We continued on the slow boat along the Mekong River towards Luang Prabang. On the way are the limestone Pak Ou Caves. The caves have been converted into Buddhist temples, one of which contains thousands of Buddhist images collected over hundreds of years. These caves also provided sanctuary from Vietnam War bombings. We were given an opportunity to praying to a Buddha, providing a gift offering and making a wish. This isn’t normally my sort of thing. However with Tranmere Rovers in last chance saloon for any chance of automatic promotion I gave it a try. I presented a flower to the big man. Unfortunately my prayers weren’t answered. Hopefully that sort of praying isn’t classed as inappropriate and hasn’t put a jinx on Tranmere in the upcoming playoffs!

It was back onto the boat and it then began to rain. This was nice respite from the roasting temperature. While it was still in the teen Celsius, some of the Lao people onboard looked absolutely perishing, wrapped up in blankets as though they’d just been rescued from the Arctic Ocean! We finally docked in Luang Prabang at around teatime.

After having an excellent sandwich from the night market we enjoyed a bit of the Luang Prabang nightlife. The guidebooks claim that there isn’t much but that’s not strictly true. There are some nice bars. Utopia on the river front is really good, one of the best boozers I’ve visited while travelling. It’s a bit steep though with a beer costing £2.50, more than double the usual Lao price. However everywhere in Luang Prabang seems to shut at 11pm. It was like being in small-town Britain during the 1990’s. There’s actually an exception to this rule though. A short tuk tuk ride out of the city centre will take you to a bowling alley that is open until late. This establishment also sells booze, hence why it was full of western tourists on a Thursday night. The emphasis certainly seems to be more on drinking rather than bowling! After a fair few hours of drinking, bowling is slightly tricky, although I managed respectable scores of 85 and 92.

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More Mekong River scenery (photo credit anytram via Instagram)
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Pak Ou Caves
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Buddhas inside the caves
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Lots of water throwing taking place (photo credit Luang Prabang spacedonut)
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Luang Prabang night market (photo credit adam_veda via Instagram)

 

NB
I managed to lose my camera in Laos and unfortunately hadn’t backed up any photos for a week or so. Therefore I’ve borrowed some photos from Instagram of pictures taken as close as possible to when I was in a location. I did consider asking permission to use these photos but communicating with around 50 people would have got complicated. I’ve credited all of the photos used and in some occasions cropped them to maintain a matching size ratio. If by chance anyone whose photo is used finds this blog and would like me to remove the photo please let me know and I apologise in advance.

 

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