Luang Prabang, Laos is one of the most magical cities I've ever seen. I stayed on the Unesco-protected peninsula which is filled with so many beautiful wat. I was there two days and still didn't see them all! I met some Californians on the plane over, so we explored together the next day. We went out to the Pak Ou caves, which are filled with over 4000 Buddha images that have been left by pilgrims over centuries. The Buddhas are packed on top of each other. It looks like an episode of Hoarders.
We then took a tuk tuk, which in Laos means a motorized bike looking thing towing a trailer with two benches facing each other, to a waterfall. In Vietnam, the tuk tuks were actually pedaled. I heard from a disgruntled traveler that the Vietnam tuk tuk drivers will charge overweight people more and will say "You fat so I have to pedal harder." Ouch.
In the evening, we went to the Night Markets, which are filled with beautiful paper lanterns, jewelry, and embriodered blankets and aprons. I wanted to buy everything but didn't end up getting anything since my suitcase is already a fatty. The tuk tuk driver would definitely charge it more.
The next day, I woke up at 530 am to give alms to the monks. Hundreds of them walk by and you put some cooked rice in each of their baskets. That is their food for the day then. I swear they started speeding up at some point, and I felt like I was in that episode of I Love Lucy with the candy conveyor belt.
Then, I went out to an elephant sanctuary, where I got to go on an hour long elephant trail ride. I just love elephants. Apparently, they cry when they're upset or scared. How sad is that? Sorry left-leaning buddies, but the elephant is about 1000 times cooler than the donkey. I was able to ride on the elephant's neck, which is more comfortable for the elephant than the basket on its back. It was a glorious experience. I'm adding elephants to my adopt from Asia list.
I uploaded lots of pictures!
And my favorite: Sapa