Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little bit of Utopia

(Again, from a few days ago, but finally in good speed internet so might write another post later tonight! If we're not up to mischief elsewhere ;) )

Luang Prabang is a beautiful little city situated on the river and surrounded by mountain scenery. We have had a lovely few days here, wandering the streets, the river-side and the night market in a rather relaxed little place. Yesterday we went on a little day trip out to Kuang Si Waterfall, about 45 min drive  from the town. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the area was pretty beautiful with clear, bright blue water to swim and jump into. It was a bit touristy but we found a quieter pool to have a swim in which was lovely.

A Sun bear lazing in the nearby bear sanctuary, where rescued bears saved from street entertainment are given a pretty nice place to lounge about.

Last night we had some drinks on the river with some new friends from the Mekong boat ride, dinner at the market, then headed to a bar (one of the only places open later than 9pm)- Utopia. It was a pretty funky garden bar with little tables and candlelight, shisha abound.

The food market.

Today we have just relaxed, and are planning to get a massage (Tim) and manicure (me- I'm a little too jumpy for This/Lao massages I think) and have some dinner at a place for locals we saw near the river. Luang Prabang has a really nice restaurant/food/cafe culture, so its a lovely place to just walk around. Tomorrow morning we're planning a super early rise to see the Tak Bat ceremony, when all the monks of the village walk the streets to collect gifts from the people- mostly rice and bananas. After our 5.30am rise to see that, we'll catch an 8am bus to Vang Vieng, the infamous 'tubing' central of Laos known for its party scene and big rubber tubes used to bar hop down the river. We're planning to stay with Tim's friend's sister who owns a guesthouse across the river, which is meant to be a nice, quiet area with good access to hikes in the mountain and to the blue lagoon and surrounding waterfalls.

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