31st August 2012 08:21
Coincidentally I met the same two backpackers on this journey as I did heading to luang-prabang. I was in the big, local bus and bumped into them when we stopped halfway for food. They'd opted for the minivan, but due to some sick, twisted turn of fate had ended up with the same driver (micro-sleep man) we'd had going to luang-prabang. Apparently he drives that route too... None of us fancied their chances of making it to Luang Prabang in one piece.
This particular rest stop was easily the most beautiful yet:
And it's a well known fact that food is healthier when consumed in that kind of environment:
On arriving in Luang Prabang, I was tired. I was hungry. But I wasn't worried. I'd done my research. I'd found the best pizza joint in town and boy was I looking forward to that pizza! Thin, crispy base, tasty tomato sauce, delicious melted mozzarella, covered in meat.... I walked along the road once and I couldn't find the place. Odd... But possible that my pizza excitement had caused some temporary blindness. I walked along the road again... still no sign of it. By now my mouth was watering and my stomach was rumbling uncontrollably. I asked staff at one of the restaurants near where it should have been... "Oh yes, that place shut down about two months ago". Nooooooooo! Crushing disappointment. I frantically searched on my phone for an alternative. A restaurant called "The Pizza"?! Promising, I thought. Surely a restaurant actually named after a certain type of food would excel above all others when it comes to cooking it? There would be some kind of moral obligation to their customers to make sure that one thing on their menu was outstandingly amazing wouldn't there?! I couldn't have been more wrong. It was rubbish. I contemplated changing the sign above the door to The Shit Pizza, but I restrained myself.
Luang Prabang is a really nice place to walk around very slowly, and chill at a nearby cafe/smoothie stall when you become exhausted from over-exerting yourself in the process. There are lots of nice tree lined streets, countless wats, and tiny alleyways to explore.
Kuang Si Falls is a three tier waterfall about an hours drive outside of Luang Prabang. You can also swim in certain sections of it of you want to. There's also a rope swing where some idiot didn't let go of the rope, thereby swinging back into the tree branch and being removed from the rope by force, flipping round violently in the process. My initial reaction was "oooooh, that had to hurt!", followed by laughter at how dumb he was when I saw he was still alive and had his limbs and stuff.
They also had a bear sanctuary there with possibly the coolest bear in the world. Wouldn't you just do that all day if you could?
My next destination was further north, Luang Prabang, and trekking galore.