Next day B had to leave for a tour and I hung out with L and K, we strolled around Luang Prabang and went to one of the temple on top of a mountain in middle of the city. It was hot and we were sweating buckets by the time we reached the top. L made fun of me when I offered a couple to take their picture when they were struggling. On the way back K was adamant on taking us to Korean restaurant for lunch as we had already went to India the day before, he had all the directions. We reached there post lunch and staff was friendly and K got excited and started ordering in Korean and the girl who was taking the order was local so she rushed inside to call the Korean owner. K was explaining all the items and Kimchi and other sauce ingredients and he was happy we were enjoying the Korean food, I asked him if his Korean dish is better than the Indian dish he ate day before and he said that was second best, this is the best. We walked back to our hostels and K bought his return ticket to Vientiane where he planned to cross overland to Thailand. We walked the streets of Luang Prabang and bid good byes and we were tired. (more…)
I slept in the hall at my host’s place initially in Seoul, the guest room was occupied. Next day they gave me their son’s room and the three year old was happy that I was sleeping in his room and he made sure I had a good sleep and he took toys from his bed and placed them on my bed. Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?
I booked a day bus from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, it was about 8 hours trip. I reached a bit early and was waiting at the bus terminal and met one Dutch lady who was also waiting for the bus with her daughter, we introduced ourselves and started talking, her daughter had been to India last year so she was talking about it that she liked the experience, we spoke at bus stops, Lady had PhD and her research was in signal processing and she told me stories about her research, how she took a different approach in the field and raised her children while completing her thesis. She liked Asia because she said people are happy here and live in the present. I always thought people in west live in present, it was an interesting conversation.
Next day morning I was walking towards the cafe for breakfast and I bumped in to the Chinese girl (L) from sleeper bus couple of days ago, she said “Hey! remember?, we travelled together” and Korean guy (K) was also with her. We exchanged hellos and asked about stay at Vientiane and then I continued towards the café. Café was not very big and I was lucky to find the last empty table and while I almost finished my breakfast, K walked into the café and since no other table was empty, he joined me. We exchanged travel stories and he asked me about the plan for the afternoon and I said I don’t have one, he told me that he is planning to go to a nearby waterfall and I was welcome to join. We walked towards his hostel and negotiated price with one tuk tuk driver for the ride. Waterfall was a bit far away from the town, about 45 mins ride, Tuk – Tuk driver told us he will give us discount if we are able to find more people, K tried to ask people at his hostel but all of them had already visited. Finally we were four in the tuk tuk, one american girl (B) which the driver overcharged, Korean guy (K), Chinese girl (L) and myself. (more…)
I waited for more than one hour at the border and finally the bus came and it stopped near the gate. I asked one of the bus staff if the bus is going to Pakse, he said yes, then I explained about my situation that I was told to wait here for the big bus, he said no one has told him about my pick up but he will call and check. Bus was waiting for passports of passengers with Laos stamps and I asked the staff guy if it will reach on time to catch the overnight bus to Vientiane and he said yes he can reserve my seat in the overnight bus and that bus will not leave until we reach Pakse.
Bus reached Pakse around 9pm and a sleeper bus was waiting, I guess they were of the same company. It was double storey bus with beds on the side and a walking alley in the center. Bed on the side was not very wide and it was for two people. When I reached my assigned seat/bed on the upper level it was empty and I thought I don’t have to share it with anyone as the bus was about to leave and I settled next to the window, few minutes later a Chinese girl came looking for her assigned seat and it was next to me, side bed across my seat was occupied by two guys one Chinese and other Korean. Chinese girl was bit confused and she knew the Korean guy who was sitting across. The Korean guy offered his seat to the Chinese girl saying that she can sleep at his place and pointed to the guy next to him and said he is Chinese. I tried to look for other empty bed where I could move but the bus was full. Girl started talking in Chinese with the guy and was laughing hard about the situation I guess. It was funny and awkward at same time. I didn’t sleep properly at all and leaned on the window the whole night to make the whole scene less awkward, I slept in patches. When I woke up in the morning bus was five minutes away it reached Vientiane early in the morning. (more…)