How Much is our finance series, meant to tell you how much you should—and shouldn't—spend on the road."
If you're looking for amazing scenery and a truly local experience, look no further than Laos. The cheapest country in SE Asia doesn't leave much to be desired when it comes to landscapes and views, but you'll have to be okay without a beach. We spent a little over three weeks in this slow-paced and languid country. At $25.59 a day, we could have spent a lot more—time, that is!
Note: our accommodation in Laos was sometimes "rustic," which meant no fan, but we always had private baths and opted for water-view bungalows when available. The guesthouses in Laos were by far the nicest for the money in SE Asia.
Here's just a taste of what you can experience for $25 a day in Laos:
- A self-guided motorbike tour through craggy mountains and rice paddies
- An Akha tribal wedding complete with beer chugging competitions
- The UNESCO city of Luang Prabang—if you're been craving French food and culture on the road, this is where you get your fix!
- A look at the mysterious Plain of Jars, only recently cleared of American UXOs left over from the Secret War
- The ability to really help locals by tutoring with Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang
- A bungalow over the Mekong, just a few kilometers upriver from endangered Irrawaddy dolphins
- Food so spicy it will blow your head off
- The hidden caves of Vieng Xai, where Laos' communist movement started
- Bus rides so long, windy, and dusty you'll absolutely need to have three bottles of BeerLao to celebrate your arrival at your destination
If you have any tips for backpacking Laos, leave a comment!
If you read our About Us page, you know that we're not your typical backpackers. Leaving our beautiful San Francisco loft and Lina's designer shoe collection behind didn't mean we'd revert to the way we traveled (or lived) when we were 17. So even if our trip looks cheap, know that you could spend a lot less. Most backpackers do!