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Published: February 13th 2010
The slow boat arrived here in the evening. I could tell immediately that Luang Prabang was a really nice city, extremely clean and infused with French influence. It's actually a UNESCO world heritage city and is filled with tons of temples and European like architecture.
I left the boat and headed onto the main strip to get a sense of the area. I headed to the SpicyLaos Hostel, where I originally wanted to stay but found out that they were all full so I had to get another room nearby which was more expensive. Speaking of expensive, this whole town was outrageously so! Kind of surprised because of the fact that it's Laos but I noticed there were quite a few older tourists here and not too many budget backpackers like myself. On the main road accommodations went for like 30-35$ a night, WTF! Food was also overpriced compared to what I was used to paying but I later discovered that because of the town's remoteness prices shot up just for bringing products in. I checked out the night market that evening and found a veggie buffet that was only about a buck per plate, not too bad.
day I slept in and then checked out the national museum which basically showcased some Laos history and mainly stuff about the royals. It was alright. I headed up to the Phousi temple, which was located at the top of a hill in the center of town. The stairway up seemed endless but once at the top I was treated to an amazing 360 view of the whole town and the Mekong. I headed back to my guesthouse and ran into some people I met on the boat in. Later on I went out with them for dinner and found out that there was a midnight curfew in the town with the exception of certain places like the bowling alley which mainly catered to tourists. I agreed I'd go check out a waterfall with them the next day.
I woke up early and had to knock on everyone's door to get them up. The plan, which sounded good at the time, was to rent bicycles and cycle out to the waterfall which was around 30km away. First objective was to find some decent mountain bikes. It proved difficult but after visiting a few places we did find some ok
ones. There were four guys including myself and two chicks that were attempting this feat. We also met these two Israeli guys that were doing the same thing. By the time we ate and left however it was already pushing noon, and the day was growing hot. We biked out of the town for a few clicks then hit the road towards the fall. Only 26 km to go. Of course we started hitting crazy inclines and I immediately knew this was getting bad. Biking uphill is probably one of the tougher things the human body has to push itself to do. Hills after hills we peddled, we lost the girls completely; in the end we were only three guys left, the others ended up taking a tuk-tuk to the fall.. One of the Israeli guys followed behind still. We managed to get there in the end.
The Fall was pretty nice although not huge or anything. The water was super blue and clear. We swam for a while and then swang from a rope into the water a bunch of times. It was cold but amazing after the bike ride. I walked up the waterfall to the top
and then back down the other side. Then swam some more and then eventually headed back with my bike on the top of a tuk-tuk. When we got back I moved to Spicylaos hostel. I like being in a hostel environment more. I think my legs were sore so I just chilled out.
Last day I went to the Vietnam consulate to see about updating my visa and wandered in and then got chased by dogs out. I later found out it was Tet so the place was closed.
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