Luang Probang

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I have not seen much else of Laos so for, but I have a feeling it is not all like Luang Probang. The French influence is so alive that there are dozens of modern hotels attracting throngs of rich middle aged westerners lapping up the western cafe culture on offer (I like to think I am still not quite middle aged, so got a room in a backstreet guesthouse for a fiver a night – very cheap by Luang Probang standards).

Croissants to die for...

Croissants to die for…

The Food is amazing, the weather is blazing hot and the architecture is packed full of ornate wood detailing – you could easily mistake it for the south of France. That is until someone gently steps out in front of you and says “Tuk-tuk?”. That, as well as the saffron clad monks walking the streets between the numerous temples.
Anyone would think I'm turning Buddhist given the number of temples I've been into.

Anyone would think I’m turning Buddhist given the number of temples I’ve been into.


I was knocked down with another bug just as I was recovering from the last one, so took the opportunity to stay put here in Luang Probang and also get a Vietnam visa while I was waiting. Though several hundred miles from Vietnam, I have seen for the first time the corruption that goes on in the country – I had to go to one window and pay $5 to one man simply to get the application form, then another $45 to someone else at a different window who gave me a receipt for $45. Both men insisted this was the normal process, though the amount of gold they were wearing told me otherwise…
Crops growing on the banks of the Mekong.

Crops growing on the banks of the Mekong.

Like I said - just a tad busy.

Like I said – just a tad busy.

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