February 17, 2008

261206 Luang Prabang free city tour

At the Luang Prabang northern bus station, the cat hopped on a waiting songthaew with Mr Belgian 2, a falang couple & a few Lao. Didn't travel far before the cat was greeted by a sign of Singapore - a signboard for the Luang Prabang branch of Informatics computer school!

First stop on the 10,000kip ride was at the turn-off to the road leading to Wat Pa Phon Pao & Ban Phanom, just after crossing the Nam Khan river. Next we headed southwest along Visounnalath Road, before the driver realised that Mr Belgian 2's destination was the guesthouse area near Wat Aphay, & backtracked towards the Nam Khan. A lot more turns & we ended up somewhere along Sisavangvong Road heading towards Nam Phou...but more confusion over the guesthouse that the falang couple wanted to go to led to even more backtracking & exploration of side roads...

& so the cat enjoyed a complimentary 'sit in coach' tour of the central part of Luang Prabang...freebies like this are most welcome =)) Mr Lost Songthaew Driver criss-crossed the old city a few times, giving the cat a rough orientation of the main roads, which would be most useful for the next few days of wandering. First impressions of the town - lowrise shophouses, the afternoon sun peeking through trees casting leafy shadows on quiet roads, French influence on local architecture, little traffic...

The couple finally alighted at one of the places run by Tum Tum Cheng, & the songthaew went on its way yet again. & then Mr Had-Enough-Of-Being-Lost Songthaew Driver turned back to look through the back window of the cab, & realised that there was still a cat sitting in the back (together with a few locals)...& stopped his vehicle to walk to the back for the uptenth time, to ask it where it was heading - he had clean forgotten =P Once again, we drove all the way back to Nam Phou fountain, which we had passed at least once earlier, & the cat got off at Ban Wat That along a little lane leading towards the Mekong...end of 'coach' tour & a great bargain =P

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