I'm planning a last minute trip to Laos, and am wondering what is required/suggested/what others have done by way of vaccinations and medications. I plan to spend a lot of time in rural areas and participating in a lot of more "adventurous" activities. It seems like anti-malarials are standard. What about Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis?
recommended Don Det4000 Islands, in the Meekong, is not a place in Laos many people make it down to, but it is truly worth the trek. The island communities are remote and relatively un-touristic. It was great for some ... read moredowntime and some nature - beautiful waterfalls, amazing hikes, mellow, uncrowded beaches. The locals are friendly and happy to help with questions or sit down and share a meal.Mimosa Chloe
Don Det is just one of many islands people go to. We loved it there, but check out any of them.
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I've always used World Nomads on my trips. Never had to claim (touch wood!), but their reputation is quite good, and they offer cover for a whole raft of active/adventure-type activities that many other companies don't cover. http://worldnomads.com/
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Hi Joy. AIG might not have done a great job on Wall Street, but they saved my hide when I was rushed to the hospital from a flight through Munich once. They contacted my family, rearranged my plane ticket, and paid for absolutely everything, down to new socks for the plane ride home. I just got Allianz insurance for my next trip, but I can't vouch for them yet.
- Buddha ParkThanon Tha Deua, Vientiane Laos
recommended Luang Prabanga lot to see, possible trip to Phongsali ( jars)recommended Luang PrabangFrankly, Luang Prabang was a tourist trap for me, at first. But there are certain things that I really loved about this place. Even with all the tourists around, the beauty of temples and the ... read morereligious ceremonies are stunningly beautiful. Finding the right place with reasonable price was very challenging. Wake up early and visit local temples to see Alms giving ceremony. It's beautiful.
- Plain of Jars Laosrecommended Plain of Jarsrealy interesting if you are in history, still unexploded bombs thereMatthias Hagemann
the Centrum für Reisemedizin recoment for Laos:
Tewtanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A+B, Typus, Rabies, Jap. Enzephalitis and Cholera.
When i was there i did have all exept the Encephalitis and the Cholera, the vaccine for Cholera is told to be not very good maybe antibiotics are enought
recommended Muang NgoiOnly approachable by a small river boat from Nong Kiew until recently, Muang Noi is a small retreat in northern Laos. If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of city and technology, this is ... read morethe place for you. It is rugged, but promises to give you all the peace and quiet you want. There used to only be three hours of electricity here per day, but now it runs for 24 hours. If you pay a little extra, you can rent a place with a water heater. Since last year, they have also built a small road to get you here, but boat is still the most popular choice for travelers. Waterfront view bungalows are widely available. There are a few activities available in the mountain areas. You can also visit some of the native villages for a small entrance fee.Juno Kim
If you want to be at a quiet place with beautiful view.recommended Muang NgoiThe tiny riverside town of Muang Ngoi (also known as Muang Ngoi Neua, or Muang Ngoi 'north', to distinguish it from the district of the same name), might just be the sweetest place in the whole of ... read moreLao, and possibly mainland SE Asia. Situated on the banks of the muddy Nam Ou river, and only accessible by boat, it's a place with no cars, internet, or electricity, save that supplied by generators from 6-10 each night. Laid-back, pastoral, supremely cheap, and incredibly beautiful, it's a great place to go tubing or kayaking on the river (not just a booze-fest like Vang Viene), hiking in surrounding countryside, or exploring the karst-limestone caves dotted around the town. Likewise, it's an amazing place to kick back in a hammock and do nothing at all. In nearly 8 continuous months on the road thruout South and Southeast Asia, Muang Ngoi remains in my top 3 favorite places: not a place to be missed.Matthew Crompton
Ditto what Stephen says - Muang Ngoi is a highlight of SE Asia.recommended Muang NgoiMuang Ngoi is a one-block dirt lane of a river-side village with no electricity and no roads. Only accessible by riverboat. Amazing place to chill out for a few days. Very quiet. Good place to read in ... read morea hammock or take a walk to surrounding villages. It is surprisingly quite filled with foreign backpackers.Stephen Bugno
Muang Ngoi is a very quiet riverside village located a few hours from Luang Prabang.
recommended Nong KhiawNong Khiaw is a gateway town along the Ou River in Laos. But Nong Khiaw is worth your time, with decent accommodation and lots of restaurants with excellent local cuisine. In fact, I had some of my ... read morefavorite Laotian food in Nong Khiaw . It is also well-connected to a network of roads. The easiest way to reach Nong Khiaw is by bus from Udomxay (if you are coming from/ to Luang Namtha, you have to go through Udomxay) and Luang Prabang. The best thing to do in Nong Khiaw is to enjoy the view of the river. You can rent a bike to take a little tour around the waterfront, and visit the Riverside Resort for scenic views. You can also find a famous Laotian herbal steam bath in town.Juno Kim
If you enjoy nature and quiet atmosphere...
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Vaccinations to have:
Hepatitis A&B, tetanus and diphtheria, typhoid. Japanese encephalitis you can generally live without (it's super, super rare, and expensive, and the shot can have side-effects, but if someone else is paying for it, then maybe go ahead?).
As for antimalarials, I've taken doxycycline loads of times for malaria prophylaxis and (touch wood) have never gotten malaria. It should be available for pennies per dose at any developing world pharmacist, without a prescription. Dengue, of course, is nasty (though it probably won't kill you either), and there's no prophylaxis for it. Best to try and cover up when you're around mosquitoes. Good luck! =)
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two weeks just in Laos? Will you be in other SEA countries?
- The Gibbon ExperienceBokeo Nature Preserve, Laosrecommended The Gibbon ExperienceThe ziplining adventure in the cloud forest of NW Lao's Bokeo Nature Preserve is a delight. Guided by local people (don't expect much in the way of English) you'll hike thru the forest heights, ... read morewherein you can clip in and sail across stretches of virgin jungle held in by just a climbing harness. Sleeping at night in a tree house on the edge of nowhere, and served tasty Lao food, there are few experiences in the country more memorable. Highly recommended, even if you'll likely never see those elusive gibbons.Matthew Crompton
Likewise in northern Laos, if you've got two free days, this is unforgettable. Vientiane I've heard is good, if merely good. Good luck! =)
- Si Phan DonLaosrecommended Si Phan DonSi Phan Don is probably my favorite place in Laos. But I think I have a special affection for the people of the lower Mekong / Mekong Delta. I think they are especially genuine and friendly. There is ... read morethe crazy party scene on Don Det but also plenty of quiet places in Si Phan Don if that is your style. Rent a bike for $2 and send the afternoon peddling under palm trees and past rice paddies. Get a riverside hut for $5 a night and watch the Mekong flw by from you hammock. Now you are living.Stephen Bugno
Not sure if you will go to the south but Si Phan Don is lovely. There is two-weeks worth of places in the north for you and it takes a long time and effort to get to the south, anyway. (But if you are going by land to Cambodia, it makes sense to stop here.)
recommended VientianeThis is about the quietest southeast Asian capital there is. I spent a few days here and while it's not terribly exciting, on the other had it is quite relaxed. Many travelers skip it. I wouldn't ... read morenecessarily avoid Vientiane, but I don't know if I would recommend going out of your way to come here. But overall a pleasant city.Stephen Bugno
Vientiane is certainly not a must-see. While I actually like the city and can't really say anything bad about it, it is fine to skip if you only have two weeks in Laos. If you are heading from the north to the south, it makes sense to spend a day and night here.
- Tamarind Cooking CourseBan Mano Rd
- Wat Xieng ThongKhem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
- Elephant Village SanctuaryBan Xieng Lom Luang Prabang, Laos
- Pha That LuangThat Luang Road, Vientiane Laos
- Wat Tham Phu SiLuang Prabang