Luang Prabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep
Had a wonderful eclectic breakfast ranging from pineapple juice, omelette to snow buns and chilli. I leave it your imagination to work out which of us was the sensible traveler and who was the Asia junkie. Then caught a Bangkok Airways flight to Luang Prabang. It’s an hour and forty minutes in a 80 seat prop plane that usually flies to Koh Samui. So it is decked out in tropical livery and looks a bit mad landing in airport in Central Laos, We got our visas (now $35 for UK folks not $30). The guide books ask you to take two passport photos but they only need 1 so that will probably do fine.
Speedy immigration and we were then met by a car from the hotel ,a 1957 Mercedes 190. It was fabulous, no working dials and the rear suspension was shot but who cares. We felt like characters from a Graham Greene novel. The weather was very overcast and extremely hot . The 3 Nagas is a lovely boutique hotel. 7 rooms on one side of the street and 8 on the other. The main house (we’re in the executive suite, Room 4) was built by the French in 1898 and is full of dark wood and elegant designer touches. The balcony overlooks the main street which sounds bad but in LP is the only place you want to be. In fact I’m writing this on the balcony at 7.15 am and it’s already 80 degrees. We walked to the banks of the Mekong for a Beer Lao which is still reassuringly inexpensive at 10,000 kip or ($1) a litre and then onto dinner in the garden of a restaurant called Blue Lagoon near the museum. Elly had a curry and I chicken larb. The air temperature was so hot they had electric fans in the garden to keep people cool. Wonderful food but quite expensive for Luang Prabang at least, $15 for two. Then walked home for a nightcap and a blissfully air conditioned room.