31st October – Luang Prabang

1 Nov

Woke up to a lovely view of the rice fields and mountains behind.

 

 

 

The funny noises that we had heard a couple of times during the night were explained. It was pitch dark last night and had no idea what was making the splashing noises!

 

 

The bridge that gave access to the other side of the river was all made of bamboo. The baskets in the river were filled with rocks.  It probably needs replacing each rainy season.

 

 

The caves were small but interesting. They were used as a hiding place for army units  and civilians during the Vietnam war. The entry fee was 5000 kip, about 35p   ….. very reasonable! In China it would have been 15 $ US.

 

 

 

The lady who was collecting the entry fee had her son with her. They arrived early so as to not miss any customers, so her son had breakfast there.

 

 

 

All the villages have little shops with the basic essentials.

 

 

 

 

All along the road there are people busy harvesting the rice crops.

 

 

 

 

 

The hats have not changed for centuries but the baseball cap must be a fairly recent modification.

 

 

 

The scenery was still stunning all the way through to Luang Prabang.

 

 

When we arrived in Luang Prabang we found a great place to park on a private parking area right next to the Mekong. It was a lovely evening and we looked out over the river as the sun set.

 

 

 

We have never seen as many western tourists as there are in this city! They seem to have all come to escape the floods from Thailand …. many are en route to Vietnam or China. We also met the Swiss couple who had travelled through China just before us with our guide Spring. We were not happy when they said that they had been charged 20% less than us for the guide, even though we were a single car and they were a group of three! As we said …. talk to us before you book your drive through China. We are still disappointed that the the system that you have to follow for your drive through the country forces you to rush so much.

We met two really nice couples today, that we hope we see again. One was a couple from New Zealand who are living in the UK called Paul and Bridgette, and the other were from Finland, Eero and Laura.

Overall a great day.

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