LUANG PRABANG, Laos // Now that we have been in Asia 2 months, we have developed places that we have liked a lot, and others not so much. Luang Prabang tops the list as one of our favorites, and most likely a place that we could even consider returning to again one day.
This place was like a little French village in the middle of the mountains. There was actually a lot of stuff to do, and we stayed here 9 days. It was much longer than we had planned, but it was a great location to be in while we waited for our Vietnam Visas to process. We made this place feel very "home like", and each day was pretty similar starting with one of the coffee shops or cafes. We went to a different one each morning to read books, research places for the rest of our trip, or read the local newspaper the "Vientiane Times"
In the afternoon we usually had one major place that we wanted to see, which included the Kuang Si Waterfall, Mount Phousi, Wat Xieng Thong, and The Royal Palace. From one of these places we would then head to a local gym that we found called Mr. Big Muscle Gym. This place was down one of the side streets and was very small, but had all new equipment. There was never a single tourist there and was pretty fun to go to everyday and see the same Lao people over and over. Our bodies felt amazing, and it was nice to get into an exercise routine again.
In the evening, there were lots of great restaurants and we wanted to try as many as possible. This is definitely a foodie town, and with the French influence, it had many Lao or European restaurants. One night we even had filet mignon. We realized it was our first piece of beef we have eaten in 2 months, and it tasted incredible. It made us realize how much we missed certain foods, and the ability in the United States to eat whatever we choose to every night.
After all the bus travel and rock climbing in southern Laos, and the future that awaits us trying to navigate the crazy streets of Hanoi, this was an ideal stop for us at the right time. We are glad that we came to Luang Prabang, and even happier that we had the flexibility to stay as long as we wanted.