Friday, 31 August 2007

Costa Del Kao San

I had a great time in Vang Vieng, but after a few days there it was starting to get a bit like Spanish beach meets Bangkok traveller gheto, with a fair bit of Ballyfermot and Tel Aviv thrown in. Not all bad, but when the bar started playing "oh ah up the ra" I reckoned it was time to move on. I had intended to do another days tubing but it was chucking it down so I gave it a miss. So I hoped on the "VIP" bus up to Luang Prabang. The road trip was lovely, and although the thought of a bandit attach did cross my mind (this is the road where there has been some activity recently), its was far more likely the bus would come a cropper on all the torturous mountain hairpin bends. But the views were excellent most of the way and the trip passed really quickly.

The town itself is World Heritage listed and is full of lovely old buildings, some fine wats and nice surrounding countryside. And being at the confluence of two rivers, it gets some nice breezes to temper the heat of the day.
Mostly I've been just wandering about town, climbing the hill for nice views and visiting the odd temple.
I also spent a bit of time helping out a couple of kids at the guesthouse who were getting private tuition from a tutor there, which was really nice. The first day they really struggled to understand me, but by yesterday they had improved a lot - I guess a falang accent takes a bit of getting used to.

I met up again with Christian and the girls, and also with Mike and Emelia who I had played pool with a lot in Vang Viene.
The girls headed on the slow boat to Thailand today, so the rest of us spent the day at a really nice waterfall with a lovely swimming area. I even managed to hike to the top and peer over the torrent of water, which involved lots of carefully placed footsteps on slippery rocks. Laos safety isn't exactly first world:)

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