Looking for Love in Laos

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It was a day for walking the streets. There are a lot of international tourists in Luang Prabang. It's a Unesco World Heritage site. Started the day having breakfast at a little french cafe on main street. Then I start walking and notice the Elephant Village storefront. Riding and washing an elephant wasn't on my to-do list but I've just added it. The Elephant Village is a privately run company that saves elephants that are used in the logging industry and by locals in other endeavors. All along main street tour companies offer elephant riding experiences. This place might be more expensive but there's a higher purpose in their endeavors. Always a priority for me. I book an all day tour for tomorrow.

Off to do more walking. Wander a round a lot. Take a lot of photos. Then end up at Buddha's footprint. There I meet up with Detk. He's a 15 year novice (ie. pre-monk). We chat for over half an hour. He's been a novice for 3 years. Has two more years of study before he can be a monk. His goal is to teach English in the small villages.

More walking and picture taking. Stop in at a tour office. Book my bus to Vientiane for the day after tomorrow and my flight to Savannakhet. I've decided to play catch up on my itinerary. I'm a few days behind. I would like to see the Capital of Laos, Vientiane, but if I don't catch the Friday flight to Savannakhet I have to wait a few more days there. Then I'll really be behind. Besides, I've heard I wouldn't be missing much. It is just a large city. I wouldn't get to see the local flavor of Laos.

Back at my guest house room for a rest and then I head out for supper. I wander, and wander, and wander, checking out menus as I pass by the restaurants. Nothing interests me at the restaurants along the river and then those on main street. I arrive at the last restaurant on main street and the menu is promising. I get a table on the patio.

I get my drink, order my supper (spaghetti bolognaise) and then notice a Laos woman sitting by herself at a table nearby. I soon notice that she's the restaurant manager or owner as she's always directing the staff. She says Hi, then invites me to join her. I do. Nao is the owner of the restaurant and guest house I'm having supper at. She also owns a resort 15 minutes outside of town that she's opened a few months ago.

Our philosophies about life are quite similar. We chat all evening. Her restaurant manager is off work as she had a baby and the replacement has the education to run the place but seems to be lacking in actual skills. Nao has to spend long hours here due to that. She also just built a resort about 15 minutes outside town. She has no manager for that. The restaurant closed and we head over to a gay bar down the street that her friend owns. One drink there and then we head to another bar near my hostel. She introduces me to the owner. We continue chatting. She wants to show me her resort tomorrow. I said I can't as I've already booked a tour. She says come after and we can do it at night. I agree.

It's after midnight when I get to bed.
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