My hyperactivity has set in and the island stupor has gotten to me. I am ready to get going again, so I am happy that today we make our way to Luang Prabang. For the benefit of saving time, we have opted to fly. We would love to spend more time getting to see the sights of Laos, but we have a limited amount of time to travel in and Vietnam is a priority.
The process of getting to Luang Prabang includes a boat ride across the river from the island to the mainland, a 2 hour drive to Pakse airport and a 2 hour flight to Luang Prabang. We strike it lucky when on arrival on the mainland, we are offered a transfer with two ladies in a luxury sedan. This is way better than the crowded, cramped minivan trip we had envisaged, so before anyone can jump in before us, our bags are in the boot and our butts on the back seat and we are ready to go. We share the ride with Barbara, a lovely German lady who is traveling around South East Asia on her own.
Retired from her teaching days, she is now using her money and time to visit those places in the world she has always wanted to see but was too busy raising children, working and living a day-to-day existence to do. Her repertoire of trips includes a 5 month working experience in Guatemala. She plans on going to Ecuador for another volunteer work trip for 3 months later this year. With tales and stories to share, the time passes all too quickly and all too soon we are saying goodbye and wishing each other well. It’s wonderful to meet other travelers along the way and compare notes.
It’s just a few more hours before we land in the fairy tale village of Luang Prabang. A cultural UNESCO world heritage site, the town glimmers and shines with a combination of hundreds of fairy lights strewn over trees and the restaurants, guest houses, wats and temples are all glimmering with lights too. The town is beautifully located at the confluence of the Nam Khan river and the Mekong river.
We savor our delicious meal and cold beers as we look out over the Mekong river, under the fairy lights of a huge ancient tree covered in moss and vines. The setting is sublime and the stupor returns.