The River of Dreams

Taking it slow in Luang Prabang, Laos

Sunset at our arrival to LP

Luang Prabang lies between two rivers. The Nam Khan River on one side, and the infamous Mekong River is on the other side.

We were very familiar with the Mekong River by the time we arrived in Luang Prabang. We had spent two days floating along from the border town. With the alternative being a 15 hour bus ride that was rumored to go between being uncomfortable and terrifying, we knew the slow boat was for us.

There’s something wonderful about taking two days to get someplace. Especially when the views outside are amazing and the little bar inside has plenty of Beer Lao. We were traveling with friends from the trek the day before, and everything seemed perfect. I spent my birthday on that boat, and it definitely beat dragging people out of hibernation to go out in snowy Boston.

Luang Prabang is a beautiful town in every way. Most of the town is a world heritage sight, it has some evidence of French colonization in the architecture, you’re always walking along the water, and you can’t help smiling at the young monks that seem to be forever passing you carrying umbrellas.

You could see the town in two or three days but we spent six nights. We didn’t want to be tourists anymore – we just wanted to exist. When you stop rushing through places and stop and sit and watch it’s amazing how much more you understand the place you are.

We went to the waterfall, the cave, and the Wats that were around Luang Prabang. We woke up early to watch the alms ceremony, and we walked to the temple on the top of the hill for sunset.

Tim decided to swing in

At the the beginning of Kouangsi Waterfall

The Pak Ou Cave

The Alms Ceremony

One visit that stood out was a photo exhibit called “The Floating Buddha.” The photographer captured the monks’ reintroduction of Vipassana meditation. The idea being to relearn the teaching of the Buddha, particularly when he said “Nothing whatsoever should be clung to.”


The thing about Luang Prabang that kept us there was the food and markets. They had good cheese in LP! We also drank flavored beer Lao at a German Restaurant and played Vollyball at a garden and bar called Utopia. Then we always went to bed at midnight – when the town turned into a pumpkin (Lao people have to be at their residence by 12 – the law is more relaxed for foreigners, but with no one around to keep the bar open it didn’t matter too much)

Yes, I would have liked the cling to Luang Prabang forever and never leave- but I don’t think the Buddha would have approved.

“There are only three things which make life worth living: to be writing a tolerably good book, to be in a dinner party of six, and to be travelling south with someone whom your conscience permits you to love.”
– Cyril Connolly


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kipp Bockhop
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 23:34:33

    That picture with Tim on the boat, too funny I have seen that smirk and will refrain from saying what it means.


  2. Grandma Barb
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 21:44:58

    Hi Robin and Tim,
    This brought back so many memories … seeing your photos from Luang Prabang, seeing the waterfall, being in the cave. Now you know why Grandpa and I were happiest in Laos, after being in Cambodia and Viet Nam.
    I’m confused. Why is this dated March 8 but you speak of celebrating your
    birthday January 20th here. Where ARE you ???
    Robert said you were teaching English for 3 wks and getting pd for it in Cambodia I think ??
    Grandma Bet and Kathy here in FL for a week. We just got back from a 2 day cruise to the Bahamas which was fun. Seems like everyone was ready for R and R.
    Miss you guys,
    Love, Grandma xoxox March 10, 2011


    • wheresbatman
      Mar 11, 2011 @ 04:10:27

      Yes the blog is about 6 weeks behind. We don’t always have good wifi and putting up a post takes time. We went to Vietnam and Cambodia after Laos and actually like Vietnam better and Cambodia just as much as Laos. We were volunteering for two weeks in Cambodia at an Orphanage and School. The “Where’s Wally” posts are usually indications of our actual location. We’re in Singapore now.


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