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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

25 Days of Laos (Part 5)

This is a journal of our 25-day trip around Laos on a rented Honda FTR that we fondly called Mustafa. It starts with a long bus ride from Hanoi to Laos and ends with a longer bus ride back to Hanoi.

Day 5: Luang Prabang
My day started with a nice bike ride around Luang Prabang. Although I'm not really a morning person, getting some sun and cycling at a relaxed pace without having to worry about evading loads of passing vehicles or a crowd of tourists made it worth the early start.

When I got back to Khem Khong View, my boyfriend and I headed to Cafe Ban Vat Sen where we pigged out on pain au chocolat and butter croissants. This amazing breakfast marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Cafe Ban Vat Sen. It became our breakfast place in Luang Prabang.

The butter croissant was creamy. And, when we ordered some cream cheese with it, they gave us a huge scoop. The pain au chocolat had a creamy, bittersweet chocolate filling. And, we were very much impressed by the service. 

After breakfast, we went for a walk around the temple area. Wat Phouhak, the wat by the steps that lead to the peak of Mount Phousi got my attention. I climbed up the steps to take a picture of it. After taking a few shots of the exterior, I noticed that the door was open and went inside. The walls were covered with paintings, describing scenes from ancient Laos. When I got out, I took some pictures of Wat Pha Bang which is located across the street.

Wat Pahouak

Wat Pha Bang
On our way back to Khem Khong View, we passed by some more wats. One of them is Wat That which resembles a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We also passed Wat Mahathat which has a drawing of Buddha under a Bodhi tree.

Wat Mahathat

An Old Stuppa in the Wat Mahathat Temple Grounds

Day 6: Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw
We started our day with breakfast in Cafe Ban Vat Sen, where we feasted on croissants, before leaving for a four-hour trip to Nong Khiaw. It was an easy drive with not many slopes and turns. We did have some problems with our motorbike. Our rack came loose and we had to find a welder to help us repair it.

Luckily, we found one on the way. He seemed very skilled as he had all sorts of furniture made of gears welded together. I thought that the concept was really original. While my boyfriend was busy with his motorbike, I took some pictures of the little girl who kept saying "Sabaidee" to us and the kids across the streets who were watching us and were giggling non-stop.

We arrived at the the Sunrise Guest House where we got a really basic cottage by the river. Although we had to bear with a squat toilet, we had a terrace with a beautiful view of the river. And, it came with a comfy hammock that's great for chilling. 

After we dropped off our luggage, we had lunch in a restaurant across the street from our guest house. The have a really nice rice curry. At the back of the restaurant is a noisy myna bird that drew my attention.

We chilled on the terrace until dinner time came. That night, we were in the mood for some Indian food so we went to Deen's for some papadams, malai kofta, chicken masala and lassi. And then, after a long day, we headed back to our guest house to get some sleep.

Our Favorite Breakfast Place in Luang Prabang

What I saw in one of our stopovers.

A Table Made Of Gears

The Road to Nong Khiaw

The Kids Across The Road

The Welder's Daughter

The view from the restaurant where we had lunch

The Noisy Myna 

The View From Our Terrace

Quick Travel Tips

Accommodation and Food
Sunrise Guest House. What I like about this place is its location and price. It's pretty cheap and has got a view of the river. It's also near most of the restaurants. Across the guest house is the restaurant where we had lunch. It serves fried rice and noodles and has a beautiful view of the river. Beside that is Deen's Indian Restaurant. And, across Deen's is Delilah's which serves western food and has hammocks that are great for chilling.

The Journey Continues:

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