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Pakbeng - Khoken - Pak Ou - Luang Prabeng

Slow boating is now getting a little tedious...

overcast 25 °C
View Footloose in Laos 2012 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Having seen the sunrise as a large orange ball in the sky yesterday, I set my alarm for 06:00 to find the river was shrouded in mist. By 07:50, we were all back on the Luangsay river boat for the next leg of our journey.

At Khoken we stopped to have a look at the village and become sitting ducks for the sales people with their scarves and other materials. A scamper up the sandy bank brought us to a cluster of houses, mostly built from wood and straw, although we did see some brick making. Yet again I was disappointed with my fellow tourists, clambering all over the temple mount to take their photos without asking if it would cause offence. To be quite honest, there wasn't much to see and what we did see wasn't all that interesting.

Brick making
Village_4.jpgVillage_5.jpg Sales opportunity

Lunch on board the Luangsay

After a delicious lunch on board we made a stop at the famous Pak Ou caves – one of the main reasons for our trip here. The caves were converted to a Buddhist monastery in the 15th century, and now hold over 4000 old and broken Buddha statues. 93 steep steps take you to the lower caves and a further 225 steps to the top cave. The lower cave was claustrophobically crowded with tourists (and a few devotees – this is still a working temple) as several boats arrived at the same time. Once the majority had departed, we had the place almost to ourselves. Quite magical.


Another couple of hours saw us arrive in Luang Prabang and the end of our river cruise.

Once a royal palace, the Villa Maly in Luang Prabang is now a luxury boutique hotel, and we are staying in the building where the king's grandson once lived. A strange mix of old world charm and modern comfort, we have an enormous four poster bed and the most gorgeous wash basin in the bathroom.


Korean style BBQs are very popular in Laos, and we thought we'd try one out tonight. A slate table surrounds an electric grill plate around which is a soup 'trough'. Two waiters brought a selection of meats and vegetables for us to cook ourselves on the grill, although in reality they did most of the work for us. Beef, pork, chicken, pork fat, mushrooms, noodles, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, some green leaves that we couldn't quite determine what were and the staff didn't know what they were called in English, as well as whole eggs in their shells. All served with a dipping sauce (which tasted very much like plum and ginger) plus small dishes of garlic and chilli. With the beautifully lit swimming pool in the background, friendly, attentive staff and a few beers, it all made for a fun and unusual evening, followed by sharing travel stories in the bar with some American tour operators.


Posted by Grete Howard 07:36 Archived in Laos

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LOVE LOVE LOVE the cropping of the girl with the red cloth! Good job on that.
Also like the one looking out of the cave with the buddhas silhouetted against the foreground.
We have the exact same pot being used as a wash basin stand in brown and blue in our garden! Love it!

by Homer

Tourists can be so rude at times!
Love the pot in your bathroom.
Do you feel like you are related to the king?

by Kay

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