Relaxing in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang Travel Blog› entry 20 of 28 › view all entries
We had a great time in Luang Prabang. I would recommend the place to anyone. We had such a relaxed time there, and there are so many great food options, which is always one of the highlights for us.
We did the obligatory two trips which all of the tour operators offer: to the nearby Kuang Si waterfalls and to the Pak Ou caves, which is a short trip by boat along the Mekong.
The caves are full of Buddhist statues which have been left there by various people. They're not the most interesting caves I've visited, but the boat trip along the Mekong was relaxing, and it's always nice to get a bit of a view of the countryside.
The water at the Kuang Si waterfalls was pretty icy for swimming in; I had to get out after a few minutes.
One morning we got up early to see the 6am monks' parade through the town centre, which was an impressive sight; people give donations of food to the monks. We also went up to the top of the big hill in town, which affords a good view over the surrounding area.
We bought a couple of souvenirs from the market (most of the fare on the market is directed at tourists). We had the interesting experience of haggling over the price, in Lao Kip, and then having to haggle over the exchange rate when we came to pay in Thai Baht.
I'd been trying to persuade Zoe that we should do the two-day boat trip along the Mekong from Luang Prabang to the Thai border, from where we could work our way overland, first to Chiang Rai and then on the Chiang Mai. It's a fairly popular backpacker route, although I think that people tend to favour travelling in the other direction for some reason. Anyway, in the end I couldn't persuade Zoe that it was a good idea (she was worried that it would be uncomfortable and unpleasant), so we headed to the aiport in Luang Prabang and bought ourselves tickets to fly direct to Chiang Mai. It was with Lao Airways, and was only about US$60 each. It was a pretty good option in the end, because we only had a limited amount of time, and lots of things we wanted to see.