Blogs from Luang Prabang, West, Laos, Asia

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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

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang January 26th 2019

We are up early as our bus leaves at 7.40am and we need to get to the bus station. There is a little idiosyncrasy in the shower in that, either they had a bodge-it plumber, or they have different ideas about tap colour coding here...as the water runs cold when turned towards red and hot when turned to blue. I keep forgetting and get scorched every time as a result. We are all going our separate ways today. Two couples are heading on to Vietnam leaving ourselves and Lisa only for the Luang Prabang bus. The taxi is late so today we do not get first dibs at the minibus seats - we are almost at the back. It’s a much smaller bus than the one we arrived in and much less comfortable. The driver is ... read more
Mountain passes
Van squash
Mountains and valleys

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang November 24th 2018

Can it be that time already? We can't quite believe it! Today, we leave Vietnam and move on to our next country in Indochina, namely Laos and the city of Luang Prabang, in the mountainous north west of the country. The tour does return to Vietnam to fly home in a week's time (when our group of six, together with one other (Christine, the lady who had the unfortunate fall at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum all those 'weeks!' ago), have three days or so to relax on a beach east of Ho Chi Minh City), but for now, we say goodbye to this land 'South of China' and move on to, what is often called, 'The Jewel of Indochina'. Our one hour flight to Laos departed at 12.50 pm, and with the drive to the ... read more
First afternoon in Luang Prabang - 1
First afternoon in Luang Prabang - 2
The Monks - 1

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang November 14th 2018

Luang Prabang also has oodles of temples and oodles of things for tourists, although also has the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, French colonial influence, interesting element of the morning alms procession by monks (who collect their food for the day) and all sorts of fantastic scenery. Due to sediment from the limestone in the hills, some of the waterfalls are a spectacular blue color (and you can swim in them! but they are not warm :). In a completely random coincidence, I also met up with some friends I met years ago in Africa here - it's an oddly small world sometimes.... read more
Beautiful mountains flying into Luang Prabang
Morning alms procession ceremony (it starts at sunrise, about 5:30), watching from my hotel
Alms procession ceremony




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