And so high tailing it out of Vang Vieng we cruise on into Luang Prabang looking for a restful few days. It didn't look promising as we arrived at our guesthouse which we'd been lucky to get considering the New Year and the 'no vacancies' signs everywhere. Outside the guesthouse was a major New Years party in full swing, and when I say outside the guesthouse, I mean, outside of our room. Right outside. Having said that, it was only 6pm and most of them looked like they wouldn't last an hour, we didn't wait to find out and headed off ourselves to enjoy the celebrations.
So yes, it was still New Year here aswell and it was for the first three days of our six day stay here, but unlike Vang Vieng this was a much more laid back town which every person we had met who had been here said was a hi-light. Actually a lot of people liked Vang Vieng so maybe that was just us!
After getting soaked on day one we armed ourselves for the last two days with a fine array of water pistols, including the Super Soaker 1 (Rambo eat your heart out).So now we could and did give as good as we got on the mean streets of Lao althoguh that didn't stop Rhiannon being the unfortunate recipient of a bag of flour (a small bag not 2kg or anything!) in the face. Aswell as water the Laos revellers also enjoy throwing flour and a sort of tar like substance which looks difficult to get off, thankfully they never got us with it.
Aside from the celebrations Luang Prabang is a beautiful little town, set in amongst some large hills and alonside the Mekong River, which combine to give it a relaxed and scenic atmosphere. As with the rest of Laos no-one really moves unless they have to which is pretty much our (alright mine) philosophy aswell. Having said that we did manage to get a few things done part from terrorising small children with water guns. With a strange mix of German, Swedish and American people we'd met the night before in a bar we headed off to some local waterfalls which were pretty nice. It was on this trip that we met the owner of a place in Chiang Rai who convinced us to stay there, more of that another time.
We also took a boat trip to some caves and local villages with an American girl we'd met all the way up through Laos. The boat trip itself was good but the caves were pretty average really and didn't go back very far.
The rest of the time when I think back seems to have been spent relaxing and shopping, for Rhiannon of course the two are not mutually exclusive! She shops to relax of course as i'm sure you all know and shopping in Luang Prabang is as good as it gets so far for us. The night market is excellent and has so much stuff all really cheap. You could easily fill a few suitcases and still see things you wanted to get, it was tough to reign Rhiannon in as you can imagine, but even I was quite happy pottering about the market, which may say something.
What else is there too add? Not much, we spent six nights there but it all seemed to go past very quickly. There are lots of nice restaurants and bars, everyone there is incredibly friendly - we swapped guesthouses after the first night and found a great one for $20 a night. There should be more to say about the place but there isn't really; in short it was a really nice place to stay and is one of ur favourite places so far.
Next was the two day boat trip into Thailand.