After flying into Bangkok (the main hub in the area) and catching up with Frank, we had a couple of days free before out organised tour to Myanmar (Burma).
The airport was quite small, and you needed to get a visa on arrival.
We got a truck from the airport (the main form of transport) and travelled to our hotel.
It was next to a road, and on the other side of the road they had a sort of cafe/bar where we had breakfast.
A beautiful teak building, the people there were really friendly and I was starting to get really excited about the trip.
We’re here for 3 nights. Were interested in doing full day activities for the 2 days in the middle, but of the afternoon we decide to wander around the town and get a feel for the place.
As we wonder out, we see this half completed building that gives an idea of how traditional buildings are constructed using modern methods.
Although the place is great to spend time in, the actual town itself only has 3 “must see” sights according to the lonely planet.
Wat Xieng Thong – the temple of the Golden city is a Buddhist monastery.
“mount” Phosi has commanding views of the whole town (although to be honest at 100metres above sea level, its more hill than mountain).
There is a woman of the bottom of the steps, who sells birds in cages. The idea is that you can climb up to the temple and set the bird free.
But like Nikki said. The old lady only trapped that bird because she new someone would buy it. If you really want to help the birds, keep your money in your pocket.
At the top of the main run of the stairs, a large tree, then you pay an entrance fee.
From here, the stairs go off to the right.
Wat Chom Si is the Buddhist temple at the top of the hill.
Around the back are some spectacular views of the peninsula.
Back down the stairs and right across the road is the Royal Palace.
A collection of regal buildings and a museum.
A wandered around the gardens which were kept in very good order.
The main building has a museum with fine art, a garage with Royal cars and stuff like that.
We wandered back onto the main road, had a few drinks and a delicious Pizza, cooked on a wood burning stove.
There were loads of shops open in the evening, advertising day trips. We decide that the following day we’d do the classic boat trip to caves and drive to waterfall.
The following day, we’d to a jungle trek to 2 villages and the Tad Sae.
In the morning, were up first thing and we have breakfast by the river.
Property is quite expensive in Luang Prabang, so many of the people who work there, actually live on the the side of the river, and sail over first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Were picked up by van, just outside our hotel, then driven around the blog and dropped off at the boat jetty (which interestingly is only 60 metres from the place we were picked up).
The “captain” of our boat pilots it from the front, it has a roof in case of rain and had been modified with really comfortable car seats.
We share the boat with a French couple who had 2 well behaved young children with them.
A relaxing 2 hour journey up the Mekong. At one point it looked like our boat had engine problems, but our captain sorted this out pretty quick.
And we arrive at Pak Ou caves. There are actually 2 caves here, and we visit the lower one first.
There were all sorts of carved stone figures of Buddha here, but in the end, a caves a cave and there’s not much I can say about that.
I found a nice spot to take a picture of Nikki.
Further along, a stairway leads upto the other cave.
The other cave was a bit more “tomb raider and you could rent torches to explore it.
Back to the jetty and we set off.
But we dont go straight back, we stop off at the whisky village.
They had whisky and dead scorpions in bottles. We decided not to buy anything.
Back to Luang Prabang, and we’ve got 90 minutes to have lunch in the alternative brew bar, a really nice coffee shop before jumping in a truck and heading to our next destination Kuang Si waterfall.
It’s about 40 minutes in a minibus, and once you get there, well, its a waterfall.
The most interesting thing I found was to wander around the top of the waterfall and explore.
You can’t actually swim around there, but a pool nearby is a better option.
I found somewhere in the shade and had a can of beer.
Our group had been allotted 2 hours for the trip. To be honest I was bored after 40 mins, so we wandered down the hill to the town and found a nice bar there to relax in.
Along the way, we passed this zoo where local bears live (but they’d hidden inside so we didn’t see them).