[Artikel auf Deutsch @ Feinripp Magazine: http://www.feinripp.net/reisen/welcome-to-lalaland]
While we passed the beautiful village Vang Vieng during our Laos trip we visited the Karst Mountains, heaps of nice lagoons and caves and took as well part at the tubing of course. But the real good offers and choices we unfortunately found only in the end of our stay. Like always, you get to the best things just in the end. We didn´t experience the tours ourselves, but still we brought you a lot of amazing photographs and interesting interviews. Just in case if you should be around there one day. An insider tip: Lala and his tours!
By accident we ran into the LaLaLand Bar on our last evening. It was on the verge of closing time, but three people were still sitting on the counter. All of them were tour guides, introduced to us in the event. Actually we got attracted by the graffitis at the entrance and inside the location. But the place is not very noticeable or flashy. The barkeeper was as well the owner of the bar. And he was the organizer and guide of amazing jungle tours into the inland. His name is Lala, therefore the bar name LaLaLand.
While having some drinks we told them about our adventures and experiences we had during the last days in Vang Vieng. After that Lala told us what we could have done with him and all the fantastic things we missed. I have to say we just had a few days time for the village. We rented some scooters and quads and most of the time we did the sights by ourselves. On every corner you get some vehicle for rent and everybody offers the same standard tours for the more or less same no reasonable price. We met Lala by chance, but with just some superficial recherché on tour guides or in internet travel reports you wouldn´t find the more special and real interesting alternatives.
Lala was born in Laos and knows the region since he was a little boy, he grew up there and knows the country like the back of his hand. Many years he worked as a tour guide for several local tourism organizations, but he as well didn´t like the superficial approach. Meanwhile he runs his own independent business with a bar and guided tours. The journeys are brilliant! Depending on the size of the group and the demand on tours he plans custom-made daytours or trips which last some more days. You sleep in the jungle, you hunt, you fish, and after that you prepare the pray for dinner. Ok, Lala shows you how to do it and you can try if you want. He describes and presents how to survive in the Lao wilderness, he explains about the wildlife and the nature, but especially about the history and the society of the country. He visits with the groups the villages in the region and as well the ethnic tribes – a lot of times it is basically just visiting some relatives and Lala brings some friends. This way Lala is able to mediate, connect and communicate the messages and information he teaches on his tours very different, more intense and more real compared to the usual tourist agencies. As well Lala organizes several crowdfunding projects to support the locals and the nature wildlife. In an interview he tells us more about his work:
In a second interview we spoke with Laure Jacquet who works and helps in the bar and with the tour organization:
In Vang Vieng Lala opened additionally a bar and gave his new headquarters the name LaLaLand. Here you can watch fireshows, get cool drinks and listen to good music. The spot functions as well as a mini tour office. That means you can check the photo albums about the several tours if you ask and arrange your own tour with Lala if the photos and his stories are convincing. And yes: We were totally convinced! But we didn´t have enough time… the next day we had to be in Vientiane. Therefore you should always inform yourself in time, ask as well the locals and other travelers. The good things are mostly not that easy and directly to find.
On Youtube there is as well a promo video of the LaLaLand online:
Facebook Profil: https://www.facebook.com/lala.landbar
Facebook Seite: https://www.facebook.com/vangvienglaopdr/
Telefon: +856 20 91 650 532
Youcaring Kampagne: https://www.youcaring.com/khamla-chanmilavong-la-445949