After our pseudo spring breaker time in Vien Viang, we journeyed by mini-bus to our final Laos destination, Luang Prabang. As one of Laos key trade hubs with China, the city is a bit more developed but not so much that we felt like our heart rates should ever rise above resting in true Laos style.
The Ponthia guesthouse we stayed at gave us a relaxed view off our balconies in the morning as we coffee’d up to the sound of the rain and roosters. The afternoon gave way to some sun and on our first day and after walking a bit through the quiet town, we ran into some English friends who made the trip to Luang Prabang with us and decided that we should check out the scenic waterfalls about 45 minutes from the city off in the countryside.
Our tuk-tuk gave us a sweet deal since there were 4 of us and after some minor breakdowns along the winding country road, we made it to our destination. The waterfalls area was coupled with a black bear sanctuary that was located a bit before the waterfalls on the trail. The bears were in lazy mode which might just be because they live in Laos, so after a few shots, we cruised through and made it to the first set of falls.
After my skills on the rope swing had been sharpened in Vien Viang, I decided to do it up once again on the swing located at the first falls. After my signature flip and a good dive off the nearby falls with Will (one of our English buddies), we made our way onward and upward towards the “big” waterfall we had only seen in pictures.
We had not come prepped for hiking on this day and our flip flops posed somewhat of a challenge as we made the climb upward to the top of the falls since it only seemed appropriate that we see what the view from the top was like.
The rains made the path up quite sticky and fairly dangerous, especially when lugging an expensive camera…(peep the flip videos for my mini-meltdown following a near spill that I was not thrilled about). Nonetheless, we carried on and Nicole, barefoot and all made it with our English friends to the top which was well worth the effort when we we faced with a magnificent view of the valley below.
Making it down took similar strength and a it of luck and we slipped and slided our way to the bottom. Pulling leaches off our feet once we hit paydirt was an added bonus that some onlooking locals rather enjoyed.
That night we stumbled upon a really cool place to eat called Roots and Leaves. looked really pricey but the offering on the menu were within reason and with the added bonus of a traditional Laos music ensemble and dancers, the setting was first class all the way and a definite recommendation for travelers who are looking for a nice scene to relax with dinner.
Our last morning i awoke at 5:30 am to catch a glimpse of the marching monks on their way to each of the 7 temples nearby. A ritual in LPG is giving Alms to the monks which is basically offering of food which is the only food monks can eat during the day. This Buddhist morning tradition is seen on 4 streets throughout the city and with our guesthouse resting on one of them, waking up to see what it was all about seemed worth the sleep interruption. Pardon, the crappy photography, I hadn’t had any coffee at that point. Check the flip vids for a clearer look 😉
We are now off to northern Thailand to the city of Chiangmai for what should be an exciting stay as the city offers alot for travelers to experience. Laos however was one of our favorite countries yet. The kind people and simple way of life created a very comforting vibe throughout our travels. There is something to be said for a place that allows its workers to catch up on sleep while on the job……just sayin, its healthy 😉
Till next time….cuz there will be a next time, thanks for reading!