Youth over Flowers Laos Edition Itinerary

 

Official poster

After watching the first two episodes on TV, I’ve decided to take up the challenging of following their footsteps for their 7 days 6 nights itinerary in Laos (Vientiane, Vang Vieng & Luang Prabang). Possibly, this could be my itinerary when the time is ripe =p

Exchange Rate in this guide: 10,000KIP = $1.60 SGD

Laos Airport: Wattay International Airport

Day 1 Accommodation – RD (Relax & Dream) Guesthouse (appox $5.60/person/night)

(Approximately 4km away from the airport)

Address: 37-01, Nokeo Koummane Road | PO Box 12094, Vientiane, Laos

Day 2 – 4 hours Bus tide from Vientiane to Vang Vieng ($6.40/person)

Buses from Vientiane to Vang Vieng:

The local bus leaves from Da Laat Sao (The morning market) bus station. They leave at 6am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 12.30 pm and 2pm. It takes about 4 to 5 hours for the journey and costs 40, 000 kip. There are also Songthaews that leave from the Songthaew station north of the city, which go every 20 minutes. When arriving in Vang Vieng the buses and Songthaews will stop by the side of the airfield so make sure you get off here, the bus then goes 3km north to the bus station.

There are also a few Mini Buses that leave from near to the bus station and leave when they are full. The journey should cost 60, 000 kip.

The Thavonsouk Bus Company and Malany Bus Company leaves from opposite the National Cultural Hall at 10am and 2pm. The journey for both these companies takes about 3 and a half hours. Tickets can be booked through many of the guesthouses or tour operators in Vientiane.
Tickets cost 60, 000 kip.

Info Credit: http://www.vangvieng.biz/getting_01.html

Day 2 & 3 Accommodation – Phoom Chai Guesthouse (Mini Bungalows)
Prices: $29 for 3 pax room per night ($9.70/person)

Link to book: https://www.hotelscombined.com/Hotel/Phoom_Chai_Guesthouse.htm?a_aid=172598&label=Laos Hotel

Interesting fact of this town – the restaurants here broadcast the american series of FRIENDS.. and that’s the one and only show they broadcast..

Day 3 Brunch – Chocolate Banana Pancake

What it actually is – prata with egg, banana, nutella/chocolate, condensed milk and milo powder. Sounds pretty rich but kind of awesome and tasty.

Banana pancakes in Vang Vieng, Laos

Photo Cr: http://www.oldworldwandering.com/2012/01/05/vang-vieng-land-of-the-banana-pancake-eaters/

Bicycle Rental (30,000Kip/day)

For their first day in Vang Vieng, they rented a bicycle. However, judging from the distance and rough terrain, it could be better renting a Motorbike instead.. They seemed to be struggling quite a bit in their 7km ride to Blue Lagoon..

Photo Cr: http://earthwormenvy.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/journey-to-the-source-of-the-mulberry-leaf-omelet/

Day 3 – Blue Lagoon and Caves (Entrance 10,000Kip)

Apart from cycling (a rather difficult and rocky terrain) and riding a motorbike for 7km, you can consider taking a tuk tuk, but it is likely to be overcharged =/ I’ve read that there’s a bridge toll of 6,000Kip too.

Photo Cr: http://seeyousoon.ca/laos-searching-for-the-blue-lagoon/

Was reading some reviews of this place online and apparently you should avoid this place during wet season as the water might be murky brown instead of blue green.
There’s a cave at this place but most reviews don’t recommend climbing up to it. During the trip, they did visit this cave but it wasn’t aired till the final recap episode.

Day 4 – Tubing and Kayaking down Nam Song River

Likely that they took a package tour which includes lunch. Possibly the one below

Wonderful Tours: http://wonderfultours.la/package/kayaking-caves-full-day-tour/

Or this: http://ispot.la/laos-tours-and-activities/tck-adventures-book-one-day-kayaking-caves-tubes-tour-vang-vieng-laos/

The tubing is now all organised through one single office located next to the internet cafe, near the non-toll bamboo bridge. That probably wont mean a lot to you so check out this very useful hobomap of Vang Vieng and look for the dude in a tube floating on the river.  The rental office just to the right of that little chap.

Tubing itself costs 120,000 KIP, but you will get a chunk of that back if you get your tube back to the office by a specific time …

a) Arrive back before 6pm and receive 60,000 KIP back

b) Arrive back after 6pm and receive 40,000 KIP back

c) Arrive back after 8pm and receive 0 KIP back

  • The tubing office states that you should allow 2 hours for your tubing experience, I would say double that.  Part of me cant help but think its purposely a little miss guiding so more people than not tend to lose a little of their deposit.
  • The water is both very shallow and very deep in parts. Its easy to understand why there were so many accidents.
  • For those of you that aren’t wonderful at swimming, or just not particularly confident in the water, life jackets are available.

Info Cr: http://www.backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk/laos/tubing-in-vang-vieng-whats-the-story-in-2013/

To read more about tubing: http://k0ks3nw4i.blogspot.sg/2014/0d4/veni-vidi-vang-vieng-tubing-down-nam.html

Day 4 Accommodation – River View Bungalows ($41/night; $13.70 each)

Check Prices from Hotels Combined: https://www.hotelscombined.com/Hotel/River_View_Bungalows.htm?a_aid=172598&label=Laos Hotel

Day 5 – They rented a go kart vehicle and went back to Blue Lagoon

Rental for the vehicle cost 150,000KIP

Day 5 Accommodation – Abby Boutique Guesthouse ($38/night; $12.70 each)

Check Prices from HotelsCombined

Trip advisor Review

Room with 3 single beds, air-conditioning and fridge

Day 6 – 6-9 hours bus ride to Luang Prabang ($24/each)

Cost approximately 100,000 to 150,000 KIP which can be booked via your guesthouse or at the bus terminal.

Day 6 Accommodation – Mekong Holiday Villa ($64/night; $21.30 each)

Address: Ban Pakham, Luang Prabang, Laos

Agoda: http://www.agoda.com/mekong-holiday-villa-by-xandria-hotel/hotel/luang-prabang-la.html

Booking.com: http://www.booking.com/hotel/la/mekong-holiday-villa.html

Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Hotel_Review-g295415-d2266867-Reviews-Mekong_Holiday_Villa_by_Xandria-Luang_Prabang_Luang_Prabang_Province.html

Hmong Night Market at Luang Prabang

What they ate: Melt in the mouth Coconut Bread and 10,000KIP for one plate stack-all-you-can “buffet”.

Day 7 (Last Day)

Morning Alms Ceremony – Tak Bat at 6AM

Tak Bat

Photo Cr: http://www.luangprabang-tourism-laos.org/luangprabang/Help_Us_Respect_the_alms_giving_ceremony.html

After reading the reviews from tripadvisor, it seems like this sacred ceremony has been ruined by excessive tourists. It is recommended to stand at some sidewalks instead of the main area. This ceremony is magical in its way as people will kneel down by the road and donate glutinous rice, bananas or rice crackers to the monks. After which, monks will then donate the excess food to the poorer people. This is a way to ensure that the poor are also taken care of.

Kuang Si Falls/ Bear Rescue Centre 

Tuk Tuk – approx 30,000 to 40,000 KIP for a 50 minutes journey.
Entrance Fee – 20,000KIP

© The Traveluster www.thetraveluster.com

Photo Cr: http://thetraveluster.com/2013/01/tat-kuang-si-a-wonderland-of-waterfalls-and-jade-pools/

This beautiful emerald waterfall is definitely a gem in Luang Prabang. It is approximately a 5 to 10 minutes walk from the entrance and you will be greeted with a majestic and multi-tiered waterfall. You are able to dive in and swim in some parts of the lake and it looks like it can be really crowded with tourists during the peak season.

Summing Everything up

Airfare:
$431 (approx 7 hours each trip with minimum 1 stopover at either Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi via Vietnamese Airlines)

Accommodation 6 nights:
$5.60 (dormitory) + $9.70 + $9.70 + $13.70 + $12.70 + $21.30 = $72.70 per person

Transport:
Vientiane to Vang Vieng – $6.40
Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang – $24

Attractions and Activities
Bicycle Rental – $9.60
Go Kart Rental – $24
Tubing & Kayaking – $34
Blue Lagoon Entrance – $3
Kuang Si Waterfalls – $3.20 + $6*2 (transport)

Food:
Approx $10 to $15/day

Total:
$300 SGD for 7 days lands itinerary + food (excludes transport to and from airport) + $431 (air ticket)

It seems like the air ticket is unbelievably expensive. I guess it was due tot he lack of direct flights. Oh wells, I have decided to put this trip on hold until there’s a direct flight from Singapore to Laos, or when I’m doing a backpacking trip around southeast Asia.

Hope you enjoyed the itinerary and the show!

Video with english subs credit: http://ggotbodachungchoon.wordpress.com

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  • Thank you for these information!
    I stumbled across your blog the first time when I watched 铁路次文化 hosted by Pornsak and Leeteng on channel 8 years ago. I was desperate to find out the places they went on the Korea episodes and came across your blog with the details which I needed!
    Years later, I watched Youths Over Flowers and fell in love with Laos. While doing research, I was lucky to once again stumble across your blog!
    Don’t stop what you’re doing, I appreciate your posts so much!

    • Thanks for your comment! Great to know that someone is reading the things that I am interested in 🙂 Yep I’m pretty much a filming location fanatic and there’s some feeling of accomplishment when I succeed in finding the info =) The next achievement is unlocked when I visit those places.

  • omg, thank you for such an informative post!!

    I will take note of this when I visit Laos!
    How about Grandpa over flowers themed post =D

    • Hi Hina, thanks for your feedback! Hope you get to visit Laos soon~ It’s on my list of places to go but not in the near future 🙁 I’ve not watched Grandpa over flowers but when I do, I’m sure to do a similar itinerary for it =)

    • Hi there! yep their itinerary is so awesome!! I’m kind of waiting and praying for a direct flight by a budget airlines. i don’t think it is worth it to pay so much to visit a SEA country.. haha. so i’m gonna put my trip on hold for now!

  • I really like your itinerary. I feel like going to Laos too after finish watch Youth Over Flowers. But just like you say. Air ticket is quite expensive and no direct flight ;( but I’m telling myself I must go to this place as a backpackers just like they way they do. Save money.

    • Glad that you like the itinerary in my blog. Visiting Laos is in my plans too but the air ticket prices is really expensive. Still waiting for a budget airline to fly there..

  • Hey, this is so cool and affordable!! I am thinking of doing a back pack trip to Laos with my sister. This is going to be a wonderful adventure. Thanks a lot!! Do you have anymore update news or are the prices still this way?

    • Hi there, thanks for leaving a comment! I am really unsure of the prices in Laos as I’ve yet to visit this country but I guess things should pretty much remain the same..