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Luang Prabang

It's in Northern Laos...

semi-overcast 30 °C

Written on April 17...

Well, we made it to Lunag Prabang after the longest drive on the most sinuous road in the world(according to me at least). For 12 hours, 300km trip, the bus must not have gone in a straight line for more than 100 meters - overall! It was sharp left after sharp right, going up, then down hills, on the side of a mountain, then another, more left and right, left, right, left, right = the longest 12 hours in history!
The first half of the trip was through a massive downpour (I love rain, will miss it SOOOO much when I live in Mtl...SOOOOO MUCH!!!!), but it cleared and we got to see the absolutely stunning scenery of the mountains & valleys, tropical forest, tiny villages right on the road, and sadder views of quarters of mountains completely cleared/deforested...it's a problem everywhere I guess!

Sleeping on the bus was difficult and unfomfortable (as opposed to the usual completely passing out that I normally do for a couple of hours) because we kept on getting jerked from one side to the other (from the bus turnign sharply), constantly! We even paid for a VIP bus instead of our preferred local bus to increase the confort level (and because there were a few instance until 2004 of local busses being attacked and everyone on it killed...major deterrent!). The bus broke down at some point (about halfway) and I'm pretty sure we lost the muffler or something, as it became very very loud! hehehe between that and the driver who hard a hard time with the clutch...good times! hehehe

So anyway, we made it to the extremely touristy town of Luang Prabang, anciently the capital of Laos...not sure when it was moved, but a long itme ago. The French influence is still, like everywhere else in this country, largely present, with stuff in french everywhere, a shitload of French tourists, and some architecture.
It's ok, but very small and the only things to see/visit/do around here are Wats (Buddhist temples), elephant treeking (already done in southern Thailand), waterfall and cave visiting (also already done), trekking in the jungle (I still remember the sting of the leeches in Khao Sok - so no thanks!) and shopping (we all know my most dreaded activity, especially on THIS budget!)....SOOOOO... we will visit a bit tomorrow (there's a museum and a 500yrs old Wat) then take off on a 2 days journey on the Mekong river to the Thai border, back to beautiful Thailand! yay!
Other than that everything is good, I've been in a bit of a rut since Pakse where I'm tire dof travelling. I fully realize I can't complain, but I also fully realize I'm definitely not one of those people who will want to travel extensively all their lives.. good to know! hehehe

Cheers
P.S. There was apparently an earthquake in the town here...it may have been on the news in your part of the world, but it's really nothing here. We didn't feel anything at all and everything is same same here, so no worries!

Posted by Mistrale 06:39 Archived in Laos

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