We reached Luang Prabang after a journey from Vang Vieng which made nearly the whole mini bus throw up. I have never been on a ride that wound round mountains like this - India and Nepal were both total breezes compared to this!
It at least helped us make further friends and the group grow. By the time we reached Luang Prabang there were 12 of us wandering around looking for accommodation. We found it after walking through alleyways in the dark for what felt forever in a guesthouse I will once again use the word interesting for. But it housed all of us so that was fine!
Luang Prabang is situated way up in the mountains of Laos in such a picturesque setting. As windy as the roads were the scenery was absolutely stunning rivalling that of Nepal. We all went to the most beautiful waterfalls and rock pools on our full day there, and there was even a bear sanctuary which was super exciting!!
We also had an evening bowling which apparently is one of the 'to do' activities in LP, and it was SUCH a fun night! I can now say I truly 100% SUCK at bowling having finished with the lowest score anyone has ever achieved there! But, I think of that as an achievement of sorts!
Unfortunately this was the night I managed to break my iPhone hence no updates until now. Yes, okay, I'll admit it - I was drunk and changed the pass code and forgot it. Retard I know. But that's definitely the only down point of this place. I love Laos, everywhere we've been has been so amazing, and the local people so lovely. And of course all the friends we've been making have helped make the trip too.
So anyway, we were supposed to go into northern Thailand from here but were having such a fun time with two girls - Harriet and Olivia - that we decided to head to southern Laos with them and into Thailand that way instead. We had to get back to Vientiane for a night before making our way down to Thakek.
Now, Thakek doesn't have a great deal going on however you can go on a four day motorbike tour called 'The Loop' to an amazing looking cave. Unfortunately I couldn't really afford this but Harriet wasn't keen either so us two decided to hang out one more night then head further south and meet Olivia and Lauren there. We were quite excited as being art geeks we'd read about Savannakhet and the old architecture and boulevards and I was going to teach Harriet to ride a motorbike. Fantastic we thought!
But of COURSE things were going far too easily. After they'd been gone one night poor Olivia came down sick (maybe the grey chicken she ate?) so was having to be picked up. Okay we thought, we'll wait then get straight on the bus out down to somewhere more interesting than Thakek. But no. They didn't get her till the evening so we couldn't leave. It felt a bit like how people say 'oh it was so amazing we got stuck there' but without the amazing bit. We were just stuck. We actually began to feel a bit like locals, it was kind of fun actually. I'll always have a bit of a soft spot for Thakek.
We eventually made it down to Savannakhet where I totally fell in love. It was so old feeling, the roads were wide, the buildings were kind of crumbling and gorgeous, there were temples, it was just lovely. We were supposed to be meeting Lauren in a couple of days but then heard on our first morning she was already on her way. Poor Miss Mack had come off of her bike the day after Olivia was collected and couldn't complete the loop either. Such a shame! She at least made it to the big cave though!
It was good to all be back together though and we had a few nice days just wandering around the town, I found some land for sale (!), eating REALLY good food - you get raw ingredients, a boiling pot, then you make it yourself at the table - watching the sunset over the river across which stood Thailand and our next destination.
By this point we had convinced Harriet and Olivia to spend Christmas with us yippeeee so we had to get down to Koh Mak sharpish as it was fast approaching. I can't wait to go back to Laos. It's my absolute favourite country within Asia hands down. I love everything about it and cannot recommend it enough people - GO THERE!!