Luang Prabang, Laos

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Street Art

Overnight bus from Vientiane, literally do not remember one minute of it. Thank you Mr. Valium. Some guy met us off the bus and asked if we’d like to check out his guesthouse. It was perfect – balcony and television so there we slept. I actually ended up spending one whole day stuck in this room as I was ill. Blaming Mr. Valium from Laos. The Laos people are so friendly, quite like the Cambodians – all smiles the whole time. Luang Prabang is probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The whole town is a UNESCO world heritage site (I have to get that list and start ticking these off!) so the buildings have to conform to certain standards; it’s all mahogany and teak. The buildings look like renovated French farmhouses. Beautiful.

We found a lovely café run by a Laotian and Canadian, the ‘Arthouse Café’. Great art collection to check out whilst you’re waiting for your meal, right on the river so a great place to people-watch too! There’s a pretty good night market to wander around too. Lots of local arts and crafts and plenty of tourist-tack too. Saw some pretty crazy rainfall in our time here, once the thunder starts you’re in trouble! Oh and there’s a curfew of midnight in the whole town. Party spot if ever I’ve seen one.

We rented a motorbike and took the 30km trip out to Kuang Si sixty metre waterfall after a ‘petrol’ stop from a 1.5 litre bottle of Coca Cola. There’s a bear sanctuary just before you trek to the waterfall. By trek I mean climb the well-trodden path for about ten minutes. It actually looked like a pretty cool place for rescued bears, plenty of space and play-areas for them. Bought the t-shirt!! John did the jump from a rope thing into the water and nearly kill yourself…and I just did the nearly kill myself bit. Fell in. Not once but twice. It’s ok, saved the Havaianas.

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Vientiane, Laos

Patouxai

Patouxai

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That Louang

That Louang

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We’re heading back to Bangkok after Laos so I’m going to write all that together later on.

The border crossing from Nong Khai on the Thai border into Laos was super quick. No joke – they didn’t even look at John’s passport, too busy chatting. Obviously I look fairly shady though as mine was checked 😦 We took a songthaew (Laos version of a tuk-tuk) into the centre of Vientiane with a few locals gathered en-route. We stayed in a lovely place called the ‘Vayakorn Guesthouse’; no shoes upstairs! So basically there’s NOTHING to do in Vientiane. We booked our overnight bus to Luang Prabang for tomorrow night. Whilst in Vientiane we rented some bicycles and popped out to their version of Paris’Arc de Triomphe – called Patouxai. Nipped up to the top of that for the view. Saw a few temples! Continued out the road to the Laos national symbol, ‘That Louang’ – a gold stupa. It was raining and I think perhaps this hampered our view. It wasn’t too exciting at all. Shh, don’t tell the Buddhists. Actually there was a temple right next to it which was probably one of the best temples we’ve seen. Spent most of the day on the internet AND I got to read a magazine…from February 2009 but a MAGAZINE no less. Mighty stuff!