Laos – Luang Prabang

02/06/16

I arrived at 7am, I slept well on the bus and was ready to find a place to stay. Marine and I first went to LPQ backpackers and were told that at 11am we could check in. We left our bags and found a nice cafe called Jomo to get breakfast and wifi. When we headed back at around 9am we were told there were no rooms!

So we went to kounsavan guest house which is another popular hostel, again no rooms for tonight but I reserved a bed for tomorrow. I headed back to LPQ as I had put my laundry in a guest house next door called wat that homestay, I went to ask them if they had space and luckily they did! I got a private room which was 40,000 each.

I headed out towards the river and had a really nice stroll by the riverside, I wasn’t dressed appropriately for the temples so I thought to save them for later. It was really hot walking around and we were constantly hassled by tuk tuk drivers. I found the town quite charming in a European way, as it has many French characteristics. I sometimes felt I was in the south of France in a small village. They have some beautiful jewellery here in the style of the villagers and it’s so tempting to buy some!

For lunch I found a really cheap baguette stall area, it’s 10,000 for the sandwich and 10,000 for a fruit shake. I had a Laos style sandwich and it was pretty good! I like cheap stuff haha. Afterwards I went back to the guest house to change into trousers, and headed out again. This time I walked up past the Phou Si mountain and took a right so I was by the river again. I came across a bamboo bridge and decided to cross it, it cost 5000. I loved walking across, it felt a bit wobbly but it had a lovely view. The other side didn’t really have much going on apart from a temple which had a really long boat… I chose to walk down to the old bridge and cross back over there. As I approached the bridge I could see it was really small and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to walk across. I needn’t have worried as there’s a small rickety side path complete with loose boards and nails sticking up. It was an adventure for sure! I walked back towards the mountain and had a quick look at a temple but I didn’t think much of it. I walked past Utopia bar and decided to have a break and got myself an Oreo, banana and coconut milk shake… So good. The place was pretty nice with the river view an nice cushions to chill on. Apparently this is the most popular bar in Luang Prabang and I just so happened to find it by chance!

Afterwards I walked up the Phou Si mountain to the Buddhist foot print, there there was a monk who wanted to practise his English so we enjoyed a chat about travelling and monk life. He told me that he came to the temple for education, his family live in a village far away and this was the cheapest way for him to learn English. He said there were 1000 students there last year and now there are around 800. It was really nice to talk with him and I hope the temple life goes well for him!

I decided not to go to the summit and wait to do it with the girls. I ended up walking back to the hostel, chilled for a few hours then came out to eat in the night food market. There was a stall which was a buffet of vegetarian food where one bowl was 15,000kip. It was ok, I didn’t really like the taste of everything and most of it was just carb. Meat was extra so I didn’t have any.

The night market is huge and I really wanted a good look around but they were already packing up. I saw some beautiful tapestries and lots of interesting items I hadn’t previously seen on sale at other markets.

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