My flight from Luang Prabang was to leave Laos at around 5pm and arrive in Vietnam a little after 6pm. I was nervous from the start, because the process for getting a visa for Vietnam is extremely confusing and there’s no official information online. Before I left home, I applied and paid for an “approval letter” that is basically just a document from the Vietnamese government saying I had permission to enter the country on a tourism basis, but I would still need to get a visa before entering. From my understanding, this meant that I could get a visa on arrival using the letter, but everyone else I’d met so far on my trip that was planning to go to Vietnam had been going to the embassy and paying something around $60 to get the visa beforehand.
I fell in love with Laos and definitely ended up staying longer than planned (3 nights longer, to be exact). I had a great time exploring with Dana, and then Simon ended up flying to Luang Prabang to spend time with me while Alex and Cecile took the slow boat. Luang Prabang itself is a very small city, and while there were definitely a lot of backpackers, it’s not yet as overrun with tourism as the places I visited in Thailand. The culture is still very much traditional and beautiful nature surrounding the city is relatively untouched.