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Luang Prabang - 18th-20th May

LAOS | Thursday, 21 May 2009 | Views [581]

Monday 18th

We had a quick breakfast at the hostel and got down to the pier and the boat at about 9ish. At about 9.30 am we were on our way. This boat was a lot bigger than the one the day before and so we all felt like we had more space!! This was actually a really relaxing day. Taking in the scenary chatting to different people on the boat!

We got into Luang Prabang at about 5ish. Shona had been up really early in the morning and got talking to someone going the other direction who had just come from LP and he'd given her the name of a good/cheap guesthouse close to everything!

We walked to the guesthouse but they didn't have any twin beds, luckily there was another guesthouse right next door which was the same price and seemed pretty nice.

We got some dinner close to the guesthouse. We had a Lao barbeque. They take out a centre tile on your table and put a BBQ bucket in the middle, then they put a dish over the BBQ where you can brown the meat and cook a sort of soup in the rim of the dish with lots of veggies, garlic & chillies. This was fantastic!

We then went to the Hive Bar just next door to have more beerlao and meet some New Zealand girls that Shona knows from Queenstown. At about 10.30 I was feeling exhausted so we decided to get an early night. (Geek Fact - In Lao they stop serving Alcohol everywhere at 11.30pm, you are legally meant to be where you are registered to stay by Midnight! - Bit like Cinderella)

Tuesday 19th

Weather was pretty dull this morning so we wondered onto the main street to get some breakfast. There is a place called Swedish Bakeries in Laos which does great coffee and Croissant sandwichs for breakfast! Fabulous, 25,000 Kip for breakfast which is about 1.90

There is an amazing waterfall close by and as the weather started to improve around midday we decided to go there for the afternoon. Kuang Si Waterfall. Its about 30Km outside of LP so we got a TukTuk to take us there and wait. There were 6 of us in total.

Waterfall was fantastic. We walked to the top, not very far but quite challenging in just my crappy flip flops. Realised how unfit I must be now as I was sweating quite a bit(lovely!!) You can't swim in the waterfall itself but there are specific bathing pools near the bottom. Water was really really cold but this was so refreshing. Shona even jumped in for a rope swing. I'm way to pathetic when it comes to stuff like that!!

We hadn't had any lunch before we went in so I was starving, had a fried banana wrapped in a waffle - a healthy nutrious choice I'm sure you'll agree.

When we got back into the town we decided to walk to the top of Mount Phousi. Its quite a few steps up but gives a fantastic view out over the whole town. We stayed up there to watch the sunset, but it was a little cloudy so not much spectular colour to be seen.

Went back to the same restaurant for dinner but this time a tried a traditional Lao Stew with meat, Bamboo, Lemograss, Eggplant and Chillies. It was quite spicy but very very tasty. No Beers tonight as I decided it was making me feel really bloated. However they do have a little bit of a wine culture in Luang Prabang, the French did have a good influence on the bread, wine, coffee and architecture!! We found a little wine bar and had a fantastic glass of wine. 35,000 KIP about 2.70 - expensive for Laos but totally worth it. There was a little storm going off outside so we decided to get a tuktuk the very short journey home because otherwise we would have been soaked through. Again back home and in bed by 11pm.

Wednesday 20th

Shona woke up early again and her brain was wide awake by the time I got up. We decided to get organsied. We went to the tourist information and realised there was a Vietnam embassy in LP! Went to the embassy got an express visa which would be ready to pick up the following day by 10am. This meant that we were going to stay another day in LP. $50 US. We both really liked it here so that was fine, plus there were a few more things we wanted to do.

I got an amazing Lao Massage and after lunch we decided to go the grand palace/national museum. Very very pretty. We booked our minibus to Vang Vieng for 1.30pm tomorrow and also our flight Vientiene to Hanoi on Monday so this gives me 2 nights in Vang Vieng and 2 nights Vientiene.

The whole town here is just so lovely, butterflys floating everywhere, monks walking about in bright orange robes, very very friendly people. I'm glad I stayed the extra night here.

We went to the night market and I managed not to buy anything. It amazing how motivating having to carry everything is!!

Had a quick snack in the market and then a buffalo burger for dinenr in a local restaurant, surprisingly tasty meat! (Sorry Sarah)

Another really early night, in bed, no alcohol, light off by 10.30pm. I could get used to this Lao lifestyle.

Lots of love X

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