Luang Prabang Travel Blog› entry 45 of 55 › view all entries
It's funny, the first place we have been to which has fat people is Laos. Maybe it's because they are all getting the munchies due to the incessant amount of weed being smoked, or some other unknown reason, but it's amusing! Nowhere in Vietnam or Cambodia are there any fat people (well, very rarely), but in Laos they are everywhere! Anyway, moving on...
I wake up at 8:30, after having bad dreams of missing our bus! Luckily we haven't, and we leave Vang Vieng after having breakfast at our favourite restaurant, the Vieng Champa (Family Guy), who are still playing episodes at 9AM. The hostel we had was good (can't remember the name!), but is off a little alley on the main road, for 60,000 kip per room, it's basic, but acceptable. Another tuk-tuk picks us up and takes us to the bus station, where we are awaited by a big bus. Thank God for that, any more of these minubuses, and my legs will be permanently disfigured. The luck doesn't hold though, as it is rammed full, with luggage in the aisles, and my seat has a mind of it's own, going back and forth at will.
It's only 260km to Luang Prabang from Vang Vieng, but you soon realise why it takes 6 hours to get there, as the road is windy and mountainous, and it's easy to see why the H'Mong rebels used to hang out there, and ambush passing vehicles. We stop after an hour, and after 3 hours, to get some fresh sandwiches, then are dropped at the bus station after 6 hours. We do the usual, just get ferried into town by tuk-tuk, dropped at a guesthouse, which is $18 for a room, with cable and a/c. It's way too expensive, so we wander round for a while, until we find one called Pathounphone, which is 60,000 kip per night, way more in our price range! It has a balcony, and a fan, so it's all good....the funny thing is everywhere in Luang Prabang seems to have a midnight curfew, and our place is no different!
First impressions of Luang Prabang are that it is a quiet place, but with a few bars and restaurants and lots and lots of handicraft shops. In short, a world away from Vang Vieng! After a drink at an arty restuarant on Sisavangvong Rd (the main strip), we get some food at Pthu, and I try a local delicacy, Beef Laap. This is minced beef with spices and veg, and is pretty good, though could be spicier. After a walk up Sisavangvong, it's obvious there are some posh people round here, as plush cars are everywhere, and some fancy restaurants and hotels dot the street. We do the English thing, find a bar playing football, have a drink, and then get a bottle of whisky, and play shithead for shots. It's the way forward.