Well Laos is almost close up from the world, unlike Thailand which covers modern transportation all over the country with easily-found English translator and lots of Malaysia Ringgit money exchanger.
I have to say, the journey to Laos is not entirely that bad, it gives me unexpected experiences anyway. It’s just that I believe with proper preparation (but not to cautious, just preparation) it definitely makes your journey smoother.
1. Bring more cash, Thai Baht or USD Dollars
Our journey is tough because we are rich, yet poor. We underestimate the expenditure in Laos (well i assume it could be
dirt cheap as in below RM60 per day but after scams i think its about RM100 per day too)
2. Plan your journey wise and roughly know the fares (to avoid scam!!)
Scams scams scams are everywhere! Do much research and dont forget to prepare extra cash in your backpack!
3. Avoid rainy seasons
The Mekong River, the tubing, the kayaking, the cruise are
everything the summary of Laos i think. Thus please please please dont go during rainy season (May to October) because it almost kill/drown the monster during tubing and on the way to Blue Lagoon in Vang Vieng!
4. Trust your instinct
When your instinct said okay it should be fine, then proceed. If your instinct said no i dont think is necessary, then walk away.
5. Go with partner
I am not saying you can not travel single-bodily in Laos. You can, but i strongly advise on going with partner. You gonna need somebody to be there for you for any unexpected surprises. In our journey, nonstop new fresh unexpected experiences!
6. Dont overdrink
Laos’ beer is cheap, but dont overdrink when you know you are going for activities please. You dont want to be in the top news of the case of drowning in one of your activities!
7. Give at least two days allowance
I tell you, when the bus journey stated it is 8 hours, be prepared for the journey to be 15 hours or more!
(Vientiane to VV supposedly 4 hours and it took us 6!; Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang supposedly 8 hours it took us 12!; Luang Prabang to Vientiane supposedly 12, it took us 16!)