After crossing the border from Thailand we got a Tuk Tuk to Huay Xai, our starting point for the two day slow boat trip to Luang Prabang.
There’s not much to do in Huay Xai, it’s the starting point for the famous Gibbon Experience tour, but that was way beyond our budget so instead we enjoyed some epic meals.
The next morning we headed early to the docks and off we were. The first one or two hours we enjoyed the boat ride with the view over lush landscapes on either side. Since the landscape doesn’t really change a lot we passed the time to our next stop with reading and playing Kniffel.
Upon arrival in Pakbeng we were greeted by a horde of people offering rooms and we decided to go for the cheapest option for this night. The rest of the evening we spent having dinner, playing pool with some new friends and explaining a local how to run his newly opened bar.
The next morning we had a nice surprise for breakfast when we saw two elephants bathing on the other side of the river and at 9:30am off we were again!
After seven hours we reached our final destination, Luang Prabang. After walking through the city’s night market we met with a big group from our boat and had some lao lao buckets. Lao lao is the local whiskey made out of rice and is usually mixed with coke or other softdrinks. The second day we had a walk around town. North of the night market the Mekong River meets the Nam Khan and the area is perfect to enjoy a coffee in one of the nice cafés. After visiting the Wat Xieng Tong we walked the night market street back towards town to have lunch and a rest from the heat. In the evening we met up with Skyler and Gergana, whom we also met on the boat, to watch the sunset from the top of the Phou Si. Afterwards we had street food and a beer with them and Ally and Sean, more friends we made on the boat.
The next day we went with the same group to one of the main attractions in Luang Praban: the Kuang Si waterfalls and the bear rescue center. Here, Asiatic Wild Moon bears find a new home after being rescued from poachers. The waterfalls are really incredible. There are various levels of pools to splash in and a bridge which is perfect for capturing the main fall. Most tourists stop here but it is worth it to climb further to the top level of the falls. Here we jumped from a swing into the water, let little fish nibble the dead skin from our feet and had our lunch break, there were only a couple of more tourists in this area. After a final splash in one of the lower pools and some more water fun, we headed back to the city.
The next day we were supposed to leave Laos. We planned to take a 24 hour sleeping bus (with actual beds) to Hanoi, in the North of Vietnam. However, we had some trouble but you can read all about that in a separate post.