I have only been one time to Laos and that was already 9 years ago when I was backpacking around the world the first time. I remember that I woke up a sleeping tuk-tuk driver for a ride of 15min that was supposed to be around $0,50, the going rate! He was a little upset I woke him up, refused to give me a ride, closed his eyes and went back to sleep. Later I thought damn this guy was right if someone would wake me up for $0,50 I would be upset as well. LOL!
Life in Laos looked like it stood still and everywhere I went there was this super laid back vibe. I rented a scooter in the South of Laos to explore the region for a couple days. I paid only $9 for 4 days for a nice motorbike. It was actually the first time I rode a bike with gears. It was a roadtrip to remember! I stayed overnight at an old grandma somewhere in a village next to a waterfall that was mentioned in the Lonelyplanet South East Asia on a shoestring. I paid only $3 and that included the best pancake for breakfast I have ever eaten. A huge pancake (probably with a ton of sugar), a couple bananas and a complete pineapple on it! It was more like a fruit platter on a pancake! This lady told me a story that she found $1,000 under the mattress one day and saved the envelop for about 2 months until an Australian backpacker came back to pick it up. She didn’t want any reward for it and the Aussies hit the road. Half an hour later they came back she said. A truck stopped in front of her house and the Aussies came back with rice for a whole year. The lady had tears in her eyes telling me the story. Don’t only travel here because it is the cheapest country in the world to travel but also do it for the amazingly lovely people!
Although traveling from one island to another can be a pain in the ass and time consuming the price you pay for these ferry trips are a joke for Western travelers. Long distance ferries are only a couple bucks and are an experience. Choose one of the many bunk beds all clustered next to each other and sleep on an overnight ferry that brings you from one island to another. Street food will costs you as less as $1-$2, a haircut in Cebu city is $2, consulting a specialist for my ruptured eardrum was $30. Some travelers are moaning about the Philippines becoming more expensive, but I guess it are those travelers that get spoiled just like me. I admit I never take the ferries anymore and hop on a plane for island hopping in the Philippines. Although that said some islands you can only get by boat. What about camping on Kalanggaman Island? Such an amazing thing even if you are not travleing on a budget! Or travel to Siquijor an island off the tourist trail! We are getting spoiled people! There are ways to make it to Palawan by boat, check the internet and you will find them, but please don’t miss island hopping in El Nido. How can you deny that a country is cheap if the rum costs more than the coke, so a double shot rum coke is cheaper than a normal rum coke! Get it!? 😉 With this fact it definitely has to be listed as one of the most affordable countries to visit. Let me help you create an itinerary for the best places to travel to in Cebu.
Island hopping in the Philippines is a little more off the beaten path as it is not part of the banana pancake trailanymore that draws everyone to the islands of Thailand and Cambodja. If you are debating to travel to Thailand or to Philippines than tak a look at the differences in transportation, cost of living, food and many other things in my article.