Friday, 30 July 2010

Luang Prabang, Laos

It was the worst journey ever from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. It was supposed to take 7 hours by bus, however there had been mudslides on the mountain roads the night before due to heavy rain so no vehicles could get through. It was a nightmare! At one point we had to get off the bus and walk through the mud barefoot in the pitch black, as the road was that muddy the bus could slide off the edge of the mountain. It actually went down the road sideways....scary! The mud came up to our knees so no point wearing our flip flops...I was not happy! We had begun to think we would be sleeping on the bus on the mountain, but eventually the police let all the smaller vehicles through and we arrived in Luang Prabang at 1.30 am having left at 8.30am in the morning, 17 hours instead of 7 hours!
The day in Luang Prabang has been one of my favourite days. We spent the day at an elephant rescue centre. We rode on an elephant bareback like the Mahouts do, it was fantastic. After that we rode the elephants for an hour through the jungle in a basket. After lunch we bathed the elephants by sitting on their backs in the river with a scrubbing brush, it was so much fun! My elephant kept smacking the water with her trunk and splashing me and everyone else!
The following morning we got up at 5am to offer sticky rice to the monks. Every morning they leave their wats and walk along the streets which are lined with people, locals and tourist offering food, which they put in their pots and have for lunch. They wouldn't eat otherwise as they do not have money to buy food. It was difficult not to look at the monks as they passed by, you shouldn't make eye contact with them. It was a surreal experience.

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