Luang Prabang, Lao Peoples Dem Rep
Yesterday was a Groundhog Day. We did exactly the same thing as yesterday except the parade came from Wat Xieng Thong not to it. Same seat at the Scandinavian Bakery (pizza not sandwich). Weird but just as enjoyable. Felt just as moved for the happy, wet, smiling Lao as we did the day before. You know you’re chilled when the days pass in a warm, gentle pace and you see no reason to change anything. Blissful. Today hired a mini-van to go to the waterfalls at Kuang-Si. About 40 minute from Luang Prabang through pretty countryside. Get a tuk-tuk or van from a local firm on the main street as the hotel charged us 450,000 kip or $40 which was a bit steep. The falls are impressive but not too torrential as this is the end of the dry season. You can swim there if you are feeling brave. We weren’t. Then back and some leisurely reading for me and packing for Elly before heading off for one last trip to the night market and dinner. Final impressions of Luang Prabang, It is changing as it inevitably must but there are some excellent initiatives like ‘Stay Another Day’ to help sustainable tourism. The essential character that drew us to the town last years survives and the harmony between the locals, monks and visitors is in tact. As I sat in the sun on the main street reading a book I felt as relaxed and as home as I did a year ago – maybe more so now as we know the place so much better. We probably won’t return as we want to keep the special magic just as it is in our memories. Would I recommend it to others – without a seconds’ hesitation. It is still the most special town in South East Asia – for now.