Luang Prabang: part deux
Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
28Trip End Dec 25, 2011
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Refreshed from our 16.5 hour "sleeper" bus we check into our hotel nice and early and set out hunting for a well-earned breakfast. We splurge in one of the up-market joints and have banana pancakes and fruit smoothies galore. Back at the hotel a quick shower sees Amy ready for bed and Michael ready to explore, the mission is simple: find a hairdressers! Success sees him feeling a fair bit cooler and $4 worse off.
The girl who runs the hotel seems really nice (if a bit crazy) and later we all get chatting. It turns out she is Vietnamese and not Lao, and is shocked we thought otherwise
That afternoon we walked over to the shimmering Wat Xieng Thong, leisurely strolling around the magnificent jeweled buildings in the heat. Earlier we had shed some of the weight of our backpacks by posting some goodies home, so that evening with space to fill we once again headed to the night market with kip to burn! We had taken a shine to the various lamps and lights and managed to purchase a few; unfortunately the huge paper stars were too big to fit in. So much for the lighter backpacks!
The next day is our last full day in Laos, eager to fit in as much as possible we have signed up to a whole day tour. Our tour guides are desperately keen to improve their good English and we happily chat away (Michael has to be on his toes not to slip into his deeper- unintelligible- Bradfordian accent at times). The morning is spent at Kuang Si falls, complete with bear sanctuary and turquoise pools. We bring our swimming gear and happily splash about, jumping in down a (small) waterfall and rope swing off an over-hanging tree. Just as we are getting out a Japanese tour walks past. Paparazzi snap our every move in the pool; Michael unwisely adopts a few Baywatch poses before we head off to the next attraction.
The afternoon sees us try our hand at elephant riding. We have a quick lunch at the lodge and head over to meet our hosts
After a good night's sleep (for the last 2 weeks or so we seem to have been dogged with a lack of sleep (i.e. less than 9 or 10 hours) due to horrendous bus journeys, hot, sticky rooms or busy bars below our bed. Laos was no exception: obviously critters in the forest were to be expected, but the first night here the loudest thunderstorm raged for 10 hours overnight, and the previous night the monastery next door celebrated some of it's members turning 18. How did they do that you ask? By staying up all night banging a blummin' drum continuously!), anyway, we sadly leave Laos to return to the hustle of Vietnam next door, a quick "Sabaidee" outside the hotel manages to bag a final tuk-tuk ride the few km back to the airport we arrived at 8 days ago. A quick change in Hanoi should see us arrive in Hue that evening...