During our two-day Mekong slow boat cruise from Thailand to Laos, I found myself hypnotized by the waveless muddy waters and mountain jungles, and discovered that a slow boat rocks you to sleep just as good as any hammock. Here’s an entry on a journey into the green heart of Laos.
Getting to Laos is half the fun. The southeast Asian country was virtually closed off to tourism until the late 90s, and is just opening to the world. To cross into Laos, we traveled from Thailand by plane, bus, taxi, foot, and finally, a 2-day slow boat cruise on the Mekong to Luang Prabang, Laos. The border crossing at Huay Xai, Laos was the most laid back I’ve ever been to – read on to hear why!
Laos’s Bolaven Plateau is another world of waterfalls straight out of Jurassic Park, quiet village life, and the best coffee I’ve ever had. We drove into the plateau with a rented scooter that maxed out at about 30 km/hour, not really knowing where we were going or what we were going to see…and were rewarded with landscapes that reminded me of what the word “stunning” really means.
When I was in Laos last month, I drank A LOT of coffee. Well, I actually always drink a lot of coffee, so what I mean is that I drank a lot of really exceptional coffee. With the perfect geology and climate for coffee cultivation, Laos’s Bolaven Plateau produces some of the best beans in the world.
I got a recipe for the perfect pour over from a barista and coffee expert Jackie at Jhai Coffee House in Paksong, and I’m sharing it with you here…it’s changed my mornings forever!
During the Vietnam War, there was this entire Secret War going on in Laos that I learned about while I visited what is one of the world’s most beautiful – and unfortunately, most heavily bombed – countries. It got me thinking about what it means to travel as an American, especially at this political moment just weeks before Trump’s inauguration, to places like Laos, where they are still dealing with the legacy of destruction with millions of unexploded bombs littering the countryside.