10.07.2013 - 12.07.2013 33 °C
The last few days have been pretty uneventful. Liam has been sick so he spent all of Wednesday in the room in bed. Chelsea kept him company and we watched films and Chelsea updated all our photos. Chelsea left the room to get supplies, breakfast baguettes and dinner baguettes as well as fruit shakes. Yesterday he was feeling a little bit better so we decided to go for a slow walk in the afternoon.
We walked along the other river that meets up with the Mekong. It is lovely, really quiet and the views of the mountains are gorgeous, lush green peaks over the river.
We walked through the small streets and alleys until we came to a place called Utopia. Our friend had recommended we go as it was a nice place to relax so we thought we would try it out. It is defiantly a backpacker hang out. Everyone had opted to sit on the balcony on cushions on the floor which meant the deck was packed but the rest was empty. We found a sofa and ordered two homemade lemonades and sat there all day. Compared to other cafes in the town it got really busy and soon the whole floor inside was full of people too. We ordered some food, as it got nearer to tea time and left before it got dark. We think the hype about it is better than the place. It wasn't particularly friendly and the food wasn't that nice. We think there are much nicer places to relax in Luang Prabang but everybody has different tastes.
Today Liams stomach was feeling a lot better but he woke up with many cold sores and ulcers from being ill. We found a chemist and he has some tablets and cream. We went out for breakfast and all he could manage was fruit and yoghurt because his mouth hurt so much. Today we decided to go on a walk and do some sight seeing as we have not seen many places in Luang Praang yet. First we wandered towards Wat Nong. The street we walked down was beautiful, full of nice guesthouses and peoples homes. It is much less touristy than the main road.
The temple was empty and only us two were visiting it. It was a massive elaborate red and gold temple with beautiful gold carvings adorning the doors and roof. After a quick look around we carried on towards Wat Xiang Thong.
This is the most important temple in Luang Prabang and costs 20000 kip to enter. Also make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing coving knees and shoulders. You can rent this from the temple for 5000 kip. The temple is beautiful. The main temple is a huge ornate black and gold building . It is intricately painted all over and on the back wall is an amazing mosaic of the tree of life. It is huge and in beautiful detail.
There are also smaller buildings that are covered in mosaic scenes and a big hall housing a massive royal funeral carriage. As we were looking around we came across a temple puppy. Chelsea managed to coax it over and sat petting it for a while. It enjoyed getting some attention and before we knew it we had a big group of Chinese people from a tour group stood around with massive cameras taking photos of Chelsea with the puppy.
The temple is well worth a visit and is very different to other temples in Southeast Asia. Even if you think you have seen enough temples for a lifetime we think its worth a small trip and the £2 entry fee.
After we had visited the temple we set of walking and it started to pour it down so we ducked inside a café. It was a little French place and we sat and had a pot of tea sheltering from the rain for more than an hour. It was nice and relaxing and it sold amazing pastries which we managed to resist.
Once the rain had eased we browsed the shops and wandered through more alleys in the sunshine before heading to another café for a pit stop and some internet research on where to go from Luang Prabang. Our guest house has internet but the owners children spend all day gaming in reception on it so it never works. We sat drinking lemon frosties, talking and researching until the end of the afternoon. It rained another few times but then brightened back up.
We walked home to change and shower and then came out later for some tea. In the café this afternoon we had seen a lady order a fish soup that looked amazing so we decided to try it. It was delicious, it was a sort of fragrant broth with vegetables and herbs with big pieces of fish in it. We had it with sticky rice (which Liam has now gone off since he was ill so didn't eat any). Today has been a relaxed day of exploring, tomorrow we are hoping to get up early to witness the ancient almsgiving ceremony the monks and locals do every morning. We also want to hire bicycles so we can explore further afield and maybe climb the hill for a nice sunset over the mountains.