Nov 11, 2010

in love in luang prabang…

we are now back in vientiane after spending a few more days in the northern lao mountains, than anticipated. if i can use one word to describe the last week it would be perfect. after a week and a half spent in recovery i must admit i was not looking forward to the ten hour bus trip up north, but it was well worth the effort. we arrived after dark so the our first impressions were not great as we trekked through a night market that crowded the street making in very difficult to find a guest house, and after a day on a dusty bus, we were irritable hungry and tired. once we got settled, we found ourselves falling quickly in love with this little french village, that is literally in the middle of nowhere.

the quiet streets meandered alongside the mekong river which was dotted with old french villas that had been revamped and turned into beautiful quaint guest houses. there were cafes that served amazing laos coffee and freshly baked croissants throughout the day which turned into groovy little wine bars when the sun descended. it was small enough to walk around however most chose to hire bikes to cycle around town and to get to the riverside bars in the surrounding villages. luang prabang initially evoked curiosity as its labeled as one of south east asia’s most romantic villages and i might just add that it did not disappoint. we were quiet loved up by the end of our visit…

we spent the first day exploring and eating our way around the village before signing up for a lao cooking class the following day. a tour through the local food market saw the day get off to a fun start and we met some really great people along our cooking journey. the food was not as desirable or tasty as the thai foods however the company we kept during the day certainly made up for it. we had a few english lads, a couple from switzerland, a couple from melbourne and an americano. we had fun feasting away at the table after creating our meals and chatting to everyone about how they ended up in luang prabang. we ended up dining with the group for the preceding two nights and headed out for an afternoon adventure with our fellow aussies before heading south to the capital.

we are now in the throws or running errands in vientiane and we are in good spirits. i am almost fully recovered from my dengue fever but still get a little low in energy in the afternoons, so we are being careful not to overdo things. we are en route to the 4000 islands in the south of the country before crossing the border into cambodia. lao has been a great stomping ground and we have really fallen in love with this dusty land, which unfortunately has put us almost a week off course. so we have less time in cambodia and vietnam, but we will cope…

pics. mountains of northern lao, french guest house, kurt cooking, some of the cooking class out for some beverages, sunset on the mekong, kurt enjoying a cold beer lao at sunset, chilling at the river, a typical side street in luang prabang and day trip to waterfall