Luang Prabang

luang prabang

On Wednesday we drove straight north in a minivan, from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is a city near the Mekong. The ride in the overheated minivan was twisty, but the views on the Laos jungle made up for the discomfort. After a near 4-hour drive, we finally arrived at Luang Prabang. We looked for a guesthouse and checked in for 4 nights. Lodgings with a pool always nice! Life in South-East Asia seems to be going at a 30% rate compared to life in Europe. But I guess we could say life in Laos rather goes at a 5% rate. Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more… So that’s what we did on our first day here. On day two, the morning weather wasn’t too charming (read: there was a cloud in front of the sun), so we postponed our waterfall visit to the next day. Instead, we strolled around the city and had a look at our finances for the rest of our travels. In Luang Prabang, there’s a night market every evening, when tourists get outside to buy food and souvenirs. A lot of stall holders were actually selling real artisan stuff, which was way more original than most of the other souvenirs we had seen during our trip through Asia. Part of the market was taken up by food stalls, where food is cheap but not that great. It’s better to go out for dinner in other places around Luang Prabang, without having to pay much more. So on our first night here, we decided to sit down in a buffet restaurant where we could choose from rice, noodles, vegetables etc.
Fun fact: Luang Prabang has a Belgian restaurant! On Friday, we surrendered to our cravings for meat stew, fries and real mayonaise. It really tasted like home, so it was definitely worth that little extra money. On Saturday, we rent motorbikes and drove to the Kuang Si waterfall, which is an hour’s drive from the city centre. You can drive the entire way on paved road, swaying through the Laos jungle. You pass through cosy villages and there’s some amazing views as well. The Kuang Si waterfall consists of a number of waterfalls at different levels, and at the bottom of some waterfalls you can swim in a natural pool. While in Vang Vieng we were quite disappointed about their famous Blue Lagoon, this waterfall was SUCH a highlight! In the middle of the jungle, an enormous water mass pours down through the wild vegetation. After our rewarding waterfalls visit, we drove to a butterfly garden, but the entry was quite expensive for what it really was. A nice, clean and well-maintained garden with many butterflies, but it didn’t get more exciting than that.
On our last evening in Laos (on Saturday), we went out for some Mexican food. Spicy, but oh so yum!
At this moment, we are at Luang Prabang airport, waiting for our flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Flying to Thailand was our only option, since we’d only get a passport stamp for 15 days if we entered otherwise. And as we plan to stay in Thailand for at least a month, we had no other option than to enter Thailand by plane.