MP3 track of the day: Ticket to ride - The Beatles
Weather: Lovely, not too hot at all
Due to having a late night last night I got up around 10:30am. My plan for the day was to do some serious internet surfing starting with updating my blog, then uploading my photos from the boat trip and finally checking upon the world outside Laos. I knew that the above would take quite a while and so I headed out into town to pick up breakfast before I started. It was first time that I had seen Louang Phabang in the day light and, overall, it's not too bad. Two things that I immediately noticed was that the Lao people drive on the right-hand side of the road (first country that I have visited this trip that drives on the right) and that there are loads of Russian flags flying, probably due to the communist tie between the two nations.
'SpicyLaos' is only a ten minute walk from town and so I was soon at one of the many bakeries ordering an orange cake and a banana cake to bring back to the hostel. I met my friends in town and told them of my intention for the day, and so we decided to meet up around 7:30pm for food and drinks.
It was midday by the time I sat down, with my netbook, doing all the things that I needed to do. I had some annoying American girl - with her annoying accent saying that everything is 'awesome' – next to me playing her rubbish music … luckily she wasn't around for to long. The hours flew by and, due to me having plenty of time within Laos I wasn't too bothered that my day was slipping away. It was 5:30pm when I sat back and realized that all was well with the internet world. I had two hours to kill before meeting up with the others and so I went out to see a local temple. 'Wat That' is located a block north-west away from my hostel and fortunately the architecture is a little different to that of the Thai temples. I spent a little while photographing the temple before moving onto the night market to have a look for souvenirs.
Before I could look for any souvenirs I met up with the others within the market; we went for a small snack before deciding that we all wanted to have a look around the night market. We set a time to meet up after. Under these huge gazebos (which where not high enough for me to walk up straight) there were many stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs and clothes. The two Fabera's were interested in a few new pairs of trousers whereas I was looking for my 'Laos souvenir'. I had already decided that, currently, I had bought too many wooden souvenirs and so I narrowed my search down to fabric items only. I found a lovely pair of toddlers shoes, a couple of scarves and some fabric place mats … a little bit of thinking time was needed me thinks. I also noticed a guy selling lanterns that I have seen being sold within Malaysia and Thailand; they are a rectangle shape with wood making the frame. The sides are covered with coloured paper with patterns made from wood covering parts of the paper; a light is positioned within the lantern and therefore coloured light is projected outwards. I love these lanterns and I'm thinking of purchasing four (2x white and 2x Orange) for my flat within New Zealand ... that I will one day purchase. Best of all they flat pack so posting them home wouldn't be a problem, thought it could be quite expensive … again a think was needed.
I met up with the group again and we headed to a restaurant for something to eat. I tried a traditional Lao dish combined with Lao spring rolls … I wasn't impressed with either. The two Fabera's went to sleep as one was tired and the other had a major cold (it was lovely when she was sat to the right of me, blowing her nose, as I was trying to eat); the rest of us, on the other hand, found this bar called 'Lao Lao'. Up a steep driveway the bar had a few tables and chairs dotted around; it was nice and quite, though the owner was so gay it was untrue, and the guys set to with some drinking games. What followed was extremely funny to watch; first of all they played a card game which resulted in 'Dom' drinking two bottles of beer. Next was a guessing game followed by an aiming game and, considering most where pretty drunk at this time, the aiming wasn't too great. I enjoyed myself a lot however, with the continual cloud of smoke blowing into my face, it was starting to become some-what annoying and so, at 11:30pm, I made my excuses and headed for home.
The plan for tomorrow was to meet up at 10am and head out to some waterfalls, which are meant to be very beautiful. I was therefore glad that my head hit my pillow at midnight and even more glad that my room seemed to be a lot warmer tonight; however, at around 2am, the room was bitterly cold and so I put on my winter clothing (which consisted of a fleece, a pair of trousers and a pair of wooly socks) and went back to bed … I was then as snug as a bug in a rug.