Brendan Gara Photography

Luang Prabang

Vientiane was good, but after a few days we needed to move on.

Vientiane is dangerous- it’s too easy to stay.  I was all for moving there, setting up a fish farming business and becoming Laotian.  Doesn’t matter if that didn’t work, it feels like something must , doesn’t really matter what it is, there are opportunities here and to leave would be a mistake; thing is you wouldn’t get here again- not in a hurry at least.  So bye bye to the Lang Xang hotel and it’s massive soviet style suites, bye- bye to the half finished floors and the smiley receptionists and two bell boys who never leave their desk by the hotel entrance, good bye to the delegates of the lao- international conference on equalities in teaching, goodbye to the australian volunteers for diversity dressed in their matching shorts and tee shirts and goodbye to the lao airlines girls and bank clerks walking hand in hand under umbrellas to avoid the midday sun.

We could have bussed it out, 8 hrs + of windy roads, vomit, sketchy views through half closed curtains but we opted for Lao Air. Apparently they have got a lot better in the last few years, no Tupelovs anymore, so no smoke in the aisles and a better than even chance of landing.

It was worth it, Central Laos is beyond stunning- dense jungle as far as the eye can see, broken up by knife edge ridges and jagged teeth of rock rising up sheer from an endless sea of green.

Luang Prabang is a slow, laid back kind of place- you can feel yourself winding down as you get nearer and then when you finally arrive you start to grin, stupidly, languidly and stop caring about where you’re going to stay, when you’re going to leave and what you’re going to do tomorrow.  That’s a nice feeling.

Three days later we’re climbing the walls.

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