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chapter 3: bus ride up to Luang Prabang

06 October 2002 (past email posing as travelblog)

after having a really hard time getting up this morning, we caught a tuk-tuk to the bus depot and began our journey up to luang prabang – the older capital of laos and the site of the first lao kingdom. it was called Lan Xang then... sometime in the 14th century if i remembered correctly.

well, the bus journey was quite "uneventful" in terms of not having any near collisions and bus breakdowns and very-bumpity rides...
but the road was winding left and right and back round again..... and it went on forever. i think only 5% of the bus journey was on a straight road. and it was only on these straight roads were there huge pot-holes. so.... a few bumps here and there... nothing to rave about.

when we were climbing and winding up the hill, we could see clouds in the distance that were on the same level as us. i wanted very much to swim over the distance and touch the clouds and caress its edges... wondering what it would feel like....
would it be wet? would it feel like fog? will i be able to see when i'm in a cloud or would i just see fluffy pillows? would i be able to snuggle in amongst the clouds, and feel like i'm in an air-conditioned room?
yadda...yadda... yadda...

panda on the other hand, wanted to reach out and pat the rice fields...

so we both had aspirations while on the bus.

the route was sooOoOOooo beautiful though.
the green mountains.... were sooOoOooo green.
thatched roofs dotted along the way....
people, sitting around in villages-dotted-along-the-way, doing their thing....
some of the lao were dressed in traditional tribal clothes and the kids were sooooOoooOOo cute! and i saw a couple of them along the way wearing these cute colourful fluffy hats.... orh! if only i had taken pictures!

i love the kids. when we were in vientiane, there were all these kids running around and playing with each other by the side of the road. all by themselves. and they're only like 3-6 year olds.
and when they flash their smiles at you, u'd feel like u're on top of the world. and they give them so freely!
it's also amazing to see that they could be left alone and their parents do not have to worry about crazies on the streets etc. these kids are just... out there doing their thing.

anyway, we're right now staying in this beautiful house owned by this really cute old lady. she's the bestest! she's so sweet and smiley and...
and...and... me and panda have fallen in love with her! she has the nicest house..... all furnished in wood, and decorated with lao fabric..... i'd have to ask if i could take some photos of her beautiful abode.
we're also going to ask her to teach us how to cook a lao dish or two. apparently, the guidebook said we could.
we could see phousy hill (phousy pronounced without the 'h', so.....) from our bedroom window. we're thinking of going up there tomorrow morning to see the sunrise, and possibly hear the chants of the monks? (michelle is this the hill u were talking about?)

had some lao dinner tonight by the beautiful mekong. we tried the luang prabang special watercress salad and... yummo! the dressing was fantastic! and the veges so fresh!

chichi was very brave tonight. during dinner, she sat amongst butterflies which looked like big moths, flapping their big black/brown/grey wings.
i was putting a white bubble round myself.....
but as soon as the sun went down and it was dark, the butterflies went to sleep... i relaxed soon after.

alright, i had better go get ready for beauty sleep.

hope u're all well and happy =)

a very contented chi in luang prabang.

Posted by Chi 21:35

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