Typical, great weather for so long, and then we plan to do something slightly depentant on nice weather and.....it rains!!! We hhad planned to go and see some of the waterfalls around Luang Prabang today, and although dissaapointed by the weather we were undetered. We ate breakfast at a Swedish Bakery, yes random, well Linnea says very little of things sold there were actually Swedish but they did have a large collection of Swedish newspapers!!! and it tasted good so who cares?
We had planned to get a tuk tuk out to the water falls, but when we tried to get a tuk tuk out to them we were told they could only do it for the price they wanted if they got two more people, and that one of the beautiful misty waterfalls we had seen on postcards didn't have any water at the moment!!! We decided to book a mini bus with a travel agency for one dollar extra, and ended having to wait longer than we would of with the tuk tuk, but are well, we make these mistakes.
The waterfall when we got there, after I had been flirted with by a Laos policeman, and chatted to two of the people on our bus, who were teachers at an international school in KL, which I, at least, found interesting, was fairly impressive. The waters around the bottom were a wonderful turquiose and we took far too many photos. We didn't however find the swimmiong area whihc was slightly frustrating. However we did nfind the bear and tiger sanctuary which was included on the addmission fee. There was one tiger, and although my feelings about harming animals seem to have increased since our elephant trek, I didn't mind it's situation, it was in a very large cage, with lots of jungle and play areas, and it had been saved from Poachers. OOhh by the way it was beautiful. The bears I wasn't so happy about, although they too had been saved from poachers, there was more of them, and they were in much smaller compounds.
We stopped in a village on the way home, which has turned just in to about twenty stalls selling the same thing to try and get money out of the tourists coming back from the waterfall. All of the kids were saying, Ýou can buy from me 5000', Linnea was badly effected by it, and said she was close to crying, I thought, although dissapointed by the degative effect of people like myself being there, that this is what happens, and I've seen it before!!! Jade seemed to be on the same lines as me!!! One funny thing to come from that pit stop, was the sight of a man leading a troop of small ducklings across the road, classic village randomness, the only dissapointing thing was I missed the perfect photo, I was a second too late!!!
That night we walked around looking for a restaurant Linnes had read about, couldn't find, and walked back down the main road, walking past some gorgeuous colonial buldings, now restaurants and winearies, (this only place in this area of the world I think your likely to find them in this number, and class) I was personally dreaming of sitting with friends with a bottle of wine, just chilling, but you know how it is, financial constraints and all!!
After dinner we had another look around the market, and spent too much money on things, We probably don't even need, even as presents....which of course We're not buying for anyone, because...ummm well it would ruin the surprise!!!
We headed to bowling alley later on having had dinner early, and got our last shops out of the way. Sophie from our trek had told us in Vang Vieng that the party was at the bowling alley when everywhere else shut. Unsurprisingly we got their too early and were leaving by the time the hoards were coming in, but we had fun, we met a snobby, well spoken guy from Northampton called Rich who we played a few games with. If this story doesn't resonate with anyone else, then maybe it's just me, but when I asked Rich 'What uni did you go to?' his reply was 'The University of Nottingham' when the simple, 'Nottingham' would have suficed. You probably would have had to meet him to understand what I'm trying to say about him, but he seemed to be proving something constantly, and there was something about him that was right, but anyway, we all still had fun.
Last thoughts on Luang Prabang, a beautiful city, who said colonialism didn't do anything good, but with not so much to do.