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Luang Prabang, Laos – Photos

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008



We were actually a bit disappointed with Luang Prabang; 1) it’s overcrowded with tourists – we couldn’t get over how many tourists there were in this little town, 2) We just had a feeling that the locals were in over their heads with the tourists, that they couldn’t cope the way the Thais have in the more touristy places (a case of too much, too fast?), 3) I somehow expected Luang Prabang to be a bit more grandiose – it wasn’t. Temples were actually not as impressive as ones we’d seen in Thailand (actually, when comparing, you can see that most temples have in Thailand have had a lot of restoration work. Luang Prabang’s temples are a bit shaby in comparison – Laos however, is also a much poorer country). Finally 4) we were surprised by the weather – everyday in Luang Prabang started cloudy and cold. Not cool but cold. The sky would clear up a bit in the afternoon but even then wouldn’t get really warm. Evenings got downright cold!


The selling point of Luang Prabang is that it’s a relaxing, laid back kind of place. Maybe it used to be (in which case I can see that it would have been charming), but it certainly wasn’t in February 2008. Just too many tourists…


Hiking in Northern Laos – Photos

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008


We lucked out on this trek with Tiger Trail (booked in Luang Prabang):{D973D667-CD7E-484B-BB1D-C907D6811A83}

The hike started 15 km out of Luang Prabang at the Lao Spirit Resort which is afiliated with Tiger Trail (it looks great, wish we had stayed a night here!). The resort is surrounded by mountains and is flanked by a river accross which is Tiger Trail’s Elephant Camp.

I’ve been on more spectacular hikes and have had much better guides (our guide at Tiger Trail was not very good at all) – but this hike was special in other ways; we had the fortune of meeting some very interesting fellow travellers including a Dutch couple who were biking their way through South East Asia and an English girl who was taking a 3 day mahout training course. It was a scenic hike, lots of mountain scenery and a few hill tribe tribe villages where we were “Sabadee-ed” by tons of friendly little kids. 


We finished the hike with a stop at a school where the children greeted us with a singing of the Lao national anthem. The interaction with locals made the hike very special and was one of the highlights of our trip to South East Asia. I would suggest bringing something for the kids (I gave the kids colour markers that I had bought at the dollarstore in Montreal – they seemed to really like that).



Elephant Nature Park, Thailand – Photos

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
el91.jpg The Elephant Nature Park was started up in 1999 by a woman named Lek who made it her life's work to rescue and take care abused elephants. The success of the park can be attributed ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hotel Review – Chiang Dao Nest (and a little bit about Chiang Dao)

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
cdn1.jpg A beautiful spot with clean and modern bungalows - we had some of our best sleeps in Thailand here! Nights actually get cold here and we appreciated the shower (which generates very hot water ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chiang Mai (and its dogs) – Photos

Monday, March 10th, 2008
cm1.jpg We weren't in Chiang Mai very long (about 24 hours) but we were quite impressed - the weather is cooler and the city much cleaner than Bangkok. It has a more provincial feel - people ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ko Yao Noi, Thailand – Photos

Friday, March 7th, 2008
ky1.jpg Ko Yao Noi was the highlight of our trip to Thailand - we absolutely loved it. It's not as spectacular physically as Phi Phi and the beaches are not as nice (the picture ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hotel Review – Lom’Lae Beach Resort (Ko Yao Noi)

Friday, March 7th, 2008
lom3.jpg We ended up loving this place; Firstly, this is not a luxury resort; the wooden bungalows are rustic with large windows. Bugs can get in (for those that are squeamish). I killed a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Seaplane in the Andaman, Thailand – Photos

Friday, March 7th, 2008
s3.jpg One of the highlights of our recent trip to Thailand was flying by seaplane from Ko Phi Phi Don to Ko Yai Noi with Destination Air The flight took a total of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand – Photos

Thursday, March 6th, 2008
pp1.jpg  It is incredible how this place has changed since the Tsunami. When I last came here in 2002, all hotels were bungalow-type operations on the strip of sand that makes up Tonsai village. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ayutthaya, Thailand – Photos

Thursday, March 6th, 2008
ayu1.jpg Ayutthaya was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam between 1350 and 1767, when the city was sacked by the Burmese (after which the capital became Bangkok). It's a nice day trip by ... [Continue reading this entry]