To describe the temperament of the people of Lao, I was told by a monk I met, hanging out his robe to dry... "The Vietnamese people plant the rice, the Cambodian people watch the rice grow, the Lao people listen for the rice to grow."
Drying Rice Cakes
Cafe on the Mekong
One of the many Wats in Luang Prabang
Remnants of the French Occupation
Luang Prabang turned out to be one of my favorite places.
The people, the food, the waterfalls and caves, the life along the river were all fantastic.
I will definately be back!
French/Lao post office. Everywhere the Lao flag hung, so did the hammer and sickle.
The Barber Shop Where I Got My 20,000 Kip ($2) Haircut
Elephant Dung Paper Menus
Out Of Work River Boats
Due to the low water levels.
Another Incredible Wat
Friendly Local Kids
These little girls followed me around for an hour. Every time I'd turn around to talk to them they would just stop and giggle.
My Usual Lunch Stop....Spring Rolls and Beerlao!
Something You Don't See Everyday
The Smoke Made Everything Surreal
Very Low Water Levels in the Mekhong
Taking Advantage of the Water Levels
Across the Bridge to the Village
Ok, so I got Lost in Lao for a week! Ted drops me off at Chiang Khong on the Lao border, absolutely beutifull! The one problem was I'm the only idiot that didn't know you could get a visa ahead of time in Thailand. We wait at the border for 40 minutes in stiffling heat for my Lao visa, and all the locals are askin' why we're just sittin' here and the bus driver keeps pointin' at me! Not comfortable in more ways than one. So none of the river boats are runnin', we get on the bus and fifteen hours later I'm in Luang Prabang. I have to say one of the most magical places I've ever been. Imagine A quaint French Colonial village with a beautiful waterfront, nestled along the Mae Khong river with some of the most beautfull scenery stuck in the middle of one of the most remote places on this planet. Oh, and the monks and temples are everywhere! The only problem was every day the smoke from the burning of the fields got worse and worse and by the 6th day it wasn't even worth jumpin' on the mountain bike and toolin' around as you couldn't even see across the river. Went to the caves and waterfalls, but not so spectacular as the water is way down. So I jumped on a small turbo prop Lao Airlines plane (those things jump around ALOT!)and highhtailed it back here to Chiang Mai, which is smokey as well, which is why tomorrow I jump on another plane for Koh Samui in the south, an island in the Gulf of Thailand with excellent diving and fishing. The rest of the Tour of the North will have to wait for another time. The nice thing is you can get plane tix for anywhere within 500km for around 85 bucks. Gonna take a boat ride down the Ping river today, go to the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium, and then probably catch the local rock band doing the unitelligible version of Smoke on the Water....which seems to be a big hit!
ps. Martin, the XXL was the biggest they had, and it barely fit me.