A lovely last stop in Laos

Trip Start Apr 22, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, April 30, 2012

After a sketchy 7 hour bus ride up from Vang Vieng we arrived in the sleepy town of Luang Prabang. Absolutely knackered from the journey we decided to check into a slightly more expensive guesthouse, shelling out a full $4 each for a room with an en-suite and air-con! The next morning we moved to Phousi Two guesthouse which was in a much better location and had a wonderful balcony overlooking the riverside restaurants and the Mekong itself. We then headed off to see the nearby waterfalls, traveling in the back of a pick up (the Lao equivalent to taking a Tuk Tuk). An hour later and we couldn't believe our eyes! First we walked past a bear sanctuary, seeing the black bears that had been rescued enjoying life in their new home and then we were at the waterfalls. They were incredible! We jumped straight into the cool, refreshing turquoise water and happily explored the waterfalls and swung off the rope swing for the next 3 hours before returning to our driver and heading back. That evening we ate at the riverside restaurant directly across from our guesthouse, which quickly became one of our favourites for the next few days and then enjoyed slowly wandering through the night market, browsing the carefully crafted goods.
The next day we got up early and rented bikes for the day, with the plan of visiting 3 of Luang Prabang's famous temples. We took the ferry across the river, cycling for a few minutes and then walked up the steep hill to Wat Xieng Maen. The temple itself was not spectacular, but the views across Luang Prabang definitely were! Sitting amongst the trees with their red or yellow flowers we had a beautiful view across the river and over the town, and since there was absolutely no-one else there we decided to play a few rounds of cards. By the time we left the first temple it was already mid-day and the heat was absolutely unbearable so we quickly crossed the Mekong again and found a nice restaurant on the banks of the Nam Khan river. After lunch we lazily made our way to 'Le Benneton' cafe where we enjoyed a few cups of coffee and few more rounds of cards. Whilst we sat there the scorching heat was replaced by heavy rain as a sudden storm hit the town, but by about 4 the rain had cleared up and the sun was shining again. Our plan of seeing 3 temples had gone out the window as we sat in the cafe, so after a quick freshen up at the guesthouse we began the short but exhausting climb up Phousi hill to That Chomsi where we settled in to watch the amazing sunset. After the sun had set we made the most of our bike rental by cycling through the town and soon realised why the guidebooks had described Luang Prabang as Laos' most romantic town. 
It was a very early morning the next day and sadly time to say goodbye to Katie and Adam as they headed off on a river boat at 8am. Alan and I then spent the day lazing around until it was time to head to the airport and board our flight for Hanoi!  
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