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10 Days In The Kingdom Of Laos

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"However as soon as we started looking around inside, and even though I wasn’t holding or pointing my camera, quite a few vendors moved quickly to cover some of their merchandise, including assorted furry animals and a leg of something. So we don’t know what they were covering but presumably they probably shouldn’t have been selling whatever it was. " --------- I was visiting Koh Kong, Cambodia one time. A traveler was telling me that they were selling ganja at the market. It must've been hidden because I didn't see any. I remember there were lots of big black fish with sharp teeth. Snakeheads, I believe. The vendors were beating some live ones with baseball bats, and they would go flying off, bloody and squirming....

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OK, got a bit of time on my hands so I'll give this another shot.   Day 1 (1 December 2012)   Took TG570 from Swampy to Vientiane, arriving at about 1pm. You have to apply for a visa on arrival so

Munchie / Coss -   This post is the main reason I'm still on this forum.   Coss - I really would love to come up there for a few days. I'll PT (private topic) you to work out the details.   Che

Day 2 (2 December 2012) As promised Coss was at my hotel at 8.30am and surprisingly a bleary eyed Munchie was ready and waiting! We then went to pick up MLGBF and MLGBF’ sister and then hea

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I'll try again as I'm planning to go back up to Laos soon and would like to finish this thread before then!


Day 5 (5 December 2012)


An Irish mate of mine had been going on at me for years to visit Luang Prabang and finally I was actually going to go there.

I was on Lao Airlines flight QV0101 (US$ 170), which departed Vientiane at 11.35 am, and so Mr Coss my chauffeur duly picked me up from my hotel at 9.30 am (what a guy!). Although Coss wasn’t sure it turned out that Vientiane airport does have a separate domestic terminal (same building but separate entrance).

I’m not sure what kind of plane I was expecting, something old I suppose, so was pleasantly surprised to see a new looking Airbus (A320 I think) with nice green leather seats.

The flight took 45 minutes (Coss reckoned about 10 hours by road!) and the views over the forested hills, and as we came into Luang Prabang, were great.


I was staying at Ban Pack Luck Villa guesthouse in the old part of town very close to the Mekong River and the taxi fare to this part of town was a fixed Kip 50,000 (Baht 190).

Ban Pack Luck Villa is a beautifully restored Lao style building with eight tastefully appointed rooms. Next door is the Pack Luck wine bar and across the street is the famous l’Elephant Restaurant, so a great location for me.


By mid afternoon I was settled in so decided to go out for a wander, preferably to somewhere I could have a few cold ones. I had a very basic map pulled from a guide and on it was Martin’s Pub so I reckoned that would be a good place to head to.

First though I had a wander around the temple (Wat Nong Sikhounmuang) on the corner of the street, the temple whose drums would wake me up at 4 am the next morning!


Following my map I walked down to the Mekong and took a left, following the river for a while.


However it wasn’t long before my thirst took hold so I stopped at one of the numerous riverside restaurants for a LBL.

Moving on I eventually found Martin’s Pub but it was closed and looked as if it had been that way for some time.


Crossing the road to wander through a temple I was pleased to see the monks doing a bit of graft.


I crossed back over and continued down the road until I came to a bridge over the river (Khan River), a steel and timber structure for pedestrians and motorbikes only.


I thought about crossing but it was late afternoon so I thought I’d leave that for another day. So back the way I came and a stop at a German restaurant, which seemed to specialize in ice cream, and I couldn’t resist the fried bananas and ice cream for Baht 120.


Martins Pub was still closed, permanently I expect, so I wandered back up to the junction and stopped at an Aussie Bar. Not sure what was “Aussie†about it but I spent the late afternoon of each of my three days in Luang Prabang sitting at the same table on the side of the street having a few cold LBL’s and a couple of cigars and watching the world go by.


Eventually I arrived, hot and tired, back at my hotel and after a shower and change of clothes popped next door to the Pak Luk Wine Bar. Ordered a plate of wild mushroom stuffed ravioli from the restaurant across the road (they delivered) and washed it down with a few glasses of Merlot. Aaaaahhhhhhh.


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Ten or more years ago, embassies used to warn not to fly Air Lao, since it used clapped out Russian aircraft. Since then Air Lao has purchased new equipment. I've flown them to and from Wiengchan, a very comfortable and safe trip. Takes longer to get to Swampypoom than it does to Laos ... or Chiangmai ... or KL ... or Singapore. :p

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"... I spent the late afternoon of each of my three days in Luang Prabang sitting at the same table on the side of the street having a few cold LBL’s and a couple of cigars and watching the world go by...." --- one day a beautiful girl will come and you will love her at first sight. She will return your love. You two will eventually marry and live happily ever after....

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