All posts tagged: Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a Hinterland Outpost and I Love It

It is such a shame that Luang Prabang is tucked away in northern Laos, demanding a two day slow boat arrival or 19 hour overnight bus ride. I didn’t know it when I arrived, but this colonial gem was (for me), Laos’ redemption. Before I left for Southeast Asia, all I knew was that Laos was the youngest sibling of its four neighbors, and very up-and-coming with the backpacker scene. Travelers were flooding into this country to exploit its natural beauty and its laid back attitude. I felt like the last person I knew who hadn’t been to Southeast Asia, let along Laos. Thus, I had a very definite, albeit skewed perception of Laos. What I didn’t know was that the country is very much third world and borderline comatose. This is why Luang Prabang, in reflection, justified my travel time invested in Laos. The main street lined with old French style architecture dominates the centre of this picturesque city. In the evening vendors flood the street, creating a very colorful and animated night market. …

A Brief Introduction to Laos: “Wait, is this hotel an opium den?”

Like our backpacking forefathers we opted to travel to Laos by way of Mekong slow boat. The trip would take two nights, three day and commence in Chiang Mai, Thailand.¬†¬†Greg was not convinced that this would be the best route, favoring the 18 hour overnight bus. My choice won out simply because he hadn’t looked into all of the options, sneaky sneaky me. Day 1: travel by mini bus to Chiang Kong, border town. Stop along the way at the Cashew Factory (for the second time, the first visit happened during our visa run to Myanmar) and the White Temple. The Cashew Factory pays all types of minibus tours to stop at their crummy store and ‘restaurant,’ though clean bathrooms are a redeeming feature. The White Temple was incredible. A stunning white temple adorned with small mirror mosaic bits, it appears to be fashioned out of wax and glitters radiantly in the sunlight. At the southwest corner you will cock your head at a unique design feature: a life size replica of Preditor buried waist …