Glad to be reminded that it was Wednesday by the carpet on the lift floor as we rode down to breakfast this morning. Not sure how we’ll cope when we change hotels. We also had our usual army escort. The generals are having a long “conference”. They are not very friendly and never smile or say hello.
Whilst waiting at the airport for our flight to, the Ancient Capital of Laos and a UNESCO preserved city, we did consider that it might have been quicker and more interesting to drive but after learning that it is a 10 hour ride up and down mountains we decided that flying is certainly an easier option even if less adventurous.
Luan Prabang is nestled in the valley of the Mekong River in norther Laos. It is surrounded by beautiful country and many high mountains. Our new guide kept us busy the whole afternoon. We visited Wat Mai, a temple renown for its golden statues and Wat Sensoukarahm which feathures a dazzling golden facade. We finished the afternoon tour by climbing 400 steps to the top of Mount Phousi and enjoyed the panoramic if rather hazy views. The night market had some handicrafts sold be Lao hill tribes and we found the quality and colours superior to Vietnam. We wished we had saved our buying until Laos.
We found out that both our Vientiene and Luan Prabang guides are hoping to get married in two years. They are busy saving as it is very expensive, what with paying dowries to the bride’s family and the huge guest list as everyone from past and present acquaintances must be invited and transport paid for if they are coming from a long distance. As you can see we are quite nosy about our guides personal lives!
Dinner was at the Roots and Leaves restaurant and we were quite overwhelmed. Picture a deck floating on a lily pond, with a floodlit island covered by a big umbrella reflecting in the pool. Add dancers plus musicians and you get the idea. It was simply perfection. Food was good too. A wonderful end to the day.