How do I begin to explain Laos and its effect on me? Perhaps it is when you least expect something that you receive what you will treasure most. I had no expectations about this country. Almost considered it a bridge between Thailand and Vietnam. How wrong I was to do so.
We leave the craziness of Bangkok.
In Lao Airlines. We arrive to Luang Prabang, Laos; what lies beneath me seems like one more scenic landing. I have no thought of much more. A huge fun (aka: tacky) bus is waiting and then a tuk tuk ride since the bus is too big to enter the city. We are told that a 40-passenger bus for all 16 of us will be more comfortable when we are on a bus in the incredibly winding and steep road we will take in a day or two, more on that on next post. My, was he right!
Our driver Mr. Peng –who will turn out to be one of my heroes- is all smiles.
We drop our bags in the Muang Thong Hotel, which is as lovely as can be. All teak (a big thing in Laos) corridors and a balcony I plan to write from later on. Of course it’s time to eat again. Oh Lord I am going to just roll back to LA! By now they expect everyone is tired of Asian food and take us to Joma a café that would feel right at home in my hometown. As cosmopolitan as it comes. For my Mexican contingency there’s burrito on the menu! I sneak out before we head to our next stop and walk down a street to the river. I pass by a reflexology place and realize that I have yet to have a massage.
Then I pass a bike rental place that makes me regret that I never learned how to ride a bike. I have a balance inadequacy that hindered my learning along with a tad of “I don’t want to get hurt-itis.”
I reach the river. This town can’t be quainter if it tried.
I run back before they leave me. Another tuk tuk and we arrive at the Luang Prabang National Museum. They don’t allow photos but the museum is truly fascinating. Some beautiful glass mosaic walls. A throne room. Bedroom quarters of royalty. The outside is beautiful too. Next is Vat Xieng Thong. It is one of the most important monasteries in Laos. One of the structures holds the royal funerary carriage. Buddhas line its wall. Some in my favorite position of “stop the war, make peace”. The main temple’s roof is being repaired due to weather fluctuations. If this country has not taken me hostage before, it certainly has me now.
Flowers are all over the place.
As he talks I glance around the corner and catch this moment when a monk wraps himself in his robe.
Next is Mount Phousi, pronounced by our guides in a way that may make it really hard to say in America. J I climb around 350 steps to the top.
Then “Did I really do all this in a day and not felt hurried or tired???”
Good night my friends. Tomorrow we wake up early and leave Luang Prabang while every inch of me is refusing to leave.
Destination a surprise.