Luang Prabang - Part 1 (Saturday to Monday)

Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
Trip End Mar 21, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, January 17, 2011

We are staying in Luang Prabang for eight nights, so we will do two journal postings as we are taking it easy here. So far we are really enjoying Luang Prabang. It's a very relaxed, compact town with pretty good weather so far.

Our first day here, we spent relaxing. Traveling everyday actually gets a bit tiring, especially on windy roads when you are trying not to hit your head on the window and to not slam into the person next to you. We walked around the town, took a nap and went to the night market.

On Sunday, we were planning on going kayaking with a Swiss couple that we met on the Stray bus, but we all felt the price was a bit high for a half day paddle. Basically, it was the same as a full day. Instead, we all bought some sandwiches from our new sandwich lady and tried to go for a walk along the river. We had a great time with the sandwich lady. As we were purchasing so many sandwiches, we were trying to get a discount but she was having none of it - a very tough negotiator! She was speaking to her friends laughing, we were laughing - it was a great time. Every time we walk by her now, she says hello and starts laughing. We actually buy sandwiches from her everyday. She puts a lot of love into the sandwiches and we've noticed that she fills them up a bit more than normal. After getting our sandwiches, we walked down to the river, but unfortunately the road does not actually follow the river. We crossed over the Old Bridge (which was a bit sketchy) and walked through the town on the other side of the river and made our way to the New Bridge. At the New Bridge, we walked down to the river and enjoyed our sandwiches. As we were eating, there were girls bathing themselves (fully clothed) and washing clothes and other ladies collecting something from the river (either seaweed or some type of shellfish). It's quite interesting that they were bathing themselves in the river, yet all had cellphones and motorbikes. In the evening, we went to the night market again.

On Monday, we went to the Kuang Si Falls which is about an hour outside of the city. We went with four other people in a large tuk tuk. The Swiss couple had been told that it was a one hour bike ride to the falls, but the hills were so large, that we decided that they were told wrong. On  the footpath to the falls, there was a moon bear rescue centre. These bears had been rescued from capitivity where they had there bile harvested, which is very painful. The enclosure was spacious and had lots of toys and areas to rest. It was one of the better rescue centres that we have seen.

The falls were great. They reminded me a lot of Plitvice National Park in Croatia. These falls were also tiered with emerald green water. It wasn't hot enough to swim, but we dipped our feet in. We also walked all the way to the top of the waterfalls, which I don't think I've ever done before. The walk up was more like a climb - we were all scrambling up a steep, narrow path. I was dreading going down that way, but we discovered at the top that there actually was another way up with a good path and stairs! At least going down was easy. In the evening, we had dinner with our bus mates as they were all hopping back on the bus on Tuesday. Jeff and I were a bit sad about that as it has been great to bump into familiar faces to grab a bite with or hang out with.

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Kathie on

Wow, what a totally different world! The falls look amazing, definately worth the climb! Enjoy your travels and adventures and keep writing, I love to check it out and see your pix! Lots of love from home! K, K , C & M

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