Luang prabang

After another long and very windy bus journey, during which some poor kid was sick, we arrived in luang prabang.

As we got off the bus we made friends with a few of the people who had been on the bus with us, a guy called Shiraz who was travelling by him self, a lovely girl called danni who was travelling with her friend rus who she had met since shed been away. The five of us jumped in a tuck tuck to take us from the bus station into town. Luckily for us Shiraz had somewhere he wanted to head to as charlie and I had made no plans at all! After an awkward stop, where the tuck tuck driver tried to take us to the wrong place, and Shiraz had some serious words with him, we arrived near the night market where we all jumped out and went in search of accommodation. After a couple of hours we had all settled on somewhere so we agreed to meet later that night and grab some dinner and drinks.

We headed down to the night market which was huge and had everything you could ever think of! While we were there we grabbed some dinner from a vegetarian stall before setting off again to have a look around. Unfortunately, soon after we had finished eating it started to rain, so everyone at the market started packing up there stuff. We decided to head down to a bar called utopia as we had had it recommended to us by tones of people. It was a bit of a walk but we got there in the end! The bar was really cool, it was based right by the river and was covered in lanterns and little coves to sit in full of cushions. We all sat down had a few drinks and had a lovely night. Most of Laos has a curfew in place which means that nearly all the bars shut at midnight, however in luang prabang there is one place still open after 12……..night bowling! So once we were all good and drunk and the bar had closed, we jumped in a tuck tuck and headed straight there! As there were a few of us we got two lanes, as well as two bottles of whisky and started playing the funniest game of 10 pin bowling I’ve ever played! Most of it is a bit of a blur but I’m pretty sure we played 2 or 3 games, one of which I didn’t come last in and actually beat charlie!! (this clearly shows how drunk he was, towards the end of the last game his last 5 throws were all gutter balls!) We stayed until they shut and had so much fun!!

The next day everyone was feeling a little fragile but we managed to meet up and get some food in us before heading to the waterfalls. It took AGES to get there, but the drive was lovely. We finally arrived and went straight up there. On the way to the waterfalls, bizarrely enough, there is a bear shelter where they take in and look after black bears! So obviously charlie stopped for a good half and hour to look at the bears, which were surprisingly cute, before heading up to the waterfalls.
There were loads of different waterfalls, some you could swim in and some you couldn’t, but I have to say they were STUNNING. Charlie and I both agreed that we thought they were THE most beautiful things we had seen since we’d been away. There were so many of them and the higher you got, the more impressive they got. Until eventually we got to the top where there is just one huge waterfall. It was amazing. We stayed and chilled out for a while before heading back down to the half way point where we were able to swim in one of the waterfalls. We timed it perfectly as by the time we got back down, all the other tourists had left, so apart from a few locals we had the place to ourselves! We all got changed and jumped in. There was also a really cool rope swing attached to one of the trees that you could use, so you can imagine we spend a good few hours here before getting the tuck tuck back!

We got back at about 6ish and all just had a quick shower before heading out for some food. The others wanted to go back tithe same place we ha been to for lunch, but as it was charlie and I’s last night here we wanted to try somewhere different, so we arranged to meet the others back at utopia. After we’d eaten we headed down there and caught Shiraz and russ just as they were leaving and decided to all pop up to the night market again to have a proper look this time. Just as we got to the entrance we bumped into sol and Alex again who we had met in vang vieng. We had a quick chat and told them to check out utopia and the night bowling before saying good bye. After a quick look around the market I wasn’t feeling too great, plus we had to pack up all our stuff so we called it a night.

The next day was a bit of a nothing day really, as we had to catch our 22hour bus into Vietnam at 5pm but we were getting picked up at half 4. We met the others for breakfast again and we were going to go swimming with them, but as we were leaving we didn’t really want to withdraw any more money and didn’t have enough cash for us both to go, so we just pottered around town instead, stocking up on snacks for the bus journey.

Eventually we got picked up and began the journey from hell.