OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! After a pretty deep sleep in a rather balmy room in Pak Beng, I woke up to the sound of buzzing bugs, roosters crowing, and elephants trumpeting. YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT! ELEPHANTS. The sound of the bugs was pretty consistent throughout the evening, but I woke up naturally at 5:45am (as a self proclaimed night owl, this was insane). I felt like I was in a movie because the sound a rooster cock-a-doodle-doing is what woke me up with the sun. Very rarely do I wake up with a smile on my face (I’m not a morning person), but this was one of those days. I just laid there shrouded in the protection of the mosquito net and basking in the sounds of the Lao Jungle. Then I heard it…elephants!!! I couldn’t believe it. Across the river were two elephants just hangin out! No way is this real life.
After a quick breakfast, we hopped back on the slow boat for another 6 hour journey down the Mekong River. Four hours to the Pak Ou Caves, and then two hours to Luang Prabang. It was a couple hours in that I decided Laos had the bluest skies in all the world. I know technically this isn’t true, but I honestly can’t recall a time I’ve seen such stark blue skies contrasted against such vibrant colors in nature. Even as the daily storm clouds rolled in, the sky still remained blue.
What seemed like ten minutes later, we arrived at the cave. I’d seen numerous pictures of the caves that are home to over 4,000 Buddhist images, but in all honesty, the grandeur was lost on me. Don’t get me wrong, the concept and religious importance was interesting. If you are passing by, it’s worth checking out, but I wouldn’t plan your entire trip around them.
After another amazingly peaceful few hours on the boat, we arrived at our destination in Luang Prabang. We took a jumbo Tuk Tuk, where they chucked all our luggage onto the top, into town. After cleaning up a bit, we headed out to get dinner and explore the night markets. That’s when I was introduced to these life changing little coconut pancakes. They were essentially coconut cream Dutch poffertjes, but were only made with three or four ingredients. This is definitely something I’ll be trying to recreate when I get home!!
I was already falling in love with this town just by walking around on the way to dinner. It has such cute and quaint beachy town vibes…even though it’s completely landlocked!! I can’t wait to explore!!