Luang Prabang, Laos (11.4.11 – 11.6.11)

The overnight bus from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang was supposed to take twelve hours. So we’d been told anyway. It was no huge surprise when it took 16 ½. Once at the station, I got a tuk-tuk into town, found a guesthouse and walked around town to get lunch. I had a lazy day, and meandered about town, browsing the markets.
Saturday was essentially the same. It was nice to relax and do little of anything for a bit, because I was still a bit sore from hiking for three days.
On Sunday, I spent the beginning of my day having lunch and enjoying some coffee, and then got into contact with Kerri and Jo, my friends from the Gibbon Experience. They’d spent a bit longer in Huay Xai, but they were now in Luang Prabang, and we made plans to meet up. At 4:30PM, we met the foot of Phou Si, a hill in the center of town. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Fred, another friend from the Gibbon Experience was with them as well as they’d traveled from Huay Xai together. Phou Si offers a fantastic panoramic view of Luang Prabang, as well as an excellent view of the sunset, which makes it an extremely popular spot at this time of day. We watched the sunset, then descended and wandered through the night market in search of food. We walked down a small side street and found somewhere with a street cart buffet style offering, for very little money, which sounded perfect to us. We ate and drank some beer, and then I had to say goodbye. I went back to my guesthouse to pick up my bag so that I could head onto Vientiane, Laos’s capital. Yet another night bus, and off I went.

 

The main street in town is filled with countless European style restaurants and guesthouses

Haw Kam, the former royal palace; it’s now a museum, though I didn’t visit it.

The view of Luang Prabang from the top of Phou Si.

Sunset over the Mekong, from Phoi Si

Luang Prabang was nice. I have heard many people speak about how charming they found Luang Prabang, but it wasn’t a city that won me with its charm. For me it was lazy and dozy, which was precisely what I wanted from it.

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