Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Luang Prabang, The Old Capital of Laos

Luang Prabang is north of Vientiane and it's much more mountainous and usually a little bit cooler in temperature. It's about a 45 minute flight to get there. We have been told by almost everyone we know here that we should go check it out, and we finally did when Matt and the boys had a day off for the That Luang festival, which takes place here in Vientiane, but it's super busy, so we skipped town to avoid the traffic.

After checking in, booking a tour for Friday, and having a meal, we climbed to the top of a "mountain" in the middle of the city called Phusi. There's a Buddhist temple on the top, and some great views.
Here are the stairs we climbed up (some of the 500 or so).
 Some dragons
Bobby making a... smiley? face? It's really hard to get a good picture of him sometimes.

It was fun to see mountains again. There's the Mekong down there, too.

To prove we made it to the top...

Then we walked through the night market. It was raining really hard, so that wasn't ideal, but it was fun anyway. For those of you who haven't been to a night market... Every single night, a bunch of vendors come to one street and set up their tents and table with their stuff to sell, and then they block of the road so cars can't go by, and people stroll up and down looking at stuff. It's crazy to me how they set it up and take it down every day.

We booked a tour so that on Friday we could see the two waterfalls closest to town and to see and ride some elephants. Before we got to the first waterfall, our tour guide had to get gas. Look at that massive green bug!
We had to take these old fishing boats down a stream for a few minutes to get to the Tad Se waterfall and elephants. I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared... But the boys behaved very well. I think they know when the stakes are high...

We saw the elephants right away.
Our guide was so great--he took a bunch of pictures for us.

Matt has the camera now.
I was hoping Marie would sleep through it, but she woke up a few minutes in. It's a pretty bumpy ride.
We walked into the water... I got nervous.
We got another family shot by the dock.
Then we fed the elephants some bananas.

We tried to get everyone to feed an elephant at the same time--we almost did it.
This is the part I didn't know was coming and probably wouldn't have signed up for, but it ended up being the best part of the trip for me. The tour guide talked to a woman at the restaurant and she held Marie while Scott and I went into the water on the elephant's bare back.
This is us being really afraid and tense...
This is us laughing when we came back up. I seriously could not stop laughing. It was like the first time you go on Splash Mountain as a kid.
Then Matt and Bobby went in.

Then the boys swam a little more while I fed the baby.
There's our tour guide helping Bobby down the path.
This is the last bit of the waterfall going into the stream as we left.
Then we drove for about an hour to get to the second waterfall, Kuang Si. They actually had a bear reserve there. So, we got to see some Asian black bears. They have kind of a funny mane of fur. Very interesting.
I took a picture of this sign so I could read it later... apparently they did brain surgery on one of the bears there. Whoa!
Hiking through the jungle...
Looking straight up at some jungle foliage.
The boys climbing into the waterfall. (The guide took these. I was feeding Marie.)
It wouldn't be a family vacation without strangers wanting pictures with our boys...
Matt's in the red shirt...

So Friday was very eventful and fun. Saturday morning we had several hours before our flight left, but we opted to just stick around the resort. I should have taken pictures right when we got there, but we forgot, so sorry about the mess.

Right outside our room, there were some swings.
This is the restaurant where we had breakfast, and we got room service dinner one night, too.
The pool.
The view from the pool... see the mountain in the distance?
This was our room/house/villa.
The boys' room.
The kitchen.
The bathroom. No shower, just a bathtub. That was somewhat inconvenient.
Our bedroom.
The lantern we used as our nightlight.
The light fixtures in the kitchen/living area. I guess I forgot to get a picture of the living area. There was a sectional couch and a chaise.
And a shot of Marie for good measure ;) I think she was happy to finally get a good nap, all swaddled and clean and cozy.

1 comment:

Hannah Neville McMillan said...

THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! riding on elephants?!??!