Luang Prabang

After Bali and the Gilis, I spent a few days in Singapore and a week in Cambodia. However, I will write about those countries when I’m back home, because I would like to have some stories to update the blog with when my trip ends.

Next country was Laos. Sadly, I only had time to go to Luang Prabang, a picturesque city and Unesco heritage site.

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This is Luang Prabang seem from above:

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It’s a small and calm city full of temples to visit, like these ones:

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I actually enjoyed much more going up mount Phu Si, which is right in the middle of the city. Maybe I chose the wrong entry, because I spent 20 minutes completely alone going up stairs like these ones:

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The surroundings were so beautiful and quiet that I still can’t understand why this place isn’t full of tourists. There were some of them right at the top, but still not too many. From there, the views were amazing:

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Apart from temples and hills, there’s a night market in the center of the city taking place every night:

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There were lots of clothes and souvenirs to choose from. I’m lucky that my backpack is already 100% full, if not I would have spent quite a lot of money buying unnecesary (but beautiful) things.

This is the reason why I never missed the night market:

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For around one euro, you could fill a dish with vegetables, rice and mock meat. This street buffet is a vegan paradise 🙂 It was actually the only place to eat decent streetfood in the nightmarket, so it’s not hard to miss.

Talking about vegan things, for lunch I went every day to Nisha Indian Restaurant, on Kitsalat Road. Indian restaurants are one of my favourite options to eat out, because they always have some vegan options. My favourite dish is Chana Masala, made basically of chickpeas, which are a great protein source:

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Together with some rice and a salad, that’s an incredibly filling meal. And tasty. And healthy.

Back to Luang Prabang, a typical day-trip are the Kuang Si waterfalls:

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With their clear blue water, they are by far the nicest waterfalls I’ve ever seen.

Getting there is easy. In the main streets there are always (always always) tuktuk drivers offering you “waterfall, miss?”. A day trip costs around 200000 kip (20 €), but you can share the costs with some other travellers. Even if you are alone, it’s not hard to find other people on the street also wanting to share the ride.

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I ended up spending my day with an Irish couple and a Dutch girl, who reminded me about some interesting facts like, hehe, there is a big risk of malaria in Laos. Hehe. Laos was not on my plans when I left home at the end of March, so I didn’t take any Malarone with me to prevent the disease. I actually thought that the risk would be similar as in Vietnam, but it turns out it’s not.

Luckily, wearing long pants night and day seems to have worked for me, as almost no mosquito dared to bite me and I’m feeling pretty healthy right now.

One more thing about the waterfalls. At the entrance, there is a bear sanctuary where you can see these cute animals interacting with each other:

It would be nicer if the bears could live free in the forests, but it seems that in Laos and other countries, some people hunt them and use their bilis for “medical” purposes. You can read about bear farms in Asia in this article from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bile_bear

This was all about Laos. I wish I had spent some more time visiting other places in the country, but I don’t regret having done this quick trip to Luang Prabang as a stop between Cambodia and Thailand. Ahh, Thailand. Will I find some time this week to write about it?

By the way, this is my very last week in Asia. My trip is almost over. At the beginning, I thought that at this point I would be willing to forget everything about my old life, sell all my possessions, shave my head and disappear for a few years in a remote village of India.

As it turns out, I’m incredibly excited about going back home to visit my family and friends and then hopefully moving back to Berlin, my second home, and finding a motivating 9 to 6 job. This trip has been an amazing experience but I’m craving for stability!

If you have spent such a long time reading until here, you deserve some cuteness:

How I got to film that video, on my next post 🙂

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