Tag Archives: Mekong river

Last Day in Luang Prabang.

Itchy feet, high metabolism, well rested ? Whatever it is I am on my way tomorrow. Luang Prabang (LP) is a delight, the people are friendly, smiley, gracious, polite and as far as I can tell scrupulously honest. According to my Rough Guide they have an innate sense of “muan” (fun) and if something is “baw muan” (not fun) then it is quickly abandoned. Sounds reasonable. I see much hard work going on, running stalls and shops, fishing and farming, maintenance, repair and building but alas it all seems to provide little in the way of return. The most used bank note is the 50,000 Kip note, about $6.00 US, and frankly everything seems to cost less than this. Example, the restaurant I am currently sitting in features a menu with nothing more expensive than, yes, 50,000 kip. Johnny Walker is $3.00 a shot, cocktails are $3.25, Daiquires, Piña Coladas, even a Long Island Ice Tea. Not much of a markup available there. I suppose there is some solace in the fact that I am helping to contribute towards the fifty percent of the Country’s revenue which comes from tourism. But not even my meager contribution is not going to help Laos drag itself up from its position in one of the ten most underdeveloped countries on Earth.
I think it is here, for the first time, that I have found it unfortunate that I do not have a travel companion. All those activities in Hong Kong, HCMC and Hanoi were just fine to do solo but here, after the initial exploring, I could have done with some company. There are all sorts of one and two day excursions to waterfalls, elephant preserves, ethnic villages etc that really lend themselves to group travel. Bit boring on ones own. So, tomorrow I go to Siem Reap, site of the famous Angkor Wat temple complex.
Will let you know how it goes.

Photos along the way. (with captions)

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A tuk tuk

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The ferry terminal on the Mekong

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A computer desk messier than mine

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A temple.

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Riding on a tuk tuk

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Domestic terminal, Vientiane.

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The early morning photo brigade.

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The Chill deck at Club Utopia.

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From the top of the hill I climbed. 400 steps.

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Summit of hill.

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B B Q in middle of my table, awaiting ingredients !

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My Lao Bar B Q. Not a great success !

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Happy in the middle of the river.

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More water in the river today. Maybe it rained in Tibet.

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Happy Valentines Day

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I can only imagine that all this is underwater in the rainy season.

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A monk and his boat.

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Quite pleased with this one.

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Last walk across the scary bridge.

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No cameras about.

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The Saffron ribbon I mentioned.

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Sunrise over Luang Prabang.