Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm in Luang Prabang

I've been having serious internet problems and haven't been able to get online for a few days, hence the absence of any posts. I've had two nights in Luang Prabang already, though at both overnight stops, the Apsara Hotel and La Residence Phou Vao, the internet failed to work! However, the welcome and hospitality at both more than compensated. During the day I've been busy seeing the sights - we visited a dozen wats, the Royal Palaace Museum and Henri Mouhot's gravesite this morning alone - the sun is out, the sky is blue and last night, Tim and I were invited for dinner with some new Lao friends and ended the night at the bowling center at 1am! Yesterday we visited the Pak Ou caves and the multi-level waterfalls at Tat Sae on our first day in LP, having arrived at 8pm the previous evening following a day-long drive from Muang Sing.
We spent 1 night in Muang Sing after a couple of night's in Luang Namtha. Less tourists and even less people on the main street, Muang Sing has a tribal museum and little else, so we spent our time in the nearby villages, the two wats in town and the morning market and another stint in the ricefields, planting rice with a group of thirty women - which was great fun. The drive to Luang Prabang was long but certainly not boring. The surrounding hills covered in lush greenery and ethnic villages around every corner made the trip an interesting one and was in almost complete contrast to my travels around much of flatland Cambodia. We have another night in Luang Prabang at the Maison Souvannaphoum hotel tonight before a stop-over in Vang Vieng on our way south to Vientiane. More soon.

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