Published: October 30th 2011October 23rd 2011
A bumpy trip made easy
I took a minibus from Vang Viang to Luang Prabang 6hrs through the mountains and valleys, the scenery absolutely stunning. We stopped at the top of the mountains for lunch. Getting out of the minibus everyone was saying toilet, toilet and showing you where. Then you go and they all say 2000, 2000! Have to laugh. When we arrived in Luang Prabang the driver then said more money, more money because he dropped us off in the town and 'saved' us money on the trip from the bus station!
Luang Prabang is known as one of the most picturesque towns in South East Asia and it really is, i love this town its so French, the buildings are beautiful and the streets look old, with big French style guesthouses everywhere. Most of the guesthouses seemed to be the same and all the same price so in the end I just chose one.
Its a beautiful town to walk around and discover all the temples and quiet back streets. There is a night market along the main street but evem that is so much quieter and easier to walk around than the one in Chaing Mai. I had a look
What a view to enjoy lunch from
at a few of the tour operators but they all seem to offer the same thing, I decided I am going to do an overnight trek during the week, staying at a village for the night.
I had decided to hire a bike the first day I was in the town and just as I was hiring it I bumped into Olga from my massage course. So we both hired a bike and literally spent the day riding to nowhere. We stopped at a couple of temples en-route but then got lost over the other side of the river. Eventually we turned back and had a quick break getting some grilled kumara and banana from a street stall. Then after a delicious lunch of noodle soup we cycled to the museum. It was hot and we were getting tired and lazy so we sat down for five minutes before heading into the museum. Then we ran out of time and as we had already bought our tickets they let us in, then five minutes later they came up to us saying quickly, quickly and walking us around quickly showing us this and that, amusing. In the end they wrote
on our tickets so we could return for free the next day.
After the museum we took our bikes back and had a walk around the market trying the yummy coconut muffins from the bakery before walking around the peninsular. The walk around the peninsular is really nice but it was dark so i decided i would do it again in daylight the next day. It was nice then to just sit and relax by the river with a fruit juice after a hard day on the bike!
In the morning I went for a stroll around the peninsular and bumped into a guy that i ended up talking to and walking around with. We stopped at one of the temples on the way. Other than getting offered a few boat trips and tuk tuk rides to anywhere, the walk is peaceful and there is lots of French architecture around it to take photos of.
After my walk I did my laundry before getting a baguette for lunch from one of the street stalls. Then I headed back to the museum. The museum has a collection of all the gifts that were given to Lao from other
countries mostly to the royal family. Lao hasn't had a royal family since 1975. They had been given three cars by the Americans (before they dropped all the bombs on the country) and many ceramics and swords from Europe, China and Japan. The staff member started speaking to me who had rushed us through the previous day. After he started slapping my leg then my arse later I spent 20 minutes trying to find a way out of the conversation!
For sunset I climbed up 410 steps to the temple on the hill. It has amazing views over the whole city I just didn't quite realise how many steps there were as the hill doesn't look that big from the main road. Eventhough there were a few people up there I still managed to take some great pictures and sunset really was beautiful. After I went for a drink at Utopia cafe. A famous cafe here that everyone tells you to go to. Luckily there are signs to it as its not easy to find and you always think you must be going the wrong way. But its worth the walk, the atmosphere is so relaxing you just want
to sit there all night, its set in gardens, half inside half out, its really querky and it works!
There are more photos below