Bus to Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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A 'jimbo' taxi

Woke up this morning feeling pretty good all things considered! I expected to be feeling sore and stiff but the massage must have helped to ease the muscles. Only other alternative is I'm not as unfit as I thought I was and I'm pretty sure it's not that.


Enjoyed my final chocolate croissant at Luang Prabang Bakery before the pick-up from the hotel took us to the bus station and we boarded a VIP bus to Luang Prabang itself. We'd been warned the going was pretty rough going north by Caroline who had the misfortune to take the local bus up there.

Night market Luang Prabang
The roads are so windy and the locals so unused to bus transport that literally everyone around her was throwing up. One man was hired solely to run up and down the bus dispensing sick bags and they even had to stop half way to pick up more... Consequently we battened down with travel sickness pills and bought VIP bus tickets to ensure we had comfort and air con.


I suspect the travel sickness pills make you drowsy as I dozed for about 4 hours, every time I woke up and blinked around me we were surrounded by the most stunning scenery but I couldn't keep my eyes open so I make a drowsy mental note to sit window-side on the way down.


We finally pulled into Luang Prabang about 6 hours later and Zoe and I got separated into two Jimbos dropping people at hotels. I went to the Khounsavanh hotel with a couple, Dan and Laura and after a quick hose down, we wandered out into the evening to find ATM and food at the night market. The night market was beautiful in itself; endless lines of little red shelters with swinging light bulbs illuminating blankets of beautiful bags, clothes, bed linen, silk. Fortunately we had a mission or I might have found myself parting with plenty of money I had just withdrawn, so we settled with a mediocre dinner at a random restaurant and then went in search of a good bar. We found ourselves at Mayleks, a dark wood-panelled exterior with bamboo cane furniture and a barn-like upper level alcove which we installed ourselves into with several Beer Lao. We all got on very well and time flew past. At 10.20pm we agreed we could squeeze in one more drink before closing (we assumed 11pm), but as a downpour of tropical proportions careered down shortly after we stayed for a couple till the bar staff finally told us to drink up as they were closing at 1am - we hadn't realised it had got so late, as in Laos all businesses should be shut by 11.30pm and everyone should be in their legally registered abode by midnight! We were slightly disorientated but memorised the route back which would not have been a problem if every light in the town had not flickered out, plunging us into complete darkness in the wet, black streets. We were pretty lost and now all streets looked the same. We had no landmarks to work by and all had conflicting ideas as to how we got back. Fortunately for us we stumbled accross a random weed dealer and we managed to get him to guide us back to our hotel or we'd have been there all night!

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A jimbo taxi
A 'jimbo' taxi
Night market Luang Prabang
Night market Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang Hostels review
Khounsavan Guesthouse, Luang Prabang
This was recommended in the Lonely Planet and it honestly didn’t live up to their recommendation, as so many of their hotels don’t since they now … read entire review
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2