Published: August 15th 2012August 15th 2012
Sorry for the delay, not had much computer time recently!
After landing in luang prabang, we had a nice eay trip through customs and to the guesthouse! laid back sort of airport where they let you walk right through customs to get cash to pay for your visa! It was even easy to get the taxi to the guest house as they had set pricing for taxis. After checking into our very basic room, we headed into town for a drink, this involved walking through the mot fantastic night market! Lots of local crafts, decent prices and all different, in a change to all the other markets we have been to, where every shop sold pretty much the same mass produced things aimed at tourists.
Luang Prabang is a beautiful sleepy town. Although it has seen a recent tourist boom, it has maintained its charm. It is known as a spiritual place with a lot of temples. The main tourist attraction being to get up at sunrise to watch the monks file though the town getting food from all the local people.
Our next day in Laos was spent wandering around one of the biggest temples, and visiting
the national museum/ former royal palace. We then tried to head up a hill well known for sunset views, and discovered you had to pay for the privilage. Much like cambodia. in laos they are trying to take advantage of the new tourism money by charging for everything!
We headed out for a lovely dinner on the evening and then despite our plans to ho and be sociable and find some people to talk to....we got sucked into watching Andy Murray winning his olympic gold!! We did however chat to one guy who advised us to visit the waterfall the next day. Now to be honest this was a bit outside the budget, but there really are only so many temples you can look around before you are ready for some natural beauty.
We got up at 5am to make it out for the alms giving. This is quite a surreal sight, as litterally hundereds of orange robe clad monks walk down the street, being given small balls of sticky rice by both the locals and tourists. Quite a fantastic sight!
After a lot of bartering and waiting around for a full Tuk tuk, we set off
for the waterfall. The scenery was beautiful! Laos is such a green stunnning place. We travelled for about 45 minutes through quite dense forest until we got to the national park. The guy we chatted to the night before had told us which way to walk up the waterfall, saying right was steep and difficult whilst left was easy....we think! Left was not so easy, as we headed up into the jungle, alone....finding the stairs up through the waterfall covered in water! we were doing ok until we passed a group of French people, who were walking with a guide. They advised us to be careful as they had just seen a snake! OK for them, their guides had knifes! Not such a nice walk after that! At the top it was fantastic. You can wade across the top of the waterfall and look down, with only a wooden fence between you and the drop. When we walked back down the far side. we discovered it was in fact worse, very steep and slipp[y in flip flops. After surviving the walk down, we headed for an area where people were swimming just to dip our feet. I (Rach) chose this
point to slip over flat on my bottom...in front of about 20 people and in the mud, brilliant!
Walking into town for dinner we discovered that here was an opening event for a new "skin and body clinic" (better known as plastic surgeon!) which had looked like a small event earlier in the day...not any more! the road was closed with a huge stage and hundereds of screeming girls. There was a man singing and dancing on the stage and they were going mad. Seemed to be a bit like a solo thai one direction. apparently he is a very big star! So all very exciting.
We had some lovely food and some great wine at a local wine bar which was so lovely and then headed back for an early night.
Luang Prabang is such a beautifu quiet place and we can see why so many people would come and never leave! Heading for vang vieng tomorrow...party capital of Laos.
There are more photos below