Laos: An instagram photostory

In the past when I have posted up a bunch of photos from a trip, they’ve generally been photos from my dSLR. But as time goes by and I find taking glamour shots with the dSLR time-consuming and cumbersome, my iPhone has started to take its place. Many people hate those filters they see used so liberally in Instagram photos, but I think photos with these effects look much better than photos without. And with my dSLR, I have to go back to my computer and manually alter a bunch of sliders just to make a photo look half decent. I know many bloggers go to the extent of manually editing thousands of photos in programs like lightroom. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time, to be honest. I’ve got better things to be doing like drinking coffee, sleeping in and laughing at grumpy cat videos.

So with that off my chest, here are some of my favourite instagram shots from my 4 months in Laos. You’ll notice food shots aren’t included and that’s because they’ll come later.

Buffloes on a boat in Laos - perfect travel companions
Buffloes on a boat in Laos – perfect travel companions

It all started on a buffalo boat in September and was the perfect introduction to my worst month of travel ever. We slept little more than a couple of metres away from these beasts overnight on a remote stretch of the Mekong, bugs by the score.

Mekong sunset near Xieng Kok
Mekong sunset near Xieng Kok

But the Mekong never looked so good as it did while bedding down next to those buffaloes.

Sunset in Luang Prabang
Sunset in Luang Prabang

The Mekong has a charming quality as seen here in Luang Prabang…

Sunset in Vientiane
Sunset in Vientiane

…and here in Vientiane where it dries up in parts due to its immense width.

Sunrise on Don Det
Sunrise on Don Det

Down in the southern reaches of the Mekong the river becomes a delta of sorts and thousands of islands pop up out of the river much to the benefit of the local backpacker crowds on Don Det.

Phongsali from above
Phongsali from above

In far northern Laos near the Chinese border is a small provincial capital called Phongsali. Few tourists bother making the trek here due to the arduous bus journey involved, but those that do are rewarding with an atmosphere not found elsewhere in the country and certainly a million miles away from anything experienced down south in Don Det.

Lao woman in traditional clothing - not a tourist in sight!
Lao woman in traditional clothing – not a tourist in sight!

In the northern parts of the country you are more likely to encounter people who still wear traditional clothing and not merely for the benefit of tourists.

Prince Souphanouvong Bridge
Prince Souphanouvong Bridge

There are some quirky attractions in Laos…

Grumpy Dog
Grumpy Dog

…and some quirky animals such as Grumpy Dog.

Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng

But one thing that endures is how beautiful this country is. The mountains…

Blue lake on the Tha Khek loop
Blue lake on the Tha Khek loop

…the lakes…

Twin waterfalls on the Bolaven Plateau
Twin waterfalls on the Bolaven Plateau

…the waterfalls…

That Luang, Vientiane
That Luang, Vientiane

…the temples…

Back of nowhere on the Tha Khek loop
Back of nowhere on the Tha Khek loop

…and the desolation during the height of the dry season.

Laos truly is a wonderful country that deserves more than just a passing visit. Most people zoom along a well-trodden route that includes a 2-day slowboat ride along the Mekong, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. But Laos is so much more than those places and the true colours of this magnificent country are only seen when you step away from those places with the thickest of tourist veneers.

Take your time and soak up all that this fascinating country has to offer.

Wat Phou, Champasak
Wat Phou, Champasak

 

 

3 thoughts on “Laos: An instagram photostory

  1. When it comes to filters, I think if you know how to use it, they are a great for photos. The ones I can’t stand are those who tend to overuse it (including those excessive HDR use). But these ones you’ve got, they are great. And like you, I have been using less and less of my DSLR. Keep thinking whether I should just go and sell them, but then I’m scared I might miss it one day. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *