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John Moore


Free Member, Karratha

An enchanted forest in Lao's Long Story Within.

Up at the crack of dawn I awaken to some dull weather, so off to breakfast and a couple
of large mugs of coffee.
Then back to the guest house for a shower and finish packing.
At 9.30am Khamphong, my driver and I are off on the road again.
The drive to Luang-Prabang is very slow as we gradually climb to an altitude of 7000 metres above sea level.
Amazingly enough, the road is in very good condition, but is steep with many winding
turns.
I carefully watch the speedometer as we travel; our speed ranges from 30-95 kilometres
an hour, there is very little traffic, but many very sharp bends.
We pass through many little villages along the way, each and everyone is the same as the previous one.
The mountains are beautiful and there are many deep valleys, however the roads are narrow
And carved into the mountainsides.
One thing that I noticed was 4 Australian World Vision outposts along the road to Luang-Prabang.
May I just say: - “ONYA AUSTRALIA” I am proud to be associated.
I also noticed a French Red Cross outpost.
Entering the city of Luang-Prabang is no different to entering one of the many little villages along the way.
however, entering the heart of the city tells another story altogether.
Suddenly one is aware that the French were here by some of the beautiful old architecture that remains intact.
The World Heritage Council are at this very point in time, restoring these buildings as a
reference to the past!!
Another noticeable factor here is that unlike Ventiane and Vang-Vieng, there is a far greater presence of mature tourists and a lot less backpackers.
The high altitude seems to have increased the humidity levels, with the added heavy rainfalls during the monsoon season.
The locals are a lot less fluent with the English language than in Vientiane, they often use this to their advantage when it comes to quoting and charging.
Today is my rest and observation day, gathering information for a day out tomorrow to some of the well known sites around here.
I had breakfast at 6.30am, did a little recognisance of the area, purchased a map and about to study it.
Although this city is old and deteriorated in many parts, it is thriving with tourists from around the globe.
The shops, markets and stalls are catering for the tourist and there is an abundance of the local art work for sale, most is made by the various village tribes
I am living in a Lao guest house, all the wood work in the rooms and all furniture is teak and they have some amazing designs.
Le Tum-Tum is the name of my guest house; it has a very spacious indoor and outdoor restaurant, the chef in on duty from 6am till 11.30pm so no need to rush back for a meal.
The menu is international with English, American, French, Italian, Lao and Thai meals.
Prices are reasonable and a meal costs between $1.40 and $5.00 US and a air-conditioned room with fridge and TV can cost $10 - $15.
A days touring in a minivan per day costs $25.
One thing I have not yet seen in an Internet café?
Well I am off walkabout.

Day 2, up at 5.30am, breakfast shower and off to meet my driver for the day, to my surprise
he has invited 8 of his friends to join us.
A few stops here and there to collect foodstuff for this group.
Wow, I cannot believe the amount of food for the driver and eight of the friends.
We are heading for the Kouang Si Waterfall.
The road through one of the villages has more potholes than a rice colander, but soon it smoothes out.
It is approximately 35 kilometre drive, before we start our walk into this dark forest heavily wooded with very tall teak trees, ferns, creepers and magnificent tropical plants.
Suddenly we arrive at an opening with a few very large cages, the first has Asian black bears, the next local tigers, two foundations collecting funds to save the bears and tigers, a quick donation to each and we are off again.
Soon the sounds of beautiful music created by cascading waters, to cut a long story short, about five hours later, we made our exit out of the forest of magnificent waterfalls and returned to our so called minivan.
This area is unlike an enchanted forest in some amazing fairytale, it is AWSOME!!!
I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Lao.
Will upload some photos on FC Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon!!!
From the waterfall, I visited another Hmong village and fell in love with a young Hmong business woman, oh yes I did!!
She is five years old and can sell ice to Eskimos and speaks fine English, but most of all she is so cute.
Of course I had to purchase two items from her, before she would allow me to photograph her!!
Well that should bore the living daylights out of you all, but I have to make some attempt at communicating with you all!!
On Wednesday day I am flying to Hanoi, and should be in Vietnam for a month, a few days In Singapore and back to Perth West Australia.

Walkabout-John. Luang-Prabang Laos.


Well I have tried to upload this story and photo’s for several days unsuccessfully and am now in Hanoi.
So best wishes from Vietnam.

Comments 39

  • Anja v. Knobelsdorff 11/08/2009 16:14

    P.P.S.: Brautschmuck verloren. Hochwohlgeboren.
  • Anja v. Knobelsdorff 11/07/2009 22:06

    Für's Träumen.
  • Markus Hirschbeck 04/05/2008 15:30

    I am absolutely inspired. my next backpack destination will be Laos, maybe next year!
    wonderfull pic
    greetings
    markus
  • Alessandro Della Casa 08/26/2007 14:20

    Dream place....
  • Sibylle C. 06/26/2007 7:09

    Beautiful place,very well composed with the bridge in front.

    Greetings,Sibylle
  • Elizabeth Dew 06/26/2007 0:27

    Hi John I'm Back again What a posting and great photo Beth
  • Michael Schusser 06/23/2007 22:02

    Good picture. I like the waterfall and the bridge in the front.
    Take Care
    Michael
  • Christian Michalski 06/18/2007 14:17

    Great green pics of the waterfall.
    Intresting story!
    Cheers
    Christian
  • Lidschlag 06/16/2007 12:04

    What a wonderful site.
    I want to be there.
    Thank you for the story. Im awaitinf for your picture of the business-minded little icecreme lady.
  • Home of the Norfolks 06/14/2007 22:26

    Nice green picture, John!
    Sorry that we wrote no comments for a long time...I had an operation - and after that we went in holidays.
    Hope to hear something of you!
    Greets Anke and Björn
  • Antsien 06/14/2007 20:46

    chao John :)
    that looks like a painting,very great colours
    thanks for interesting story. I like it very much.
    Loan
  • Nyo Pu 06/14/2007 12:37

    Seems interesting and exciting touring. Of course, lovely environment there.
    Regards, np
  • Pascal Viyer 06/13/2007 13:23

    Great story, quel voyage !
    amitié John
    p^v
  • David Bu. 06/12/2007 20:24

    That looks like the Garden of Eden! A waterfall in the middle of a beautiful, lush forest - what an eye-catcher!

    Hope you have a good time over there!

    All the best, David
  • Sabine KöllnXX 06/12/2007 7:56

    Hello John -
    I was so touched seeing this picture - we, my Mum and I have been at this place! It was as wonderful as you describe it, no wonder the driver took so much food there because its a place with picknick-places because the lao like to go there with their families at weekends. And nice to see something from you again - but yes, there is an internetcafe in Luang Prabang, I've been there - and also some young monks who used the internet. My desire to visit Luang Prabang again is definitly increased now - and my morning starts well thanks to your story - Khob khun kha!
    Have a good time and take care
    Sabine
  • Brigitte Lucke 06/11/2007 23:40

    This has been a nice good-night story for me, and I'm shure I will dream of this paradise-like place tonight.
    Hope you are doing well in Vietnam and have a great time.
    Cheers
    Brigitte
  • Tom McAlexander 06/11/2007 23:27

    Enchanted indeed! And thanks for another chapter in your book.
    Aloha
    Tom
  • Frechdax . 06/11/2007 23:23

    it looks like a romance...
    fine shot!
    I hope, you have a nice week!
    Tine
  • Joachim Häfner 06/11/2007 23:00

    A very lovely place and a great story. I wish to sit there now and have a picnic.
    best wishes, Joe
  • Cees Kuijs 06/11/2007 21:56

    Beautiful place. Very well composed with the bridge in front. Thanks for the story.
    Greetings, Cees
  • Colja P. 06/11/2007 21:09

    Well, your beautifully narrated story was far from boring the living daylights out of me, John! ;-)
    When I first looked at the pic, I figured you were in some Theme Parc or something like that. It is so awesome that it can only be unreal! ;-)
    Very amazing.
    Take care, Papa-San John!
  • Kerstin Rösler 06/11/2007 21:08

    A perfect idyll...silence everywhere...like in heaven.
    hope you are well and keep enjoying all wonderful moments of your life
    bless you both kerst
  • Angela .M. 06/11/2007 20:35

    very fine landscape, nice picture and interesting story!
    best wishes
    Angela
  • Wilhelm H. 06/11/2007 19:54

    Lovely Picture and informative Text
    Greetings
    Wilhelm
  • Simone Slosharek 06/11/2007 19:03

    Hello John! This view is really amazing! I like the bridge in the middle of the picture very much! Greets from Germany! Simone :)