Saturday, 10 September 2011

Lovely Laos

There is one word to most appropriately describe how I felt the moment I landed at Luang Prabang and that one word is...beautiful. Luang Prabang is such a tranquil and calm place, I instantly fell in love with the place. The atmosphere the swarms across the terrain is one that is filled with luscious green mountains, low floating clouds cruising by and a presence of friendly warm people. I love the whole concept of Laos, perhaps not that it is a communist country but it is fairly laid back in certain factors and the attitude that all the people share is that 'there is no need to rush'. My first couple of days entailed lovely walks around Luang Prabang, night markets and meeting lots of new people. By day three I was booked onto an action packed day...trekking, mountain biking and kayaking. Well, the story of the dear old kayak....began with a lovely paddle down the river, arrived at the amazing Was Se waterfalls, spent most of the day jumping off the waterfalls and bathing the elephants. It was such a refreshing experience, felt so happy just enjoying the whole day. However, in the afternoon, as we floated down the river in the kayak, we hit some rapids, the weather began to get overcast, showering me with light rain, the water currents became stronger and rapids more wild. This is when I became slightly...anxious. I paddled the best I could and maneuvered through the rapids, however, a huge tree ruin sticking out of the river caught the kayak and the next thing I realised I was flying out, whacking my head on the side as the kayak capsized. I felt immediate panic but then reacted well, even if I was lodged against a tree in the middle of the river with a kayak pushing up against me and the current trying to pull me downstream. Luckily, managed to drag the kayak back over and hurl myself back in and then within five minutes all was tranquil again, as I floated softly along the Mekong River. Luang Prabang has an interesting atmosphere, the night times are the best, when the whole town arranges itself around the market and how there is an ambiance of laughter, calmness and warmth. This is something that I feel everyday in Laos....a natural warmth of the air, people and everything around me....I love it! 
Temple in Luang Prabang

At Wad Se waterfalls

Playing with the elephants

Exploring the waterfalls...before I jump off!

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