Bang Kong Lo: Village life in Laos

Laos is wonderfully beautiful. From the impossibly beautiful landscapes ranging from riverside vistas, patch worked farmlands to striking limestone karsts. What I found more amazing (which continues to prevail throughout South East Asia) was the kindness and hospitality offered by the local people.

Life in Laos is centered on farming and rural villages. Even the capital of the country, Vientiane, is the only thing which would come close to being called a ‘city’ was most of the time 'quiet.' A few kilometers on either side of the city you’re again greeted with grazing cows and green rice paddies.

Entering Ban Kong Lo
In the south of Laos I’d been given tips about an underground cave which was described by other travelers as, ‘one of the most amazing caves’ they’d ever seen. Destination: Tham Kong Lo. Indeed the cave was spectacular with visitors making a popular day trip from Tha Kheak to visit. But what many visitors fail to discover is the charm, positivity and amazing people who live in the villages around the cave.

Deserted island paradises..

Bungalow for $5 per night meters from the beach. Hugs from the cutest Malaysian sea gypsies in the world; Dyla and Rosa. Djembe and guitar on the beach under the stars. Beachside wedding ceremonies. Barefoot and giggly village missions. Daily afternoon mini beach volley-ball tournaments with the Thai boys. Perhaps the coolest and eclectic collection of travelers in one spot..

Ko Jum, Thailand
Six kilometers of deserted white sand beaches. Sunset and whiskey in Hammock-topia. Supply missions to the other side of the island. 'Lost' style speculations and reenactments. Swimming in crystal clear 30 degree water. An overwhelming desire never to leave the island..

Ko Rong, Cambodia
Sweaty hiking missions to secluded beach bays. Private chartered boats and diving in the deep blue beyond. Couchsurfing in a hammock underneath the stars. Hanging at The Office, culinary delights at Ticks and fits of laughter playing Shithead at Rastabar. Giggling like little schoolgirls. Afternoon snorkeling with the sharks. Evenings dancing and salsa on the beach. Returning to do it all again..

Ao Lang Khai, Koh Tao, Thailand