Finding Luang Prabang

by Sara · 26.10.2010 · Escapism · 3 comments

Luang Pra­bang was so far the most beau­ti­ful spot we’ve found here in South East Asia. Simple and sedu­cing — the old French colo­nial style archi­tec­ture, the laid back atti­tude of the Lao people and finally some baguette and tasty crepes for our European tastes. Accom­pan­ied by a stun­ning land­scape and a whole lot of sun­shine, Luang Pra­bang was allur­ing and prom­ising from the first day we set our foot into the city..

Except that the pret­ti­ness also couldn’t make up for the annoy­ances at night. While we were try­ing to chill out on the front porch of our hotel, a little thief came by to sell us some of his beloved Opium. When we turned him down, he was angry enough to grab one of our bags and fly. As much as we loved being in Luang Pra­bang, after that, everything we tried had a bit­ter note attached to it, and thus we fled as soon as possible.

Being a tour­ist often sounds and looks more romantic than it feels. You rarely see touts and thieves like that on the post­cards trav­el­ers send back home to their fam­il­ies. You don’t feel the mos­quito stings, you don’t endure fif­teen hour bus rides, the sweat run­ning down your face, noth­ing of that ever gets home, just a wave and a smil­ing kid on a pic­ture with you and your ren­ted bike. There are good things and bad things about trav­el­ling, but what Luang Pra­bang taught me is that no mat­ter how dif­fi­cult it is to go and see another cul­ture: it’s worth it. Even the bad side. I’ll try and remem­ber that the next time I point and laugh at a lost tour­ist in Ber­lin who’s just try­ing to find a good place to be; he’s prob­ably had a rough ride, let’s show ourselves from the best pos­sible side we have and make it up to him.

We left Laos after a short stop in Vang Vieng because of sud­den ill­ness (don’t fuck with fever while you’re in the jungle)- but I really do want to say thank you to the won­der­ful Lao people we’ve met on the way, and those con­ta­gious smiles we received. It all made up for that one single bad encounter.

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  1. “the next time i point and laugh at a lost tour­ist in ber­lin who’s just try­ing to find a good place to be; he’s prob­ably had a rough ride”

    that one changed me. thanks

    also i’m frickin jealous :)

  2. wasted ger­man youth” — *thumbs up*
    und beste grüße <a href=““aus offen­beach :D

  3. hach.