flowing water where locals fish, long boats pass and not very much happens.  It is a bit shabby round the edges, lined with crumbling paths and sadly there is a fair bit of rubbish kicking around the banks.  At around dusk the light begins to change, more colour comes into the hazy sky and the gleaming sun lowers over the glistening waters below.  A Mekong sunset is a special one, slow, magical and full of life.  The reeds gently sway in front of the reddening sun, the long boats silhouette against the moving waters.  Thankfully as it gets dark, you can’t see all the rubbish only the beautiful sunset that appears before you.  So grab a Lao beer, take a seat on the grubby steps and watch the sun dissolve into the landscape.

Sunset by the Mekong River

Sunset by the Mekong River

Visit The Bustling Evening Market

Every day at around 5pm, sellers prepare for a busy evening ahead of selling, selling and you guessed it, more selling.  Red roofed stalls pop up, lining the pathways of the Mekong River, and the locals stock their tables with all manor of goods.  The market is aimed at tourists, and there are definitely enough of them to fill the enormous strip.  Here you can pick yourself up anything from cheap chinese socks to hand woven Laotian textiles.  There are loads of trinkets and small items perfect for sending home as gifts.  Same rules apply with haggling, start at a third of the price and work up.  If you are in the market for a tasty snack then why not pick up a donner kebab bap for a bargain 10,000 kip (90p), it was actually really good!

The Evening Market by the Mekong River

The Evening Market by the Mekong River

Learn To Weave And Hand-Dye Silks

Cycle 7km northeast of Vientiane centre and you will find The Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre For Women where you can see locals busy at work creating traditional Laotian textiles.  The school teaches women of all ages and backgrounds how to weave, make designs for weaving, ikat (a resistance dying method) and dip dying techniques for silk.  So far they have trained up 650 women with the intention of giving them the skills to command a higher living wage.  They also run short classes for tourists where you can either learn to weave on one of their looms, or you can dye up a silk scarf using natural dyes such as marigold and onion peel.  We spent a happy 2 hours weaving, alternating lines of colour and Ali learnt how to weave a pattern by hand.  Once having a go for yourself, you will really appreciate the time and skill that goes into crafting textiles.  The centre also has a wonderful shop where they sell high quality hand-made goods that are produced on site.  The centre is open Monday to Saturday and is closed for an hour over lunch time.  Weaving for a couple of hours with lunch included cost us 130,000 kip (£11.50) each, which is really reasonable considering you learn a new skill and get to keep your textiles.

Learning to weave at the Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre For Women

Learning to weave at the Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre For Women

Highlight

For us the highlight of Vientiane was the weaving workshop.  Ali gets really excited going to new countries and looking at all of their textiles, and it’s such a big part of the Lao culture that it’s worth understanding how it’s made.  Many women still wear Sinh, a traditional wrapped pencil skirt made from patterned woven textiles, which is why weaving plays such a big role in their handicrafts.

 

Did We Dig It?

After spending almost 3 full days there, we sadly decided it wasn’t for us.  We were searching for something more authentic of the Lao way of life.  We wanted to learn about local culture, to see how people live their lives, what they cook and how they spend their days.  For us, sitting in a nice cafe full of tourists is fine for a short while, but it wasn't going to show us the real Lao.  You can clearly enjoy yourself here if you are happy to hang out in cafes, nice bars and restaurants, but if you want something more then we would say there are better places to visit.  Luang Prabang is a similar city set on the Mekong River and is a lot more scenic, although again don't expect it to be free of tourists.  Perhaps we would have to head to the countryside to get a glimpse of real-life Lao we were searching for.

 

What Do You Say?

3 days in Vientiane was enough for us, we would be really interested to hear your thoughts too. Did we miss something?  Was there anything you enjoyed doing there?  Next stop for us is Luang Namtha to do some jungle trekking in the Nam Ha National Park, and then onto Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi for the mountain scenery.  Fingers crossed we can find some beautiful landscapes and meet more locals!

line break up space.jpg

VIDEO

Why not watch our travel video from Vientiane?

line break up space.jpg

 

Pin It!

If you liked this article then why not Pin It! so you can find it again later?

 
Laos - Top Things To Do In Vientiane, by Studio Mali
 

Continue Reading: