Nothing beats the first, right? Whenever I think of my first travel outside the Philippines, I could not help but put up my best smile. I have been to other countries in Asia, but nothing, really, to use that popular phrase once again, nothing beats Luang Prabang.
When I went to Laos to attend a conference on water sanitation in 2008, I knew nothing about the place except that it’s a landlocked country. You can tell how excited I was, this being my first trip abroad, so the moment I saw the rugged mountains that dominate Laos and the very rural road leading to town, I told myself this was not the kind of travel that I had in mind.
To my surprise, Luang Prabang slowly unraveled its beauty and before I knew it, I was already smitten by its rugged handsomeness.
I enjoyed eating Lao and Thai cuisine in restaurants along the famous Mekong River, frequented the night market, woke up as early as 5:00 am to witness the monks’ processions, visited temples after temples, traversed one part of the Mekong River, climbed Phousi Hill to get an aerial view of the town, kayaked to get to one part of their famous waterfalls, then rode an elephant!
These, on top of an eight-to-five conference on water sanitation. With such cheap thrills and the luxury to tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a bike, I definitely, highly recommend Luang Prabang.
Here is proof of one of the best parts of this travel – biking around town as early as 5:00 am, under the rain, and stopping a monk on his way to school just to take this picture – it was priceless. 🙂
I am reserving my Luang Prabang story for later, because believe me, up to this point, I still feel kilig when I think about this trip and cannot really get my mind to work on a sensible blog about it (I can’t even believe I looked this young then hehe), but this post shall jumpstart Juanderkid’s Asian Juander series.
Love and light, everyone. Go, juanderlust! 😀
- Photograph taken with a Nikon digital camera in July 2008.