Onward journeys and getting to Vang Vieng

  This blog post is about planning and travelling from one place to another. I’m afraid it is not a topic that I can document very well with photographs and even the parts where there was some stunning scenery, I was too terrified to take proper photographs…. See the story further down… And for this reason I thought I would decorate this post with some random photos from Luang Prabang, this gem of a city in Northern Laos that I adored! 🙂 When we received our Vietnamese visas from the Vietnamese Embassy in Luang Prabang we immediately sat down and started planning our journey to Vietnam and the rest of our route in Laos. We found out that getting a sleeper bus through Laos into Hanoi would take 20 hours and we heard and read quite horrifying stories about the conditions onboard. Some passengers reported having to sleep on the floor and that even if you had a reclined seat, the space is actually so small, that you cannot sit up. Stories of no working toilets onboard and dangerous roads and bus drivers were also doing the rounds in traveller circles so we decided not to explore this option any […]

Kuang Si Waterfalls

    Finally by our third day in Luang Prabang the sky had cleared up and the first weak rays of the sun started to peak through. The previous afternoon we had hired a tuk-tuk driver to take us to Kuang Si Waterfalls. The driver charged us 40000 kips each (£3.30) for the return journey to the falls based on sharing with 4 other people. We just had to trust the driver to solicit his other fares. Luckily he managed to do it and the following day we were picked up from our guesthouse with 4 other passengers already sitting on the benches of the songthew. They were a couple from Israel, an Australian girl and a girl from Germany. Again, I found that in the backs of these songthews, in such close proximity to each other conversation starts flowing easily. Inevitably we all start recounting our travelling histories: where we’re from, where we’re going, how long we’re travelling, and various funny or horrifying travel tales will be exchanged. The journey to the waterfalls took around 50 minutes each way, so plenty of time to get to know each other, ask for tips or get ideas for new destinations to […]

Luang Prabang – around the UNESCO listed city

    Unfortunately the bad weather we had been having continued for 2 days out of the 3 we spent in Luang Prabang. We got drenched a couple of times by heavy rain while out and about, but that didn’t stop us from exploring the town, especially as we only had limited time.  Luang Prabang is a city in north central Laos and it lies at the the confluence of two rivers: the Mekong and Nam Khan. The city used to be the royal capital of the Kingdom of Laos until the communist takeover in 1975, when the country shut it’s doors to visitors for almost 20 years. The whole of the old town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as Laos was selected the world’s best tourist destination for 2013, the city is becoming more and more popular with tourists. The old town is absolutely beautiful with a mixture of French and Lao architecture (Laos was a French colony), it has a certain European feel to it. The main street in the old quarter is called Sisavangvong and it is quite amusingly also known as ‘Tourist Street’ or ‘White Man’s Street’… The whole old quarter, i.e. where […]