22.04.2014 - 26.04.2014 35 °C
Sean and I got up early on Tuesday morning to catch a mini bus to Chiang Khong; possibly the scariest road journey so far, as our driver carelessly selected songs to play over the speakers on YouTube! In Chiang Khong we crossed the border into Laos, Huay Xai, where we boarded a large slow boat to take a 2-day boat to Luang Prabang.
The scenery on the boat was incredible the whole way, but the boat was a total tourist trap - however this did mean that we were able to meet lots of people and I made a lot of friends very quickly!
After a long journey, which included 5 hours on the slow boat, we arrived in our stop over destination, Pak Beng. The pumpkin and buffalo curry that I had that night was probably the best Laos meal I had! But it arrived late since the town experiences power cuts frequently, and there were 2 that night!
The following day we had 8 hours on the slow boat, which was tiring, but luckily the scenery stayed beautiful.
Once in Luang Prabang, myself, Sean and some people we'd meet on the boat, headed to Khammany Inn, a very busy backpackers hostel. The night market of Luang Prabang was great, although the phrase 'same, same, but different' can be used to describe almost anything in Laos; menus, shops, tours, hostels... So a lot of the stalls sold similar things. Still, I did buy some generic 'traveller pants' hareem trousers in bright funky designed material! The food in Laos was odd... sort of Thai, but not as nice, not spicy, lots of baguettes and sandwiches (French influence) and at the night market there were a lot of buffet stalls! It was still tasty, but disappointing compared to Thai food.
The next day the gang and I spent the day wandering around the town. We ate on the river front, but certainly paid for the views not the food!! We continued to the palace museum, former home of the Laos king, before climbing up Way Phu Si for some great views over the town and river.
That evening we went drinking, but as there is an alcohol curfew in Laos at 11:30, all parties turn to the only place open after this, which in Luang Prabang was the bowling alley!! ... I won of course!
Taking the piss out of the face I usually pull on photos!!
The following day the gang headed to Kuang Si waterfall by tuk tuk, an in interesting journey to say the least... I only screamed a couple of times! The waterfall was the most beautiful so far, the water was an eerie green and the view from the top of the falls was well worth the 30 minute tough steep climb.
The evening ended the same, food, drinks and bowling (which I won... again
Our last day in Luang Prabang we spent exploring the local temple cave and chilling in the town and hostel. A slow boat over to the caves was beautiful and the caves were nice and cool although very small.
Luang Prabang was very touristy... although you can see why, as it was a beautiful place, especially the waterfalls and river.