kuang-si-waterfalls

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26 november 2015

Senaste veckan del 2.

Så kom vi till Laos. De flesta tar en slowboat på Mekongfloden från landsgränsen, men vi ville inte spendera två dagar på en båt utan tog en buss som vi tänkte skulle ta fem timmar.

14 timmar senare klev vi av i Luang Prabang.

Laos är milt uttryckt ett avslappnat land. Det första vi fick höra när vi hade fått vårt visum på gränsen var “Waiting for the bus? Ok sit down, chillax.” Men jag är imponerad av Laos och dess natur. Det finns ett berg i Luang Prabangs centrum som man kan gå upp på för att se solnedgången och när det inte är för molnigt så är det riktigt fint.

Vi har varit vid resans hittills finaste vattenfall, med klarblått vatten som rann ner i platåer. Vi gjorde lite trekking upp i djungeln för att komma till toppen av det. En bit på vägen fanns en skylt till vänster som sa “DANGER, DO NOT PASS”. “Åhå”, tänkte vi, “här finns ett hål i staketet som vi kan klättra igenom”, och fick därmed en hidden spot av vattenfallet helt för oss själva att bada i. Resten av gruppen gjorde ett jäkla liv av hur kallt det var att kliva i vattnet vars temperatur var ungefär i nivå med en svensk försommarsjö. Lina och jag tänkte att vi är ju ändå svenskar, och bet ihop.

Vi har spenderat många måltider på Indigo Café, med lite västerländsk känsla i designen och god currykyckling. Personalen skrattar lite varje gång vi kommer in men jag tror att det är positivt. Luang Prabang har också en kvällsmarknad där jag litegrann skäms över turister som vägrar att betala mer än 25kr för ett par långbyxor (30 är tydligen för mycket). Egentligen är jag nog inte jättemycket bättre själv, men jag försöker.

To be honest, Laos was never on my travel bucket list and I didn’t know much about this small Southeast Asian country. However, when I knew I had to leave China’s border because of my visa situation at the time, I was attracted by all the great images I saw online. It seemed to be a paradise with French and Buddhist influences. Little did I know that Laos, and specifically its ancient capital Luang Prabang, would become one of the most memorable places I had ever been to. 

Night Market

If you are looking for unique gifts for friends and yourself and local deliciousness, the night market in Luang Prabang should definitely be your hot spot. Local vendors offer goods, such as T-Shirts with Lao prints, bags, hand-made scarves, lights, tea and anything you can think of, for cheap right here.

Don’t be surprised if you see whole families including babies sitting at the market and trying to sell goods – even late at night. Don’t forget to bargain and you will have the time of your life! Get a tuk-tuk right to the oldtown where the night market is located every night.

Kuang Si Waterfall

Even though the Kuang Si Waterfall is one of the most visited attractions around Luang Prabang (23 km from the city), it’s well worth visiting. Be sure to bring a bathing suit and splash in the picturesque turquoise water freshly coming down from the mountains above you.

Even if you don’t want to swim, master your way along the path to the top viewing platform of the falls. It’s the perfect spot to take a picture! The entrance fee of the waterfall park is only 20,000 Kip ($2.40). You can reach the park by taking a tuk-tuk or booking a shuttle from your hotel

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I can highly recommend staying at Villa Laodeum Nam Khan View, where the staff organized all of our trips and activities during our stay!

Oldtown by Bike

Who could resist renting a bike to explore the 1000 year old city? The price is at $2 per day per bike and can be parked anywhere in town.

Cruise along the mighty Mekong or go on a temple tour riding from one hot spot to another. When in Luang Prabang, temples can be spotted at almost every corner of the city.

If you are in for something spectacular, be sure to wake up early and make your way to a nearby temple at around 7am to see monks collecting alms for the day from the locals.

Lao Cooking Class

The way to the heart is through the stomach – and this is even true for falling in love with countries or cultures. Lao food is similar to its neighbors’ cuisines (Thai and Viet food) but still has some unique ingredients or dishes you can only find there. What better way to embrace Lao culture and food than taking a cooking class?

I took an evening cooking class at the Tamnak Lao Restaurant where I learned how to make 3 Lao dishes, I received a Lao recipe book and was taught by a professional Lao chef who has his own restaurant in downtown Luang Prabang – everything for only $20!

The whole course took 2 hours and included dinner! If you decide to do the morning course, you get 4 hours and they even take you to a local Lao market to pick out the ingredients! It’s absolutely worth it!

Mekong River Cruise

The mighty Mekong is one of the longest rivers in Asia and flows down from Tibet through China’s Yunnan province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong is of huge significance for agriculture and infrastructure in Laos.

A half-day river cruise on the Mekong takes you along the mighty river to several coastal regions around Luang Prabang where you can buy home-made rice liquor, scarves and visit the famous Pak Ou Buddha Caves.

The whole cruise was only $20 and included a delicious local lunch right on the boat! The best thing was that I visited during low season so my mom and I had the entire boat almost to ourselves!

When are you planning to visit Laos?

 

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