So after a slow airport trip and a short flight in a propeller jet plane we arrive in the beautiful Laos. We managed the visa procedures all by ourselves and got in a very slow taxi that stuck to its side of the road and let everyone pass to our hostel.
We have spent a few quiet days exploring the peaceful, beautiful Luang prabang. We have been to temples, monasteries and watched the river life of the Mekong pass us by with only small interruptions from over excited Korean tourists wanting our photos. The locals here don't press you into buying anything and are very smiley!
We opted for a tour organised for us which included bus, guide, caves filled with Buddha's (fitness test climbing the steps), a waterfall of outstanding beauty with water so blue you couldn't help but paddle...far to cold for a proper swim! We also ventured to 2 villages where we saw local people weaving the beautiful scarves we see each evening at the night market, local brewed whisky with animals in it and carvings! The children dressed in local dress were an attraction in their own right until they started reciting their well learnt sales pitch for 3 for 5000(about 30p).
Our highlight of the day was defiantly lunch time elephant riding, we sat on the back of our young elephant and rode through the dense undergrowth of the load countryside with our mahout taking photos of us. My first experience of elephants this trip....better than expected! :)
We are spending a few more lazy days in luang prabang exploring the surrounding areas and enjoying our new hostel with its luxurious hot shower and cheap beer on our terrace with other guests! We are heading back to Hanoi in a few days where we have more adventures booked and lots of things to see! :)
Ps. Note from calum...... I can't get over the pace of life here. It's so slow and chilled out - Nobody seems to have an agenda.
What's nice about Laos is the locals really do take no first time and don't hassle you as you walk by, which is something that always bugs me but I know I will need to get over before we get to Hanoi.
We had a meal last night at a buffet where we cooked our own meat from a bbq in the middle of the table. Some of Becky's last tour joined us so there was about 10 of us eating. They were a really nice bunch of people - It seems like Becky has been in really good company for the last few weeks.