So the trip out of Luang prabang was really good. Even though it is the dry season the waterfall was spectacular, and they had rescued black bears anda juvenile tiger. On the way back we stopped at asmall traditional village which pulled on our heartstrings a bit as the children all wanted to sell us trinklets and we had no money.
The next day we had a bit of a chill out, wandering around town and uploading photos, before going for a massage (Mel) or Sauna (Stu). Both were pretty extreme!
Next day was spent mainly on a bus as we retraced our steps back down the country. Feeling Luang Prabang got a harsh write up from us because the WHOLE of Laos is covered in smog. Very odd. Vientiene is nice without really having much to do or see. Even our two days here have seemed like overdoing itbut it has broken the return to bangkok nicely. Got midly ripped off hiring a tuk tuk out to the symbol of Laos - That Luang which is a big golden stupa, but made stops at the Black Stupa - built as a guardian for Laos against Siamese Invasion. It was unsuccessful so they don't worship there anymore and so it has fallen into disrepair - let noone say that Buddhists aren't logical! Also stopped at the Laos Arc D'Triumph, based on the French but with an Asian Twist, it is built out of cement donated by the Americans to build a new airstrip - considering the amount of bombs the US was dropping on Laos at the time it was hardly surprising that they didn't comply!
We finished our stay with a cultural show in the 'National Theatre' which was basically a small school hall. Very samey but good nonetheless and they made us join in the last dance - I don't know who was more amused, them or us!
So we're back to Bangkok on the overnight to hit the big markets tomorrow!
Much love from the place where we're leaving the year 2550.
Stu and Mel