We had a wonderful week in Laos with our 13 month old twins! We traveled from Ho Chi Minh to Luang Prabang (via Bangkok). We were originally supposed to travel to Laos the following week, but with all of the flooding in Central Vietnam, we switched it last minute (like the day before).
The flights with the babies were very easy, as each leg was only around 1 hour. However, we had a 2 hour layover so the entire travel felt a bit long, but manageable. Upon landing in Luang Prabang, we could see the gorgeous mountains and greenery. We booked our guest house literally as we landed at the airport (we saw some great reviews on Travelfish), and chose to stay at Villa Saynam, a stone throw away from the main street with the night market. At the airport, we got our visas on arrival ($30/person) and packed into a van taxi.
Our guest house was nice – clean, basic, with a wonderful staff. We chose a room on the second floor, as we heard they were nicer. The only problem was that they didn’t have any baby cribs; we brought one Baby Bjourn travel crib but figured wherever we stayed would have at least one… we were wrong! We got creative and ended up putting a mattress on the floor, next to the bed and moving the bed over so that the floor mattress was protected on three sides. Then, we put the second crib in front of the mattress so essentially we made a crib (or a baby jail).
The staff at our guest house was amazing with our kids — in fact, everyone was amazing with our kids! Each morning they had omelets and fruit waiting for the girls and would take them out of our arms and play with them while we ate.
Some highlights included:
FULL DAY HIKE / KUANG SI WATERFALLS
Yes, we took the twins on a FULL DAY hike! We wore them in their carriers and they actually got a 2 hour nap on us. We had to drive one hour in the back of a tuk tuk on a very bumpy road. The girls enjoyed the ride so much that they fell fast asleep. In addition to trekking to the waterfall (which at times I was in tears because I was so scared that I was going to fall), we loved having lunch at a remote butterfly garden.
We got to jump into the falls – not with the kids of course.
WALKING THROUGH THE NIGHT MARKET
EATING EATING EATING… AND MORE EATING
Favorite restaurants included: Secret Pizza (10 minutes outside town, only open Tuesday and Friday – AMAZING), Dyen Sabai Restaurant (across from Bamboo bridge – amazing Lao food, our favorite!), Coconut Garden, and Blue Lagoon (fine dining – everyone’s favorite).
BIKING AROUND TOWN & OUTSKIRTS
The thing to do in Luang Prabang is to rent bicycles and explore. We got two bikes with baby seats and put the kiddos in the seats. The only set back was that there were no helmets (and this made me very nervous). After a few hours, we decided to put on our carriers and wore them in front of us. It felt safer and the girls liked it more because they had a front row seat! Seeing the town via bicycle is super fun and a great way to see everything.
We spent half a day at the beautiful Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens. To get there, we took a 15 minute boat ride from town, across the river. The kids loved it! We had the stroller (not recommended) and we had to carry it down about 200 steps to the river, then 200 steps up to the gardens. The gardens themselves were very interested and we really enjoyed walking around. Our highlight was probably sitting at the cafe and experiencing a tea tasting, as well as their delicious food. The kids liked their smoothies. Admission is $25/person.
CROSSING THE BAMBOO BRIDGE
we did this on our own by paying someone on a boat to take us across, then we walked around.
MONKS & TEMPLES
So. Many. Temples (well, not as many as in Bagan, Myanmar).
We loved travelling to Luang Prabang with our kids! We can’t wait to go back. Now, back to Vietnam…