Our Journey

Luang Prabang; Thomas’ Birthday, Poolside fun, Bears and Waterfalls 02:10:14-06:10:14

So it has taken a while to get this post up and running, with the main reason being that the internet in Laos, I discovered is very weak!  It was a fun little time we had in Luang Prabang.  I have really grown attached to the word “Prabang” too!  Haha after our boat fun and trauma, our crewe had doubled in size.  We were now a solid 8, just saying…don’t mess with us! haha.  So in the group we now have Myself and Nkosi, the newly branded “TNT”, appropriately named, as they ARE THE BOMB!  (aka the Americans; Thomas, Natalie and Tanisha), we also continued our journey with Andrew and Natasha from the boat and Christina, who we met in Pai and on the boat.  Safe to say that finding accommodation for us all was difficult, but we stumbled across a sweet guesthouse which had enough rooms to home us all for 60,000 kip a night.

So what did we get up to in Luang Prabang…..

The first night it was all about finding our feet and food. We checked out the local street food and it looked yummy.  I had a fresh fish for 30,000 kip and a side of all you can eat buffet  (not including meat).  I was happy with this choice, however not a fan of cold pasta, noodle etc.  TIP; I did not realise you could ask for it to be warmed up… this would have made a massive difference.  Tasha and Christina got dumplings from a little man who home makes them, they are delicious.  20,000 kip for a full bag, TIP, the chilli sauce is super hot!

Luang Prabang is a beautiful place so we walked around and it has some gorgeous temples.  I also took note that they advertise their schools as drug free, which is also good to know!

The next day Nkosi found out the biggest disaster in the world… his Mac Book charger had broken.  Honestly, I have never seen someone so distressed and changery (my new name for when your charger breaks and your angry).  It was like his world fell apart in a moment.  I understand its for work, so it is a big deal to him.  Im just wondering, where in a town, where internet is so poor, are you ever going to find a charger!  Meanwhile Natalie searches the streets for a cake for Thomas, without him finding out, and while all this was happening, I was defo being supportive in my mind, but the pool was calling my body.  So while everyone got on with their tasks, I mustered up the energy to go to a pool and drink cocktails all day with Christina, Tasha and Andrew.

Afterwards we find Natalie in the hotel, she has the cake and candles sorted.  I also find out the great news that Nkosi successfully found a charger, no need for me to be a Mac-less Man’s Widow any longer!!!! 

That evening at 12pm Thomas would turn 25, so Nat was trying to make it as memorable as possible for him.  I asked where the boys where (Thomas and Nkosi) and she said that Nkosi had offered to keep Thomas occupied while Natalie got the last few bits and bobs and got ready for the evening… straight away I knew.  EPIC FAIL.  1 American and 1 British lad, together, drinking at 5pm, would only mean Nkosi and Thomas would get hammered.  We got to the bar, and call me Mystic Meg but, yup, Nkosi proved me right, and I’m not even sure at 7pm that Thomas was standing straight.  I heard some interesting conversations from Thomas that night… including, describing to a group of Chinese girls what a beef burger was, what it looked like and how you make it… I’m sure they have burgers and McDonalds in China!  Thomas also told us all just how amazing Natalie was… I think maybe quoted 1000 times that night, and just how amazing his life is right now!  At least its nice to meet a happy drunk and so positive about life hehe. Thomas is probe rely one of the most smiley people I have met, so happy and positive all the time.  By 9pm Thomas was on his back, after falling off his chair, I’m concerned at this point he isn’t going to make the 12am count down to his birthday, but of course he is still smiling 🙂

 

A few burgers later and just before 10pm, we make it to the destination we were heading towards, Utopia.  A really cool and vibing place, which provides yoga in the day, has a volley ball court and lots of cushion floor seating.  Nkosi does his usual and bounces onto the decks to DJ.  All of us have a fun time, and just before midnight, Natalie and Thomas have to retire for the night.  Good effort though Thomas!  Happy Birthday Buddy!

The rest of us stayed at Utopia until the end, which is really early as everything shits at 11:30pm.  We then headed to  the only after hours destination… bowling…obviously!  Its rally strange there.  I had heard people raving about it…  For me, the vibe was a bit dead, there was no music and lights on full.  a bit of a killer after a night out for me.  And if you don’t bowl…then really, there is not much else to do… Other than drink more and take selfies in front of a fan!

 The morning after we all got up and sang happy birthday to Thomas, and Natalie gave him his cake, I even got to speak to a real life American Mom!  

The next day everyone was complaining of hangovers, so the best solution for a hangover… hair of the dog and a pool.  literally dragged Thomas there, but even he agreed it was a great way to spend birthday and cure his hangover.  We even did a spot of synchronised swimming, trying to spell out TOM in the pool.  You can judge our success rate yourselves!

 

We had a few days of rain, and chill-axing.  We took a day trip to the Bear Sanctuary and waterfalls.  The bears were so cute, although feeding time was a bit of a let down.  These are bears that have been rescued though and it was really nice to see them being looked after.  Since being in Laos we had stopped in a service staton and saw a big jar, when we looked in it there was a baby bear cub, that had been picked for a whiskey!   The Whiskey was on tap for purchase.  Safe to say I did not support this.

The waterfalls were stunning and really big too.  You could climb to the top if you wanted, but by the time we got up there I really needed the toilet so had to run back down again!

Whilst in Luang Prabang we also had our first Laos BBQ.  It was really enjoyable.  Myself, Nkosi, Tasha and Andrew went together and it was really nice.  You cook you meat on the top and the soup and vegetables in the base and then pop it into your bowl.  The peanut sauce was amazing!  It was called Lao Garden, and I would highly recommend.

 

Nkosi also DJed at Utopia a few more times, meaning a few more nights out, more of a relaxed evening as we were gearing ourselves up for what was to come next in Vang Vieng!

On Monday 6th October we took the bus to Vang Vieng.  Oh what a journey I will never forget.  A 6 hour hour journey actually took 8. A great breakfast to start the day… Including Nkosi finding his dream sandwhich! Tune (tuna) sandwich. 

The ride was so bumpy that at point the bus was nearing horizontal. Roads, which were no longer roads due to land slides…and the windiness was sickening.  Would I do it again. No.  We also booked the VIP bus… err….i would hate to see economy, no seat reclining, and literally the most uncomfortable seats ever.

Nkosi thought he would try the local foods out and bought a packet of sun flower seeds.  I have to say, possibly the most annoying food ever to watch someone eat.  It took longer trying to get the seed out than it did to eat it, whilst having a bag for the casings to go in.  He had a go for about 30 minutes and hadn’t even put a dent in the bag… I had had enough, it was time to put the pointless foods away. So he did. Of course 🙂 

 

Any way…all that effort of breaking into those sunflower seeds must have worked because…yup…of course Nkosi managed it! On one of the most scary rides of my life…Nkosi can fall asleep!  Sleepy selfe coming up… just for you Maya!

 

We reached Vang Vieng on the 6th October…not sure I was prepared for the next few days… see my next post!

Lots of Love and missing everyone at home

 

Kym 

xxxxx

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