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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 6th 2014

Breakfast is served on the second-floor balcony of the hotel overlooking Sisavangvong Road. We are treated to made-to-order noodle soup, breads, fruit, noodle dishes and a rotating variety of western staples including pancakes, potatoes, bacon, and sausage. A girl could get used to this treatment. Anyway, today was our first trip outside the city to the Kuang Si waterfalls. We booked the trip through the hotel and had a private 45-minute ride along a very windy country road. We passed new developments that our driver indicated with distaste were Chinese investment. Apparently the Chinese are buying the cheap land around Luang Prabang to develop large resorts. I guess the locals are not happy with the outside attention. The gateway to the falls is flanked by several stores selling clothes, baskets, and other trinkets ,restaurants and food ... read more
The falls

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang July 5th 2014

Today was our first day in Luang Prabang, Laos. Luang Prabang is Laos' relaxed second "city." It's old center is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city has a checkered past. It has been the capital of an independent state as well as part of the Khmer Empire and a French protectorate. After a wonderful breakfast which of course included noodle soup, we walked down the main street to Mount Phousi (or Sacred Hill). Walking up 190 steep steps awarded us with a sweeping panorama of the city including the muddy Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. The gold stupa of Wat Chom Si crowns the hill and can be seen as you enter the city by boat. We chose to descend the stairs leading to Phousi Road. Along the path we had a brief encounter ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng June 13th 2014

So we have now left Komg Lor and headed for Tha Kek on the mini bus. The journey took about 5 hours pretty much none stop apart from a comfort break so,a rather boring journey sad to say. Near the outskirts of the town we stopped to see the 'great wall' which used to surround the city to protect it. There isn't much left now but in one or two places you can see how high the wall was. I'm a bit sceptical that it was built rather than carved out of rock as it looked more like it was a natural formation rather than man made, but who am I to argue, they know their own history. We arrived at our hotel and dumped our bags and headed off for food. As luck would have ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane June 9th 2014

Morning everyone, well it is here I thought I would update you on what has been happening here before I move on to my next location and more travel stories. A couple of days ago a few of us decided to head out to the Buddha park. Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan (as well as other variations of the spelling), is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane, Laos in a meadow by the Mekong River.Although it is not a temple (Wat), the park may be referred to as Wat Xieng Khuan since it contains numerous religious images. The name Xieng Khuan means Spirit City. The park contain... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane June 7th 2014

Hi everyone Well it's been a few days since my last blog update so I thought I would share what's been going on. I made a last minute decision to head to Vientiane from vang Vieng. I was just going to hop on the bus and emailed the office to let them know. I got to the meeting point and found Laura on the way. However the bus did not show. She had been confirmed on the bus so one should have showed. So after wandering around for a while in the heat we headed back to her hostel to use the wifi. Lucky for Laura that we did as she had left her passport behind - things happen for a reason. When we has wifi connection I checked my emails it appears the bus had ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng June 2nd 2014

Hi everyone Just to let you know I'm still alive. Nothing major to report really. Saturday we went tubing again, and you all know how that works and how messy it can get. I didnt get too sloshed this time but did leave tubing later and did have an early night. Most of my fellow travel mates headed off to Vientiane and the reast of their travels. I opted to stay afew more days until Wednesday, but that has now turned into a week, so I will be leaving on Sunday. At the moment I am the only passenger due to travel from Vientiane on the 5th June all the way to Don Det. I have opted to stay here and chill and hopefully party a little more, then it will be a quick dash through ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 30th 2014

Hi everyone Not much news from yesterday as I had a chill of day to catch upon sleep, blogging and get rid of the hangover lol. Today we have been to the blur lagoon which isn't too far away form our accommodation. We had a leisurely morning and had a late breakfast and all met up at the hostel where most of the guys are staying. They are all friends of Laura whom is doing the stray pass and she met them when she stayed in a hostel prior to,the stray pass tour. They are following a similar route to,us and land around the same time as us. So we had 13 of us in two tuk tuks. David one of the guys who is from Canada checked to see how much they would charge us ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang May 29th 2014

A 20 minute drive from Luang Prabang brought us to the elephant village where we spent the next two days. We'd done a lot of research before choosing the Elephant Park Project. Like almost everyone, we love elephants. And the idea of seeing one close up, touching it, appealed to both of us. But humans have a history of interactions that put animals on the losing end of the stick, and we didn't want to participate in anything that would be detrimental to the animals. We'd heard horror stories about long distance elephant treks and elephants "trained" to paint pictures for tourists and were determined not to participate in any kind of situation that required the elephants to perform or carry heavy loads. We obviously didn't want to contribute to any capture or trade of elephants ... read more
Sugar cane addict
She wouldn't stop reaching for snacks.
Crossing the river

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang May 28th 2014

A couple of days ago we visited the Tat Kuang Si Area which includes a series of beautiful waterfalls and pools which you can swim in. We took the usual tuk tuk ride to the falls which is a big tourist attraction and is about an hour from where we were staying at Luang Prabang. On the we we stopped off at a local western style bakery to get lunch and for some people breakfast. I had a tuna salad baguette and a piece of carrot cake which didn't make it on to the tuk tuk as it got eaten whilst waiting for the orders to be completed. When we arrived at the falls we were greeted by a large area for parking the vehicles and lots of tourist stalls selling food and drink and traditional, ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 28th 2014

Yesterday we left Luang Prabang and headed for Vang Vieng via minibus. We had an early start at 7am and convened outside the bakery. Unfortunately it didn't open until 7am so we had to get food from the local street vendors, which wasn't a problem. Our guide for this part of our journey was Josh a guy from New Zealand. There was also the driver, a local tour guide and a guy who was a trainee Stray Pass guy who was taking over from Josh. He was heading off to Vietnam for 3 months. We had to start early as it took about 6 hours or so over the mountains and in twisty turney roads to get there, and we needed to get there in time to go tubing! The bus was parked up the road ... read more
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