First off, I have to apologize to everyone freezing their butts off back home. I can only hope that winter is starting to thaw for you and that you can still remember the searing heat of summer. In other words, don’t hate me too much when you hear my complaint:
It is HOT in Laos.
TOO freaking hot.
As I write this, the sun is beating down outside, heating the air of Luang Prabang to a crisp 95 degrees Farenheit (in Celsius that is, umm… I dunno… HOT). So hot that you burn a little just walking to lunch. So hot that the fan in your ac/less room is pretty much useless. It’s TOO hot.
Fortunatly there are a variety of things keeping me cool this week:
You can find these all over SE Asia, but Luang Prabang seems to be the epicenter for cheap and tasty. About a dozen stands line the main street, willing and eager to blend up any combination of fruits you can imagine for just 5000 kip (roughly 65 cents). My reccomendation: Lemon Orange.
When walking from temple to temple in the hot sun gets too be tiring, I can just dip into one of the many massage parlors here for a relaxing foot massage. They cost about $5 and I’ve become a serious addict.
One of the biggest attractions outside of Luang Prabang is the Kuang Si Falls. Any tuk tuk driver in town will be MORE than happy to take you there. They are an absolutely gorgeous series of falls and pools with clear water. There’s also a sanctuary for rescued sun bears that is pretty neat. You can swim here- but it’s ice cube cold!
Waiting til Nightfall
When the sun goes down the temperature drops a few degrees, making walking the streets close to bearable. This is good because that’s also when the night market comes alive! I am quite a fan of markets of all sorts, and this has to be one of the very best in Asia. Local merchants come out selling beautiful homemade silks, handbags, paintings and more. I had a VERY hard time keeping my budget in check here.
You may think I’m turning soft up here in the “Jewel of Indochina” and you’re not wrong. There’s just something about this lovely city that makes you want to laze around, sit in a coffee house and relax. It’s probably the heat- it just makes everyone slow down. After my mini-breakdown in Vang Vieng last week it’s pretty much exactly what I needed to re-energize.
And then it’s back to the real world….