Friday, 11 March 2016

Luang Prabang, Laos, day one

After our arrival at 6am it was never going to be the most productive day but we still did a fair amount! I am already in love with the city and attempting to think of jobs which would allow me to live over here.

After our visit to a cafe for a well deserved breakfast we used the wifi to find a hostel. We've generally found that it's much cheaper to ask for prices on arrival as you pay a fee to book online, so with this in mind and a screenshot of the Google maps route, we set off, being offered tuk tuks constantly on the way. We found it easily and agreed to the price of $30 per night- I was so tired I probably would have accepted anything. This is a higher end guesthouse, more of a b&b than a hostel, but is our first to include breakfast (we're hoping- will find out for sure in the morning) and we have a spacious room, t.v and ensuite, so are going to stay for our 3 nights in Luang prabang. 

After showers and a bit of unpacking I decided to go for my first run of the trip while the others went to the tourist information centre to find out about the trip to some waterfalls we are going to tomorrow. While much cooler than Thailand (it was around 20°c when I went at 10ish) it's very humid- and i ended up locked outside our room drowning in my own sweat for way too long before the others returned. It was worth it though; we're very close to the Mekong River which is absolutely beautiful, though the locals did look at me very strangely for running.

Later we visited a market in the town centre, the others had shakes and i got the best sandwich ever
 There seems to be a bit bread obsession here; a lot of street vendors sell fresh baguettes and a lot of stalls offer 'Laos sandwiches' with a variety of fillings. As a big bread fan this is great news, and they had tofu and avocado which was amazing (impressive vegan options- better than England!)

We headed back to the hostel and spent the afternoon napping. At around 6 we ventured to the night market. It was great; much less crowded than the ones we visited in Thailand, with so many souvenirs I wish I had the budget (and luggage capacity) to take back. I did get a few small things- need to budget properly oops and hopefully we'll go back as there's loads to see.

We also got a great dinner here, a friend had told me about the buffet stands and they did not disappoint. For £1.31 you could fill a bowl with a variety of different foods; vegetables, tofu, noodles, stir fry, prawn crackers etc, and when you were done the woman owning the stall would stir fry it for you so that it was really hot. It was so delicious and such a cool way to eat. After wandering round more and a stop in the minimart to get some water we headed home to the hostel. It's only 10.30pm but I'm struggling to keep my eyes open; night buses are not the place to get a good night's sleep i guess!

Laura x

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