Luang Prabang 

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO site , filled with tree lined avenues and beautiful old French styles houses. We spent many nights wondering the streets filled with our favourite night market, filled with clothes , textiles and art work, from local villages. We would then finish the evenings with a stop at the food stalls that lined a tiny alleyway. All you can eat buffets were devoured, topped with Alex’s favourite roasted chicken. 

My favourite, a tiny dumpling stand, dished out delicious steaming parcels of vegetables and meat with an extremely spicy sauce. Mmmmmmm perfect 👌. 

If I could bring him home to be my personal cook, I would ! 🥄🍵

The days were taken up with day trips to surrounding sites and beautiful waterfalls.  The first day was dedicated to exploring the current town, and tiny villages around it. These were all over the river and attached by small bamboo bridges, no wider than a Moped. We also decided to climb to the top of Wat Prah Buddabat , where there is said to be the imprint of Buddha’s footprint in the stone, along with a great view of the sunset. Although the footprint was relatively unimpressive to use, just being  an indent covered by a tiny concrete shrine, the view was fairly impressive. 

The hill the Wat is built on is said to have been bought to Luang Prabang by the Monkey God, Humanan. He was sent by the queen to find some special mushrooms, he travelled all the way to Sri Lanka to find some, but bought back the wrong ones. So he returned to SriLanka and picked up the whole of the jungle and bought it back, dumping it in the middle of the city, saying surely the ones you want would be in here. 🙈 This is why there is a random enormous mound in the middle of a very flat city. 🐒

We were wanting to go to the famous tiered waterfalls , however a van out there could be quite pricey. Luckily we managed to meet up with some old friends and all cash together to get a mini van to the waterfall furthest away. 

The van dropped us all at the bottom of a hill and we started walking up. On our way we came across a sun bear sanctuary. A lot of these snuggly looking bears have been saved from poachers or locked cages in inhuman conditions, and love the shaded shelter the charity have made. Although most of them were asleep in their hammocks, relaxing back like Balloo from The Jungle Book, one cheeky chappy, came and said hello, poking his enormous claws through the fence.

Onwards we went, and eventually came to a series of different size pools, filled with turquoise water. Some no bigger than a bath, some bigger than swimming pools, all gradually falling back down the hill, fuelled by the giant waterfall at the top.

Even though we were standing 6 meters away we could still feel the force of the waterfall!

We spent a wonderful day relaxing in the water, and revelling in the skills of Mother Nature.

We then spent our remaining days in Laos traveling on a slow boat down to the north of Thailand. Although we were a little trepidatious about the journey it turn out tomb one of our favourite. In total the journey took 2 days, which does seem like a long time. However when you spend you time meandering down the river at a relaxing speed, watching the lush green scenery float by, passing the time with card games, films and reading , it all adds up to be very enjoyable. 

The views as we went along were amazing- so natural and peaceful!

We found that the whole of Laos , being the most northern country to visit, was the coolest temperature overall. However the mornings on this boat were extremely cold. We would both start the journey rapped in two pairs of trousers, two tops and a jumper ( and in my case about 3 pairs of socks and a scarf). Nevertheless by the end of the day you had gradually transformed from a artic explorer to a normal traveller complete with flip flops and shorts. 
We arrived at the Thai boarder not really knowing what to expect, due to our last experience, but passed through with ease.

Next stop Chiang Rai! 🇹🇭🌍

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