Saturday, 17 December 2011

Luang Prabang

I got here two days ago, but I've been zoned out from the 252km of constant corners. Seven hours of corners. I'm not sure you realise how many corners there are. There are lots. No, more than you're thinking right now. Yes, even more than that.

The road goes through that village, then about 5km along the road you appear above it...

More corners.
I also found out the reason for all the guns after some quick interwebnet research. In the past on highway 7 and 13 there have been attacks on the road from guerilla forces camped out in the mountains. Apparently this died down a few years ago but there are still lots of military on the road and armed guards on most buses through the area. The locals still carry guns too so I guess it still happens but the government may not allow the reporting of it get out.

A bit of the road went missing so they're remaking it. I had to wait here for half an hour.
And then I finally made it to Luang Prabang but I still had to find a place to stay and sunset was getting close. I eventually found a place right by the mekong (after navigating all the stupid one way streets, and the one main road blocked by the markets) for 120000kip/night, expensive, but I was too zoned out to care. And now I'm all unpacked I can't be bothered finding a cheaper place. Laos seems to be quite expensive, but I haven't strayed from the main tourist routes.

The next day I went out wandering with my camera, evidence of this is below...

A bamboo bridge I walked across for 5000kip. Seemed stable enough...

From on the bridge, it sways a bit here.

The confluence (word of the day) of the Mekong and Nam Khan.

The boats on the Mekong
After I found some breakfast (with croissants and baguettes) I headed to Phou Si in the middle of this area where there is a temple on top.

The stairs heading up....

Oh man, 190 more!

Looking down the stairs.

Panorama from the top, looking East with the Nam Khan near the right.

West towards the Mekong

A serpent on top of the temple.

More Nam Khan

Sunset over the Mekong

Now with boats!
I went to the markets that block the main street last night. This is the handicrafts markets so there's not to much food around (but I did manage to find some, and have been near the toilet ever since, not sure if related).

You have to watch for motorbikes in here too...

Lots and lots of stalls, but mostly selling the same things. There are a few with paintings, old coins and other things that I assume are unique to the particular stall, but most other things might be hand made but the all look like they came from the same place. There were also many stores selling the local whiskey with snakes/spiders/scorpions in it too, didn't look appealing. But I did buy some banana cake!

And now I've managed to get a cold.

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