Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I had a lot of expectations for Luang Prabang. Everything I had read, and everything people had told me, made Luang Prabang seem like a magical place.
And don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely beautiful, but….
there just isn’t much to do…
I woke up Wednesday morning thinking that I would spend ALL day walking around the historic city. HA. Anita and I were able to cover the entire little peninsula in about 3 hours 🙂
We started at our hostels and walked northeast down Sisavangvong toward the center of town. One of our first stops was the Royal Palace and Haw Pha Bang.
We were going to tour the palace, as it is now a museum, but we quickly realized …
1.) You need to pay.
2.) You need to be properly dressed.
I usually carry a sarong in my bag for these occasions but Anita was in shorts and a tank top, so no museum for us. Would it have been cool? Maybe, the internet said it would have been. Was I upset? Nah, not the biggest fan of museums, so no big deal 🙂
Check out this awesome dragonfly!
Exiting the Royal Palace we kept walking down the main street…
While walking, we were checking out all the restaurants looking for an evening cooking class. We were hoping to find the restaurant “Tamarind”, which had a highly rated cooking class with excellent reviews . And guess what? By some random miracle were veered east toward Phou si road and happened upon Tamarind restaurant. It was meant to be. With the reviews, the fair price, and a evening class that fit our schedule, we signed up!
With that done, we kept walking northeast on Phou si road, which is next to the Khan river.
Eventually we made it to the point of the peninsula, where Khan river meets the Mekong river.
Why are there always so many stairs?
At the top of the stairs was Wat Xieng Thong. If there is one temple you need to go to in Luang Prabang, this is it. Anita couldn’t enter the grounds due to her outfit, but she said she didn’t mind waiting while I explored the temple. Just like every temple I’ve been to, I am always amazed at the degree of intricacy and beauty.
My favorite part was the tree of life on the back of the sim (meditation hall).
Leaving the temple we walked southwest on Souvannakhamphong road along the Mekong river.
Eventually it was time for lunch, and after checking out almost every menu along the river we settled on the Bakery Cafe that had decent prices, a great view, and free wifi. I ordered ICE COLD coffee, spring rolls, and Luang Prabang salad. The salad is a local special, with lettuce, fresh herbs galore, cucumber, hardboiled egg, and an egg yolk dressing. nomnom.
“Walked Out”, we decided to take a little siesta before conquering Mount Phousi for the sunset. I wanted to rest in the comforts of my bed but I soon realized that the AC in my dorm room was not turned on until the evening. 🙁 boo.
Needing AC and wifi, I headed to the coffee shop JOMA, where Anita was hanging out, the wifi at her hostel was broken. Around 5:30 we started the trek to the top of Mount Phousi for the SUNSET.
Why are there so many stairs?
Check out this GIANT SPIDER I found on the walk up… the size of my hand if not bigger!
Anita bounded up the stairs with the energy of a 6-year old, whereas I was heaving like an obese, 100 year old woman. 300+ steps later and I sweating like a pig in a butchers shop. Sweet niblets. I was not just dripping, the sweat was pouring down my body, almost like I was literally melting. I think I was sweating more in that moment that I did in either of my half-marathons. Dying.
Anyway. I made it. Time to set up…
There were already a decent number of people preparing for the sunset, but I was able to find a good spot for my tripod (Yes, Cutting Lab, I have used both of my tripods at this point). By the time I was all set up, with my remote in hand, I looked at my watch and it was 5:50 pm.
The sun was setting at 6:30 pm.
Well, cool. So, like everyone else, we sat and waited.
It was totally worth it!
If there wasn’t a fee to access the mountain, and if there weren’t a BILLION stairs, I would go back every night to watch the sunset from the top of Mount Phousi.
Climbing down was not nearly as exhausting, or sweat inducing, but it was no picnic, so by the time we reached flat ground I was in much need of a cold drink and DINNER.
And guess where we went?
Where we had dinner the night before! After exploring almost the ENTIRE town of Luang Prabang we realized that our dinner spot, not only had delicious food, but the best prices around.
Fried Noodles with a Fried Egg. Holy, nomnom. I know it looks like a giant pile of mush, but I was so hungry I didn’t really spend the time trying to take a “good” photo. There were thick flat noodles, veggies, chicken, and a fried egg on top 🙂
While eating, Anita and I discussed how we had three WHOLE days left in Luang Prabang. What were we going to do? We had covered everything we wanted to see in the city! Well here was our plan:
- Thursday: Kuang si Falls (SO EXCITED)
- We wanted to also see Tad Sae Falls BUT since this is the end of dry season, the waterfall is dry 🙁
- Friday: Rent bikes in order to explore outside the city. AND our COOKING CLASS!
- Saturday: Rest?
With the plan set, tired feet, and a full belly, I was off to bed!
Stay tuned for my spectacular experience at Kuang si Falls 🙂
Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette