Laos: Luang Prabang

Our Journey to Laos consisted of many busses and boats. The city of Luang Prabang is easy to enjoy.

We’re in Laos now which means another visa and new stamps in my passport which is always exciting!

We booked a 2 night 3 day Slow boat Journey down the Mekong River from Pai to Luang Prabang. These days of traveling are so long! The slow boat is a very long skinny boat with chairs that are from old busses and airplanes. They are arranged in rows but are easily rearranged into whichever formation the people decide to move them. The boat does have some snacks on board but we loaded up on plenty snacks and sandwiches before getting on board for our 7/8hour trip. In PakBeng, one of the stops along the river, we found a nice lady and her kids at the dock who took us up to her guesthouse for us to stay the night. There really was no need to book accommodation before hand as there are plenty of people harassing you to stay with them as soon as you step off the boat. The towns on the Mekong river are very small. The river is a brownish/orange color and it’s a very hilly and green landscape. It’s like the river is in a valley. When I’m not reading I’m sitting on the ledge of the boat staring out into the scenery thinking about just about everything that might pass by my mind. As always there’s some rain and shine but the weather never matters in Asia anyway.

As we arrived in town we were very happy to be on shore again! We went for walks through the town of Luang Prabang, hiked up the hill in the center of town to get a nice view of the entire town, went for a trip to a waterfall, shopped in the night markets, watched the alms giving ceremony for the monks, and went to visit the temples. The weather in Loas has been much sunnier!

I really like the atmosphere of Luang Prabang. The town of Luang Prabang it’s self is very pretty with the style of buildings/houses and the green plants that grow just about everywhere. It actually feels like a familiar town… or maybe I’m just getting used to Asia. Either way, the houses seem well put together because they look clean, have shutters and normal looking roofs, and they have decorations. The streets have nice sidewalks! I never valued sidewalks so much until Asia. For once, I don’t feel like we’re going to get hit by a car. The markets are much calmer and the products sold are very similar to Thailand. People always say that the people in Thailand are super nice and welcoming… however I did not have that experience with the Thai people with the exception of a couple who seemed to put in extra effort. It seemed as though they always wanted to get something from you. Here in Laos the people are 1,000 times more amazing! They seem genuinely kind. From the lady with the kids who found us at the dock, to the girls selling products at the market, to the waitress at our favorite place… all of these women have been so exceptionally kind. The people of Laos smile more, are more laid back, seem happier, and are more helpful than those in Thailand. I would have liked to spend more time here to get to know the town better but we have many places left to go.

As for the food in Laos it’s very similar to Thailand but they have tons of sandwiches , and their soups are the best! There’s fruit shake and meat stands everywhere too.

We can’t believe it’s been over a month here. Wandering around Asia is now just the normal thing that we’re doing instead of wandering around in Chicago.

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