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Vietiene for a week?
We are considering going to Laos for a week with our 3 year old son. Although my husband and i have both traveled a bit, we've never been to Asia (we are in Singapore at the moment, but I do't thinkt that counts), so we plan to stick to Vietiene and day trip type surroundings. Worth it or will he be bored? If anyone has been there, can you recommend accommodations? Thanks!
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Vientiane is lovely but not a ton of things to do. It pretty much depends on what you want out of your vacation. We made the 3 hour van ride up to Vang Vieng and it was our absolute favorite place so far! There were so many amazing outdoor things to do, caving, swimming in the river, renting scooters to explore the villages, hiking, and tubing down the river. It has a party image but we enjoyed it anyway and weren't bothered bny that at all. We have a 13 year old, 8 year old, and a 4 year old, and it has been the best spot so far on our trip for all of us. If you go to Vientiane be sure to go to Buddha park, visit the temples, and Pitauxy. There is also some amazing sun sets along the Mekong and a really nice playground right on the river.
Well , we are in Laos now, travelling with a 2 year son . We entered via Nort border and did the 2 day trip on slow boat which is amazing. Now we are in Luang Prabang, whic is also very good, planning to go from here to Vietiene . Will be able to tell you how it is in week or two. Contact me if you wan't gil at kreslavsky.com
We spent about 5 nights (3 nights then 2 nights at the end of our trip) in Vientiane two years ago when our children were almost 3 and 5. I'd second what Mary said - it's lovely but there isn't that much to do. Although it really depends what you like. As a first Asian city, Vientiane is still a good choice. It still feels like a big country town really. The people are lovely, the buildings are beautiful and it will feel like a whole different world to Singapore, even more so than places like Bangkok or Saigon. But if you want to do more outdoor and cultural activities I'd go to Luang Prabang instead. Luang Prabang offers more in the way of day trips to waterfalls for swimming, elephants, villages etc. It was a very easy city with kids - easy to find food they liked, the people loved children, it's compact and fascinating ... although we felt it was more westernised in some ways than Vientiane, especially in terms of the restaurants. If you have more than a week I highly recommend splitting your time between Vientiane and Vang Vieng - ignore the tubing, stay on the edge of town and rent bikes so you can get out into the surrounding countryside to see how locals really live and enjoy the amazing scenery. Oh and the waterholes for swimming there are out of this world! During our time in Vientiane we spent a couple of days exploring by foot and on motorbike. We visited a few temples and markets, ate out a lot and even took the kids ten pin bowling - they set up a ramp for our youngest to use so she could just roll the ball down it. That was probably the highlight of our visit. The riverside park has been added since we were there but we ate in the night markets along there - that was fantastic. There's something special about eating dinner and having a beer on the banks of the Mekong in Laos when the other side of the river is Thailand. We were going to go to the waterslide park but it didn't really seem worth the money - but it was certainly a fun motorbike ride out there to see kids fishing in the pond next to the park and the local houses. Travelfish has a good list of places to see (and accommodation) - http://www.travelfish.org/sights/laos/vientiane_and_surrounds/vientiane/vientiane FYI We stayed at Youth Inn 2. It was a very basic hostel in a great spot with a triple private room for $10 a night inc AC and hot water. It was clean but basic and the bathroom had odd smells but for the price and location we were happy. The staff were really lovely to our children too.