We tried to locate another boat to take us from Nong Khiaw to Luang Prabang, but to no avail. Two more dams lie on the way and have eradicated the boat option. What a pity, as we heard the landscape on this stretch is even more stunning. 😞
So the minivan it was for 4 hours. Bob stayed behind to explore the town and its surroundings a bit more and wants to do some trip planning. Goodbye for now, hope to see you in Luang Prabang again.
In this bus it was easier to see the scenery, but i missed the 🏍 for we could stop whereever we want and i always had a frontrow seat. Instead we were driving through this amazing place and played computergames on our mobiles 🤷♂️.
Luang Prabang basics
Luang Prabang, the ancient capital of LP Province in northern Laos, lies in a valley at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. It is the 5th largest city in Laos. Inhabited for thousands of years, it was the royal capital of the country until 1975. It’s known for its many Buddhist temples, including the gilded Wat Xieng Thong, dating to the 16thcentury, and Wat Mai, once the residence of the head of Laotian Buddhism.
As i have written in the last post already, i am absolutely taken by Laos so far. So different and really enjoyable. Same goes for the nightlife.
The first evening we watched sunset on the mekong river, had dinner trying fish and meat at the market and went for beers to an inviting bar with decent music, a pool table and good vibes. Loving it! (although for all the joy i did have a headache next morning).
Second night was similarly relaxed. After a stroll up to the stupa towering over Luang Prabang and a spectacular sunset, we enjoyed dinner on the shores of the mekong again and had some truly delicious mekong fish. Laura released two little birds I bought for her – a long standing tradition for good luck. Hope it helps!
Afterwards more time at the night market, food tasting (fish & coconut pancakes) and some souvenir shopping.
Kuang Si waterfalls & bear sanctuary
One of the key tourist attractions outside town, the waterfalls are cool place to see. Take swim gear and dio into the refreshing pools. Looks all like fantasy world to me.
Part of the park is also a sanctuary for the asiatic black bear. Cute to watch these guys in action 🐻😊🐻.
Explosive 💣 history – the sad UXO story
We didnt spend too much time in temples despite them being an important part of LP’s history. Very visible in any case are the many monks of all ages in town.
We tried to visit the Royal Palace just before leaving LP, but it was closed lunchtime. So it was a foot massage and a nice lunch instead 😉
What we did find time to see was the UXO information centre. There are several of these centres in Laos shedding light on the sad story of unexploded ordinance – basically US bombs that didnt go off during the Vietnam war. The bombing occured to harm either the base of fighters allied to North Vietnam or to interrupt supply lines to south vietnam (the ho chi minh trail).
Per capita, Laos holds the sad record of most bombed country in the world. A lot of the bombs were ‘bombies’ – hand grenade sized little bombs of cluster bombs that were used extensively. Close to 80m didn’t explode.
The impact is still being felt across Laos today. Each day a UXO claims a life, many families and livelihoods have been destroyed by accidents and vast areas remain bomb infested rendering them useless for economic / farm use.
Moving on to Vang Vieng from here. Harry hit the road towards there as well. Fingers crossed we meet again in three days time. 🚴 🇱🇦 💪