I am sure anyone who comes in or go out of Lunag Prabang has to answer this question. Fast boat or slow boat or bus? One can not avoid it. Mekong river which passes through the town goes all the way to the Thai border in the north, it is about 8-9 hours by fast boat and 16-18 hours by slow boat which takes two days including an overnight stop at midway. Final option is bus which is an overnight ride for about 14 hours. I was all for speed so decided to go on the fast boat. It was an adventure like never before, when I reached the pier in the morning I had to wait for sometime and starting talking with one British man who was there to find lost luggage of his son which he forgot on the boat the day before, boat office was trying to locate it. I politely asked how was the journey he said not bad just bit cramped so I was preparing myself for the ride. He had traveled extensively in Africa and I was curious to know his experience. He said African people are more expressive compared to people of other regions. (more…)
Next morning I planned to stay one extra day in Luang Prabang and go to a village on the other side of the mekong river by myself. In the hostel I was enjoying the whole four bedroom dorm to myself until N joined, he was American on southeast asia trip and when we started talking in the morning, he told me about his crazy journey on his motorcycle across Vietnam. It was fascinating, I love story telling style of Americans, it is great, sometimes they get in to tiny details which I can never imagine and the way they express it just amazing and fascinating. I wish I had that type of skill anyways N bought a junk motorcycle in Vietnam which he said ran great during his trip of five weeks and was ready to sell it in Laos and the only problem was he had was bike had Vietnamese registration and no Laos paperwork. He was not at all worried about it and he said he will just dump it here if no one buys. I envied him for his motorcycle adventure and thought of doing something similar across India. I told him about my day’s plan to go on village and I left the hostel for breakfast. He said he will join me. After breakfast he said he will also come and we can take motorcycle on the ferry and explore the village. (more…)
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…)