Blogs from Luang Prabang, West, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 23rd 2020

Although he who walks behind an elephant may feel secure, he is likely to get splattered with elephant dung… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were continuing to explore the calm and alluring township of Luang Prabang. We woke early, but headed to breakfast fairly late at 7:30am. I enjoyed muesli with yoghurt and milk, but I made the mistake of ordering the special eggs with toppings – a type of baked eggs with sweet bread and sweet Chinese sausage. I simply didn't like it (which is VERY rare for me), so I had to re-order a vegetarian omelette, which was so much better. The woman in the kitchen wasn’t very impressed with me at all, but then again, I don’t think she was all that impressed with people in general. Cold orange cordial and ... read more
mandalao elephant conservation
mandalao - panda
mandalao - tu

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 21st 2020

At high tide the fish eat ants; at low tide the ants eat fish… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northeast, then east, then south from Pak Beng to Luang Prabang. After a restless night (thanks to the Happy Smoking and Happy Balloons on offer at a nearby bar that lured every young backpacker in the village), we woke early in preparation for our second day on the Mekong. It was 5:30am and still dark outside. We organised our packs and then headed down to BKC Villa’s dining area for breakfast. We enjoyed a selection of fresh fruit (mango, pineapple and dragon fruit), empanadas, omelettes, bread, pancakes, tea and orange cordial. It was a basic breakfast, but perfect for our long day ahead on the Mekong. Feeling suitably refreshed, we handed our packs ... read more
leaving pak beng
misty mekong morning
mekong river

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 21st 2020

A person’s stripes are inside; those of a tiger are outside… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were arriving in the calm and alluring township of Luang Prabang. After another full day on the Mekong in a long wooden slow boat (we’d pushed off the riverbank at Pak Beng about eight hours earlier), we arrived at a berthing area for slow boats just outside Luang Prabang in the early evening. We clambered onto the riverbank, struggled up a particularly steep set of stairs to the roadside and jumped into a waiting minibus – we were heading to Legend Hotel, our comfortable accommodation in Luang Prabang for the next three nights. In the lead up to this trip, I found time to read A Dragon Apparent – Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam by Norman Lewis. ... read more
wat ho pha bang
streets of luang prabang
morning market

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang October 8th 2019

October 8 – Sleeping pretty well, if not early enough. I had fried eggs for breakfast today with banana juice. The minibus for our day tour picked us up at 8:30, along with a retired Irish teaching couple from Cork and their daughter who also teaches in Hanoi. We were randomly switched to a different bus and given our official ticket, hand-written on what seemed to be a scrap of paper. Our tour guide was called Thin, and our first stop was Whisky Village, unofficially (I think) named due to the 50 proof rice whisky they produce. We had a small demonstration of the process and they had whiskey on sale, including some stuff “just for men” that had dead snakes and scorpions in it. We had some time to walk around the village before getting ... read more
Breakfast
Breakfast with Becky
Whisky making demo

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang October 6th 2019

Saturday October 5 – I had a leisurely morning with Jeroen as my clothes were already packed. I did make a few changes, but overall it was fine. The biggest problem I had was not being able to find my residence permit for Switzerland, which I would need to get back home again. I know I had it in August, but I quickly realized the one I’d been carrying in my wallet was the one that had expired in August. I looked EVERYWHERE last night and was about to start again in the morning, when Jeroen said to give him my wallets to have a look. Of course, he found it in my travel wallet where I had already looked several times. After that, stress levels decreased. I didn’t have to leave until about 11:30am, so ... read more
Bangkok airport
Becky and me in the airport - let the adventure begin
Bangkok airport

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang September 28th 2019

Na een paar uur vliegen landde ik in Vientiane. Ik moest ter plekke voor mijn visum betalen, alleen 1 probleempje: de geldautomaat voor de douane accepteerde mijn creditcard niet. Gelukkig hielp een hele vriendelijke medewerkster mij naar een geldautomaat vóór de douane die het wel deed en leidde mij daarna door een kleine security weer terug om het visum af te handelen. Met een goedkope bus kwam ik snel aan bij het hostel. Ik was nog te vroeg om in te checken, dus gooide ik mijn spullen neer en ging gelijk op verkenningstocht. Vientiane is om héél eerlijk te zijn niet een hele boeiende stad. Het heeft een aantal gebouwen die duidelijk Franse invloeden hebben (inclusief een boeddhistische variant op de Arc de Triomph), maar verder had ik de stad na 2 uur rondlopen wel gezien. ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang March 29th 2019

LES PLAISIRS MINUSCULES Vincent Delerm a commis avec bonheur sa « première gorgée de bière et autres plaisirs minuscules » expression des petits plaisirs de la vie sous forme de courts chapitres, formule qu’il a surutilisé par la suite jusqu’à l’overdose. Reste que ce premier bouquin, surprenant, était bien jouissif et étonnant de justesse. Ces moments de plaisirs souvent infimes et intimes enjolivent le quotidien, brillent les pupilles, ravissent les papilles, réjouissent les ouïes et frissonnent les épidermes. La vie sans eux serait certainement triste. Trop futiles, les plaisirs minuscules, fort éloignés du CAC 40, des complexes relations internationales ou de la crise bancaire, provoquent sans doute les dîners mondains prompts au dédain et à la condescendance. Voyager, c’est aussi s’offrir ces plaisirs simples tout petits, minuscules à retourner le... read more
LEGUMES DU MARCHE
AU BOULOT !
LICHEN ON JARS

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang February 3rd 2019

On Monday morning, January 28th, I left Chiang Mai by Minivan and started my journey to Laos. The journey would take 3 days : 1 day to the border, 1 day to cross the border and to go by slow boat to Pakbeng, 1 day by slow boat from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang. The minivan was completely full and being picked up as one of the last people, I got a very shitty seat, squeezed in between a bunch of backpacks and Miguel from Spain. The journey was long and I was grateful for the lunch break we had and, most of all, when Lawrence, Richard and Jeff left the minivan in Chiang Rai and I got a better seat for the next 2 hours to Chiang Khong, the town closest to the border where we ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang February 3rd 2019

Montag Morgen, den 28. Januar, habe ich Chiang Mai verlassen und habe meine Reise nach Laos in einem Minibus begonnen. Die Fahrt würde 3 Tage dauern : 1 Tag zur Grenze, 1 Tag um die Grenze zu überqueren und um mit dem Slowboat nach Pakbeng zu fahren, 1 Tag um mit dem Slowboat von Pakbeng nach Luang Prabang zu kommen. Der Minibus war komplett voll und weil ich erst am Schluss abgeholt wurde bekam ich natürlich einen der schlimmsten Sitze ; ich war eingezwängt zwischen einem Haufen Rucksäcke und Miguel aus Spanien. Die Reise war sehr lang und ich war froh über die lange Mittagspause die wir machten ; vor allem war ich glücklich als Lawrence, Richard und Jeff in Chiang Rai ausstiegen und ich für die nächsten 2 Stunden Fahrt einen besseren Sitzplatz bekam. :-) ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 29th 2019

We have slightly overslept this morning as we need to pack, check out, have breakfast and walk to the opposite end of town to attend another Big Brother Mouse volunteering session. We arrive at BBM about 15 minutes late and the session is in full swing but there are young people waiting to join in so it’s not a problem. We grab a couple of chairs and within no time I have a group of four whilst Ian has a much larger group clustered around him. Trying to describe my job has thus far been difficult but today I came prepared! I have two of my travel books which were destined as a gift for friends in New Zealand, but now we feel compelled to leave them behind in the BBM library! Ian’s group is of ... read more
Birds for sale
Temple murals
Bamboo bridge




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