Luang Prabang: The Jewel in Laos’ Crown

We spent our first evening in Luang Prabang relaxing after that bus journey and laughing about the fact that everytime someone wanted to get on or off the bus i had to stand up, collapse my chair and usher them off.

Having checked into a guest house which advertised quiet rooms, we were woken early by the sound of drills and hammers… outside was now a building site. Now awake, Me, Al and Alex the crazy German went for a Lao breakfast on the banks of the Mekong whilst watching the mist rise up off the mountains. Breakfast was interesting… Buffalo sausage, it wasn’t good but neither was it bad, just wasn’t really my thing. Al and I spent that morning trying to arrange a visa for Vietnam and a flight there too. In the end we realised it was a weekend again and so couldn’t get the visa sorted and by the time we could have we would have only been there a few days. Considering that the visa costs $75 to visit  Vietnam and only $20 to get into Cambodia, plans A-Y were forgot and we went with our plan Z. We booked a flight to Cambodia and would get our visa on arrival. Its a shame that we will miss out Vietnam but at least this way we can enjoy our final week and take it easy. After all the trouble of trying to sort visa’s and flights, that afternoon we went for a massage.

In the reception area we were asked what kind of massage we wanted and we opted for the two hour traditional Lao massage. No happy endings though guys! haha. Alex the crazy German asked if they had men. I started laughing and then he tried to make it sound better by saying “I prefer men”. Still laughing he then says “they go deeper”, i was in stitches and couldn’t stop laughing. We all went up stairs and got changed and lay on the beds. The woman starts giving Al a massage and then a guy appears to do my massage. For all the laughing and piss taking i did of Alex… he was right! Guys do go deeper hahaha. He beat the shit out of me for two hours and it felt great. Leaving the massage place we relaxed over a nice cold Beer Lao before going to a really good meal down some tiny side street. Later that evening when the bars were all closing we hopped in a tuk tuk and headed to a local bowling alley. The only place that serves beer after 11. It was pretty fun, but they didn’t build the lanes straight so it was very hard to hit anything.

Having a lay in we woke up around lunch time, and headed out to the Kuangsi waterfalls about 30km out of town. Bartering with a tuk tuk driver we agreed a price and the three of us headed off to the waterfalls. We arrived after about 45 mins and didnt realise that also at these waterfalls there is some kind of animal rehab too. I don’t think they were addicted to crack or anything but rather something to do with them being mistreated and hunted. Taking literally hundereds of pictures of the waterfalls we then decided to climb to the top of the high falls to check out the view. As we were following the path we kept noticing signs saying ‘Danger do not pass’. We carried on though as it seemed ok and when we got to the top it was worth the walk.. the view was pretty cool. The walk back down seemed alot quicker than the walk up and we were soon back at the bottom and it was time to go home.

Arriving back in town we visited the market and Alex bought some Lao whiskey with a scorpion and Chilis in. His words….”maybe we drink this tonight” Al and i laughed and we’re like ‘yeah right’! Later that night when we were having dinner trying allsorts of other local delicacies, such as mekong river weed, Alex whips out the Scorpion Whiskey and opens it. It smelled pretty potent and the fact it had a massive scorpion in it was kinda scary. The idea is that the scorpion poison mixed with the whiskey is supposed to be good for you…. hmm. Alex knocked a load back and then pulled a funny face and then it was my turn. What the hell… i took a massive mouthfull and was suprised how nice it was. I really quite liked it, the whiskey and the Chilis tasted really good although it was really spicy. Washed down by a few more mouthfulls and a couple of Beer Lao and we went to the night market to do some shopping. There was allsorts to choose from and it was all made locally in Lao. I bought a few things and then we hit the sack. We had to get up early the next day as we were catching a bus to Vientane.

That morning we woke up around 6 and headed out to catch a tuk tuk to the bus station. As we left the guest house we saw hundreds of monks walking in silence down the high street. Kind of bizare but it was quite amazing. Arriving at the bus station we checked in and boarded our “VIP” bus……

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