We stayed at The Le – Meridian, which is one of the good hotels in Chiang Mai(highly recommended) and they were nice enough to upgrade us to the mountain view room(Even though there was so much haze the first day ,that there was practically no view )
Where: Laos What to do: Hike to Mount Phou Si, then take the steep staircase to the Wat Chom Si shrine that overlooks the network of rivers flowing through the city. Have a French style breakfast with delicious coffee at Joma Cafe, a popular local cafe chain in Laos. Wake up early to witness the fantastic morning market in its full fervour. Head to any of the many natural attractions, such as Kuang Si Falls, Tat Sae Waterfalls or Pak Ou Caves.
The Xishuangbanna Region, in the deep south of Yunnan, is next to the Myanmar (Burma) and Laos borders. This fascinating cross-cultural area has a real laid-back feel to it and it's easy to slowly visit small towns; the Dai Buddhist temples and surrounding villages of the Hani, Lisu, Yao, Jinuo people. Xishuangbanna Region is home to many endemic species of plants and wildlife and has an ever diminishing number of wild tigers, leopards, elephants and golden-haired monkeys. We weren't fortunate enough to encounter any wild creatures face to face and we chose not to pay great sums for a 'wild' tourist experience.
About Pak Beng
The one thing I remember clearly when talking about Pak Beng is the warning in the Lonely PLanet that Pak Beng is mostly famous for the fact that bags get stolen out of the hotelrooms…. Stuff like that always makes me nervous. Carrying a lot of camera gear around is not always good for your sanity and/or your back.. ;) If you take the slow boat from Chiang Khong (Thailand) to Luang Prabang you’re most likely to have a stop over in Pak Beng. It’s an uneventful little town, with a few guesthouses and a few restaurants and that’s about it. Good enough for one night but not something you want to stay any longer!