Monday, February 8, 2010

Luang Prabang

After exploring Luang Prabang for a couple of days, the inevitable happened...I got sick - the culprit a dodgy baguette aboard the slow boat to L.P. Feeling pretty bad, I didn't go to far from a bathroom for a full day, and wasn't feeling 100 % for a couple of days after also. It was devastating to get sick in what looked like such a cool place, so I we decided to stay for a few extra days – I weathered the storm, and Lizzie got out on a bike and got amongst L.P.

The city itself is one of the oldest in Laos, it is built on the banks of the Mekong and as I said previously has a stark French influence. There are amazing temples and a fantastic night market that you can buy all sorts of handcrafts, made buy the locals and not by some mass producing, knock off factory in China or Bangkok. Once I was back in action we went out to a waterfall 25 km out of L.P in a public park. It was incredible – the limestone formations the water passes over give the dozens of cascading pools a menthol blue colour. It was awesome to finally have a refreshing swim after so many days in the heat and near only filthy rivers.

On our last day in L.P we decided to go to the Elephant Camp. This place was recommended to us by some friends and something we'd thought about doing in Thailand. The elephants are rescued from lives as logging elephants which is now illegal in Laos, and live at the camp where the local villagers grow food for them – so at face value it seemed like a worth wile cause. After a trek through the jungle, we learnt the commands to ride the elephants ourselves, and after lunch we spent the afternoon riding through jungle again, screaming out commands (to the amusement of the instructors) and then took the elephants into the river for a bath. Mine was a young and apparently 'naughty' elephant, and it wouldn't kneel down in the river and blow water everywhere. In fact, I think I was wet more by the instructor than by the elephant. Lizzie was saturated on the other hand. It was hilarious. We climbed aboard our bus to Vang Vieng a little sad to leave. We're meeting some friends in Vang Vieng so will stay there for 2-3 days.

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