Jake’s Top Ten: LAOS


VIDEO: After only a week or so in Laos, I’ve discovered my top ten cultural observations…. Check the video to see how things compare with your daily life!

Quick Snapshot:

  1. The pastries look delicious, but ARE THEY ACTUALLY DELICIOUS?
  2. The exchange rate of Lao Kip (local currency) to US Dollar is a bit nuts. It was weird to punch in 7 digits at the ATM machine.
  3. Intersections don’t need traffic signals whatsoever. No big deal.
  4. Sometimes monks have cooler gadgets than I do, which is confusing based on my limited knowledge of Buddhism. Aren’t you supposed to live a life without those kinds of worldly possessions?
  5. BeerLao is top-notch. Love it. Want some more of it.
  6. Damn roosters. All day and all night.
  7. Tourism is quickly creeping into the main Lao towns, but you can still take a quick journey to escape it all.
  8. If there is a patch of dirt on your property, you sweep it to make it look like a nicer patch of dirt. I’ve never seen so much “cleaned up” dirt.
  9. 24 hour bus rides and 2 day “slow boat” rides are normal means of transportation in and out of Laos. They can be great or they can be hell (or just extremely boring). Apparently, its a bit of coin flip.
  10. Motorcycle tuk-tuks are insane pieces of machinery. Mix together the front of  motorcycle, the back end of truck and a ghetto-rigged gas pedal/lever, and you’ve got yourself a low-priced taxi.

Anything I’m missing? Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience?

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Jake is the younger, yet taller and more dashing brother between “Jake and Chad.” He’s the voice of reason behind every one of Chad’s audacious ideas, as he puts the “calculated” in “calculated risk.” He also writes songs and makes videos for the joy of the Internet. Jake is currently redeeming the millions of airline points he’s racked up through mad travel hacking techniques and is probably on a plane somewhere.


  1. Jacob-solid stuff. The travel host thing is a hard gig, but I like your approach. Plus, since I’m stuck inside with a 3 year-old and a 8-m0nth-old baby as the snow falls, I’m enjoying the escape. I look forward to more!

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