LAOS! through sheer laziness and being super busy we have not put a blog up for 2 weeks so here it is! First experience of Laos was oue slow boat down the Mekong River, the largest river in SE Asia which spans the length of Laos and we spent two very cramped, hot, intense but enjoyable days on a boat stuffed to the rafters with people from all around the world and many hmong hilltribe people - luckily we avoided the wooden benches and opted to sit with the locals on the floor of the boat where we had superiour views and a much better experience as we passed the time with a lovely laos family, we shared (well gave away) our food to some tiny hilltribe boys, and generally soaked up the atmsphere, the only downside being we sat with our legs around our heads practically, i couldnt believe it was so busy in low season! Incredible views but unfortunately (or fortunately, depends how you look at it) no ogiant mekong cat fish in sight! Arriving in Luang Prabang i was speechless (hard to believe i know) as it is so so picturesque, quaint and stunningly beautiful ,oh and very French! the local architecture was unlike anything seen in Thailand, French colonial building and hot fresh baguettes everywhere you turned! It really does deserve its inclusion in the World Heritage sites, as its like stepping back in time, no ugly neon signs or highrises, just slow laos life with monks down every street. We spent the first week reading in cafes (how pretentious but the chocolate crossants were unbelievable!) and wandering around the cobbled streets, riding bicyles and visiting markets, i boght some amazing antique textiles from a lovely lady, and of course we stuffed ourselves with baguettes!!We met some sweet kids along our road and quickly made friends and they blew us kisses every morning and shook our hands which was a great way to start your day! Reunited with our friends Chris and Claire, we set off to explore temples and the surounding countryside on bicyles, saw some amazingly grotesque paintings on the walls of temples depicting hideous punishments so we were on our best behaviour!We caught a boat to the other side of the river and saw Luang Prabang in all its glory and explored some scary caves in which monks sleep for one month on their own, rather them than me! So we got to see some lovely views, sorry for the amount of photos! I think the highlight of Luang Prabang had to be the Kuang Si waterfalls, we were tempted by Fe and Steves photographs from their time here and grabbed our swimsuits and headed out of Luang Prabang. It was like the best waterpark, but a natural one, filled with different levels of aquamarine clear sparkling cool waterpools in which we swam, jumped, and generally splashed around and had a great time! We even took up the offer of soap from a Laos man and had a bath! (i think he was trying to give us a hint) The walk to the top of the waterfall was actually a climb upto the top, which was quite challenging in a sarong and 40p flipflops but the views were gorgeous! It was also (our friend) Chris birthday so we went back to our luxurious guesthouse (we stepped it up from 1 pound each a night to 5 - this was palatial! a bath oh my gosh it had a bath!!) and played poker for what felt like a lot of money (i lost), ordered a 2lb chocolate cake and finished the day off feeling rather sick, short of cash but very happy!