When sitting down to reflect on the last two days in Laos, two words come to mind; patience and blondes. In fact, even those two words are relatable – due to my growing patience for a certain group of blondes (at the best of times!)
Both today and yesterday started on a bit of a fizz. First day we got up at 5.30am because we were told that elephants would be parading down the street. After waiting for several hours we decided to head to a cafe, only to stumble upon the elephants on our way back to the hostel…at around 9am…
The second day we got up at 5am to watch the monks receive alms in the streets. Like curious little cats, we perched on the gutter on the opposite side of the road to the temple, under a spot of light but safe from the rain. Unfortunately we seemed to be the only tourists conscious of the traditional and cultural significance of this practice, opting not to shove huge camera lenses in the faces of the monks, but rather observing from a distance.
After grabbing a few minutes more sleep, I rose again in time to get down to the city centre for a parade we were told started at 7am. At 12pm we were still waiting…after retiring back to the hostel, it turns out the parade finally started to go just after I went upstairs to pack my bag. Good one, Luang Prabang. Pretty cool though that the whole city is a world heritage site.
But apart from the hours of waiting that seem to constitute the last two days, and the subsequent patience that ensues, there were some awesome memories made in Luang Prabang. We visited waterfalls that raved menthol-green water, and went swimming on rope swings. We found a super cute cocktail bar and treated ourselves to ‘screaming orgasms’ and ‘sex on the beach’. We finally found a bottle of wine that we could afford. We got our appetites back, and subsequently ate our body weight and more at the 10,000 kip buffet. We ate delicious crepes from the street vendors, explored the night markets, found salad we could eat, ate in a cafe with the President of Laos’ daughter, and visited a heap of temples. Plus I got to see elephants, and tick another box on my to-do list.
Apart from some super blonde moments, such as Hannah’s concern for our ability to breath while driving up the mountains, through fog, to get to Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang impressed. While the bus trip to Vang Vieng was a nightmare – blowing a tire, speeding through fog on winding roads against oncoming traffic, and stupid seats that felt like we were sitting on a trampoline – we have some awesome activities planned for Vang Vieng! Let’s hope the weather holds out!