Si Phan Don

After an exhilarating but exhausting jungle adventure trip, a few restorative days were in order. Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) is an archipelago of idyllic islands situated in the Mekong river, and provided the perfect location for us to perfect our recipe for relaxation… Take one picturesque riverside bungalow and add an abundance of…

Sivilay’s Story: Sadhana Phi

This blog entry was inspired by Sivilay and offers a unique perspective on animism, which in Lao is known by the local term of 'Sadhana phi', which translates as 'spirit religion' and refers to the belief in spirits (phi). Sivilay works at a guesthouse in Pakse, which is 40 minutes away from his village on…

The Mighty Jungle!

“OH MY BUDDHA!” screamed Mr Sivilisation. I was in the South Laotian jungle flying along a 300m zip line over a waterfall. It was raining heavily and I was having a serious brake malfunction. Sivilay, or Mr Sivilisation as he was known, had the distinct sound of fear in his voice, “BRAKE, BRAKE!” he shouted,…

Kong Lor Cave

It was time for Katie and me to experience travelling solo! From Vang Vieng Katie planned to go east to Phonsavan to visit the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a British charity that works tirelessly to clear the unexploded ordnance (UXO) that failed to detonate during the ‘Secret War'. I planned to go further south, to…

Phonsavan: telling the secrets of the secret war

During the Vietnam war Laos was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Although officially declared neutral by the Geneva convention in 1954, Laos found itself the location of a secret war. The east of Laos was being used by communist North Vietnamese forces as a way of getting war munitions down to the…

Vang Vieng

In 1998 a local farmer, in the pretty riverside village of Vang Vieng, made what he thought would be a fun investment for his volunteer workers. He bought a job lot of truck inner tubes, inflated them, and let his workers float down the Nam Song river on them. It's sounds absolutely awesome hey?! What…

Luang Prabang

“Y-A-T-C-H” stated novice monk Sing Yang, confidently. “Are you sure?” I replied from across the table. We were at the Big Brother Mouse, a charity where western tourists can pop in and help locals out with their English. It's also popular with the local novice monks, like Sing Yang, to whom I had just shown…