Day 34 - Luang Prabang

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February 21st 2018
Published: February 21st 2018
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Bit of a restless night, quite humid and hot, in spite of fast-speed fan. No complaints though, remembering we are here partly to escape the brief but cold Cyprus Winter. A light breakfast later, and we make plans to spend the day in town.

First stop, Mount Phousi, a top 'must-see' tourist recommendation. Meaning Sacred MountIn in Lao, it's the best-known landmark in Luang Prabang. Again, it's teeming with visitors, but we decide to start the ascent, fighting for space to climb the 378 steps to the top, where "That Chomsi " sits, a 24m high 4-sided Stupa. We guess its about 200 meters high so not really a mountain, and bearing in mind the Monkey King Hanuman carried it there from Ceylon, guess it's just as well.

Cameras out to admire the views, not the clearest of days as a humidity haze sits on the city, with temperatures averaging mid-thirties, we have to expect a little bit of that.

Next on our list, The Royal Palace, now The national Museum, renamed following the abdication of King Sisavang Vattahana in 1975. The Russians cast a huge bronze statue of him, which was mounted here in 1976.

We found the Royal Motor collection fascinating, which included American gifts of Ford Lincolns and a rather dilapidated Citroen, which a French tourist assured us was priceless. Paula made him almost weep when she told him she owned a similar model, back in the 1970s, crushed as scrap many years ago.

We could not visit the inside of the Palace as it was closing from 1100 hrs till 13.30 so we strolled around the grounds and were surprised that the royal fish pond has been left to weed over and stagnate.

We leave to check out the street market where we intend to return later for some serious touristy shopping. Returning to our Guest House, we pass the aptly named secret garden, within the Big Tree cafe. It is surrounded by a bamboo fence and full of flowers, butterflies and general flora. We sit and while away an hour with a few cold beers whilst reading up on the City. Back at our G H to cool down and relax before hitting the night market. Paula decides its time to spend, but the Laotians are no match for her bargaining skills.

Job accomplished we move onto what turns out to be a poorly chosen Chinese owned restaurant for a forgettable meal before retiring. Looking forward to tomorrow evening Dinner at the highly rated Tamarind Restaurant that we had to book three days in advance.

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