And so the adventure ends.

It was my biggest and longest trip since last year’s three-week Southeast Asian trip, and my first major one this year (not to mention the first one with my new passport). It was an exciting one for me, too, visiting a new country for the first time, and revisiting a city I’d been last year, even for just a few hours. I decided not to set my plans in stone apart from my flights to and from Laos. In the end, everything worked out amazingly.

Revisiting Kuala Lumpur was nice, especially since I was visiting (and being hosted by) someone I’d hosted here in Singapore. I had a great time with him, even as we did the touristy thing and posed for photos in front of the Petronas Towers. Kuala Lumpur was also a nice little middle ground, a sort of transitionary destination between the orderly cleanliness of Singapore and the developing dustiness of Laos.

Petronas Towers

Flying into and landing in Laos was an amazing feeling. There are few things better than looking out the plane window and knowing that you are about to set foot in a whole new country. It was practically a sea of green that was greeting me on my arrival in Vientiane.

Vientiane was a lovely little city, slowly coming into its own but still one of the most relaxed Southeast Asian capital cities. Sure, it doesn’t have the ease of getting around that Singapore does, but it doesn’t have the hectic hustle and bustle of Bangkok or Manila, nor is it in any imminent danger of suddenly sprouting skyscrapers like Phnom Penh. (There is currently a law prohibiting the construction of buildings taller than the seven-storey Patuxay.)

Patuxay Park, Vientiane

Vang Vieng was everything the guidebooks said it would be: Packed with backpackers going tubing, full of restaurants and bars playing nothing but Friends and Family Guy. Some might not like that, but I definitely enjoyed myself and ended up staying a little longer than planned. Traveling by myself allowed me to meet a lot of new people, including (and especially) one that became my travel buddy in Vang Vieng.

partying at Bucket Bar in Vang Vieng

When a trip ends, there always seems to be the feeling that you never have enough time to travel. Maybe I feel that way because I’ve yet to do a trip longer than three weeks long. In Laos, I met a handful of people who were winding down on their seventh or eighth month of travel, and were just about ready to go home. But I only had a week, and while a week might be plenty for some people, it simply wasn’t enough for me.

And so this Laos adventure ends. I think I’ll definitely go back; there’s still a lot I need to see in Laos. Now I’m looking forward to where my travels will take me to next!