Luang Prabang, Laos - Vang Vieng is History
by Pete Adams
(Luang Prabang, Laos)
Wednesday 19th December 2007
"Whatever lessens suffering in yourself and others That is Right"
I caught the 10am bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. It was supposed to be a V.I.P. bus, but I'd guess it was 15 years old, the seats were sweaty plastic and the air conditioning didn't work. We stopped after an hour to fix a water leak by cutting up an old inner-tube and wrapping it round the radiator hose.
We stopped at lunchtime at a tiny village on the main road. Children as young as 4 or 5 were looking after their baby brothers and sisters, tied to them in cloth slings.
I arrived in Luang Prabang at 4.30 and I followed the Polish guys (who were on the same bus) recommendation of a guest house next to the National museum.Luang Prabang National Museum
Luang Prabang is an old French Colonial Town and the architecture reflects that. It is now a UNESCO heritage town to protect and preserve the buildings and culture. There are lots of up-market Art & Craft shops and restaurants, one of which I ate at last night. Claiming Jamie Oliver as an attendee at one of their cookery courses, the food was very nice if a tad expensive for Laos. My bill came to $10 including 2 glasses of wine and dessert. I'll have to economise tomorrow to make up for it ;-)Tuesday
It was Mum's birthday yesterday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM
. I spent most of the day trying to sort money for my flight to U.K. A big thanks to Ed Miles (of FreightForce Distribution
, the best road haulage company in Norfolk, U.K. :-) for transferring some money to Western Union in Luang Prabang for me.
I found time in the day to squeeze in a Laos massage. It's the first proper massage I've ever had (not counting ones from girlfriends) and I was impressed. My calves still hurt, but it was good. At $4 for an hour it was a bargain so I'm sure I'll sample another when I get back to Thailand in the new year. I've also been looking to do a Yoga course and have found a few options, so I plan to book a 7 day Yoga retreat in Thailand for January.
Last night I followed the Lonely Planets advice and had a drink and something to eat at Lao Lao Gardens. A very pleasant place and busy, which is good. Picture above.
When I got back to the guest house just after midnight, I sat in the communal area upstairs by an open window reading my Reiki book. I was initiated into Reiki 1 by my good friend Sam about 2 months ago, but have not been practicing healing very often, so thought it was time to revive my interest. In the book I got to an interesting bit about how pets often take on their owners emotional problems, but they don't have a way of releasing those emotions as we humans do. Reiki can therefore very beneficial to animals to bring to the surface and release those problems. Then a cat jumps through the window & sits down beside me. So of course I give it some Reiki healing. It promptly falls asleep snuggled up underneath me.
The lighting was not good and no flash on my phone camera, but you get the idea.Today
Up Early to the bank to collect cash. On to L'Etranger bookshop and Tea house for their breakfast special. Whilst there I browsed through the books, looking for a Yoga book, but instead selected the following three books. "Meditation, The Cool way to Calm", "A Consitution for Living - Buddhist principles for a fruitful and harmonius life" and finally "A new guide to better writing". Well, I'm now writing this blog most days and I've had a couple of comments posted about it being boring, so I might as well try to learn to write better and make it more entertaining. You can be the judge of it it works or not over the coming months!
I then went to a travel agent to book flights. A very helpful guy called Noy from Treasure Travel Laos
sorted a bus to Vientiane and flight onward to Heathrow via Bangkok. Noy
So, finally I have my flights booked. I leave Luang Prabang on 22nd December and return to Bangkok on 3rd January. Now its time to relax and go see the sights.