Way back when I initially approached my old manager to request a 12 month career break to take this trip (Hi Craig!), I said we’d be going to Vietnam. His eyes lit up and said ‘make sure you visit Halong Bay’, and I’m so glad he told me about this place.
When planning our trip, we came across numerous blogs and reviews of the trip from Luang Prabang to Hanoi, labelling the transport as ‘The Nightmare Bus’. So we thought, why not have a crack at it!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Once upon a time two travellers ventured to the middle of nowhere. After a long and tiring bus journey, our protagonists ended up in the sleepy town of Luang Prabang. No supermarkets or shops insight, just street vendors, eateries and guest houses lined the street they came upon.
After their tiring journey our terrific twosome made it to their guest house and spent the day wandering and recovering. The next day, after their amazing trip to the waterfalls, they were invited out by a group of friendly like minded wanderers so off they went to Utopia.
Utopia was bliss, they sat on their cushions and spent the evening relinquishing tales of the well travelled as they watched the sun set over the Mekong River. A few drinks into the night and an American fellow began to tell the tale of his tuk tuk driver friend and how he could take them around the town for further drinks… So off they went.
First they went to a nightclub. How very unexpected! The locals raved the night away, and who were they to turn down a drink and join in with the dancing. What a bizarre night to have here of all places they thought. However, though little did they know, the night was only going to get stranger.
Next they went bowling. Yes that’s right bowling! They bowled late into the night and drank and talked with people all over the world. Many drinks later they decided that going next door to do some archery would be an excellent idea, so off they toddled.
A few more drinks down the line and a lot of misfired arrows later, the merry band decided it was time to eat. Mr Kee knew just the place and off they set again.
What a colourful array of food they had on offer: snails, crabsticks, buffalo intestine, chicken feet. Mmmm delicious.
And there you suppose the night ended. Oh no! The travellers decided the night was not over. Next stop was a hostel, where they played cards and magic tricks blew everyone’s minds.
Some decided a trip down to the river would be a fantastic adventure and off they went again.
By this time, around 5am, Cati and Matt decided maybe it was time to climb the wooden hill to Bedfordshire. After such an adventure, Cati was dizzy with excitement, a little too dizzy perhaps which did not end too well; for when she awoke the next morning her hair and face were covered with last nights delicious delicacies!
The moral of this wonderful tale: don’t let the sleepy town of Luang Prabang lull you into a false sense of security, she’s a wild one that cannot be tamed.
I’ve seen waterfalls. When I was little they were stuff of legend; magical places that take you to distant, mystical lands.
As you can see from our previous post, we successfully made it into Laos. What Cati didn’t talk about was the journey that took us from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang; 20 hours of public transport. Shudder.
I previously wrote about my quest for a backpacking friendly skincare routine. Click here to read.
Well I think I found the one. I’m lying in bed on the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and I’ve just completed my nightly routine. Current date 2/9/17 time 10pm. You can literally do this anywhere!
When in Bangkok, it would be rude to not go for a massage right? Don’t get me wrong, we were not going for a ‘happy ending’ situation here, but the idea of a bit of a rub down after being awake for nearly 40 hours traveling and lugging around our rucksacks was appealing to say the last.
I read a lot of blogs before coming to Thailand and as lovely and as informative as they were, they were too wordy for me to take any of it in.
So here is a quick survival guide with everything you need to know.