20th April 2012
I love Luang Prabang. Love, love, love it. Love squared. Love infinity squared. You can see how much I love it.
Kuang Si Falls and the sleepy architectural beauty made me fall hard after just one day. I could see myself living here… (Mum, I’m not. you can relax. You’ll definitely be looking forward to washing my clothes smiley face.)
What better way to explore Luang Prabang than by cycling on a push bike, all of us thought as we munched through breakfast. We were also ready to go templing as we heard there was a Wat that was being restored to its original grandeur.
However, our Slowboat fellowship was already breaking up as John and Muriel wanted to go to Vang Vieng and thus left later on that day. I privately called them Merry and Pippin (those who watch lord of the rings will get this reference.)
Booking our tickets to Vang Vieng via minibus to leave the next day, we were free to find some bikes to pedal around the romantic town. I managed to find enough bikes for all of us and we were free to have them for the whole day til 8pm.
We literally cycled everywhere in Luang Prabang and we went out into the countryside and the outskirts of the town and saw Lao Life at its best. Many people waved at us and I was struck by the friendliness of the people.
The best bit of cycling is definitely alongside one of the 2 rivers and if you needed a break, stop off at one of the riverside cares and have yourself a fruit shake. We certainly did that and definitely needed one after baking in the sun. Check out Alannah’s video she made of us cycling. I like her commentary…
We also visited the Wat that was being restored and was pleased to see it in a hive of activity with the Buddhist monks scrubbing in doing the work. Check out my pics. As you can see, Leonie and Lauren had to become old ladies or rather I thought the wicked witch stepmother dressed as an old woman from Snow White, due to a policy that no arms of legs should be showing in respect to the monks.
Returning back to the hostel after a good long trip on the bikes, we showered and changed to do one of the must do activities in Luang Prabang.
It was time to eat. But not at any old bog standard restaurant oh no. Alannah and I were pretty excited about this place.
Recommended in the Lonely Planet Guide, there is a restaurant on the riverside that also does Cookery classes. The name?
You have to go there. It could be considered a ‘Posh’ Restaurant but we didn’t care, we wanted to sample the food. Spoilt for choice on the menu, I decided to go for 5 bites as it gives you 5 mini dishes of some of the main courses. It was tres delicious and I adored the bamboo dish.
It compounded my belief that I think Lao Food is better than Thai food. It’s very herby and allows more flavour.
For dessert, I couldn’t help my sweet tooth but this banana yogurt split definitely was amazing. We were so stuffed and because we spent a while there, we realised that we had less than 10 mins to return the bikes! Luckily, it wasn’t too far away and we got back in time with our bellies full of scrumptious food.
Afterwards, we visited the bar called Utopia that gave us some chilled out vibes and all of us enjoyed sitting on the floor cushions in candlelight and mellow tunes. We bumped into many people from the Slowboat so we had a good catch up then.
I really like Luang Prabang. I can’t understand it now that many travel blogs I read would say they would only spend a day in Luang Prabang and then move on. If I could, I would spend at least a week. It’s tres beautiful!
Then as it closed, there was only one other place that remained open…the bowling alley so off we went there for some ball playing. I never get bored of bowling, it’s one of the only few activities that really gets my competitive rage out!
Meanwhile, I was pretty sad to be leaving the next day and. Hoped Vang Vieng would certainly live up to its hyped expectations. If not, Luang Prabang has my apologies.
I love you, Luang Prabang…