Matt Kepnes, author of Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site, writes about the hidden travel treasures that can be found off the well-worn backpacking trails of Southeast Asia.
Bang Fai, otherwise known as the Rocket Festival, is celebrated every year in northeast Thailand and Laos. Ask anyone who knows anything about the Rocket Festival and they’ll probably tell you that Bang Fai are launched every year in April to bring rain.
This centuries old tradition is said to have its origins in an ancient story known as The Myth of the Toad King. However, what’s strange about this myth is that it seems to imply the opposite of what Bang Fai is all about. It says that rain brings the rockets. As presented by Yasothon and Nong Khai:
The Laos Rocket Festival has been practiced for centuries throughout cities and villages in Laos. The festival is also celebrated in Northern Thailand.
The Golden Stupa (Pha That Luang Temple) in Vientiane is the most magnificent stupa in Laos and also one of the most recognizable. The ashes of kings of different dynasties and accomplished monks are preserved here, and it is believed to hold a relic of the Lord Buddha. It is the national symbol and pride […]
The ferry arrived at Haad Rin Nai Beach from Big Buddha at sunset. Legions of sybaritic party-lovers disembark three days before the first Full Moon Party of the year kicks off on Haad Rin Beach. This is Koh Phangan, island oasis for hippie backpackers looking for a good time.
Note to oneself: Cave-exploring in Laos has its benefits. We stumbled upon this crystal-clear fresh-water pool while wandering around the outskirts of Luang Prabang.
This is what traveling is all about. A hiking expedition in Northern Laos brings us to a small mountain village situated along a peaceful riverbank.
While trekking through Northern Lao, we happened upon a village high in the mountains. There are still places in Asia where foreigners are a rare and unexpected treat. This was one of those times.
Verdant green valleys and mountains were the first thing I noticed on our first morning in Xieng Khuang Province. The numerous bomb craters dotting the land were a close second. Traveling through this northern province of Laos, it was easy to see how it was utterly devastated by the Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1973, almost every […]
A photo essay of some of the mountain villages we passed through while traveling along the mountain ranges of Northern Laos.