Helloo from Luang Prabang!
Arrived from Vang Vieng on Sunday in a rather small mini bus (we were supposed to be getting a nice big proper coach but it was full!) They didn't tell us that until we were like hey wheres our bus!
I really like it here, we are going to Thailand tonight but i could easily stay longer. Its not huge so you can get everywhere on foot.. its right by the Mekong so there are some really nice views of the river. Its full of lovely hotels and guesthouses, lots of trees and flowers, and stunning temples. Its also very pro eco friendly, if that makes sense! Theres a lot of work being done with eco tourism. And lots of tour places are offering elephant mahout courses (where you learn how to control an elephant) and they are promoting elephant protection since logging was made illegal in Laos, lots of elephants have been made redundant effectivley so people have set up camps and projects. I didn't do the course, we had planned to do the elephant thing in Thailand so i resisted!
I had a day wondering around, visiting temples which are quite different from the ones in Cambodia.. i bought a cute little painting of two monks from a lady painting on the side of the street. She had the cutest baby which kept distracting me from choosing the one i wanted ha! Yesterday we visited the Kuang Si Waterfall.. turquoise water in a tranquil surrounding was so nice! Busy with tourists though. We spent about 3 hrs swimming relaxing. Just before the waterfall there was a bear enclosure. About 7 'Moon Bears' were looked after here. Apparently they are endangered because most are kept in captiviting for thier bile.. its used in chinese herbal medicine. The poor things are kept in cages while the bile is extracted- for years they may do this. The best bit was we saw two baby ones! they looked like black kualas! A woman just got them out of a sack thing.. i had a play with one of them, so cute! Not soft though, kind of matted!
We went out last night for some cheap street food, fried rice, potatoes, noodles, spring roll, chicken was what was in my bowl! It was like a buffet style stall. It was about $2 for the lot. We then met up with two guys that we met on the way here, Will and Loz and were staying in our guesthouse and we went bowling, of all things! I expected a tiny hall with maybe one makeshift lane.. it was like a village hall with 6 proper bowling lanes! Was so random but fun and its the only place in town that serves past 11pm! the town literally shuts down at 11.
Off to Chiang Mai, Thailand tonight. 12 hours to the border then probably another 10 hours to Chiang Mai!