We’ve been bumping in a couple from London since North Cambodia however apart from brief conversation or the odd wave from a boat as we passed we’ve not really got to talk to them. We bumped into them here on the second day and arranged to meet them that evening for food. It turns out they are also travelling for a long time and are off to Vietnam next. It was good to compare stories and experiences over some food.
The next evening we arranged to meet them again and we also knew that the Australians we’d met in Vang Vieng were about. After a couple of texts we also arranged to meet them and ended up having a great evening over a Laos style BBQ, where you cook your own food over hot coals.
One of the things I’ve found hard is to be selective about what we do, when something is on offer I want to do it. Here the cost of trekking or elephant riding makes it prohibitive to do so I’ve had to learn to just take it easy and enjoy being in a place. Luckily Luang Prabang is a world heritage site and I can see why as the French architecture is well preserved, even the ATM’s are well hidden and there are what seems like hundreds of wats here. Subsequently there is a very large monk population and if you rise before sunrise you can see the monks collecting alms from the local people. An amazing experience as it’s all done in silence as the dawn breaks with 200 odd monks proceeding through the town in single file, collecting whatever is on offer.
There is both a morning produce market and a night tourist market here. The produce market is one of the best we’ve seen so far, the most unusual things we saw this time were Buffalo trotters and tails for sale. For the night market the main street gets blocked off and all the stalls get set up. It’s full of colour with lanterns, T-shirts, Bags and lots of things for sale. Unlike markets in other countries you see a lot of owners sleeping at their pitches. It’s not the hardest sale here, which is kind of sweet.
I’ve not been the biggest fan of the Tuk Tuk drivers in Laos but even though we have not taken them up on there services here, they are full of smiles. They still charge a fortune blaming petrol prices, which is odd as they were the same in Cambodia and there it was cheap to get about.
We plan to meet the Aussies for one last time tonight and then we have a 14 hour bus ride to the Thai border. It’s a shame that our time in Laos is nearly over just as we are starting to really enjoy it.