Well today it was time to say goodbye to one of my favourite places of our trip so far – Luang Prabang it is a place which just seems to have a little of everything you could ever wish for, plus it even has the Mekong thrown in for good luck! We were first collected from our hotel a wee bit later than we had expected by a minibus and then put into one of the van tuk tuks which was just a bit too full of fellow travellers, this then transported us to the bus station where we were now shepherded onto a minivan which was also very full of both people and backpacks, well by now you get the general idea, don’t you?
Once again, although I was a bit saddened to be leaving the spellbinding Luang Prabang, the Laos countryside soon enough worked its soothing magic on me, this was even though the roads were getting worse the more northerly we travelled, some of the bumps and potholes we encountered were right neck-snappers. The only food we managed to snaffle along the way was some snacky nibble things but thankfully after last night’s fine dining experience we were still somewhat full to the brim. It was quite an overcast day but in between trying to ensure that our teeth did not fall out due to the judders being caused by the roads, the greenery of the scenery was indeed a most welcome sight. Some of the simplest sights really are the best – children going for water wielding unbelievably large buckets or cows of various colours and shades but all having well defined ribs, just meandering about on the roads because they can – nothing seems to have a timetable here and, coming from the West where we seem to devote much time to running around like headless chickens, it is all just so very nice.
Well after the somewhat arduous bus trip we finally reached our destination another Luang but this time Luang Namtha or to be more precise, it’s bus station where a roguish or enterprising tuk tuk driver, depending upon your viewpoint, tried to rip us off. However, we argued and negotiated and one of our group, an Aussie really kept banging on about it and to be fair behaving like a bit of an ass really but eventually, price lowered, we continued on the few km journey into town.
Our hotel was on the main road in but it was also on the edge of town too so we were first to be dropped off at our little abode which was decorated with lots of wood as is the fashion but also pleasing enough to the eye. Our room was a little dated but as everywhere we have stayed here it was quite homely and clean, especially the bed and that is the most important thing. When we first set out travelling we did wonder what the accommodation along the way would be like and to be fair apart from the odd lapse it has generally been of a good standard and the staff have always been helpful and courteous which is more than can be said for some places we have stayed at back home really.
Anyhow after the taxing journey we had had we just needed a bit of a rest and even lying down my body was still trying relive the journey and kept spasming whilst going over the imaginary bumps, still I managed enough rest to feel somewhat revitalised. So it was that later on we awoke and went out and about to find out what Luang Namtha had to offer, which by and large we soon found out, was not that much really. In some ways it was a bit like Dodge City with a very wide main street or gunslinging and the like and the odd offshoot. We wandered about and checked the place out, in particular the very small marketplace which was lit up like a beacon, whilst doing so we happened across an agent that we could book a trek from and in the shake of a lamb’s tail, tomorrow’s adventures were all planned out before us.
For our trek, we had to be up early tomorrow so we went off for a bite of food that turned out to be nothing to write home about, so that said ….. I shan’t (unless this blog counts!) and then back to the hotel to beddybyes to see what tomorrow would have in store for us!