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Laos Visitors: Out and About in Central Laos

Exploring the rural Lao community around our weekend island retreat with friends.

Our last post covered the Secret Island Hideaway that fell into our lap just weeks before hosting friends, Doug and Akemi, visiting from Japan. We met Doug and Akemi in a village in the Thar desert in 2012 while they were making their way around the world for a year as part of an extended honeymoon, and have stayed in touch since.

We spent two nights in this one-of-a-kind traditional Lao home moved to a riverine island–an unplugged paradise in Central Laos, perfect for catching up with kids.

These days, whenever Noe hears the unmistakable wrrr wrrr wrrr of daddy’s manual coffee grinder, he comes running. He’s pretty set on doing it himself, but still needs a little help.

Getting ready to go on a walk into town.


The nearby town has a well-stocked fresh market that was worth a stroll through.

An assortment of river fish, but no frogs today.




Lao wedding at where else but the Village Bus Station. The large shindig even captured the attention of the village goats, it appeared.

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The name of the village is blurred out as to maintain the anonymity of our weekend getaway…as discussed in our last post


Lunch at a local eatery in town — Khao Piak and other goodies.

Noe’s a “sucker” for noodle dishes.

We stayed in a fairly basic (but well-appointed) Lao house. We thought the heat of midday might interfere with the Mister’s sleep (sorry dude, no AC here). On the contrary, Noe napped for a record 3+ hours! Which meant mommy (and daddy) actually got some solid relaxation time on site.


After Noe’s nap, we rejoined our out-of-town friends on a stroll around the village.



We followed some very loud music to a dusty parking lot on the far end of town filled with kitted out off-road vehicles from Thailand. We crossed a bridge leading to another small island where we found a half dozen or so families enjoying a festive afternoon on the river at a floating restaurant park.






Leaving the island weekend property, Doug noticed the rear tire was looking pretty low. No worries. Even in rural Laos (ESPECIALLY in rural Laos), there’s always a tire shop nearby. This one was just around the corner. They were able to pop off the tire, repair it, and remount it in about 10 minutes, no waiting. And all for US$3.50.


On the way home, we made a stop at the Lao Zoo/ Wildlife Rescue Center. But not before enjoying a tailgate lunch in the parking lot.

It took a bit of convincing, but the peacock finally put on a show for us. He finally agreed after we asked him to do it for the kids.


Something of a strange feeling having a couple dozen hungry alligators staring, with mouths opened, at your small child, even if it is behind a barbed-wire-topped concrete wall…

Noe wasn’t sure what to make of the ostriches.

The monkeys, however, were right down his alley–particularly the little ones.


Trying to snap a pic with two young kids at the end of a long day…no problem!

25 March 2018

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Thanks for sharing your secret hideaway it looks like paradise to me. As usual great photos it was nice to reconnect with your friends from India.

Reply to  Gramps

It was a fun find–even better to share with friends!