#75 - another amazing day in LP

Luang Prabang Travel Blog

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me at big brother mouse

I woke up early and headed over to JOMA - a bakery that was recommended that I check out.   GREAT COFFEE!!!!  Woo hoo!!  And, it's a nice air-conditioned very comfortable restaurant.  Great way to start the day!  After my breakfast, I went to check out Big Brother Mouse (appropriate since I used to do Big Brother/Big Sister...now it's just a Big Brother Mouse...not sure why a mouse, but there you have it).  I heard that you could go each day from 9am - 11am to help local Lao kids practice their English.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but when I walked in, there were a couple boys sitting at a table reading their books.  I spoke to the guy in charge and asked if they needed my help.  He said, "those boys are waiting to talk to you".

that's kor on the right!
  It was very cute.  So, I went over - sat down and introduced myself.  They were just the sweetest, smiliest, most polite kids.  The one I spoke the most to was named Kor.  Such a darling personality.  He asked me how I was, what my name was, how long I've been in Luang Prabang...and many other questions that I could just hear them learning in their English class.  He was reading a book so he asked me for help with some words and we really just chatted for the next 2 hours.  I had a postcard of San Francisco with me, so I showed it to him, explained where I lived & we talked about the ocean and the bridge for awhile.
having lunch with vithoun at the travel agency. we got some pork, chili sauce & sticky rice from the street
  I had such a wonderful time speaking with him.  I told him I would be back the next day & he said he wasn't sure if he would.  I told him I'd be very excited to see him if he decided to come back!  And that was that.  :)

I then switched guesthouses, which was painless.  Thankfully, I didn't have to walk too far & I was excited to settle in to my new place. 

After getting settled, I decided to walk by Mala Travel (that's where Vithoun & San work) to say hi and to make sure Vithoun knew I was in for the wedding the next day.  Vithoun was eating lunch when I arrived and he asked me to join him.  We went outside to the little stands of food that women have set up all over the place & I got a bag of sticky rice, some BBQed pork, some chili sauce & then a piece of fried banana just for kicks.

me at the falls!
  :)  We went back into his office & ate our lunch.  It was so cute!  :)

While we were lunching, I decided that I wanted to go to the waterfalls that day - so Vithoun hooked me up with a trip.  The minivan picked me up at my guesthouse at 1:15pm (was supposed to be 1:30pm) and I was, at first, so impressed with their efficiency.  But then, I later realized that I was the FIRST of TEN people they were picking up and we spent the next 45 minutes driving around Luang Prabang (that is actually quite a feat because the town is tiny) before we ended up leaving for the waterfalls. It was all good though....I settled into the fact that I was on the van & it was going to be what it was going to be.  Bow Pen Yang as they say here!  (no problem!) 

The drive to the Kwansi Falls was about 45 minutes - but it was a gorgeous drive and the sky looked like it was actually clearing from all of the smoke.

village we stopped at on the way back from waterfalss
  It was great to see the beautiful countryside.

And I LOVED the waterfalls!!!  They were so gorgeous....there were tons of them that just spilled into each other...and there were all these wonderful swimming areas.  I went swimming in one of the smaller, less populated ones & it was SO refreshing.  I really loved my time there.  I only wish I had a bit more.  Since we were on the minivan, we had to be back at a certain time.  If I were to do it again, I would rent a private tuk-tuk or car or whatever just so I wasn't controlled by the time constraints of the minivan with 10 people in it.

Another highlight from the waterfalls was all the bears they had at the base of it.  They rescued them from poachers & they have this whole bear playground set up.

little boy i gave a book to
  Very cool to check out.

I ended up chatting with & hanging out with several of the people in our mini-van at different points during the day at the waterfalls. There was the French couple who had the same Keen sandals that I did, the guy from Thailand who reminded me of some of the folks I had met over there, these 2 girls from the Phillipines who reminded me of my candidates at Glocap (lots of admin assist candidates were from the Phillipines).  Everyone was super friendly and really added to the experience.  It's really so wonderful to be meeting and talking to people who are literally from all over the world!  :)

On the way back into town, we stopped off at a village.  It's kind of funny because they are totally set up for tourists to walk through the village & sell things to you.

kids in the village
  It definitely looks like a very poor village so it pulls on your heart strings as you walk through for sure.  Especially the kids.  I actually had brought a few of the books that Big Brother Mouse publishes & I gave them out to some of the kids.  They were very excited & I only wish I had more to give out.   It was definitely an interesting stop - even though it was obviously planned so people could buy things, donate money, etc.  I really didn't mind though. 

I decided to hit the night market again because there were a few things I wanted to buy that I hadn't been able to decide on the night before.  Before I went shopping though, I had a big Beerlao with my dinner.  Probably a bad thing to do before shopping.

overhead shot of the night market
  Woooo hoooo - I'll buy that, sure!  :) 

Actually, one more thing of note that night was that I hit the Vegetarian buffet at the night market for dinner.  It was 5000 kip - that is UNDER a dollar - and you get a plate that you can fill up as high as possible with all sorts of veggies & noodles & rice dishes.  It was GREAT!  I ended up sitting across from this darling girl from Brussels.  Her name was Annemie (sounds sort of like enemy) and she was just this very poised, mature, confident, sweet 18-year old who was traveling on her own.  I was SO impressed with her.  How awesome to do a trip like this so young & to be so aware of what you are doing.  She totally got it and she is just going to be so worldly (she really already is).

my new beer lao t-shirt
  I loved speaking with her - and hey, she thought I was 23, so gotta love that too!  Then, these two great guys sat down next to us.  Pete, from New Zealand and Paul, from Australia!  I was so happy to hear those accents again.  They were very entertaining to talk to (as most Kiwis & Aussies are!) and the whole dining experience was just so much fun!

So after dinner, I did some drunk shopping and then headed back to my place!  Another great day in Luang Prabang!

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me at big brother mouse
me at big brother mouse
thats kor on the right!
that's kor on the right!
having lunch with vithoun at the t…
having lunch with vithoun at the …
me at the falls!
me at the falls!
village we stopped at on the way b…
village we stopped at on the way …
little boy i gave a book to
little boy i gave a book to
kids in the village
kids in the village
overhead shot of the night market
overhead shot of the night market
my new beer lao t-shirt
my new beer lao t-shirt
bears outside waterfalls - they we…
bears outside waterfalls - they w…
guy sleeping in hammock.  :)
guy sleeping in hammock. :)
swimming area at the falls
swimming area at the falls
gorgeous waterfalls
gorgeous waterfalls
so pretty!
so pretty!
dont swimming area.  :)
don't swimming area. :)
more of the falls
more of the falls
the waterfalls!
the waterfalls!
one waterfall into the other...
one waterfall into the other...
little boy at waterfalls - just so…
little boy at waterfalls - just s…
random thing at the waterfalls
random thing at the waterfalls
following diamond tradition & posi…
following diamond tradition & pos…
me at the entrance to the falls
me at the entrance to the falls
tuk tuk!
tuk tuk!
this is one of the girls i gave a …
this is one of the girls i gave a…
another little boy i gave a book to
another little boy i gave a book to
more shots of the village
more shots of the village
little girl in the village
little girl in the village
top of phousi mountain
top of phousi mountain
not the best shot - but night shot…
not the best shot - but night sho…
shot looking down from phousi moun…
shot looking down from phousi mou…
i bought some earrings from her!  …
i bought some earrings from her! …
bought t-shirts from her!
bought t-shirts from her!
Luang Prabang
photo by: oxangu2