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Exploring Luang Prabang

sunny 36 °C

Last night we had a drama in our guesthouse. We were sat on the bed reading and on the computer when Chels saw a bug. We ignored it but then she saw one more and after some googling on the dreaded bed bugs we were on the lookout as it looked remarkably similar. We waited and saw two more and then Chels realised she had loads of bites on her back so we quickly caught a bug, frantically packed and Chels took the bug to reception in a freaked out state. It was late and they were just going to bed but she showed them the bug and explained there were several in our bed. After a long discussion in which Chelsea calmly tried to explain why it was not acceptable to just change our sheets or spray wasp killer on the bed they agreed with us to swap rooms after we made it clear we were not paying extra. 

We showered as we had the serious creeps and thankfully there are no bugs in our new room. That didn't stop Chelsea waking up every half an hour to check the bed and herself however. 

After our traumatic night we decided to just have a walk around to get our bearings and explore the town. First we tried to find Tamarind, a restaurant that has a top ranking cooking class we have decided to book on. We have booked on for tomorrow and are really really excited. 

Next was breakfast time. We found a noodle soup shop that everyone is raving about but there were no free tables. We will have to go back. We decided on a French cafe and had a fruit shake and a baguette. 

We walked all morning and afternoon until we got too hot. Luang Prabang is just lovely. The streets are full of small shops, restaurants and guesthouses.

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They are all old fashioned shop houses with shutters and big open wooden doors. There are lots of small and quirky family run places but also a lot of very upmarket hotels, boutiques and restaurants. Lots of the shops sell handmade silver, paper crafts, silk and genuine Laos handicrafts.

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Coming off the main roads are small alleys where people live and there is an odd guesthouse or shop. The small streets are cobbled and people cook there stock for the day outside on coals in big pots. We enjoyed walking down the winding alleys wondering what was at the end and looking at all the beautiful houses and gardens.   

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It has been really hot today so after a while we were ready for a cool off. We headed into a cafe and both had a mixed fruit shake. We browsed the shops and then headed to the river. Along the Mekong small shacks are set up with tables over looking the river where you can eat and drink. There is also a fair number of very posh places to eat and stay with gorgeous old colonial mansions being converted into high end hotels. Shops line the street and boat men offer hour long rides to the sights on the river. The river is beautiful, lined with huge ancient trees, banana plants and palms with places to eat and drink jutting out.  We sat on the wall in the shade and watched the boats go up and down the river. Away from the main streets the town is very quiet. Tuk-tuk drivers sleep in the back of their cabs and occasionally offer you a ride to the waterfalls and people go about there daily business. 

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By this point we were really hot and our feet were hurting so we headed back. After showers and a change we went out for some tea. We decided to walk down the river and go to one of the low key places. We settled on a place with only a few wooden tables right over the river that had no western food on the menu. After talking to the waiter we decided on some papaya salad, grilled pork, and chicken larp, as well as a beer to share. In Laos it is custom to order a selection of food for the table to share and it normally comes with sticky rice and a dip. The food was awesome, the sticky rice comes in a basket and you eat it wih your fingers. It is delicious, chewy and yummy and you ball it in your hands and dip it in the sauce. We got grilled pork ribs and zesty and spicy papaya salad. Larp is minced meat mixed with onions, herbs and spice to make a sort of a meat salad, it is spicy and minty..... Really yum. The meal was really good Laos food and ate over the river as the sun was going down, it was lovely.

After finishing our meal we had a walk through the night market and called at a newly opened bar. It was a really posh place and we sat and shared a beer and people watched for a while.

We are very excited for our cooking course tomorrow and hope we will be able to make some of the delicious food we tried tonight.

Posted by Chelsandliam 07:18 Archived in Laos Tagged laos luang_prabang

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What a nightmare I would have been frantic but the place does look lovely ,I have looked this place up and the waterfall looks amazing hope you enjoy your cooking lesson tomorrow keep safe love and miss you loads .Nan and Grandad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

by Nan and Grandad

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