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Indochine Heritage in Beautiful Luang Prabang

overcast 22 °C

Hi everyone,

The last week for Ross and I has been fantastic.......we have spent the last 3 days in Luang Prabang, a beautiful heritage town, North of Vientiane. Our journey here by night bus was an interesting one. We boarded our bus to discover double beds that we could lay completely flat in - we were not expecting such a luxury and got completely over-excited by the prospect of a decent nights' sleep for the first time in transit.

....Before we began our adventure, someone very special told us to 'expect the unexpected', ...so with this, we thought we were in for an unexpected treat. But then the journey began. The bus was unnervingly speedy but would slam on the breaks frequently to prepare for the 'unmade road' which consisted of huge pot-holes, bumping and shaking, while swinging hair-pin bends. It was actually good fun (for a while) but it meant that even if we managed to get ten minutes shut-eye, we had to hold on to the metal bars that were designed to stop us falling out of bed (apparently). This went on for 11 hours, suffice to say we arrived at a rather cold, damp and overcast Luang Prabang feeling jaded.

We checked into our guest house managed by a coupe of guys with eyes far too close together, who greeted us by asking where we had been that day - it was only 8am but we were thankful to be there.

The roads are awful in Laos (the worst in three years, one traveller who visits frequently told us) caused by an all too common story. The people of Laos were promised huge infrastructure investment from the neighboring SE Asian countries, so they proactively (and possibly naively) began digging the road surfaces all over the country, in earnest. Of course, the money arrived but not given to them, so the dug-up roads have been left. Hopefully the next band of investment that Ross mentioned in the last blog will correct this.

After a long nap, we walked through the old town of LP to discover some of the most picturesque, picture-postcard lanes and streets dotted with 1930's French villas, wild gardens and patios and, most importantly the Mekong Riverside setting. The antique shops, silversmiths and architecture was reminiscent of French and English countryside villages - the only thing missing was a cream tea!

Speaking of food, Ross and I are proud of ourselves. In a bid to reign in the budget, we ate at an outside vegetarian buffet every evening for about 10,000 KIP each (80p). Bland though it was, the atmosphere was magical and we met and ear-wigged a number of other travelers' stories. One thing we keep noticing is the luxury of time we have. We hear so many travelers and tourists who are literally in each place for just a night due to time constraints which we have yet to deal with. We are getting to absorb each place in detail. We are really learning to live in the moment which is surprisingly hard to do for anyone I think.

We spent three days lapping up the beauty of the place, the river, night markets and a handful of art galleries, but we will be returning to LP in just over a week, when we plan to watch the monks taking their alms at 6 am.
After a thoroughly relaxing town break we were craving the great outdoors and a bit of activity, so we headed for Nong Khiaw which we'll update you all on on the next blog.
Take care for now,
Charlie & Ross

Posted by charlieandross 05:57 Archived in Laos

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what a lovely blog this is, you two have definately found your feet in this part of the world and nice to know that you can appreciate the time you have to 'live in the moment' which is something I was discussing over lunch today in Suda!which was lovely.

The photos are brilliant and they give us all a real feel of the place...it's like going back in time.
looking forward to the next one.

Much love, stay safe and 'chilled'
Mum xxx

by lee day

We would like to echo Lee's sentiments, your well chosen words and the wonderful photographs are very compelling. We wonder if this part of your journey will provide the most vivid and happiest memories for you both, or is the best yet to come? An intriguing and exciting thought, for us as well as you.
Stay safe, love to you both,
Mum and Dad B xx

by vancoevorden13

Hello Charlie & Ross!

Firstly, I'd like to say a big Congratulations to you both! I heard the news yesterday via Nan!

I'm thoroughly enjoying reading your blogs and viewing your pics!- it makes my train journey into London go sooo much quicker! I can really picture what you both speak about- possibly a career in writing stories when you return?

Looking forward to hearing/seeing more.

Lots of Love,


by DMunday

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