Thursday, January 6, 2011

three days of transit

We had to leave Chiang Mai, though if we could I'm sure we would have stayed longer. Our next destination was Luang Prabang, a quant little french town in Laos. We took a 5 hour bus to Chiang Kong, stopping off in Chiang Rai to see the most beautiful temple I've ever seen. It was all white, and some of the decorations were creepy.

Chiang Kong was not much of a looker, the most redeeming feature was a 7-11. We crossed over the Laos border which involved taking a little old school boat across the river. Laos immigration was slow, in line with most asian operations and it took around 4 hours for us to be able to board the slow boat. I wasn't very excited about the prospect of being on a slow boat for eight hours a day, for two days in a row, but looking back it was a really amazing experience. The Mekong river is absolutely stunning and along the journey you get a peak at daily Lao life. We had the four of us, plus Rich (*2), Chris and Laura along for the journey which made it a little more interesting.

Luang Prabang was a really lovely little town. The main street was lined with french style bakeries selling baguettes, donuts, cakes, croissants and donuts. We just chilled out here. One day we hired bikes and went for a little picnic mission, it was very sweet. We did a little day trip to Tad Sae waterfall, which took about an hour to get there by tuk tuk - unfortunately my camera was left at the hostel, but the boys got some sweet pictures.

On my last full day in Laung Prabang I volunteered at Big Brother Mouse. Essentially I went along and just chilled out with some local Laos teenagers, helping them practice their English and learning a little more about their daily life. It's hard meeting local people, because obviously travel is of such an interest to me, and usually for them too. But often it's an unrealistic dream for them. It's humbling and a good reminder of how lucky I am to be on this adventure.

No comments: