Still Dreaming of October Break

Somehow, I still haven’t finished recording the wonders of my amazing fall break in Laos. If you can believe it, there was even more fun and beauty after our trip to the northern mountains. We were lucky enough to enjoy a few more days in Luang Prabang, a must see city!

Despite my very recent recovery from being horribly ill, I made it through the bus ride with as little discomfort as I could have hoped for give our situation. Luckily, I ended up sitting by Robert who was positively entertained by to Laotian woman talking loudly to each other. The humor derived from the fact that both stared straight ahead the entire time and talked over each other about half the time. I was amused by how easily entertained he was.

When we got to Luang Prabang, we took a tuk tuk to our respective hotels. The 5 of us (Ricki, Jason, Pierre Luc, Robert, and I) shared this tuk tuk with a random Laotian man. Partway through the ride, I said that I heard a dog. Soon others stopped thinking I was crazy and heard it too. Finally the man picked up a small burlap bag and tore a small hole in it to show us his puppy. It was surreal that he fit in such a small space and was so well behaved. The man thought we were crazy for wanting to hold him.


Ricki holding the puppy in a bag.

Ricki and I had splurged and booked the only hotel in town with a pool. It was luxurious. Even better, we were upgraded to a suite. So, two dirty, road weary travelers landed at Kiridara; it might as well have been heaven.


our room at the Kiridara


half of our bathroom. the couch was necessary due to the weakness induced by food poisoning


Ricki expressing a fraction of our abiding love for the beds at the Kiridara


view of our pool from the balcony 

While Ricki headed into town to meet up with the boys (Pierre Luc and Robert decided to spend a few more days with us), I napped and enjoyed the pool to recover. Eventually I made it downtown for dinner with the crew.



The boys and Ricki enjoyed delightful bbq, but I stuck to some broth

The next morning, I had another slow start to enjoy the pool, but made it to town by lunchtime to enjoy my first and only plate of laap, a famous Laotian dish. Then we had a day of museums and a night of marketing. Tummy feeling so much better.


This might help you understand why I wasn’t super eager to leave the pool.


Tofu laap…and a coconut! I am obsessed with coconuts.


temple at the museum 


Museum – home of the former King


After the less than amazing exhibit at the palace museum, we found the museum about ethnic minorities. Fascinating. A must stop on your visit to Luang Prabang.


The Hmong are also an ethnic minority here in Vietnam, and I am obsessed with the embroidery. 


if textiles are your thing, Laos is your country


baby carriers

After the museums, everyone else started marketing a little earlier than me. I, of course, NEEDED to check out the spa scene of Luang Prabang. A week without a massage is unacceptable. Especially when that week is a vacation. Then, our plan was to meet at a bar that Robert wanted to go to all week.


The Frangipani Spa


When I arrived at the bar, there was a surprise fashion show happening.


Both Jason and Pierre Luc were late, but when Jason arrived first, Ricki played a brilliant prank. She convinced Jason that Pierre had been invited backstage to participate in the show. Every new set of models, Jason searched for Pierre’s face. Amazing.


My travel companions

Throughout our time in Luang Prabang, we had befriended the staff of a local cafe. They decided that they must take us out on Friday night. So we danced at their cafe until it closed, and then we went to some clubs where we were surrounded by locals. It was fun, but I was extremely paranoid that we were breaking the tourist curfew. Also, my stomach was not ready for all the shots of Lao Lao, homemade whiskey, that everyone wanted me to drink.


Our new friend


Out at the club



Ricki convinced the staff of the club to give her a waiter’s shirt.


another club – this one was darker


new friends are great!

After an extremely late night, we had a lazy last day in the city before heading home to our real lives.


the Kiridara has its own tuktuk! Heaven.


Ricki and I reading on the gorgeous deck of Utopia


Just lounging


Laos = Utopia (but also, check out this cafe when you are in town)


See you later Kiridara and Luang Prabang

Essentially, fall break was amazing! I returned and had to make a decision about returning for a 3rd year or not, and Laos pretty much made it impossible to say no. So magical.


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